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Best of Western Canada
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This morning, catch the Skytrain to the ferry terminal, and then board a ferry to Victoria on Vancouver Island. The beautiful city of Victoria is the capital of British Columbia. It's thought that Captain James Cook was the first westerner to set foot on British Columbian soil, but it was the Hudson's Bay Company which established the area as their trading post and fort. Vancouver Island is the largest island off North America's west coast, and notable for having the mildest climate in Canada. It also offers a multitude of outdoor activities including hikes, whale-watching tours, bear-spotting tours and short coastal cruises. There's even the option to go salmon fishing (seasonal) and enjoy barbecues on the beach.
Today, you'll take the ferry back to Vancouver before boarding the overnight train to Jasper this evening. The train journey is around 20 hours, but the scenery is spectacular as we enter the Rockies and travel alongside rivers, lakes and mountains. We travel in economy class, with seats similar to aeroplane seats although with more leg room.
We arrive into Jasper this afternoon - the largest of Canada's Rocky Mountain parks, Jasper is famous for its wildlife such as elk, moose, deer, coyotes, bears (including grizzlies) and mountain lions, as well as many smaller mammals and birds. Here you have the option of hiking up Whistler Mountain, mountain biking in the Valley of Five Lakes or taking a cruise on Maligne Lake. If you are looking to take it a bit easier, you can ride the Jasper Tramway or just relax and soak in Miette Hot Springs.
Banff National Park
Today you'll travel by bus to Banff, stopping at Columbia Icefields Centre, Athabasca Falls, Sunwapta, Weeping Wall and Crowfoot Glacier on the way (up 1o 12 hours including stops).
Located in the heart of the Canadian Rockies, Banff National Park is Canada's oldest national park. Its valleys and mountain chains were formed 75 million years ago and its terrain consists of coniferous forests, alpine meadows, icefields and glaciers. It is an outdoor enthusiast's paradise with opportunities for canoeing, mountain biking, hiking or riding the gondola to the top of Sulphur Mountain.
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