Canadian Rockies by Rail
May 14-20, 2012
Ernie Ern, Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus
Price: $5,995 per person, land and rail only
Registration is Open
Discover the beauty of Canada, from the stunning city of Vancouver to the pristine waters of Lake Louise as you board the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury train following the historic route through the Canadian Rockies. During the day, ride in absolute comfort and at night stay in well-appointed accommodations as you stop off at each destination. Marvel at the breathtaking scenery as you're seated in the dome car, offering fantastic views of lush green fields, snow covered mountains and crystal clear waters of nearby lakes, rivers and waterfalls. Visit some of Canada's most beautiful destinations including Jasper National Park, Banff National Park, Yoho National Park and the Columbia Icefields. A plethora of amazing flora, fauna and unique landscapes await you on this exciting journey. For those not ready to return home, extend your stay in Banff on an optional post-extension where you'll continue your relaxing retreat in the wilderness.
- Explore the city of Vancouver, the largest metropolis in British Columbia, known for exceptional cuisine and exciting activities.
- Enjoy cruising through the Canadian Rockies aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, described by travelers as one of the "best train experiences in the world" (Society of American Travel Writers). With ample room, fantastic views of the surrounding landscapes and exceptional service onboard, this will be a train ride to remember.
- Travel through Fraser River Valley, passing the rushing waters of Hell's Gate and the steep slopes along the Thompson River towards Kamloops in the heart of British Columbia.
- See the highest point of the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson as you make your way towards Jasper National Park.
- Board a private motorbus towards the Columbia Icefields, where you'll have a chance to step onto snow and ice that formed hundreds of years ago.
- Explore Banff National Park, Canada's first national park, and home to some of North America's most famous wildlife, including grizzly and black bear, caribou, moose and the American wolf.
- Cross the Continental Divide into Yoho National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and home to spectacular waterfalls, snow-capped mountain peaks and phenomenal glaciers. Keep your eyes out for the rare bald eagle and the endangered harlequin duck.
- Stop by Moraine Lake, nestled in ten lofty mountain peaks as you make your way towards Banff, a small, charming town surrounded by majestic mountains and glacier-fed lakes.
- Overnight at Fairmount Hotel Vancouver.
- Overnight at a hotel in Kamloops, subject to change.
- Overnight at Sawridge Inn Jasper.
- Two nights at Fairmount Chateau Lake Louise.
- Overnight at Banff Springs Hotel.
13 meals – B,L at Kamloops; B,L at Jasper; 2B,2L,D at Lake Louise; 2B,L,D at Banff. Meals aloft^ back to top
Ernest H. Ern, Senior Vice President and Professor of Environmental Sciences Emeritus
Ernie and his wife, Petie, came to Charlottesville in 1962 and Ernie taught in the Department of Geology, later the Department of Environmental Sciences, for 39 years. Concurrently, he held administrative positions as Dean of Admissions, Vice President for Student Affairs and from 1993 to 2001, Senior Vice President of the University. From 1989 to 2001 the Erns lived on the Lawn in Pavilion X. His scholarly work includes analyses of geological conditions related to mining in the Appalachian region, as well as detailed analyses of rock formations in central Virginia and the Appalachian region. In 1998, Ern received the Algernon Sydney Sullivan Award for excellence of character and service to humanity. (Greece '07, Dalmatian Coast '08, Italian Lakes & Swiss Alps '10, America the Beautiful: National Parks '11)
Day 1 -- Monday, May 14
Board your flight to Vancouver today. Upon arrival, you will be met and escorted to your hotel. A city bordered by water and nestled along the Coast Mountain Range; Vancouver is the largest city in British Columbia with over half a million residents. It has some of the mildest climates in Canada and is home to phenomenal natural scenery surrounding a bustling metropolitan area. There is much to see and do in this beautiful city. Enjoy a stroll through Stanley Park, where one of the five largest aquariums in North America is located. Wander through Robson Street and explore all the shops in the area. Vancouver is one of the few places where one can enjoy a bike ride, skiing, snowboarding, golfing and hiking all in the same day! Located in the heart of this world-class city is your hotel. The Fairmont offers an in-lobby shopping arcade, a state-of-the-art health club, spa and an indoor pool. Each of the rooms in the hotel offers the luxury and elegance of an English Castle. The accommodations are spacious and comfortable all equipped with wireless internet connections, coffee makers and all modern amenities.
Overnight at the FAIRMONT HOTEL VANCOUVER.
Day 2 -- Tuesday, May 15
Vancouver/Rocky Mountaineer Train: Kamloops
This morning transfer to the train platform where you will board the Rocky Mountaineer. This train journey is considered by many to be one of the most unforgettable trips of a lifetime and follows the same historic route that was constructed over 100 years ago. Weave your way across the Canadian Rockies and become enraptured by the breathtaking scenery. The route takes you through the lush green fields of the Fraser River Valley, through forests and the winding river canyons bordered by the peaks of the coast and the Cascade Mountains. Watch the rushing waters of Hell's Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes along the Thompson River. Continue into the heart of British Columbia where the landscape changes dramatically from the lush coast to desert-like conditions.
The train is the epitome of luxury. You will be seated in the dome car which offers all around views of the fabulous landscapes. Enjoy breakfast and lunch aboard.
In the evening, arrive in Kamloops where you will spend the night in a hotel chosen by the Rocky Mountaineer.
Overnight at KAMLOOPS HOTEL. (B,L)
Day 3 -- Wednesday, May 16
Rocky Mountaineer Train: Kamloops/Jasper
Depart this morning from Kamloops and head towards Jasper. Today you head north towards the impressive Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Follow the outline of the Thompson River through to the Monashee and Cariboo Mountains while slowly ascending the peaks of the Continental Divide. You will see the highest point of the Canadian Rockies, Mount Robson also the Pyramid Falls. After climbing up to the Yellowhead Pass you will slowly descend into Jasper National Park in the late afternoon.
Jasper is a little town situated in the national park. In the 1800's, Jasper was a mere trading town but now it has become a bustling city. It has many things to offer from its exquisite dining choices to the many shops that dot the street.
This evening you will be escorted to your hotel. The hotel offers its guest spacious, comfortable and tastefully decorated accommodations. Sit down to dinner in their renowned restaurant; enjoy a leisurely swim in their indoor heated pool or simply relax in your room.
Overnight at the SAWRIDGE INN JASPER. (B,L)
Day 4 -- Thursday, May 17
Following breakfast, board your private motorbus and continue to Lake Louise. The route that takes you there follows the Athabasca River all the way to its source, the Columbia Icefields. This area is blanketed by a layer of ice on the Continental Divide and when the glaciers melt the water seeps into the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans. During this point of your journey you will have the opportunity to board a Snowcoach and venture off onto the icefields. Then you will continue on to Banff National Park.
Banff National Park is Canada's first national park. It is a wonderful park with breathtaking scenery of the various peaks of the Canadian Rockies. People come here annually, from all over the world, to marvel at the stunning emerald waters of Lake Louise. There is much to do in the park. Walk along the flower fields of Sunshine Meadows; go on a drive beneath the peaks lining the Icefields Parkway. Snow-capped peaks, shimmering glaciers and sweeping vistas are just some of the reasons why people come to this majestic place. Aside from natural beauty, the park is home to some of North America's infamous wildlife.
Banff is an ideal place for both summer and winter fun. Enjoy downhill skiing, heli-tours, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, ice skating and horse-drawn sleigh rides in the winter. And in the summer, the activities are just as endless with hiking, canoeing, horseback riding, fishing, mountain biking and rafting.Situated in the heart of Banff National Park, and within a UNESCO World Heritage site, your hotel is recognized around the world for its progressive environmental stewardship and responsible tourism. Dining is magical at the Chateau Lake Louise from enjoying afternoon tea in the shadow of a glacier to an intimate wine bar and fine dining restaurant. Overnight at the FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE. (B,L,D)
Day 5 -- Friday, May 18
Lake Louise/Yoho National Park/Lake Louise
Cross over the Continental Divide and into Yoho National Park. Yoho is the smallest national park in the country and is situated in the Canadian Rocky Mountains along the western slope of the Continental Divide. The park was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1984. It was named after the Cree word that means 'awe.' The park does indeed live up to its name with its spectacular waterfalls, snow-capped mountain peaks, roaring rivers and phenomenal glaciers. Activities are bountiful; from horseback riding to canoeing the possibilities are endless.
Flora and fauna is abundant here. Keep your eyes peeled for grizzly bears, black bears, mountain caribou, moose and wolves. The park is also home to smaller wildlife such as, hoary marmots, pikas and golden mantled ground squirrels. And for those who like to watch for birds, Yoho does not disappoint! The park is host to a number of birds including bald eagles and the endangered harlequin ducks.
While here weave your way through the Kicking Horse Pass – a famous road and rail route that passes through the many twists and turns of the Rockies. This path was a discovery made by accident by the esteemed geologist James Hector. It highlights the scenic splendor of the valley below where one can have amazing views of the Continental Divide and the watersheds of both the East and West.
Later, return to your hotel where the remainder of your day is at leisure.
Overnight at the FAIRMONT CHATEAU LAKE LOUISE. (B,L)
Day 6 -- Saturday, May 19
After breakfast, drive to Banff. Cross the Trans-Canada Highway and stop at Moraine Lake situated in the Valley of Ten Peaks. It is said that Moraine Lake rivals Lake Louise due to its scenic grandeur and fame. It is nestled in ten lofty mountain peaks and a hanging valley of largest under the Canadian Rockies third highest mountain – Snow Dome. The view from the Rockpile at the lake's edge is reminiscent of Canada's old twenty dollar bill and will forever leave an impression on your mind.
Continue to Banff, a small town that has lots of charm and character. It is surrounded by the mountains you have grown to love throughout your journey and glacier-fed lakes. After checking into your hotel, you will have time to explore this quaint town before going to your farewell dinner.
Known as the 'castle in the Rockies' your hotel has few rivals in the world. It was designed and decorated to mimic a Scottish Baronial castle – it is only natural that it became a National Historical Site. Your rooms are luxuriously decorated with gold and natural colored hues and accents. Every amenity is readily available to their guests. The hotel offers its guests many activities – go golfing in their 27-hole course, enjoy a hiking trip through the mountains, go dog sledding and much more! Indulge in cuisines of the world in their various restaurants and bars, make a splash in their pool or simply unwind in the Willow Stream Spa.
Overnight at the BANFF SPRINGS HOTEL. (B,L,D)
Day 7 -- Sunday, May 20
Today you transfer to Calgary for your flight home – taking with the not so distant memories of roaring rivers and majestic mountains. (B, Meals Aloft)
$5,995 per person, double occupancy, land only. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $1,495 per person.
Upgrade to Superior Lake View Rooms at Chateau Lake Louise for $180
Extension to Banff: $795 per person, double occupancy, $395 single supplement.
- Two day Rocky Mountaineer train ride.
- Superior accommodations throughout as indicated or similar.
- All meals as specified above.
- Gratuities to driver/guides and other conveyance attendants.
- Local guide with a minimum of 15 passengers.
- Enrichment lecturer with a minimum of 15 passengers on the main program and 10 on the extension.
- All applicable hotel and lodge taxes and gratuities.
- All park entry fees.
- Complimentary luggage tags and passport wallet.
Does not include:
- Round trip air transportation between USA and Canada.
- U.S. and foreign airport taxes.
- Passport and visa fees and service charges for obtaining visas.
- Excess baggage charges levied by airlines.
- Meals and beverages, other than specified in full itinerary.
- Laundry and other items of a personal nature.
- Personal and baggage insurance.
- Cost for anything not specifically mentioned in the listing above.
- Optional insurance coverage is available for Baggage, Accident and Trip Cancellation/Interruption at special low cost group rates.
Optional Extension in Banff
DAYS 7/8/9 ~ SUNDAY/MONDAY/TUESDAY/ ~ MAY 20/21/22
Bid farewell to the rest of your group returning home, and transfer to your new hotel – Buffalo Mountain Lodge. The Rocky Mountains are a significant piece of land for the Native Americans. The valleys were places of celebration and ceremony and where mineral springs and lakes offered rejuvenation for the mind, body and spirit.
Enjoy three days of relaxation. There are many activities in the area but most famous are the hot springs where people can unwind in the comfort of soothing hot water. Travelers have come here for over a century enjoying the historical bathhouse, built in the 1930’s, the outdoor spring-fed pool with breathtaking views of Mount Rundle. Or you can opt to drive throughout the park and once again become amazed by the splendor of the region. Fish, hike, canoe, sit and read a book in the comfort of your cabin – the possibilities are endless.
Situated on Tunnel Mountain - formerly known as “sleeping buffalo,” the name came from the native people in the region - your hotel is unlike any other accommodation in Banff. Every room in the hotel has patios or balconies, each equipped with wood burning fireplaces – which are stocked daily with wood. Dining at the lodge is a new experience in itself with two distinct restaurants. Enjoy smoked and cured wild game that is customary to the area, all artfully presented and served at the Sleeping Buffalo Restaurant & Lounge. Or indulge in America’s favorites – pizzas and pastas at the Cilantro at Buffalo Mountain Lodge restaurant.
Overnights at the BUFFALO MOUNTAIN LODGE. (B Daily)
Fly home on Wednesday, May 22. Today you transfer to Calgary for your flight home.
Extension price: $795 per person, double occupancy, $395 single supplement.^ back to top
How To Register
Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646. Or, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact information and the best time to reach you.
A deposit of $750 per person for the main trip and $250 for the extension is required to reserve your spot. Final invoicing will be done approximately three months prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure (February 10, 2012).
Deposits can be made via check, money order or credit card (American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa). Final payments must be made by money order or check only.
Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.^ back to top
General Terms & Conditions
HOW TO BOOK: Call us: 866-765-2646. Fill out the reservation form below and send it to University of Virginia Cavalier Travels, P.O. Box 400807, 400 Ray C. Hunt Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22904-4807, together with a deposit of $750 per person for the main trip and $250 for the extension, as well as your insurance payment if you wish to take advantage of the pre-existing medical condition exclusion. All checks should be made out to Classic Escapes. On receipt of your signed reservation form and deposit, we will, subject to availability, reserve your place on your tour. When we send off your confirmation invoice, your booking is confirmed and accepted by us. Final payment is due not later than 95 days prior to departure (February 10, 2012). Final documents will be sent to you approximately two weeks prior to departure.
ACCOMMODATIONS: You will marvel at the wonderful accommodations provided throughout your tour. All rooms have private facilities, and all rates are based on double occupancy. Most rooms are twin-bedded, but king size beds are occasionally available and should be requested in advance. Accommodations listed in this itinerary are correct at time of writing, but on rare occasions can change for similar lodging.
SINGLE SUPPLEMENT: Rate quoted is valid for first two single rooms booked. If more than two single rooms, additional supplement will apply. Singles are assigned on a first come/first serve basis. Single accommodations are not guaranteed, but will be provided at additional cost if available (see reservation form for cost.) The single room supplement pays for privacy, not better accommodations. On occasion, in smaller hotels, you may be required to share with other members of your tour group if single rooms/cabins are not available upon check-in. If this is the situation, appropriate per diem refunds are made to passengers in the event they paid for a single room but had to share during any portion of their trip. For passengers who are traveling alone and wish to share a room with another tour member, we will do our best to provide a roommate. However, if this is not possible, you will be required to pay the single room supplement prior to your departure from the USA.
MEALS: All meals as specified above.
TRANSFERS: Roundtrip transfer of travelers between airports and hotels are included in the tour when arriving on group flights. If travelers make their own air arrangements, they will be subject to extra transfer fees.
TIPS AND TAXES: Gratuities for baggage handling, service charges and taxes imposed by hotels, lodges and tented camps, and entrance fees to all reserves as outlined in the itinerary are included. U.S. and foreign airport taxes are also not included. Tips to driver/guides and naturalist on both main trip and extension are not included.
RATES: All rates quoted are based on tariffs and value of foreign currencies in relation to the U.S. dollar in effect as of October 12, 2012, and are subject to change. Rates are based on a minimum of 15 passengers traveling together. The right is reserved to levy a surcharge if minimum is not met, but that is rarely done. The minimum on the extension is 10 passengers. We will do our utmost to keep to the prices as published. Should increases be forced on us by airlines, exchange rates, etc., we reserve the right to surcharge.
ESCORT: Group will be accompanied by an enrichment lecturer with a minimum of 15 passengers on the main program and 10 passengers on each extension.
TRIP INFORMATION: Upon receipt of your application, instructions will be sent to you concerning all aspects of your trip, such as itinerary, photographic equipment, documents, clothing, insurance, etc.
INVOICING: Final invoicing of your trip will be done approximately three months prior to departure. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure (February 10, 2012).
FINAL DOCUMENTS: Final documents and tickets will be sent to you approximately two weeks prior to departure. We regret to advise that no documents can be released if final payments are not received.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: A deposit of $750 per person must be submitted with each application, plus an additional deposit of $250 per person if you wish to take the extension. Deposits may be paid by check or charged to American Express, Discover, MasterCard or Visa. Final payment is payable by check or money order ONLY and is due no later than 95 days prior to departure (February 10, 2012).
CANCELLATIONS: Cancellations are only effective on receipt of written notification. The following per person fees are applicable on this safari:
- Up to 95 days prior to departure, less $250.00 handling fee.
- 94-80 days prior to departure, deposit is forfeited.
- 79-65 days prior to departure, less 50% of tour cost on both the main trip and the extensions.
- Less than 65 days prior to departure, refund is dependent on amount recoverable from overseas suppliers.
These cancellation fees are also in addition to any imposed by airlines. WE STRONGLY RECOMMEND THAT YOU OBTAIN THE OPTIONAL INSURANCE POLICY. INFORMATION WILL BE SENT TO YOU UPON RECEIPT OF RESERVATION FORM.
DEVIATIONS: Should additional reservations be required, including extensions in Canada, we will be happy to make all the arrangements. However, there will be an extra charge of $150 per person for such deviations, over and above the cost of the services required.
CHANGE FEES: Once you reserve your tour, changes are possible subject to availability of air or land space at the time of request. Should there be any change fees imposed by airlines or ground operators, or additional costs incurred due to availability of any space, this cost will be invoiced to you.
LATE BOOKING FEE: Classic Escapes reserves the right to impose a late booking fee to offset additional administrative costs for any reservations received 60 days (or closer) to the program’s departure date. This fee is $250 per person, over and above any costs incurred by airlines and suppliers
NOT INCLUDED: Cost of passport and visa fees, and service charges for obtaining visa fees; excess baggage charges levied by airlines; meals other than specified; beverages and meals not specified in itinerary; laundry and other items of a personal nature; gratuities not imposed by hotels and/or restaurants for included services; optional personal, baggage and tour cancellation insurance policy; U.S. and foreign airport taxes; Tips to driver/guides and naturalist on both main trip and extension; cost for anything not specifically included in listing above.
PASSPORT & VISAS: The onus is upon the guest to ensure that passports and visas are valid for the countries visited. The company, their staff and their agents cannot be held liable for any visas, etc. not held by the guests, nor the cost of visas. Visa information will be forwarded upon receipt of reservation.
RESPONSIBILITY: Neither Classic Escapes (the Company) nor any person or agent acting for, through or on behalf of the Company shall be liable for any loss or damage whatsoever arising from any cause whatsoever and without restricting the generality of the aforegoing shall particularly not be responsible for loss or damage arising from any errors or omissions contained in its brochure or other literature, loss or damage caused by delays, sickness, theft, injury or death. In addition the Company shall have the right at any time at its discretion to cancel any safari or the remainder thereof or make any alteration in route, accommodation, price or other details and, in the event of any safari being rendered impossible, illegal or inadvisable by weather, strike, war, government or interference or any other cause whatsoever, the extra expenses incurred as a result thereof shall be the responsibility of the passenger. The Company may at its discretion and without liability or cost to itself at any time cancel or terminate the guest’s booking and in particular without limiting the generality of the aforegoing it shall be entitled to do so in the event of the illness or the illegal or incompatible behavior of the guest, who shall in such circumstances not be entitled to any refund. The person making any booking will, by the making of such booking, warrant that he or she has authority to enter into a contract on behalf of the other person included in such a booking and in the event of the failure of any or all of the other persons so included to make payment, the person making the booking shall by his/her signature thereof assume personal liability for the total price of all bookings made by him/her.
PHOTOGRAPHY: The Company reserves the right without further notice to make use of any photograph or film taken on the safari by our photographers without payment or permission. We guarantee that no photographs of a compromising nature will be used.
CHANGES TO SCHEDULES: Although every effort is made to adhere to schedules it should be borne in mind that the Company reserves the right and in fact is obliged to occasionally change routes and camps on safaris as dictated by changing conditions. Such conditions may be brought about by seasonal rainfall on bush tracks, airfields and in wildlife areas, by wildlife migrations from one region to another, or airline or other booking problems, etc.
REFUNDS: While the company uses its best endeavors to ensure that all anticipated accommodation is available as planned, there shall be no claim of any nature whatsoever against the Company for a refund either in the whole or part, if any accommodation or excursion is unavailable and a reasonable alternative is not found. If the guest is unable to use any service provided in the itinerary, then there are no refunds due.
AIRLINE CLAUSE: The airlines concerned are not to be held liable for any act, omission or event during the time the passengers are not on board their planes or conveyance. The passengers’ tickets in use by the airline or by other carriers concerned when issued shall constitute the sole contract between the airlines and the purchaser of these tickets and/or passengers.
DELAYS: We cannot be held liable for any delays or additional costs incurred as a result of airlines not running to schedule.
If one of our guides is unable to take a safari due to illness, etc. we reserve the right to substitute with another guide.
This agreement is made subject to and shall be governed by and construed according to the laws of the country in which the safari takes place. Classic Escapes act merely as an agent for the operating companies.
To the best of our knowledge the itinerary is correct at the time of printing. We cannot be held responsible for any inaccuracies or changes that may occur after printing.
CONSENT: The payment of the deposit OR any other partial payment for a reservation on a safari constitutes consent by all guests covered by that payment to all provisions of the conditions and general information contained in this brochure whether the guest has signed the booking form or not. The terms, under which you agree to take this safari, cannot be changed or amended except in writing signed by an authorized director of the Company.
INSURANCE PACKAGE: Classic Escapes offers a comprehensive insurance package, which allows the Pre-Existing Condition Exclusion to be waived if purchased within 7 days of the initial trip payment. Details can be found on our website at http://www.classicescapes.com/insurance.html or call our office for more details (800-627-1244). If obtaining this pre-existing condition waiver is not of importance to you, you may opt to wait until you receive your pre-departure packet of information which will include details on the insurance package.
INSURANCE PREMIUM: See premium schedule below, or call us for the exact amount and information on the policy. This is applicable to all coverage contained in the policy. You must be medically able to travel when you pay your premium. In the event that a claim is filed, the injury or illness must be substantiated to the Claims Department.
The cost of your insurance premium is based on the TOTAL cost of your trip including: the main itinerary, airfare, airline taxes, single supplements, optional excursions and optional extensions. The premium for your tour will be calculated as follows:
Total Tour Cost
Premium Per Person
$5,501 - $6,000
$6,001 - $6,500
$6,501 - $7,000
$7,001 - $8,000
$8,001 - $9,000
$9,001 - $10,000
$10,001 - $11,000
$11,001 - $12,000
Please contact Classic Escapes if you have any questions or need assistance calculating your premium.
^ back to top