Banff & Northern Lights Winter Tour

If you’ve ever dreamed about seeing snow-capped mountains, alpine forests cloaked in frost and beautiful frozen lakes, then Canada should be at the top of your wishlist. This 9 night journey whisks you from the enchanting alpine town of Banff in Canada’s Rocky Mountains to magnificent Lake Louise, concluding in Whitehorse, where you’ll have the opportunity to witness winter’s most spectacular natural phenomenon – Aurora Borealis or the Northern Lights.

This is not a group tour but a recommended sample itinerary. We can easily extend or shorten the itinerary to include more or fewer nights in an area, and can mix and match the accommodation to suit.

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10 days/9 nights
Hotels
Departs daily ex Banff

Highlights:

  • Experience the magic of Canada in winter
  • The quaint alpine town of Banff and its unspoilt natural surroundings
  • Ride a sleigh through snowy mountain meadows
  • Snowshoe around the scenic shores of alluring Lake Louise
  • Witness the dancing lights of Aurora Borealis in Whitehorse

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Banff & Northern Lights Winter Tour Sample Itinerary

10 days/9 nights Independent Tour

Days 1-3: Banff
You are met on arrival at Calgary Airport and transferred to your modern hotel in downtown Banff, close to shops, cafes and restaurants. The following day, you are taken on a tour of the area, with highlights including Bow Falls, Surprise Corner, Tunnel Mountain Drive, Bow River Valley, Lake Minnewanka and Two Jack Lake.

On Day 3, rug up and enjoy an unforgettable sleigh ride just out of town, with spectacular views and the opportunity to observe native winter-adapted species such as bighorn sheep and elk.

Day 4: Lake Louise
Travel by coach to your enchanting chateau-style hotel on the shores of Lake Louise, at the heart of the World Heritage-listed Banff National Park. If you arrive early, take advantage of this luxury hotel’s comprehensive facilities, including a spa and indoor pool. Alternatively, explore the winter wonderland that surrounds the magnificent property.

Day 5: Lake Louise
Slip on snowshoes and walk to the top of a mountain for breathtaking views usually only available to skiers and snowboarders. Your full day guided “introduction to snowshoeing” tour also includes interesting facts about the history, wildlife and human inhabitants of the area.

Day 6: Calgary
You are dropped off today at your central Calgary hotel, which is steps from the bustling Eau Claire Market, Chinatown and some of the city’s best restaurants.

Day 7: Whitehorse
Morning transfer to Calgary Airport for your flight to Whitehorse via Vancouver. On arrival, you are met and transferred to your downtown hotel. Tonight you are taken to a prime viewing area for your first chance to view the spectacle of Aurora Borealis. Enjoy snacks and hot drinks in a cosy heated cabin or tent as you watch a spectrum of colours light up the skies overhead.

Days 8/9: Whitehorse
Learn about the city’s gold rush history on a morning tour of its landmarks, which include Main Street, the Train Depot of White Pass, Sternwheeler SS Klondike and Schwatka Lake. This afternoon and all throughout Day 9 you are free to relax in the warmth of your hotel or book an optional activity such as dogsledding, flightseeing or tobogganing. In the evenings, sit by the bonfire, roast marshmallows and chat with your guide or fellow guests whilst waiting for the Northern Lights to appear.

If travelling between 01 Oct-30 Nov and 01-31 Jan, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Yukon Wildlife Preserve in search of Dall sheep, bighorn sheep, lynx, caribou and other native wildlife. Also included during this period are the Takhini Hot Springs – swimming in the steaming warm pool surrounded by frozen landscapes is a must-do!)

Day 10: Tour ends Whitehorse
After four opportunities to see Aurora Borealis, bid farewell to Whitehorse. Your tour ends with a shuttle transfer to the airport for your onward flight.

Canada Overview

Why Canada?: Spanning the top of north America from the Pacific to the Atlantic, this huge country offers majestic scenery, unspoiled wilderness and incredible wildlife and adventure opportunities. At the same time Canada is a modern country with sophisticated cities, world class accommodation and excellent rail, road and air network.

When to Go: From May to September is the best time for cruising and touring in Canada when the weather is at its finest. Temperatures and daylight hours vary depending on latitude, and the coast is more moderate than inland regions which have long hot summers and very cold winters.

Grizzly bear viewing is generally good from June until October and Polar Bear viewing around Churchill is possible from July to November. November to April is the time for winter wonderland experiences, skiing, dog sledding and the Northern Lights.

Combine With: Alaskan holidays like Inside Passage cruising and wildlife viewing. Canada can also be combined with Arctic cruising and ice based adventures.

Getting There: Fly to Vancouver in British Columbia for west coast touring and cruising, or to Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal or Quebec City for eastern Canada.

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