Tour Alternatives

Feb 26th, 2000, 07:30 AM
  #1  
carl
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Tour Alternatives

We are planning to take a Globus 10-day tour from Calgary through Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, etc. terminating in Vancouver and/or Victoria. One tour gives 2 days in Lake Louise, but involves a 2-day rail trip from Jasper through Kamloops to Vancouver, and Victoria is extra. The other tour gives 1 day in Lake Louise, but only has one day's rail on the Jasper-Vancouver route, and gives 2 days in Victoria. Does anyone have any thoughts as to which tour is is likely to offer a better combination? Both tours go through the Columbia Icefields as well as most other scenes. My wife and I are divided about the rail trip.
 
Feb 26th, 2000, 03:32 PM
  #2  
Bob Brown
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I have been out in the area you describe 6 times since 1986. We have flown to Calgary and rented a car and we have flown to Seattle and rented a car. That way we can drive where we want to go.
I see no reason to take the train.
For one thing, most of the tracks are down in deep clefts where you don't see as much as you do from a car. Besides, there is so much to see and do that unless I was totally incapacitated, I would not take a tour. You can do it yourself and see more. I guess the only reason to take a tour is if you are the type who needs a lot of companionship when travelling. You will have to be on a bus when you go along the Icefields Parkway because no train tracks are anywhere around. One day at Lake Louise? Criminal!!
I would not wait much longer, however, to make motel reservations in Jasper.
I find Lake Louise expensive, so we stay over in Yoho Park, town of Field. Several home owners in Field have apartments in their homes which they rent on a short term basis -- like two or three nights. Jasper Park Headquarters can send you a list of Parks Approved Accommodations for a similar type of arrangement. Usually you can save money that way. Of course, it $300 a night is something well within your budget, then you don't need the list.
 
Feb 26th, 2000, 05:14 PM
  #3  
April
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My question - is it daylight on both of these train trips? I wouldn't want to miss seeing the Rockies by travelling at night.

My husband has taken the 2-day train trip and, although he says the accommodations in Kamloops were no great shakes, the point was to travel in daylight the whole way. He loved it and says scenery is incredible. (Yes, he has also driven this route.)

I can see your dilemma. If both train trips are in daylight, he would take the one-day. Me - I'd rather spend two days in Lake Louise than Victoria.


 
Feb 26th, 2000, 11:39 PM
  #4  
April
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PS. The train I was referring to was the Rocky Mountaineer.
 
Mar 4th, 2000, 09:58 AM
  #5  
JT
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It depends what you want to do. Lake Louise is very nice but small. If you're a skiier than two days there would be good. But there isn't much else to do there. If you're into site seeing then Victoria is where you should go. It is a tourist mecca! I think everyone in Victoria is a tourist and they really cater to those from abroad. In Victoria you'll find shopping, whale watching, museums, great restaurants and more. I'd definitely go there!
 
Jul 24th, 2008, 12:47 PM
  #6  
 
Join Date: May 2007
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I plan going to Canada early September. Because the escorted tour packages are so expensive I am trying to do this trip independently as I have lots of travel experience. I would arrive in Calgary and want to see Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper and want to know if its possible for me to take day trips by coach to see the most scenic areas around Banff. I am active senior and enjoy walking and some hiking so will enjoy the parks. Would then continue to Van Couver for return flight and spend 3 days sightseeing. I would spend a bout 12 days total between areas and would like to travel on Icefields Parkway to see mountains. Can this be accomplished with renting a car. I will look for hotels/motels near town or within walking distance. Any suggestions please? Kate
Cavangal is offline  
Jul 24th, 2008, 01:25 PM
  #7  
 
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Hi Kate,

You would be better off to rent a car, there aren't many day bus tours and they would most likely all come back to Calgary. Rent a car, then you have the flexibility to go where you want and when you want.
Cruiseryyc is offline  
Jul 25th, 2008, 09:33 AM
  #8  
 
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I am not experienced driver so I must consider either a tour or using coach and train service. I have been hearing that public transport is limited in the National Parks areas, so then my best choice might be to just take a tour. I am considering Archers-Cosmos land package which takes about 13 days with ferry/train and coach service to all the areas I want to see, and while its expensive I realize it may cost me as much doing it with the trains. Thank you for the information. Kate
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Jul 25th, 2008, 10:15 AM
  #9  
 
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The one nice thing about taking a tour, is that you get to sit back and enjoy the scenery. If you don't want to drive (and I don't blame you) and can find a tour that suits your needs - go for it.
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