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'There is no better way to travel than with St James Rail. The journeys are incredibly well researched and meticulously planned by the founder and tour leaders'

Peter and Joan (Mosman)

PO Box N400

Grosvenor Place

NSW 1220

AUSTRALIA

ABN  76 150 053 384

Tel: +61 2 9326 9660

Mobile +61 418 585 838

Email:sjr@digitor.com.au

© 2014 by St James Rail. All rights reserved.

ALASKA AND CANADA

ALASKA AND CANADA BY RAIL

Spectacular nature, sealife and wildlife by rail and ship

Cruise from Vancouver to Seward in Alaska, visit the Kenai National Park, Anchorage, Denali National Park, Fairbanks, travel through the Yukon and visit Skagway. Then travel by small vessel through the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert, and then by rail to Jasper. You can leave the tour and return by rail to Vancouver, or continue with us across Canada to Winnipeg, and join the 'Hudson Bay' train to Churchill for beluga whales and polar bears. We then travel back to Winnipeg and on to Toronto on 'The Canadian.' Fly back from the east coast to Australia.

 

Date :  Fri 1 August - Mon  1 September 2014

(extension to Churchill/Toronto - Sat 14 Sep 2014)

Day 1

Highlights include:

*  Cruise aboard the moving 'hotel on the sea' MS     Oosterdam

*  GoldStar service on the Denali Star train of the      Alaskan Railroad

*  Wildlife in Denali National Park

*  The amazing White Pass and Yukon Railway

 

*  Explore nature and culture cruising the Inside Passage

*  Enjoy the Skyline and Park Car dome on the           scenic route across Canada aboard the                   'Canadian'

*  Polar bears and Beluga Whales in Churchill

*  Niagara Falls and Niagara Vineyards

 

 

Australia to Vancouver

Depart from Australia and fly direct to Vancouver, British Columbia. you’ll arrive in Vancouver the morning of the same calendar day. Enjoy exploring the colourful and vibrant city centre, and then dinner at one of many excellent restaurants. Overnight Vancouver. (L/D)

Day 2

Vancouver

A day exploring the city of Vancouver, the harbour and North Vancouver. We’ll visit Granville Island, catch the cable car to Grouse Mountain for fine views over the city and harbour, ride the sky train, visit the downtown rail museum, and inspect the fine Queen Elizabeth Park. Dinner at leisure and overnight Vancouver. (B)

Day 3

Board MS Oosterdam for 7 nights north to Seward, Alaska

Board the MS Oosterdam. Holland America boasts mid sized ships with a 5 star cruise rating. We’ve booked verandah staterooms providing open access to the fresh air and scenery direct from your stateroom. Fine dining, a range of onboard amenities from spas, swimming pools and saunas to lectures, live shows, theatres, libraries and more will ensure there is no time with little to do. We explore the Alaskan towns of Ketchikan, Juneau and Skagway, cruise the deeper areas of the Inside Passage as well as cruising in Glacier Bay. It will be our ‘moving hotel on sea. Overnight aboard MS Oosterdam. (B/D)

Day 4

Cruising the Inside Passage

The fabled Inside Passage is one of the most scenic sea-lanes in the world, and one of the few where deep-draft vessels can sail close to steep mountain walls. Overnight aboard MS Oosterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 5

Ketchikan

Ketchikan clutches the shores of the Tongass Narrows, with many shops and houses built right out over the water.  The town that calls itself the Salmon Capital of the World, its main attractions are Creek Street, the Tongass Historical Museum, Totem Bight State Park and Saxman Village. Overnight aboard MS Oosterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 6

 Juneau

No roads lead to Juneau, which gives the Alaskan capital a misty inscrutability. The massive Mendenhall Glacier and the immense Juneau Icefields are at its back door. We enjoy the Mount Roberts Tramway to the top for the great view of Juneau. Overnight aboard MS Oosterdam.  (B/L/D)

Day 7

Skagway

Booms fade and dreams move on, but the glory days still reverberate through the town. We ride the antique White Pass & Yukon narrow-gauge railway, and here the stories of the Chilcott Pass and the gold rush are extraordinary as man pitted himself against searing cold and weather in pursuit of possible wealth. Overnight aboard MS Oosterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 8

Cruising Glacier Bay

Glacier Bay National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The glaciers practically terminate in your lap. When a monumental chunk of ice splits off a glacier and thunders into the sea the impact shoots water hundreds of feet into the air. Glacier Bay has more actively calving tidewater glaciers than anyplace else in the world. Overnight MS Oosterdam. (B/L/D)

Day 9 - 10

 At sea to Seward, and sightseeing in Seward

We cruise along the Alaskan coastline – a final day aboard to relax. Enjoy the last dinner on the cruise ship. Overnight aboard MS Oosterdam. After an early disembarkation this morning, we’ll visit the Alaskan Sea Life Centre. You’ll see two two-story high habitats for sea birds and sea lions, get hands on with sea anemones, learn more about the waters around Alaska and the Valdez spill, and admire the spectacular view of Resurrection Bay off the back deck. Overnight Seward. (Day 9-B/L/D, Day 10-B )

Day 11

Kenai Fjords National Park and to Anchorage

After an early breakfast we board a high powered vessel for a six hour cruise of the Kenai Fjords National Park. This is Alaska’s most popular wildlife and glacier cruise. The cruise provides an in-depth experience of Kenai Fjords National Park’s abundant wildlife, alpine and tidewater glaciers. In the late afternoon we board the Alaskan Railroad ‘Coastal Classic’ for the scenic rail journey to Anchorage.  We travel in GoldStar class with dome cars and refreshments aboard. Overnight Anchorage. (B/L)

Day 12 - 13

Anchorage

We explore the city of Anchorage visiting a collection of interesting cultural and historic museums, focusing on the native history and culture, there are also specialist museums focusing on aviation, art and more. The next day is a free day to explore at leisure or join the Alaskan Railroad’s Glacier Discovery Train (O) as it travels from Anchorage south along Turnagain Arm to Whitter on Prince William Sound. Watch for salmon in the streams along the way, before you enter Whittier, the gateway to Prince William Sound. Hop off the train at the Spencer Whistle Stop for a narrated 2.5 kilometre walk with a U.S. Forest Service ranger. Overnight Anchorage. (Day12-B, Day13-B )

Day 14

To Denali National Park

This morning we board the Denali Star rail service of the Alaskan Railroads and head north towards Fairbanks.  We enjoy GoldStar Service with reserved upper-level dome car seating, upper-level outdoor viewing deck, exclusive lower-level dining room, and complimentary non alcoholic beverages. We alight from the train at Denali for two nights in the National Park. The next day is a full day tour of the park, and we experience the wildlife of the area. We hope to see bears, caribou and wild birdlife. Two nightse in Denali. (Day 14-B/L, Day 15-B/L)

Day 16 - 17

The Denali Star on the Alaskan Railroad to Fairbanks

A relaxing morning and explore the beautiful nature at leisure, then an afternoon departure for the rail journey from Denali north to Fairbanks. Overnight Fairbanks. On the next day, after breakfast we inspect the town, learn of its gold rush history, meet the famed Alaskan huskies and learn of the Iditarod, visit Gold Dredge No 8, and cruise on a sternwheeler on the Chena and Tanana River. Overnight Fairbanks. (Day16-B, Day17-B)

Day 18

Fairbanks to Beaver Creek

After breakfast we’ll join our coach and travel along the Alaskan Highway to Beaver Creek. Today and tomorrow the scenery is striking with high mountains and broad valleys, lakes and forest. Then cross the Canadian Border into the Yukon Territory. We stay overnight at Beaver Creek, where the moose outnumber people two to one. Overnight Beaver Creek.(B/D)

Day 19

Beaver Creek to Whitehorse

Travel further along the Alaskan Highway to Whitehorse - capital of the Yukon Territory are home to spectacular scenery. Surrounded by mountains and clear lakes, Whitehorse takes its name from the frothing waves of the river rapids, thought by stampeders to resemble the manes of white horses. Overnight Whitehorse. (B/D)

Day 20

White Pass and Yukon Railway to Skagway

After breakfast we’ll join our coach and transfer to the White Pass and Yukon Railway for the spectacular journey along the gorge and down the canyon to Skagway. We travel from Carcross down the canyon to Skagway, and pass not only dramatic scenery, but experience this extraordinary engineering feat. We transfer to our motel and overnight Skagway. (B)

Day 21

Skagway to Juneau on the Alaskan Marine Highway

An early morning rise to join the MV Matanuska for the 7 hour sailing to Juneau. We’ll sail out of Chilkoot inlet, past Haines State Forest, Sullivan Island and Berners Bay to Juneau. Overnight Juneau.

Day 22

 Junea to Sitka

Another early rise to catch the MV Fairweather to Sitka. We sail through the narrow straights around Admiralty Island to Baranof Island, and to the colourful village of Sitka. Sitka has the distinctive character of a place that has been settled for thousands of years. These ancient lands, home to the Tlingit Indians, celebrated their life and culture long before Russians or Americans walked on the rocky shores and today Tlingit living culture is deeply rooted in this small seaside city. Overnight Sitka.

Day 23

To Prince Rupert along the Inside Passage on the MV Taku

After breakfast we’ll join the MV Taku for a two day / one night sailing south through the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert.  We stop in Kake and Petersburgh for about one hour where you can explore briefly round the terminal. Overnight aboard the MV Taku. (B)

Day 24 - 26

Sailing the Inside Passage to Prince Rupert and sightseeing

A day of lovely scenery as we sail through the Inside Passage, with a brief stop at Ketchikan before our late afternoon arrival in Prince Rupert. We stay three nights in Prince Rupert. The next two days, we explore Prince Rupert. The Museum of Northern British Columbia is the centrepiece of the cultural district. Visit the Kwinitsa Railway Museum, the North Pacific Cannery, now a National Historic Site.  Also we have another opportunity to see sealife, possibly grizzly bears, and enjoy the cosmopolitan atmosphere of Cow Bay in the early evening to dine at leisure. (Day 24-D, Day 25-B, Day 26-B)

Day 27

Aboard the Skeena from Prince Rupert to Prince George

We begin the first day of our two day rail journey from Prince Rupert towards Jasper in the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Taking a fabulous 1,160-kilometre journey over two days, the Skeena travels between Prince Rupert on the Pacific coast and Jasper National Park in the heart of the superb Canadian Rockies. Enjoy the views from the dome car and watch the scenery disappear behind the train. Overnight at Prince George. (B)

Day 28 - 29

Aboard the Skeena from Prince George to Jasper and sightseeing in Jasper

Our second day takes us from Prince George to Jasper, with more fantastic scenery en route. Overnight Jasper. The next day is a full day of sightseeing in Jasper - the largest and most northerly Canadian rocky mountain national park. Hear the thunder of Sunwapta Falls, enjoy the serene beauty of Mount Edith Cavell, view Maligne Lake and experience the wonders of this national park. Overnight Jasper. (B)

Day 30

 Jasper to Winnipeg on the Canadian

Visit to the Jasper Tramway, the highest and longest aerial tramway located in Canada. In the mid afternoon we join Via Rail’s flagship train, the Canadian, for our 28 hour journey east across Alberta and Saskatchewan to Winnipeg, Manitoba. Enjoy the comfortable sleeping compartments aboard, the dome cars, Park Car with its dome and lounge, and fine dining in the restaurant cars. Overnight aboard The Canadian. (B/D)

Day 31 - 32

On the Canadian to Winnipeg, and sightseeing in Winnipeg

A relaxing day aboard the Canadian, as we cross the prairies and head to Winnipeg. Overnight Winnipeg. Next day we enjoy a full day exploring this vibrant city. Inspect the Forks National Historic Site, the Winnipeg Art Gallery, the Manitoba Museum and the Hudson's Bay Company Museum Collection, St Boniface - Winnipeg's French Quarter. Overnight Winnipeg. (Day 31-B/L, Day 32-B)

Day 33

Winnipeg to Churchill on the Hudson Bay

Join Via Rail’s Hudson Bay rail service and travel north to Churchill, on Hudson Bay. Our two night rail journey takes us 1697 km into the remote northern reaches of the state of Manitoba, to the city of Churchill. The Hudson Bay provides comfortable sleeping accommodations - single and double bedrooms - as well as a restaurant car in which to enjoy your meals. Overnight on the Hudson Bay train. (B)

Day 34 - 35

The Pas to Churchill on the Hudson Bay

Arrive in Thomson in the middle of the day and the train stops here for a scheduled five hours. We enjoy a sightseeing in the town before returning to the train. Overnight on the Hudson Bay train. On the next day, we arrive in Churchill mid morning. Perched on the edge of Hudson Bay, about 1100 kilometres north of Winnipeg, the town of Churchill and the surrounding area are steeped in history as old as Canada. Archaeology in the area shows evidence of human presence dating back 4,000 years. Now famous as the Polar Bear capital of the world, as these amazing creatures assemble on the edge of a freezing Bay to await the time when they can head onto the frozen surface of water for the winter. Sealife abounds with Beluga Whales, and large birds of prey hover over the water’s edge. The town itself also boasts a range of interesting historical sites. Overnight Churchill. (Day 34-B, Day 35-B/D)

Day 36

Churchill, Manitoba

A full day exploring the local wildlife, to see polar bears, sealife and birdlife. It is estimated there are about 15,000 polar bears in northern Canada, and about 300 of them pass by or through the town of Churchill. Experience what it is like to ride aboard your own dog sled. Overnight Churchill. Please remember we are visiting Churchill in the period between the peak Beluga Whale and Polar Bear watching seasons – whilst we may get to experience both, we are at the mercy of a changeable climate and nature as to how much of the natural wildlife we might see. Overnight Churchill. (B/L)

Day 37 - 38

 Churchill, then to Winnipeg on the Hudson Bayurchill, Manitoba

We’ll visit the Prince of Wales Fort National Historic Site which encompasses a massive fortification along with installations at Cape Merry and Sloop Cove. In the early evening we join the Hudson Bay for our return journey south through Thompson and The Pas to Winnipeg. Enjoy meals in the restaurant car and two nights aboard the Hudson Bay in sleeping compartments. (Day 37-B, Day 38-B)

Day 39 - 40

 Arrive at Winnipeg and the sightseeing, then aboard the Canadian

A later afternoon arrival in Winnipeg, and we cross the road to the Fort Garry Hotel for our overnight accommodation in Winnipeg. On the next day we travel out of Winnipeg to explore some of the surrounding scenic sites. In the early evening we return to Winnipeg for dinner together, and then join the Canadian on its transcontinental journey east. During the day you can enjoy the observation car with its dome seating, as well as having exclusive access to the Park Car (the last car on the train) with its bullet lounge and vista dome car seating. Overnight sleeping compartments aboard the Canadian. (Day 39-B, Day 40-B/D)

Day 41

Aboard the Canadian

As sun rises the train stops at Sioux Lookout, then continues east to Hornepayne in the mid afternoon for a stop to stretch your legs. Enjoy breakfast, lunch and dinner in the dining car, and the ambience of the dome car, park car lounge and skyline cars. Overnight sleeping compartments aboard the Canadian. (B/L/D)

Day 42

Toronto, then to Niagara Falls and Niagara Vineyards

In the mid morning the train arrives at Toronto’s Union Station. We alight and walk across the road to the former Canadian Pacific Hotel, now Fairmont’s Royal York Hotel. Today we visit the spectacular Niagara Falls from the Canadian side. We return to Toronto for our last night together. (B)

Day 43

Toronto

After breakfast we’ll explore the city - whether you’re standing on the glass floor of the world’s highest public observation deck or venturing 13 storeys below a roaring waterfall, Toronto’s attractions are unique. Its cold winters have created an underground tunnel network that links almost the entire CBD. Its museums and art galleries are especially fine. In the later afternoon we depart for Toronto’s Pearson airport and departure to Australia. Overnight aboard the flight. (B)

Day 44 - 45

 In flight to Australia

In transit crossing the International Date Line, to Australia and we arrive in the morning.

*On some days additional activities will be possible, some at no extra cost, others at additional own cost. Optional additions to the tour (at extra cost) when shown below are followed by (O). Meals included are shown as Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Dinner (D), Supper (S).

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FARES

1 August to 1 September 2014

 (Vancouver, Alaska, Yukon and return to Jasper, then rail to Vancouver)

 

$14,950

 (per person on a twin share basis, plus airfares to/ from Australia)

$4,960

 (single occupancy supplement (please note that approx $2,700 is for the seven night cruise from Vancouver))

 

 

30 August to 14 September 2014 extension 

(by rail from Jasper, Winnipeg, Churchill, Toronto)

 

$6,450

 (per person on a twin share basis, plus airfares to/ from Australia)

$1,250

 (single hotel room occupancy supplement)

BOOKING AND ENQUIRY

*Bookings are confirmed on receipt of the booking form and your deposit. The booking form is attached to each tour brochure or can be downloaded above. After receipt of the booking form and deposit, we will send a confirmation letter to you.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

-  45 days tour escorted with meals by the tour leader who planned the tour.

-  42 nights' accommodation with breakfast each day (except for 3 days)

-  Accommodation is generally in 4 – 4 ½ star hotels.

   In some locations the best available may not be 4 star, and in some locations we have selected more superior hotels as they   

   are part of the experience of the location.

For booking, any further details or information,

use the "BOOKING AND ENQUIRY" buttoms above  or  call us on

(02) 9326 9660

0418 585 838

or  email at