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  • Calgary
  • Banff National Park
  • Jasper
  • Columbia Icefiels
  • Clearwater
  • Whistler
  • Victoria
  • Vancouver

Are the Rockies top of mind on your family travel bucket list? Perfect, because then this selfdrive, a Connections exclusivity, is just what you have been looking for. Thanks to the mega-cool and complete selfdrive programme you visit the most stunning, hip and picturesque highlights of Western Canada.

Do you remember those brilliant calendar prints you’ve been wondering where they were shot? Glacier, Banff & Jasper National Park gladly oblige. From the turquoise glacial lakes to the snow-capped peaks? Prepare to experience their splendour in real life!

Throw in the cities of Victoria and Vancouver oozing with charm and you know this is the start of a lasting love relationship and lifetime memory for all.

Individual

Day 1 - Calgary > Banff (145km)

Today you land in Calgary and continue to Banff while you enjoy the magnificent and enchanting settings of the Rockies.

Standard Hotel:  Buffalo Mountain Lodge
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Day 2 - Banff National Park

Fancy a trip by cable car to the summit of Sulphur Mountain? Or do you feel like having fun rafting, cycling, horse riding or walking? Bannf is just perfect for sports activities.

Standard Hotel:  Buffalo Mountain Lodge
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Day 3 - Banff > Jasper

Flanked by glaciers you drive towards Jasper via the spectacular Icefield Parkway. Make sure you stop near Lake Peyto (a nice walk away from the parking lot) and book a ride to the Athabasca glacier on a very special bus. With its snowy peaks, green prairies and waterfalls, this road is considered one of the most beautiful in the world.

Standard Hotel:  Pocahontas Cabins
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Day 4 - Jasper National Park

Free day: visit Jasper and surroundings, enjoy a boat trip on Lake Maligne, float around in the therapeutic waters of Miette Hot Springs or take a ride aboard the tramway (cable car).

Standard Hotel:  Pocahontas Cabins
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Day 5 - Jasper > Clearwater (320km)

On your programme today is the scenic Yellowhead Pass with views of Mt Robson, the highest peak of the Canadian Rockies. Floow the course of the Thompson River southwards towards Wells Gray Provincial Park. A stop at Blue River is a fun idea.

Standard Hotel:  Clearwater Lodge and Resort
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Day 6 - Clearwater

This day offers the perfect opportunity to go and explore Wells Gray Provincial Park. The park is home to one of the most famous waterfalls of the region, Helmcken Falls, and the largest lake in North America, Lake Murtle where you can go on a kayak trip. fascinating as well are the 20 'dormant' volcanoes, which were last active 7500 years ago. Green Mountain Viewing Tower, the basalt columns of Whitehorse Bluffs and the lava flow with the imaginative name Dragon's Tongue are a few of the many destinations your walking trail can end up at. And who knows, you may spot a variety of birds, caribou, grizzly or black bears on your way!

Standard Hotel:  Clearwater Lodge and Resort
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Day 7 & 8 - Clearwater - Whistler (425km)

On your way to Whistler you drive through the Cariboo-Chilcotin region with its varied landscapes. You even cross the half desert area of the Fraser Canyon. Do not forget to stop in the village of Lillooet, the starting point of the 'gold rush' route.

Tomorrow, a day at leisure is the perfect invitation to indulge in outdoor activities: hiking, sailing, windsurfing, golf, tennis and boating, or simply to go shopping in the village.

Standard Hotel:  Pinnacle International Hotel
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Day 9 - Whistler - Victoria (105km + 1h40 ferry ride)

Via the panoramic 'Sea to Sky' route and past the majestic cliffs of Howe fjord you reach Horseshoe Bay. Enroute you may wish to stop at the Shannon and cascading Brandywine waterfalls. You reach Vancouver Island by ferry, a relaxing and scenic ride.

Standard Hotel:  Coast Victoria Harbourside
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Day 10 - Victoria

Victoria is a city that oozes with colonial charm. Make sure you walk or ride past the parliament buildings and the beautiful Victorian style facades. A stroll along the harbourfront is a must, but the absolute topper is a trip by catamaran in search of whales! Awesome.

Standard Hotel:  Coast Victoria Harbourside
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Day 11 - Victoria > Vancouver (65 km + 1h35 ferry ride)

Today you board the ferry from Swartz Bay to Tsawassen, a mere 40 km south of Vancouver. Here you can pay a visit to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory or enjoy the water fun at the Big Splash Water Park (not included) before you drive to your final destination and stunner: Vancouver.

Standard Hotel:  The Listel Hotel
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Day 12 - Vancouver

Today you can enjoy a leisurely discovery of stunning Vancouver. Activities and hot spots abound. Some of the most popular ideas are a vancouver trolley tram ride across town, a visit to the Capilano suspension bridge, Stanley park, the MacMillan planetarium, Chinatown, Gastown, Granville Island or Grouse Mountain. A bike ride along the bay is a relaxing way to head to Stanley Park and the beaches Vancouver.

Standard Hotel:  The Listel Hotel
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Day 13 - Vancouver

Banff Horseriding in Sundance

 2 hours

Enjoy the fresh mountain air of the Rockies during your horseback ride. You ride along the banks of the river Bow and cross over Sulfur mountain. A unique opportunity to enjoy nature with all your 5 senses and make beautiful photos as lifelong souvenirs. 

Season:  operates 24 APR - 05 OCT. Min. 8 years; max 113 kg / 250 pounds

 Individual

Banff Gondola

 2 hours

From the cable car that takes you to the summit of the Sulfur Mountain you can admire breathtaking panoramas. Follow the marked walk on top of the mountain. Super instructive and stunning views guaranteed.

Season:  operates 1 APR > 31 OCT. Child rate: age 6 > 15

 Individual

Cruise Lake Maligne

 1h30

You sail on one of the most famous lakes in Western Canada. An enthusiastic guide showers you with an abundance of information and it is easy to take that perfect shot that oozes with charm which will make the home front wish they were there. Super photogenic is also your stop on Spirit Island.

Season:  operates 25 MAY - 07 OCT. Child rate: age 6 > 15

 Individual

Jasper Walk the Athabasca Glacier

 1h20

Travel to the heart of the Rockies and board the Ice Explorer, a specially designed 4x4 vehicle, to the 6 km large Athabasca glacier. You will feel the ice crack underneath your shoes. An exceptional experience, especially in summer! 

  • The excursion to Athabasca Glacier lasts 1h20, of which 90 min. are spend on the glacier
  • Season: Operates 19 APR > 14 OCT (weather-permitting). Childfare: age 6 > 15.
 Individual
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Jasper Rafting the Athabasca River

 2h30

What is the best way to experience Canada like real Canadians and explore nature up close?
Thanks to your experienced guide you see the landscapes and the wilderness like never before. This excursion does not need you to be experienced; the rafting is suitable for the whole family!

  • Season: Operates 10 MAY > 06 OCT (weather-permitting).
  • Childfare: age 2>5 and 6>17.
 Individual
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Jasper On top of the Athabasca Glacier & Skywalk

 1/2 day

Besides exploring the Athabasca Glacier, you also get the chance to walk the brand new glass suspension bridge. Perched above a cliff over the Sunwapta Canyon,280 metres high, you will be awe-struck by the unlikely stunning panoramic views and the feeling to be on top of the world. A unique experience in the heart of the Rocky Mountains.

Season: Operates 19 APR > 14 OCT (weather-permitting). Childfare: age 6 > 15.

  • The excursion to Athabasca Glacier lasts 1h20, of which 90 min. are spend on the glacier
  • The time at skywalk is unlimited
 Individual
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Vancouver Whalewatching

 +/- 4 hours

Board the Explorathor for a cruise unlike any other!  Aboard a half-boot, half-zodiac you set out in search of killer whales, porpoises of, sea lions, seals ... 4 hours of observation of marine wildlife awaits you, pure bliss. You can pre-book your transfer at surcharge (WHASGT)

Season: operates 01 APR > 31 OCT.  Child and Youth rates are available under 18 years of age.

 Individual
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Vancouver by Bike

 3 hours

In the company of your guide, you will discover Vancouver, a city of impressive contrasts. The skyscrapers of downtown, the waterfront and the forest of Stanley Park, everything is there. For all ages and levels. E-bikes are available for adults at surcharge (10% off for all bookings prior to 31 DEC)

Season: operates 01 MAY > 31 OCT.  Child rate bike: age 10 > 17

 Individual

Vancouver by Seaplane

 30 min.

In Vancouver, travelling by sea plane is an (extra-)ordinary means of transport. The coming and going of planes and boats at the jetty resemble a water ballet. Discover the magic of Vancouver, located between the mountains and the sea, from up above. A camera is an absolute must as these sights are some of the finest you will wish to share...

Season: operates 01 MAY > 30 SEP.  Child fare: age 2 > 12

 Individual
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Vancouver Fly over Canada

 30 min.

Discover Canada in 4D. Perched in the air under a huge dome, you fly over the fabulous cities and landscapes of Canada from east to west. The whole is enhanced by special multi-sensory effects such as wind and fog. A magical experience that you will not forget any time soon.

Season: operates 01 APR > 31 OCT.  Child rate: age 3- 12. (Mininum height requirements: Children: min 102cm tall)

 Individual
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Vancouver Fly over Alpine Lakes and Glaciers

 85 min.

Aboard the hydroplane you do not know where to look first as you overfly the snowcapped peak of Mount Mamquan (2600m) and if weather conditions allow you will land on the crystal clear waters of the alpine lake.

Season: Operates 01MAY > 30SEP (weather-permitting). Childfare: age 2 > 11.

 Individual
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Hotels & Meals

Travel Documents

  • All Belgian nationals travelling on a Belgian passport (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (electronic) containing min. 2 blank pages, valid for at least 1 day after their return home. All travellers to Canada must purchase an eTA or electronic Travel Authorisation online via the official website cic.gc.ca/english/visit/index.asp prior to entering canadian territory via its airports. Price: 7 CAD or +/- 5 Euros. Your eTA is valid for 5 years and linked to your passport number. This implies that as soon as your passport expires, so does your eTA.

  • To save time at Customs and Immigration in Canada, you can downmload the CanBorder eDeclaration app before your arrival. You will then receive a QR-code that remains valid for 24 hours. Thanks to the scanning of the QR code, you do not have to re-enter your data on the screen at the Customs counters. You can download via the Apple Store app or Google Play app.

  • Please note: A credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. All cross-border travellers with the USA must on top be in possession of an international passport and an ESTA. The digital passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the set date of your return flight. The electronic travel authorization must be purchased online by means of a personal credit card via the official link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/ (14 USD on 20JAN2015). Your ESTA is valid for max. 2 years. Should your international passport expire within that period, so does your ESTA as it is linked to your passport number. We strongly recommend you to print out the Esta- or Eta permit and to have it on you while you travel to avoid problems.

  • Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents.

Insurances

Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.

Tailored travel

The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts.

Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at groups@connections.be or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.

Health

No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be.

Time Zones

  • In The East (Quebec City, Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa): - 6 h.
  • Alberta (Banff, Jasper, Calgary): - 8 h.
  • British Colombia (Vancouver, Victoria, Kamloops): - 9 h.
Daylight saving time 2015: In Canada the clock is set forward in the night of Saturday 7 March to Sunday 8 March. In Belgium, the clock is set forward on the night of Saturday March, 28 to Sunday, March 29th. This entails that between 8 and 29 March, the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.

Winter time 2015: Belgium turns the clock back one hour on the night of Saturday, October 24th to Sunday, October 25th.  Canada turns back the arms of the clock on the night of Saturday, 1 November to Sunday, 2 November. That entails that during the latter week the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.

Currency

Currency

Canadian Dollars (CAD); 10 CAD = 6.62€ / 1€ = 1.50 CAD (16/08/2018)

Methods of Payment

A personal credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. Credit cards are very convenient and widely accepted and ATMs are readily available.

Climate

The climate is comparable to ours. In spring, days are nice and nights are fresh.

In summer temperatures can reach peaks, especially in the East. In the West, there is more chance of precipitation and it is cooler than in the East.

On the coast and around the lakes it is usually a lot cooler.

Average Temperatures (in °C):
DESTINATION  J  F  M  A  M  J  J  A  S  O  N  D
Montreal -10 -09 -03 06 13 18 21 20 15 09 02 -07
Toronto -04 -03  01 08 14 19 22 21 17 11 05 -01
Vancouver  03  05  07 10 14 17 19 19 14 11 07  05

What's included?

  • 12 nights accommodation in listed hotels or equivalent
  • Ferry ride from Horseshoe Bay to Nanaimo (day 9)
  • Ferry ride from Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen (day 11)
  • Route info

What's not included?

Your intercontinental return flights and car rental, non-listed meals and beverages, tipping and personal expenses.

Good to Know

ENHANCE YOUR TRIP EVEN MORE :
Book the excursion combo and increase the experience and fun level of your stay in Banff and Jasper with exciting family activities. What do you feel about a wild night safari in Banff (2h, day 2) and Whitewater Rafting Miles in Jasper (2h, day 4) : Price: Adult from € 99 / children (6-11) from € 52.
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