Category Archives: summer-holiday

2011 Summer Holiday Packages – Canada

What a great start we have had to 2011 with about a metre of snow received by the ski resorts across Western Canada over the past week! Now that we are into 2011, the busy summer season does not seem so far away. With the early-bird deals starting to “fizzle” out or become less attractive for the summer, especially with the Rocky Mountaineer train packages, now is a good time to get a good deal on a 2011 spring, summer or autumn/fall package. Rocky Mountain Holidays have brochure downloads in PDF (Portable Document Format) and as always, we have provided the links below for easy reference. These packages can be easily customised based on your preferences (as long as the changes fit in with the rail or cruise schedule). Be sure to take advantage of specials such as free nights and activities in Vancouver – value added rather than discounts are the way to go.

Self-drive holidays are becoming increasingly popular in the Canadian Rockies as it gives you the independence but you also have full support when you are out here and the peace of mind that you won’t struggle to find accommodation during the peak season months in the Canadian Rockies. When booking a self-drive package, check to see if you have Loss Damage Waiver insurance coverage with your credit card provider as this can save you about $30 per day. Also, check out what the one way drop-off fees are from Vancouver to Calgary for example. When you book independently they can be as much as several hundred dollars whereas through a tour operator, typically the rates are about $75-$100.

Other things to look out for if you are shopping around are hidden fees such as “credit card surcharges”. This is a common technique used by some companies to squeeze some extra cash out of you after you have already agreed to the booking. It is also good to ask the straight question – “what extra costs will I have to pay in additional to the package price?”. Any good tour operator will be able to list these for you immediately so you know where you stand with the total of your holiday cost.

Here are the holiday brochures for 2011 – available for download through

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2011.

Heli-Hiking in the Canadian Rockies, Canada

We are excited to tell you about heli-hiking packages in Western Canada for summer 2011. You may think it is too early to be planning next year’s summer holiday in the Canadian Rockies and Western Canada, but there are limited departures for these popular three and six-day trips and so they usually book up quickly. You will have the opportunity to hike in the Purcell Mountain Range and the Bugaboos.

These heli-hiking tours are customised and so are suitable for families through to extremists! It’s not all about hiking either, with two luxury backcountry lodges in the Columbia Mountains of BC, there are many fun activities to take part in. For those of you who are into keeping your heart rate down, there is painting, photography and yoga available for you and your group. If you are looking for an adrenalin rush, there is via ferrata, ziplining, traversing a snow-covered glacier (whilst being roped to your fellow travellers) and rappelling a sheer rock-face to keep you entertained. There are of course plenty of spectacular hikes to do from both lodges (Bugaboo Lodge and Bobbie Burns Lodge).

The video below should get you excited.  If you want more information including rates, just click on the link below for this and other Rocky Mountain Holiday packages:

=>Heli-Hiking in Canada (External Link)

Rocky Mountaineer Train Holidays 2011

We are not even into August 2010 yet and the rates have been released for all Rocky Mountaineer Train and Cruise Holiday packages for 2011. They have kept most of the packages the same as 2010 but have added an Alaska cruise from Seattle onboard Holland America’s ms Oosterdam to seven of their existing popular 2010 train holiday packages. Alaska cruises from Vancouver for 2011 are still onboard the Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam, which, in our opinion, has to be one of, if not, the best cruise ship sailing up to Alaska from Vancouver, Canada.

Below are the new 2011 Rocky Mountaineer train holiday packages with the Seattle cruise add-on. The links are to PDF documents on

Rocky Mountaineer with Cruise to Alaska from Seattle

New Rocky Mountaineer Holiday Products for 2011

There have not been any major changes to the 2010 Rocky Mountaineer packages for 2011. Any changes are “tweaks” to already very popular and exciting train holiday packages.

Changes to Existing 2010 Products for 2011

  • All tours that overnight in Vancouver now include admission to the Vancouver Lookout
  • All tours that overnight in Calgary now include admission to the Calgary Tower
  • RedLeaf Service pre- or post-cruise tour packages now utilize Ocean- View Staterooms (Category D).
  • GoldLeaf Service pre- or post-cruise tour packages continue to use Deluxe Verandah Ocean-View Staterooms (Category VC).
  • Classic Rail Circle now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore.
  • Grand Rail Circle now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore.
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights – 5 nights is also available; this is the same as the 2010 Canadian Rockies Highlights.
  • Canadian Rockies Circle is now 9 nights in duration instead of 12 nights.
  • The westbound itineraries of Trans-Canada Rail Adventure, Canada’s Coast to Coast by Rail, and the post-tour cruise options of these packages now include 2 nights in Jasper plus a Jasper highlights motorcoach tour, but only one night in Lake Louise.
  • City Stop add-on products are able to be sold independently, with rail-only, or in conjunction with any Rocky Mountaineer packages. Please note that transportation to/from the station or airport is not included in any City Stop packages.
  • Taxi transfers to/from cruise terminals in Vancouver are no longer included.
  • Travel documentation will advise of estimated taxi transfer rates, and limousine transfers available for purchase.

Discontinued 2010 Rocky Mountaineer Holiday Products

New for 2011 – Child and Youth Rates

New for 2011, Rocky Mountaineer holiday packages now include rates for youths (ages 12-18) and children (ages 2-11) when travelling with at least one single adult guest.

The published child and youth prices will apply for a maximum of 1 child or youth sharing with 1 adult. Parties of 1 adult and 2 or more children/youths will have to be booked with a minimum of 2 adults. It is not possible to book a single room with more than 2 persons sharing.

These are all the changes to the Rocky Mountaineer Holiday packages for 2011. Rocky Mountaineer package information which include cruises up to Alaska from Vancouver or Seattle can be all found at You can view all the latest Rocky Mountaineer early-bird deals there too.

FREE night at Vancouver Fairmont 2010

Book a Rocky Mountaineer rail tour package of 3 nights or more on GoldLeaf Service or 5 nights or more on RedLeaf Service between June 7 and August 31, 2010 and receive a FREE additional night at a Fairmont Hotel in Vancouver. Some conditions apply.

Book by August 31, 2010 to take advantage of this special offer!

Download the packages below or visit Rocky Mountain Holidays.

Circle Tour Holiday Packages (Start and finish in Vancouver):

One-Way Tour Holiday Packages (Can be taken in either direction):

Trans-Canada Rail Tour Holiday Packages (Can be taken in either direction):

Rail and Self-Drive Holiday Packages (Can be taken in either direction):

City Stop Add-Ons (To be added to any of our packages or purchased separately):

Alternatively you can call 0800-567-7542 (freephone) from the U.K. or 1-888-747-6259 (freephone) from within North America.

Rocky Mountaineer Holidays 2010

The Rocky Mountaineer® Train offers spectacular rail journeys across Western Canada in the spring, summer and autumn months.

The Rocky Mountaineer® train operates through the Canadian Rockies in either direction to Vancouver from Calgary, Banff or Jasper and also to Whistler from Jasper. The train only operates during daylight hours to maximise your viewing experience and pleasure.

Rocky Mountaineer Routes

The Whistler Mountaineer™ train now known as the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb, is a three-hour experience connecting North Vancouver and Whistler which allows you to take a complete rail loop from Vancouver, Whistler and Jasper.

Make sure you make your holiday in Western Canada a Rocky Mountaineer Holiday.

Source: Rocky Mountain Holidays

Rocky Mountain Summer Holiday

Things to remember for a Rocky Mountain Summer Holiday in Canada:

1) Passport: If you are travelling from outside of Canada, even from the U.S., you now require a passport to enter Canada. You don’t need to pre-arrange your visitor visa from some countries. For more information on which countries require you to have a visa, visit Canada Immigration and Citizenship

2) Airport hand luggage: Make sure you don’t pack any sharp objects in your hand luggage if you are travelling to Canada by air. Most airport websites have information on what you should pack. London Heathrow Airport Security Information provides useful details.

3) Sunscreen: You will be at higher elevations in the Rocky Mountains which means you will be closer to the sun and it’s harmful rays. Lake Louise is at 1,536 m (5,039 feet); it is the highest permanent settlement in Canada (Banff is the highest town) so make sure you slip, slop, slap! (Slip on a shirt, slop on sunscreen and slap on a hat!). Areas like the tops of your ears and the underside of you chin and nose if you plan to go onto Athabasca glacier as the sun’s rays are reflected off the ice.

4) Moisturiser: The air in the Canadian Rocky Mountains is very dry and you will notice this straight away. Avoid dry ski irritations by using moisturiser in the mornings and evenings. There is now a range of moisturisers such as product lines just for men. Don’t pack these in your carry on luggage as they may be taken of you (see point 2)

5) Clothing: Make sure you bring out a good breathable waterproof just in case. Alberta is the sunniest province in Canada, but west coast locations such as Vancouver are much wetter.
Bring out a breathable fleece too – we have been known to have sleet and snow in the mountains in August. This is rare but does happen. Mountain weather can change suddenly so be prepared. The weather is cooler on the mountain tops.

Swim gear is recommended too as some hotels have pools and there are hot springs to soak in!

6) Water: A light weight water bottle is a must as you need to get in the habit of continually sipping from a water bottle. The higher altitude means you will become dehydrated sooner and if you don’t drink plenty of water, you may find you develop signs of dehydration such as a head ache.

Avoid excessive alcohol and products with caffeine in them as these can cause a ‘diuretic’ (water loss) effect speeding up dehydration. Bringing out a bottle and refilling it each time is a much more friendly to the environment than purchasing plactic bottles as these inevitable end up in landfills. You can drink the tap water here and most water sources come from glaciers so it tastes great too.

7) Footwear: If you intend to hike, make sure you have some sturdy waterproof boots as the trails can be very rocky. If you don’t intend to hike, there are plenty of walking trails which don’t require boots and suitable footwear such as trainers would suffice. High heels are only suitable in the cities so leave those at home!

8) Backpack: Bring out a backpack with a breathable mesh as it is more comfortable in warmer temperatures when hiking.

9) Knowledge: One of the main attractions in the Canadian Rockies is the wildlife. As the name indicates, these animals are “wild” so give them plenty of room. An animal as small as an innocent ground squirrel can give you a nasty bite. In the National and Provincial parks there are large fines if you feed the wildlife as you can do the animal more harm than good.

Know what to do if you have a bear encounter and be prepared for a much rarer cougar (or mountain lion) encounter. These can happen quite close to most Rocky Mountain townsites. Visit the Parks Canada guide to safety and conservation and contact the local information office before you head out into the local area or back country for bear sightings. If there is a bear in an area, avoid that area.

During the summer months in the Canadian Rockies, the bears love to feast on the buffalo berry bush. The berries are bright red (but can also be bright orange). Know what these plants look like and if you are in an area with a lot of these bushes, make plenty of noise or turn around and leave the area altogether.

Buffalo Berry

10) Preparation: Be prepared for everything. Health care is expensive here if you don’t have travel insurance with medical coverage. If you injury yourself in the back country, you may need to helicopter to fly out so insurance a must.

11) Camera: Have plenty of memory if you bring out your digital camera and remember your charger!

12) Phone: If you are bringing your mobile phone from outside of Canada, be sure to contact your telecommunications provider and ask to have the “international roaming” function turned on. Check the rates before your leave as using your phone in Canada can be costly.

13) Travel adapter: If you intend to bring out any electronic equipment remember to bring out a travel adapter. Purchase this in your country of origin as buying one in Canada may be hard to find to fit your plug.

14) Credit card: Credit cards are accepted everywhere and usually there are no minimums. Make sure you contact your credit card provider before you leave so they don’t treat Canadian transactions as suspicious and block your card.

Remember your pin to your credit card so you can withdrawl money although you will be charged for a cash advance by your credit card provider and for a foreign withdrawl. Ask your bank if you can use your card to withdrawl money overseas – this is usually the most economical way to pull out Canadian funds. Travellers cheques are not so common here – cash is king!

15) Itinerary: If you have had your holiday put together by a Rocky Mountain tour operator, keep your itinerary in your carry-on luggage and keep the company’s toll-free or freephone number in your wallet in case you need to call. This also provides peace of mind and support if you need it.

Hopefully these steps should help you plan your Rocky Mountain Summer Holiday.

Safe travels!