Drifter Sister
Small Group Tour of the
Canadian Rockies

 

 

Alaska

San Giuseppe, ItalyThe Alaska tour is unlike other Catch the Wind Tours, in that you are in control. Group size is strictly limited to five, and can be comprised of individuals, couples, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren, or any combination thereof.

 

You choose the length and dates of the trip. You choose activities and accommodations to fit your budget. I will be your driver/guide, and we will explore Alaska’s interior in depth, north from Anchorage to Denali, and south into the Kenai Peninsula to Homer and Seward.

France

San Giuseppe, ItalyDuring our two weeks in France, we will discover the beautiful Minervois villages and the fascinating Languedoc region of South France.

 

This tour is a balance of relaxation and discovery. The region is rich in history (primarily Roman Colonization, and the Cathar movement, which provoked the Albigensian Crusade) and wine production.

Greece & Turkey
Acropolis, Athens, Greece

Can you imagine two weeks immersed in two of the most exotic and archeologically rich civilizations of the world? You can experience it all on our small group tour of Greece and Turkey.

 

Our tour of Greece will combine conventional cruising with private yachting aboard the 25-cabin Harmony V mega yacht. We will visit the famous islands of Mykonos and Santorini along with many of the smaller, beautiful islands.

 

An optional small group land tour of the Pelloponnese is available for touring classical sites like Olympia, Delphi and Meteora.

 

Our small group tour of Turkey includes the enchanting city of Istanbul, a cruise on the Bosphorus strait, and a visit to the Cappadocia region.

 

Istanbul is a unique city combining Eastern and Western cultures. It is set in an amazingly beautiful location that everyone should visit at least once.

 

Cappadocia is a stunning area of other-worldly rock formations, subterranean churches and underground dwellings.

 

Ireland

San Giuseppe, ItalyFor two weeks our little group (12 maximum) will explore Ireland, escorted in our luxurious and spacious motor coach.

 

We will discover the myriad beautiful, charming and mysterious sights, sounds, and tastes of the Emerald Isle, making a wide circle, primarily around the coast. ‘Must See’ locations, such as Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny Castle, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the ‘Quiet Man’ country of Connemara, and more will be interspersed with lesser known local gems, such as Cobh, Doolin, the Aran Island of Inish Mor, and New Grange.

Spa

Luxurious Spa

 

Ixtapan de la Sal Spa is an experience you don't want to miss.

 

We will pamper ourselves for a week at our luxurious Spa. This family-owned and operated Spa has been in operation since the mid 19th century and is the most relaxing and beautiful place one can imagine.

Spain

Tours of Andalucia, Spain

This small group tour of Spain is an in-depth exploration of a most treasured region - ANDALUCIA!

 

Rich in Spanish traditions influenced by the ancient Moors, sunshine, olive groves, white pueblo villages, tapas, Sangria... Spain's Andalucia contains all this and more, and we will have two weeks to enjoy it to the fullest!

 

Highlights include three guided tours, a visit and show at the famous Andalucian Equestrian School, and an authentic Flamenco Show at an intimate, locally owned establishment. Two meals are included daily, as well as rental cars, including gas.

 

Lodging will be in Haciendas and hotels, conveniently located within walking distance of historic city centers, shops and attractions. Three 4-night stays help make this an in-depth experience and adventure you don’t want to miss!

 

Tuscany

San Giuseppe, ItalyStaying in a villa in Tuscany is one of the least expensive, and perhaps most rewarding, travel experiences one can enjoy.

 

We stay one week each in two villas, which are strategically chosen for convenient day trips throughout central Tuscany. First is Borgo Corsignano, a renovated medieval village in the lovely Casentino Valley. Our second villa is San Giuseppe, near Sienna, a big, old restored farmhouse with six bedrooms (all with ensuite bathrooms).

Let's Go to the Canadian Rockies!

August 15-24, 2014

This tour has been cancelled due to lack of sign-ups in time to meet a critical deadline to secure space on the Rocky Mountaineer train. If you are interested in doing this trip in 2015, please let me know. We will try again if enough people are willing to commit in time.

Summary

 

 

Rocky Mountaineer Whistler Sea to Sky TrainGet ready for the ride of your life, through Canada’s Rocky Mountains. And what better way to see this pristine scenery than aboard Canada’s famous Rocky Mountaineer. First, I have chosen their premier Northern Explorer tour, which includes three days on the train and four days on a luxury motor coach. I then added meals and other amenities, making it a truly customized Catch the Wind small-group tour.

 

We will start by spending two nights in Vancouver, allowing a full day to explore this very doable and enjoyable city, before beginning our rail journey aboard Rocky Mountaineer’s “Whistler Sea to Sky” train the next morning. Majestic mountains and glittering waters are the backdrop for this amazing adventure. We will relax in our reclining seat and enjoy the commentary and impeccable service provided by Onboard Attendants. A scrumptious chilled breakfast will be served at your seat, so you won’t miss a moment of the breathtaking scenery through the large picture windows, or from the open-air Heritage Observation Car. After a fun afternoon and overnight in Whistler, we will board the Rocky Mountaineer for our two-day journey east through some of the most dramatic and beautiful scenery in the world. Next we will experience five days of sightseeing by deluxe motor coach through Jasper, Banff, and Yoho National Parks, including a ride on an Ice Explorer onto a glacier. Our last two nights will be spent in Banff before transferring to Calgary for our flight home. Icefields Parkway, Canada

 

During our two special days on the Rocky Mountaineer, we will enjoy GoldLeaf Service. The luxury and comfort of this top-of-the-line service defines an incredible rail journey that is beyond compare. The custom-designed GoldLeaf Dome Coach allows us to experience the breathtaking scenery of the Canadian Rockies as we enjoy superb and delectable gourmet hot breakfasts and lunches from an a la carte menu, served in the Exclusive GoldLeaf dining room, prepared by talented onboard chefs. You will sip complimentary beverages (including alcoholic) and savor gourmet snacks while listening to commentary from your Onboard Attendants, who will ensure our enjoyment of luxury and comfort while taking in the dazzling vistas and nature in action.

 

Sightseeing on Canada's Rocky MountaineerIf you were to book this itinerary with Rocky Mountaineer yourself, you would pay more, plus, I have negotiated extra meals and amenities that an individual booking through the company would not receive. So if you have ever dreamed of taking this fantastic journey through the Rocky Mountains, this is the trip for you – and NOW is the time to do it.

 

 

Sightseeing on Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

Videos

 

Video about the Rocky Mountaineer experience

 

 

 

Video detailing GoldLeaf Service

 

 

Itinerary

 

Although every effort will be made to adhere to this itinerary, it is subject to tweaking as conditions dictate.

 

Victoria and Tofino pre- or post-trip Extensions available

 

Days 1-2 – Vancouver

 

(Vancouver)

Vancouver, Canada

 

  • Arrive in Vancouver and transfer from the Vancouver Airport to your hotel. Dinner included.
  • On Day 2, spend time exploring this scenic city on your own
  • Enjoy a Welcome Dinner at hotel or local restaurant
  • Those of you who have chosen the Coastal Passage option (see Price page) will arrive after dinner.
  • Overnight in Vancouver

Day 3 - Vancouver to Whistler on the train

 

(Sea to Sky Train)

Rocky Mountaineer's Sea to Sky Train, Canada

 

 

  • Board motor coach and transfer to the North Vancouver boarding platform
  • Travel aboard the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Whistler
  • Breakfast on board
  • Enjoy your breathtaking rail journey through the stunning scenery of the “Sea to Sky” region
  • Highlights include
    • Howe Sound and the Coast Mountains
    • Shannon Falls, Mount Garibaldi
    • and the impressive Cheakamus Canyon
  • Free time in Whistler with lunch included
  • Dinner at local restaurant
  • Overnight in Whistler

(Scenery on way to Whistler)

Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

(Shannon Falls)

Shannon Falls, Canada

(Whistler Village)

Whistler Village, Canada

Day 4 – Whistler to Quesnel on the train (GoldLeaf Service)

 

Rocky Mountaineer logo

 

 

  • Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer to Quesnel, gateway to the North Cariboo
  • Breakfast and Lunch are served onboard
  • Complimentary Beverages (including alcoholic)
  • Enjoy breathtaking and varied scenery including
    • River canyons and lush farmland of the Pemberton Valley
    • Desert-like conditions of the Fraser Canyon
    • Rolling hills and vast ranchlands of the Cariboo Plateau
    • Shorelines of Anderson Lake and glacial fed Seton Lake
    • Crossing of Deep Creek Bridge, one of highest railway bridges in the world
  • Dinner at local restaurant
  • Overnight in Quesnel

(Spacious Seating, Large Windows)

Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

(Seton Lake)

Seton Lake, Canada

(Farming in Pemberton)

Pemberton Canada farm

Day 5 – Quesnel to Jasper on the train (GoldLeaf Service)

 

(Crossing Fraser River)

Fraser River, Canada

 

 

  • Your Rocky Mountaineer journey continues eastwards to the majestic Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park
  • Breakfast and Lunch are served onboard
  • Complimentary Beverages (including alcoholic)
  • Follow the Fraser River north to Prince George, then east through the forests of northern British Columbia
  • Enter the Rocky Mountain Trench, surrounded by the steeply rising Rocky Mountains on the north and Cariboo Mountains on the south
  • Pass by Mount Robson, at 12,972 feet, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies and through Yellowhead Pass into Alberta
  • This portion of your rail journey ends today on arrival in Jasper
  • Dinner at hotel
  • Overnight in Jasper

(View of Mount Robson)

View of Mount Robinson

(Elegant Dining)

Elegant Dining on Rocky Mountaineer

(Main Street, Jasper)

Jasper, Canada

Day 6 – Jasper Tour

 

(Jasper National Park)

Jasper National Park

 

 

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Jasper National Park is a World Heritage Site and Canada’s largest National Park
  • This morning you will enjoy a scenic tour including the many natural attractions and perhaps a glimpse of wildlife
  • Time on your own for relaxing, exploring the town, horseback riding, and hiking
  • Lunch on your own
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight in Jasper

 

(Jasper National Park)

Jasper National PArk

(Moose in Jasper)

Moose in Jasper National Park

(Goat in Jasper)

Mountain Goat in Jasper National PArk

Day 7 – Jasper to Lake Louise

 

(Driving the Icefields Parkway)

Icefields Parkway

 

 

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Today we travel to Lake Louise via the Icefields Parkway, one of the most scenic highways in the world
  • We will stop at Athabasca Falls before arriving at the Columbia Icefield
  • Ride on an Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier
  • Time will be available for light lunch at snack bar (not included)
  • A brief stop will be made at Bow Lake before arriving in Lake Louise in the afternoon
  • Time to relax at the lodge and enjoy this spectacular setting
  • Dinner at the hotel
  • Overnight at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

(Athabasca Falls)

Athabasca Falls

(Our Ice Exploration Vehicle)

Ice Explorer Vehicle

(Lake Louise)

Lake Louise, Canada

Day 8 – Lake Louise to Banff

 

(Scenery in Banff)

Banff National Park, Canada

 

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Board our private motor coach for a full day tour of Yoho National Park
  • We will see the Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake, and natural rock bridge
  • Lunch at the Emerald Lake Lodge
  • Dinner at the Hotel
  • Overnight in Banff

(Peeking Pica)

Pica in Jasper National Park

(Emerald Lake Lodge)

Emerald Lake Lodge, Yoho National Park, Canada

(Emerald Lake)

Emerald Lake, Canada

Day 9 – Banff

 

(Hoo Doo Formation in Banff)

Hoo Doo in Banff National Park, Canada

 

 

  • Breakfast at the Hotel
  • Morning sightseeing tour of Banff
    • Hoodoos rock formation
    • Surprise Corner
    • Tunnel Mountain overlooking Bow River Valley
  • After the tour, we will take a ride on the Sulphur Mountain Gondola
  • Afternoon at leisure to explore Banff
  • Lunch on your own
  • Farewell Dinner at local restaurant or hotel
  • Overnight in Banff

(Sulphur Gondola Ride)

Sulphur Condola Ride in Banff National Park, Canada

(Gondola Summit)

Gondola Summit, Banff National Park, Canada

(Downtown Banff)

Banff, Canada

Day 10 – Banff to Calgary

 

(Enjoying the Scenery)

Sightseeing while on Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

 

 

  • Today after breakfast we are transferred to Calgary by motorcoach to board our flights home, as we remember the wonderful scenery and great times we had on our trip through the fabulous Canadian Rockies!

(Riding through Forests...)

Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

(...and past Rivers)

Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

(Enjoying Snacks on the Train)

Serving Snacks on Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

(Thompson River Rapids)

Thompson River Rapids

(Spiral Tunnels)

Entering Spiral Tunnel on Canada's Rocky Mountaineer

 

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Inclusions

 

Included

 

• 2 days aboard Rocky Mountaineer's GoldLeaf Service and 1 day Whistler Classic Service

• 8 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 9 dinners.

• Complimentary snacks and beverages served on the train (including alcoholic during 2 days while in GoldLeaf)

• Friendly service and interpretive commentary from the onboard train attendants

• 9 nights hotel accommodation

• National Park Fees

• Transfers onboard motorcoach as outlined in the itinerary with driver/guide providing commentary where appropriate

• Jasper tour

• Full day tour from Jasper to Lake Louise via Icefield's Parkway including the Ice Explorer

• Private, full day tour of Yoho National Park including a stop for lunch at Emerald Lake Lodge

• Half day tour of Banff including Banff's Sulphur Mountain Gondola Ride

• Train crew and meal gratuities

• Shared Transfers between the train station and your accommodation in Whistler and Quesnel

• Train station luggage handling and personal room delivery of luggage

 

Not Included

 

• Airfare to Vancouver/from Calgary

• Optional Activities not on itinerary

• 3 lunches

• Alcoholic Beverages that are not included on the train

• Any personal expenses (i.e. telephone calls, laundry, etc.)

• Hotel Housekeeping Gratuities at your discretion (~$1/day/person)

• Trip Insurance (Highly Recommended – ~5% of trip cost – Travel Guard
available)

 

 

Accommodations

 

SAMPLE LODGING (other equivalent properties may be substituted)

 

 

Georgian Court Hotel (or equivalent), Vancouver

 

Georgian Court Hotel, Vancouver, Canada Georgian Court Hotel, Vancouver, Canada

Delta Whistler Village Suites

 

Delta Whistler Village Suites Delta Whistler Village Suites

Saw Ridge Hotel (or equivalent), Jasper (2 nights)

 

Saw Ridge Hotel, Jasper National Park Saw Ridge Hotel, Jasper National Park

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

 

Fairmon Chateau Lake Louise, CanadaFairmon Chateau Lake Louise, Canada

Rimrock Resort, Banff (2 nights)

 

Rimrock Resort, Banff National Park, CanadaRimrock Resort, Banff National Park, CanadaRimrock Resort, Banff National Park, Canada

 

 

 

Price

 

LET’S GO TO THE CANADIAN ROCKIES, August 15-24, 2014

 

8-15 passengers (8 min, 20 max)

$6,067 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare

 

16-20 passengers

$5,067 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare

 

 

LET’S GO TO THE CANADIAN ROCKIES Coastal Passage Option, August 16-24, 2014

Coastal Passage Option: Your Day 1 is Saturday, August 16, when you check in at Seattle's King Street Station for the first leg of your Rocky Mountaineer journey to Vancouver. After boarding, toast the rail voyage ahead and enjoy dinner onboard as you travel past the Chittenden Locks linking Puget Sound to Lakes Union and Washington and wave goodbye to Seattle. Highlights include the fishing fleet (and Boeing jets) of Everett, the fields at the foot of the Cascade Mountains near Mount Vernon, sunset views of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands beyond, and, after crossing the Canadian border, the community of White Rock as the train hugs the Pacific Coast and travels into Vancouver. On arrival in Vancouver, a motorcoach will transfer you from Pacific Central Station to Hampton Inn, where you will join the rest of the group to overnight in Vancouver, boarding the Rocky Mountaineer to Whisler the following morning.

 

8-15 passengers (total on both options)

$6,557 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare

 

16-20 passengers (total on both options)

$5,557 per person, double occupancy*, plus airfare

 

*Single Supplement for all options $1,959
(an attempt will be made to pair you with a roommate if you want, but there is no guarantee)

 

DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT DUE DATES


$500 Deposit due October 15, 2013, or upon sign up after this date

Final Payment due June 10, 2014, or upon sign up after this date

 

__________________________

 

Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel 120 days prior to departure (for any reason), you will receive 100% refund of any monies you have paid to Drifter Sister, less any prepaid nonrefundable purchases made by Drifter Sister. If a cancellation occurs between 119 and 75 days prior to departure, you will receive a 75% refund of any monies you have paid to Drifter Sister. In the case of a cancellation after 75 days prior to departure, a 50% refund of monies paid to Drifter Sister, will be allowed only if the trip is full and a replacement can be found for you. Otherwise there will be no refund.

 

 

How to Book

 

How To Book

 

  • Secure your spot by sending $100 Good Faith check (made out to Drifter Sister) to:

 

Drifter Sister
P.O. Box 60042
Boulder City, NV    89006


OR

 

Pay through PayPal

 

(For your convenience we offer this credit card payment option for the Deposits. No fee will be charged for the Good Faith Deposit. However, for the Trip Deposit, we must include PayPal's 2.9% fee.)

 

Select Payment Type

 

  • When the Good Faith deposit is received, sign-up paperwork will be sent to you via email. Please let me know if you would prefer it to be sent via snail mail.
  • Deposit for this trip is $500, and is due by October 15, 2013 or upon sign-up.
  • Final payment will be due on June 10, 2014. A separate invoice will be sent to you for this payment.
  • Good Faith and Initial Deposits can be made by PayPal (see above). All other payments must be by check made out to Drifter Sister.

 

NOTE: Your Good Faith deposit is applied to the cost of the trip, and is fully refundable if you must cancel for any reason.

 

 

FAQ

 

Q. Are there physical limitations for this trip?

A. Active adults of all ages are welcome. You will need to be able to get in and out of busses, trains, and the motor coaches. There is a moderate amount of walking. Wheelchair-bound clients can be accommodated if accompanied by a caregiver.

 

Q. Do we sleep on the train?

A. No. The train stops each night and we stay in a hotel.

 

Q. Are alcoholic beverages served on the train?

A. Yes. And they are complimentary in GoldLeaf.

 

Q. What meals are served on the train?

A. Breakfast and lunch.

 

Q. Where will the dinners be?

A. Dinners will either be at the hotels or nearby restaurants.

 

Q. What meals are included?

A. All breakfasts, all dinners, plus all but three lunches. This is more than you would receive if you booked directly with Rocky Mountaineer. They do not include dinners on the train days.

 

Q. Are there vegetarian options for meals?

A. Yes.

 

Q. What is the dress code?

A. Nice casual. You will be doing a lot of sitting while on the train, so you will want to wear comfortable clothing. The temperature inside the train car is controlled, but you might need a light cover-up at times.

 

Q. What will the weather be like?

A. In August the weather should still be warm, but it can be changeable, and we will be in several different climate zones, so a jacket will probably be needed at night – and for the Icefields excursion for sure.

Average temps in August

   Banff - hi 71, low 44, Precipitation: 2.0 inches

   Kamloops - hi 82, low 54, Precipitation: 1.1 inches

   Vancouver - hi 71, low 55, Precipitation: 1.5 inches

 

 

Testimonials

 

Canadian Rocky Mountaineer testimonial"Our trip was as seamless as any trip could be.  Thanks for freeing us up from concerns about luggage, tipping, making connections, etc., so we could instead just soak up the ambiance and beauty of each and every minute.  Great, great itinerary and trip.!!  Thanks!" - Judy M.

 

Canadian Rocky Mountaineer testimonial"The beauty of the land was amazing.  Thank you for a great tour! We talked to several other people on the train who had booked the trip by themselves, and they didn’t visit all the places we did.  In fact one couple had less experiences but paid more!" - Nancy & Steve C.