Travel Classics Writers Conference October 2011 in Vancouver
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Travel Classics West 2011

A journey through the Canadian Rockies
Alberta and British Columbia

Pre-Tour: Sept 28-Oct 3
5 nights/6 days

Description: Western Canada's most captivating scenery sets the stage for a journey like no other onboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Travelling through rugged mountains and untouched wilderness, the Rocky Mountaineer passes through the beautiful and majestic scenery of Alberta and British Columbia. Considered by many to be one of the best ways to experience Western Canada and the Canadian Rocky Mountains, it's an unforgettable journey and truly a unique and memorable way to see the world. It's no wonder this world-class journey has been honoured with such accolades as "The Best Train Experience in the World" and has attracted the likes of dignitaries and some of Hollywood's biggest names, including Reba McEntire, Morgan Freeman, Bill Gates, Chaim Herzog, President of Israel, Lord Mayor of London and music sensations K-OS and INXS, to name just a few.

First Passage to the West runs between the Rocky Mountain resort town of Banff, Alberta, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and beautiful coastal city of Vancouver, BC. This route travels through the legendary Spiral Tunnels and passes by the spot where the Last Spike was driven on the Canadian Pacific Railway. Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger rail service to travel on this historic route that famously united the country 125 years ago.

Participants should advise if they have any dietary restrictions or food allergies.

Itinerary is subject to change -- some activities are weather dependent.

Suggested itinerary:

Day One - Sept 28

    Arrive in Calgary and transfer to Lake Louise.

      Welcome to Banff National Park! Banff National Park is one of the greatest destinations in the world. Canada's first and the world's third national park, is one of four adjacent national parks designated as the Canadian Rocky Mountain Parks UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the fall of 1883, three Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) workers stumbled across a cave containing hot springs on the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains. From that humble beginning was born Banff National Park, named after the original CPR investors' home of Banffshire in Scotland.

      Today the area spans thousands of kilometres of breathtaking scenery made up of valleys, mountains, glaciers, forests, meadows, rivers and lakes making it one of the world's premier destination spots. Come and enjoy the rugged, raw beauty of an unspoiled landscape in Banff National Park. Its pristine mountain ranges and lush wilderness invite all those who seek outdoor adventure the finest alpine experience the world has to offer. Banff National Park also offers its visitors a lavish array of world-class amenities. From the finest bottle of wine to relaxing in a natural hot spring with the world's finest view, it can all be found in Banff and Lake Louise in Banff National Park.

    Overnight at Lake Louise in a luxury hotel.

    Day Two - Sept 29

    Explore Lake Louise via foot (hiking) or on horseback.

      Known as Canada's "Diamond in the Wilderness" and the hiking capital of Canada, the Lake Louise area offers a tremendous diversity of recreational and sightseeing opportunities. The region abounds with spectacular scenery, from picture-postcard lakes to glaciers, waterfalls and majestic mountain peaks. The First Nations people who originally lived here called the now-infamous lake the "Lake of the Little Fishes", perhaps because fish stayed small in the cold waters at such an altitude. The emerald colour of the lake's icy waters comes from rock sediment and minerals carried into it by run-off from the glaciers above.

    Overnight in Lake Louise in a luxury hotel.

    Day Three - Sept 30

    Depart Lake Louise for Banff.

      The Canadian Pacific Railway announced plans in 1886 to build a hotel in Banff that would attract people to the mountains and fill the passenger seats on the transcontinental railway. "Since we can't export the scenery, we'll have to import the tourists," said CPR general manager William C. Van Horne. That hotel, now known as The Fairmont Banff Springs, has since become the baronial, historic and iconic landmark that continues to dominate the Banff townsite. The small town's charming streets remain abuzz to this day with world-class shopping, dining and accommodation.

    Suggested activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, rafting, canoeing, spa, fly fishing, golfing & wildlife "safari".

    Overnight in Banff in a luxury hotel.

    Day Four - Oct 1

    Explore Banff

      Banff National Park boasts a seemingly endless array of activities for the outdoor enthusiast and cultural explorer alike. Three world-class ski resorts operate within the park's boundaries offering skiers and snowboarders the ultimate in downhill and cross-country fun during the winter, and scenic hikes and wildlife viewing throughout the summer. Canoeing, kayaking and boating take place on the various beautiful waterways scattered throughout the park and visitors can still enjoy bathing in the soothing, "healing" waters of the hot springs that started it all. Banff town boasts no less than seven museums celebrating everything from the First Nations cultural heritage of the region to the best of Canada's fine arts. It is truly a destination for everyone.

    Suggested activities include hiking, biking, horseback riding, rafting, spa, and fly fishing.
    Overnight in Banff in a luxury hotel.

    Day Five - Oct 2

    Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer to Kamloops, BC. Overnight in Kamloops, courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer.

    Day Six - Oct 3

    Continue on to Vancouver for an evening arrival. We are pleased to offer a media rate for this evening in Vancouver and would suggest the Vancouver Pre-Tour to explore Vancouver prior to the start of the Travel Classics Conference.

Banff Lake Louise Tourism

Interested in a pre- or post-conference tour?

Contact Heather Dolan
Media Relations, US
Canadian Tourism Commission
Tel: 703 731 5653 / Fax: 703-875-9452
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