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Costsaver trips are great if you are looking for a budget friendly, semi-independent vacation that is designed with just the basics in mind. Unlike classic tours, Costsaver includes just the essentials including 3-star accommodation (not always centrally located, but close to public transportation for easy access to the center of town), airconditioned motorcoach transportation, an expert Travel Director and Driver. With a basic orientation included in major cities, enjoy the freedom and flexibility to explore the destination at your own pace, or tailor your days on trip with Choice Optional Experiences unique to each itinerary and arranged by your Travel Director.View all CostSaver Tours
Starting and ending in Vancouver, this trip will take you straight to the literal and metaphorical heart of the Canadian Rockies.
Welcome to outdoorsy, nature loving Vancouver! Regarded as one of the world’s most naturally beautiful cities, Vancouver is framed by dramatic vistas on all sides and is the kind of place where, given its close proximity to nature, you can ski in the morning and swim in the ocean by early afternoon. After settling in to your hotel you’ll meet your Travel Director this afternoon, then you’re free to head out and uncover the city’s many delights. Take a stroll through Stanley Park, or alternatively explore Vancouver’s diverse culinary scene which boasts some of the best Asian cuisine in all of North America.
This morning’s sightseeing tour of lovely Vancouver will visit the city's oldest neighborhood, Gastown, which was designated a National Historic Site in 2009. You'll also visit buzzy Chinatown, and admire the famous collection of totem poles at Stanley Park, before jumping on the ferry bound for Vancouver Island, and drive into the capital of British Columbia, Victoria. After docking at Swartz Bay and making the short drive into the city, you’ll no doubt be struck by the distinctly English influence of Victoria. An orientation tour of the city will take you along the waterfront district and into the bustling downtown area, passing the Parliament Buildings, Government Street and through Beacon Hill Park so you can really get your bearings. This evening is yours to explore or dine out with new found friends.
Spend the morning amid the blossoms of world famous Butchart Gardens. This expansive estate is over a century old and offers sunken, rose, Japanese, Italian and Mediterranean gardens. Stroll through and find plenty of photo opportunities amidst moments of beauty. The rest of the day is yours to explore Victoria as you like. Learn about the surrounding waters on a whale watching cruise and keep a lookout for orcas, bald eagles, porpoises and seals.
First up on today’s agenda is Chemainus, a seaside community and former industrial town that is best known for its series of giant outdoor murals depicting local history. Hopping on board a ferry across the Georgia Strait and arriving into Horseshoe Bay, you’ll then travel along the iconic Sea-to-Sky Highway, one of the world’s most scenic drives. We challenge you not to keep your eyes to the horizon as you pass cascading waterfalls, jagged mountain peaks and the dreamy ocean vistas of Howe Sound, before stopping off at Shannon Falls Provincial Park, which boasts the third highest waterfall in all of British Columbia. Still in awe of the scenery offered by today’s drive, you’ll finish today in the alpine village of Whistler, which sits nestled in the shadows of the Blackcomb Mountains.
Enjoy your day in Whistler as you explore this stunning adventure playground. Go hiking or biking on one of the many trails or the labyrinth of lanes that make up Whistler Village. Or make the day your own with action-packed Optional Experiences, each one more exhilarating than the next! You could go bear viewing with a local wildlife photographer, whitewater rafting, zip lining at 100 km per hour amidst the stunning mountain wilderness, and many more options. When we said exhilarating, we weren't joking!
Fuel for another big day with a Make Travel Matter iconic breakfast at Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Center where you’ll get to know more about First Nations culture through food and music, treated to authentic tastes including blueberry and cheese and onion bannock (a kind of quick skillet bread) and a performance by cultural ambassadors dressed in traditional regalia singing, dancing, and sharing stories from Squamish and Lil’wat Nations. You will then leave Whistler behind as you venture along scenic Duffey Lake Road, spotting the freshwater fjord of Seton Lake, and the ominous sounding Mt. Rohr along the way. Following the once treacherous Cariboo Wagon Trail, which formed part of the Gold Rush Route, your final port of call for today is Sun Peaks, one of British Columbia’s best loved ski resorts. Winter time here sees ski and snowboard enthusiasts from across the globe flocking to this pretty little town to enjoy just some of the 135 ski runs that pepper the horizon. In the warmer months, the ski lifts stay open to provide access to more than two dozen hiking and mountain bike trails, making Sun Peaks yet another outdoorsy gem.
Fall in love with the gorgeous prairie provinces of Canada as you drive through the white fenced ranch lands that surround the Yellowhead Highway. Keeping an eye on the snow-capped peaks of the Columbia Mountains in the distance, catch a first glimpse of Mount Robson, the most prominent mountain in the North American Rockies and the highest point in the Canadian range. Stop in unpretentious, heart-warming Jasper, which sits in the heart of Jasper National Park, another UNESCO World Heritage Site, before ending the day in Hinton.
Stepping outside and smelling the fresh mountain air, let the prospect of a day exploration bring a smile to your face. After a guided walk in Maligne Canyon, your activity options are abundant in the largest national park in the Canadian Rockies. Perhaps choose to explore the beautiful Maligne Lake? A boat cruise (seasonal) around the largest glacially fed lake in the Canadian Rockies is right for you. Next up in Jasper, foodies will want to join a Local Expert on a Jasper Food Tour downtown or take an E-bike Food Tour. If you’re looking to get active, choose to experience the majestic scenery of Jasper National Park on foot during a guided nature hike or take to the water on a Jasper Raft Tour.
First, you will be heading on to explore the magnificent Columbia Icefield. The Icefields Parkway features an abundance of jaw-dropping vistas at every turn. Here, you’ll ride the giant Ice Explorer across the Athabasca Glacier for a closer look at this ancient marvel of nature. Back on the Icefields Parkway, exit Jasper National Park and enter Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Prepare to be dazzled as we saved the best for last – Lake Louise, one of the most beautiful lakes and settings in North America before heading to Canmore for the night.
Make sure your camera’s in-hand today for optional helicopter flights (weather dependent) that will have you soaring over iconic sites including the Three Sisters Peak, the Sundance Ranges and the Gloria and Assiniboine Glaciers (weather dependent). Next up in Banff - famed for its world-class national parks, lakes and vistas - get a taste on a sightseeing tour along Tunnel Mountain Drive. Take in sights such as Cascade Mountain, Mt. Rundle, Bow Falls, and the surreal, hoodoos rock formations, which have gained their twisted shapes over years of erosion from water and wind. Venture into the stunning wilderness of Banff National Park to take advantage of a range of optionals to capture the best of the region. Enjoy golf with a view at Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course or join a Plant Medicine Walk with a First Nations Local Specialist. Or, join an optional experience in Canmore, including an E-bike food tour or raft tour. As an evening option, book a Banff Gondola ride including dinner with a view.
It will be another incredible drive today as you climb higher and higher to cross the Continental Divide at Kicking Horse Pass, stopping at the Spiral Tunnels on the way to marvel at one of the steepest railroad stretches in the world. You’ll then travel through not one, not two, but three beautiful national parks, slowly descending from the mountains as the landscape changes from snowcapped peaks to sprawling wineries and fruit orchards, indicating that you’ve arrived in Canada’s ‘fruit basket’, the Okanagan Valley. Surrounded by so many grapes the temptation for a tasting will be hard to resist, so you’ll stop off at Larch Hills Winery for a tour and tasting before heading on to Vernon, the unofficial capital of the Okanagan.
On your final drive of the trip you'll pass through the Cascade Mountains, named for the staggering number of waterfalls tumbling off the peaks, before venturing into the Fraser River Valley and finally coming to a stop back in Vancouver, the place where it all began. Drop off at 3:30 PM at Vancouver International Airport. Please be aware when booking flights.
Sign up on tour for additional experiences that have been curated by your Travel Director from their own in-depth local knowledge.
Board your vessel to enjoy a three-hour whale-watching expedition in the waters off Victoria. While it can’t be guaranteed in advance which of the abundant marine wildlife you’ll see on your journey, chances are you’ll also spot magnificent bald eagles, porpoises or seals. Spring and summer are the best times of the year to see a number of different species of whales including Bigg’s killer whales (orca), humpback whales, South Resident orca, Minke, and gray whales.
Enjoy a visit to Whistler Olympic Park and 2.5 hours of educational information on black bears in a bear habitat. The park is home to a large population of black bears which can be viewed from a distance in the safety of the vehicle. We will search for bears foraging for their meals in spectacular back-country scenery. Experience the park like it’s your own private oasis. Drive to the top of the world famous Olympic Ski Jumps and brave the gatehouse for a gold-medal glimpse of a one-of-a-kind panoramic mountain and valley view. Other photographic stops include Alexander waterfalls.
This whitewater rafting trip takes you just north of Whistler Village to Green River, which provides the perfect combination of fun bouncy rapids and picturesque scenery for first-timers or for those on a family adventure. The Class 2 and 3 rapids you will encounter are sure to jostle your raft and challenge you to break through the white water. Paddling through the waves as a team will no doubt be a bonding experience you won’t soon forget!
Be a bird for a day. Why not? We’ve designed and custom-built one of the best adventures in the world – side-by-side ziplines located in stunning mountain wilderness. Our tour features a newly engineered and revolutionary braking system, West Coast inspired architecture and a network of paths and platforms designed to immerse you in the peace, quiet and freedom of the forest. Highlighted by two of Canada’s longest lines – a kilometer long, 600 feet high and reaching speeds of 100km hour – we take our name very seriously.
Our most popular tour! Experience British Columbia’s supernatural beauty with this eagle’s eye flight over the majestic glaciers, rugged peaks, unique volcanic formations and lush alpine meadows that surround the turquoise waters of mile-high Garibaldi Lake. Don’t forget your camera!
Join the fun and experience an easy rafting / scenic float trip down the Athabasca River, a designated Canadian Heritage River. A National Park licensed guide will provide commentary on the human and natural history of Jasper while navigating you along the same route used by the “fur traders” over 2 centuries ago. Lifejackets and the specially designed, 7 meter / 25 foot long oar powered rafts offer a safe and comfortable ride through several small, easy sets of rapids and calm stretches that any first time rafter will enjoy. Don’t worry, the guides do all the rowing; you sit back and enjoy while exploring all the spectacular scenery drifting down a route that was used by fur traders many years ago. There is always a chance of seeing various wildlife including elk, deer, moose, coyotes, wolves, eagles, ospreys, mountain sheep and bears. Tours will operate rain or shine, and a poncho will be provided when required.
Experience the majestic scenery of Jasper National Park on foot. This guided nature hike will feature a spectacular array of rolling hills, jagged peaks, forests, meadows, marshes, streams, and stunning glacial lakes. Your licensed interpreter will lead this leisurely walk as you explore the abundant flora and fauna along these routes that often offer incredible opportunities to spot wildlife. Marvel at snow-capped peaks during the months of May and early June, in mid-summer the forest and alpine meadows are ablaze in glorious wildflower shades of red, blue, yellow, and white. By late August and through the month of September, the mountain landscapes glow with the red, orange, and gold of the Larch and Aspen trees. Routes can change due to weather, wildlife and seasonal closures. Guides will provide hiking poles, water, and will guide the guest through both trail networks. Guests should be of a basic fitness level and comfortable walking for about 2 hours.
Nestled in a ring of towering mountains, Maligne Lake is the largest glacially fed lake in the Canadian Rockies. Here you’ll discover world-famous Spirit Island, the crown jewel of Jasper National Park. The Maligne Lake Cruise is an experience like no other with an experienced crew who will guide you through the rich history, ecology and geology of Maligne Lake. This interpretive tour has been declared the “Best Boat Cruise in Canada” by 8 million Reader’s Digest subscribers. You’ll be inspired by the beauty of Maligne Lake’s vibrant blue waters and by the stunning lofty peaks as you cruise to Spirit Island, a world-famous destination and one of the most photographed locations in the Rockies, accessible only by boat. Subject to weather conditions.
This Jasper Downtown Foodie Tour is led by a Local Expert who lives in Jasper year-round. You’ll go on a short guided walk that feels less like venue-hopping and more like dropping in for a catch-up with a series of food-loving locals. At each of the four stops you have a chance to sample carefully handpicked dishes, each paired with an alcoholic beverage. Along the way you will learn about Jasper’s history and listen to tales of an authentic mountain town. Per Alberta law, must be 18 or older to participate.
You are in for something special as you are transported to Mount Assiniboine - "the Matterhorn" of the Canadian Rockies. Our most popular adventure has all the fantastic scenery of the previous tours plus a fly by over top of the glacier. This photogenic peak rises majestically to 3,611meters (11,870 feet) along the Great Divide. The Gloria and Assiniboine Glaciers will astound you. This is an experience you will never forget!
The most action packed twenty minutes of your life. Get up close and personal with the famous Three Sisters Peaks. Reach out and touch them as you whisk by before escaping into the Spray Valley where you will explore the extraordinary hues of the Spray Lakes. Your return flight travels along the Goat Range before following the pristine Bow River back to Canmore. Prices are based on a minimum of 2 passengers.
Join Mahikan Trails on a Guided Medicine Walk and explore the world of plant medicine from an Indigenous lens. A knowledgeable guide will share insightful teachings from the land, including fascinating information about the historical medicines of the Boreal forest and how Indigenous ancestors survived off the land for millennia. The tour starts with a tobacco ceremony to greet the ancestors and ask permission to be in the dwelling of the standing people (plants), followed by a walk where you learn about plant medicine, the culture and connect to the land.
Renowned for its panoramic beauty, The Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course in Alberta is a captivating and challenging layout set in the heart of Canada's Rocky Mountains. Enjoy 9-hole golfing with breathtaking views in every direction. Amateurs and professionals alike are constantly amazed by its challenging layout. From hole design to optical illusions created by the surrounding mountains, this Alberta golf course will delight and tempt you. Included are green fee as well as club rental.
Soar to the top of Sulphur Mountain to experience a stunning bird’s-eye view of six incredible mountain ranges. With breathtaking vistas in every direction, you’ll understand why the Banff Gondola is a Canadian Rockies must-see destination. Your adventure begins with an eight-minute journey to the summit of Sulphur Mountain in a modern, fully enclosed four-passenger gondola cabin. Glide up over the treetops to the crest of a steep-sided Rocky Mountain peak and step out into a jaw-dropping mountaintop experience. Then take a seat with breathtaking views in the restaurant and enjoy chef-attended stations including carvery, salads, pizza, burgers, pasta and desserts—all created by the culinary team with regionally-sourced ingredients.
Get ready to embark on an exciting two-wheel food adventure! Hop on an e-bike and cycle with our friendly tour guides to various local food destinations eating mouth-watering cuisines all while getting a VIP behind the scenes luxury experience from Canmore’s hidden gems.
USA & Canada passport, visa, and entry requirement information for US citizens.
The weather and climate in Canada vary significantly due to its vast size and diverse geography. In general, Canada experiences four distinct seasons: spring, summer, fall, and winter. The country's northern regions have a subarctic and arctic climate characterized by extremely cold winters and short, cool summers. The central and eastern regions have a temperate climate with warm summers and cold winters, while the western coastal areas have a milder maritime climate with mild winters and cool summers. Canada also has various microclimates due to its mountain ranges, such as the Rockies, which can bring significant variations in weather patterns. The Canadian Rockies encompass a large area that includes national parks such as Banff, Jasper, Yoho, and Kootenay.
The weather in the Canadian Rockies can vary widely depending on the time of year and the specific location within the region. Typically, weather in the Rockies looks like this over the seasons:
Keep in mind that weather conditions can change rapidly in mountainous regions, so it's essential to be prepared for a range of temperatures and conditions regardless of the time of year. If you're planning a trip to the Canadian Rockies, it's a good idea to check the weather forecast and pack layers to stay comfortable and adaptable to changing weather conditions.
Additionally, Canada is known for its heavy snowfall in many regions during winter, particularly in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario.
On-Tour Luggage & Carry-On Bag Size Limits
Luggage: Each guest traveling may bring one suitcase no larger than 30” x 18” x 10" and weighing no more than 50 lb
Carry-On Bag: *Restricted to one piece per person, not to exceed 12” x 11” x 6”
So your driver and any hotel porters can safely lift and transport your suitcase throughout your vacation, we strongly recommend that you test the weight of your baggage prior to travel. You should be able to lift and comfortably transport it for short distances.
Baggage allowances vary from airline to airline, and you should check with your chosen carrier for details prior to travel.
Packing Tips for Your Tour
Packing for a guided tour will vary depending on the duration of the trip, the time of year, and the activities planned. Here is a general packing list to help you get started:
Medications and First Aid:
Remember to pack light and versatile items that can be mixed and matched for different outfits. Laundry facilities are often available, or you can have your clothes laundered at hotels during your trip. It's also a good idea to pack a small bag or backpack to bring on the coach for day trips and excursions, leaving your larger luggage at the hotel.
As an American traveler going on a guided tour of Canada, there are a few essential things to know about electricity and adaptors to ensure a smooth and hassle-free experience.
Hair Dryers in Your Hotel
Most hotels in Canada, especially those in urban and tourist areas, provide hair dryers as a standard amenity in guest rooms or available upon request. Hair dryers are generally found in the bathroom or within the bedroom area.
If you prefer to use your own hair dryer, it's essential to consider voltage compatibility. As Canada uses a standard voltage of 120V, similar to the United States, if your hair dryer is designed to work with 120V (as most American devices are), you should be able to use it without any issues. Make sure you have the appropriate plug adapter to fit your hair dryer's plug into the Canadian outlets.
If your hair dryer is not compatible with 120V or the local voltage, you might need a voltage converter to prevent damage or overheating. Alternatively, you could consider using the hair dryer provided by the hotel to avoid any voltage-related concerns.
You can check out your hotels' websites for specific details about the amenities they offer, including hair dryers, to ensure a comfortable and hassle-free stay in Canada.
Air conditioning is commonly available in most hotels, restaurants, and public spaces in Canada, especially in major cities and tourist areas.
However, it's important to note that not all accommodations or historic buildings may have air conditioning, particularly in more traditional or rural settings.
Traveling by coach
Our modern air-conditioned coaches have been selected with your comfort in mind. Your Travel Director will familiarize you with all the onboard features, including a washroom fitted for your convenience and comfort. Regular stops are made to stretch your legs, take refreshments, fill up your water bottles, and use the facilities.
Airport transfers are not included or available on tours that operate in the United States and Canada. Guests will be provided local transfer options after booking so they can make their travel arrangements from the airport to the hotel and vice versa. Learn more about Airport Transfers here.
To enable you to personalize your tour experience, you will find a number of Optional Experiences designed to complement the itinerary. These are designed to offer a deeper insight into the culture and character of the areas to be visited and provide some wonderful highlights to your travels. The optional program is designed to let you experience more of what interests you and to get the most from your vacation without replacing or overlapping with anything included in an itinerary.
The majority of Optional Experiences will be offered to you by your Travel Director at the beginning of your trip. Some may be subject to change, depending on the time you are traveling or local circumstances, including weather and days of the week. Your Travel Director will provide further information.
Exact payment options will be advised locally by your Travel Director/Local Representative for each Optional Experience, but in many cases, cash, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express are all accepted.
Traveling on a guided tour can be an exciting and enriching experience. However, it's essential to prioritize your health and safety while exploring new territories. Staying informed, prepared, and cautious will go a long way in ensuring a safe and enjoyable travel experience. Always stay in touch with your Travel Director and always follow their recommendations.
Here are some health advice and recommendations for travelers:
Visit the Doctor: Before embarking on your trip, schedule a visit with a medicine specialist or your healthcare provider. They can provide personalized health advice based on your medical history and current health status.
Travel Insurance: Ensure you have comprehensive travel insurance that covers medical emergencies, evacuations, and trip cancellations.
First Aid Kit: Carry a basic kit with essential items like band-aids, antiseptic wipes, pain relievers, antidiarrheal medication, and any prescribed medications.
Stay Hydrated: Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, avoid strenuous activities during the hottest part of the day, and rest in air-conditioned or shaded areas.
Respect Local Customs: Respect local customs and dress codes, especially in conservative areas. Dress modestly, particularly when visiting religious sites.
In order to ensure a healthy and enjoyable trip, we strongly suggest that you pack an adequate supply of your prescription medications and carry them in their original packaging, along with a copy of your prescription. Here’s what you need to know about traveling with medications.
Prior to traveling, please notify GET of any disability requiring special assistance or any specific dietary needs that you may have, and we will strive to accommodate these.
When traveling with GET, baggage handling at hotels, service charges, and tips for hotel wait staff (for included meals) will all be taken care of by your Travel Director. There are, however, a few instances where individual tipping is welcome.
It is customary to show appreciation for the insights, stories, and know-how shared with you by the Local Specialists, and we suggest a gratuity of $1.00-$2.00 USD per person/half day.
Your Coach Driver and Travel Director
The trip cost does not include gratuities for your Travel Director and Driver. At the end of your trip, you may express appreciation to your Travel Director and Driver for their excellent service and the personal attention you received. Gratuities are given at the discretion of each guest, and a suggested amount per person/day is listed in your travel documents.
It is customary to tip hotel staff for room service delivery if the charge has not already been added to the bill. Where ice machines are not available, and you receive ice from the bar, a small tip to the bartender is always appreciated.
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