Vancouver & Alaska by Ferry & Rail
What’s better than seeing the coastal areas of Canada and Alaska? Seeing it by train and ferry to give you the full land-and-sea experience of this amazing region. This 15-day trip takes advantage of both local trains and small ferries to create an authentic – not to mention memorable – journey up the coast and around Alaska. You’ll check out the highlights of Seward, Anchorage, and Denali while on the Alaskan Railroad, with plenty of chances to stretch your legs to explore the terrain firsthand. Rail, boat, mountains, cities – who says you can’t have it all?
Vancouver Island stay. Inside Passage cruise. Juneau stay. Kenai Peninsula activities. Alaska Railroad journeys. Denali National Park overnight. All park fees and permits. Internal flight. Transport to/from destinations and included activities.
Ride the Alaskan Railroad into Denali National Park, experience the awe-inspiring Inside Passage, witness the rugged coastline and abundant wildlife of this dramatic region, get a taste for the Vancouver vibe.
While it is our intention to adhere to the route described below, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The Trip Details document is a general guide to the tour and region and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Aboard expedition trips visits to research stations depend on final permission.
Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
In order to cover the vast distance of this region, we will have long (but extremely scenic!) travel days.
2. WALKS AND HIKES – OPTIONAL
All walks and hikes proposed by our CEO will be easy to moderate level. You may choose to participate or not, but exploring our national parks on foot is part of our way of travelling. It’s a healthy way to discover North America’s beauty and landscape.
3. LEGAL DRINKING AGE
Please note that the legal drinking age in the United States is 21 and in Canada, 19. Many bars and clubs will ask for ID at the door, therefore listening to live music in certain bars is not possible when you are under the legal age, even if you don’t plan on consuming alcohol. Drinking laws in both countries are strictly enforced and our CEOs are unable to help those under age obtain alcohol of any kind.
While this should not stop those under legal drinking age from booking a tour, it is important to note that if a traveller is under-age there are certain optional nighttime activities that they may not legally be able to participate in.
Group Leader Description
This G Adventures group trip is accompanied by one of our group leaders, otherwise known as a Chief Experience Officer (CEO). The CEO will be the group manager and leader.
As the group coordinator and manager, the aim of the CEO is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. While not being a guide in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the regions visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. They will also offer suggestions for things to do and to see, recommend great local eating venues and introduce you to our local friends.
We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
Group Size Notes
Max 16, avg 12
No meals included
Travelling with G Adventures you experience the vast array of wonderful food that is available out in the world. Meals are not included in the trip price when there is a choice of eating options, to give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat. It also gives you more budgeting flexibility. Your CEO will be able to suggest favourite restaurants during your trip. For all trips, please refer to the meals included and budget information.
Train, private vehicle, ferry, public bus, plane, walking
About our Transportation
This trip utilizes a combination of private vans, public buses, ferries and trains. Once in Alaska, transport between destinations will be by the trains of the Alaska Railroad.
We believe solo travellers should not have to pay more to travel so our group trips are designed for shared accommodation and do not involve a single supplement. Single travellers joining group trips are paired in twin or multi-share accommodation with someone of the same sex for the duration of the trip. Some of our Independent trips are designed differently and solo travellers on these itineraries must pay the single trip price.
Hotels (13 nts), ferry (1 nt)
On this trip we’re using a combination of 2-3 star hotels and overnight ferries. The ferries are part of the Alaska Marine Highway and cabins consist of an upper and lower bunk with an outside facing window. Cabins have sink areas with linens provided. There are public restrooms with showers for use.
Solo travellers will be paired with another solo traveller of the same sex if there is one.
For details of your joining hotel please refer to your tour voucher, G Account, the G Adventures App or contact your travel agent.
Please head to the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level at both International and Domestic Terminals.
From here you have two transport options; Public Taxi or Public Transit. All transportation is located on the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level at both International and Domestic Terminals.
The airport is located 14 kilometers from downtown Vancouver. On the Arrivals/Baggage Claim Level continue to the designed taxi zones located right outside the Arrivals Hall on level 2. An attendant will be there to help. The approximate fare to downtown Vancouver is between 28$ CAD and 32$ CAD (depending on traffic) plus gratuity.
Public Transit – Canada Line
The Canada Line is Vancouver’s new rapid transit rail link connecting YVR to downtown Vancouver in 26 minutes. It’s a fast and easy way to get to the city centres. You can conveniently access trains from both the International and Domestic Terminals. The Canada Line is accessible by elevator from both the arrivals and departures level. For assistance in locating the Canada Line, please ask one of our friendly Green Coat Volunteers located throughout the terminals. If there is no attendant please call 604-953-3333 between 6:30 a.m. and 11:30 p.m, 7 days a week.
From: AIRPORT – YVR, GRANT MCCONACHIE WAY, RICHMOND
To: 1221 GRANVILLE ST, VANCOUVER
Cash Fare: $8.75 for an adult
Include 1 transfer
1. SKYTRAIN – platform sign CANADA LINE TO WATERFRONT (approx 25 minutes)
Leaving from YVR-AIRPORT STATION EASTBOUND
Arriving at VANCOUVER CITY CTR STN NORTHBOUND
2. Transfer to 6 DAVIE
Leaving from SB GRANVILLE ST NS ROBSON ST
Arriving at WB DAVIE ST FS GRANVILLE ST
The train station is 0.28km from the hotel. As you get out of the station turn left heading south east on Davie Street to reach Granville Street (next corner). Turn left, your hotel is located at 1221 Granville Street.
Please note that day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned, though a brief departure meeting will be held in the hotel on the evening of day 1. When you arrive at our joining hotel you will find the time and place of the meeting on a welcome note hung in the hotel lobby. If you are unable to find the note, please just ask the front desk staff.
At the meeting you will meet other tour participants and receive information about general and specific aspects of the trip. If you arrive late and miss the meeting, your CEO will leave you a message detailing what time and where you should meet the next morning.
We don’t expect any problems, and nor should you, but if for any reason you are unable to commence your trip as scheduled, please refer to the emergency contact details provided in this dossier and contact us as soon as possible. If you have a pre-booked transfer, and you have not made contact with our representative within 30 minutes of clearing customs and immigration, we recommend that you make your own way to the Starting Point hotel, following the Joining Instructions. Please apply to your travel agent on your return for a refund of the transfer cost if this occurs.
Should you need to contact us during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call either the G Adventures Local Representative or our G Adventures Office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures Local Representative (Canada based)
24hr emergency number
From outside Canada: +1 514-948-4145
From within Canada: +1 514-948-4145
If you are unable for any reason to contact our local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with our 24 hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from UK: 0344 272 0000
Calls from Germany: 0800 365 1000
Calls from Australia: 1 300 796 618
Calls from New Zealand: 0800 333 307
Outside North America, Australia, New Zealand, Germany and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
What to Take
You will be on the move a lot, so our advice is to pack as lightly as possible.
For days in the outdoors, we recommend the use of lightweight, breathable, moisture-wicking fabrics made of wool or synthetic fibers. Cotton is not recommended for days spent hiking as it does not allow for heat or moisture to enter or escape, and it will not dry easily once wet.
We recommend using a backpack for your convenience, or a medium-sized suitcase if you prefer. Heavy luggage is not recommended for the health of the CEO, who will take a lead in loading the storage trailer. Due to space in the trailer, we will not be able to accommodate more than one piece of main luggage per person. A good size day-pack (20-35L) is also essential to carry your personal gear for the day, as access to luggage between destinations will be limited. This daypack will be used to carry your personal gear for the day, your lunch and a water bottle.
It is important to pack clothes for warm days and cool evenings, as well as a light jacket. A set of smart casual clothes is also advisable.
NOTE: Alaska can have unpredictable weather with snow and heavy rain even in summer. Spring time could be snowy (until end of June) and autumn could start as soon as mid-August. Make sure you have equipment and clothing for all conditions.
• Long-sleeved shirts or sweater
• Warm gloves
• Warm hat
• Warm layers
• Flight info (required) (Printouts of e-tickets may be required at the border)
• Insurance info (required) (With photocopies)
• Passport (required) (With photocopies)
• Required visas or vaccination certificates (required) (With photocopies)
• Vouchers and pre-departure information (required)
• Binoculars (optional)
• Camera (With extra memory cards and batteries)
• Cash, credit and debit cards
• Day pack (Used for daily excursions or short overnights)
• Ear plugs
• First-aid kit (should contain lip balm with sunscreen, sunscreen, whistle, Aspirin, Ibuprofen, bandaids/plasters, tape, anti-histamines, antibacterial gel/wipes, antiseptic cream, Imodium or similar tablets for mild cases of diarrhea, rehydration powder, water purification tablets or drops, insect repellent, sewing kit, extra prescription drugs you may be taking)
• Flashlight/torch (Headlamps are ideal)
• Fleece top/sweater
• Locks for bags
• Long pants/jeans
• Outlet adapter
• Personal entertainment (Reading and writing materials, cards, music player, etc.)
• Reusable water bottle
• Small travel towel
• Toiletries (Preferably biodegradable)
• Watch and alarm clock
• Waterproof backpack cover
• Windproof rain jacket
• Shorts/skirts (Longer shorts/skirts are recommended)
• Sun hat/bandana
Your CEO will advise you along the trip where you will be able to do your laundry.
Visas and Entry Requirements
All countries require a valid passport (with a minimum 6 months validity). Contact your local embassy, or consulate for the most up-to-date visa requirements, or see your travel agent. It is your own responsibility to have the correct travel documentation.
As of March 15, 2016, all travellers to Canada will have to obtain an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) from the Government of Canada. The ETA must be requested prior to departure for Canada through the following link:
The authorization has a fee of $7 CAD per person and it is your responsibility to apply for the ETA prior to departure.
This policy does not apply to US citizens or nationalities that require a visa for Canada.
Every traveller is different and therefore spending money requirements will vary. Some travellers may drink more than others while other travellers like to purchase more souvenirs than most. Please consider your own spending habits when it comes to allowing for drinks, shopping and tipping. Please also remember the following specific recommendations when planning your trip.
The currency in the United States is the US Dollar (USD) and in Canada, it’s the Canadian Dollar (CAD).
Credit cards are accepted almost everywhere in North America and can be used to purchase small and large items. When purchasing products or services with a foreign credit card, you may be charged additional fees by your credit card company for foreign purchases.
Credit cards and debit cards are very useful for cash advances but you must remember to bring your PIN number (be aware that many ATM machines only accept 4-digit PINs). Both Cirrus and Plus system cards are the most widely accepted debit cards. Both Visa and Master Cards are the most widely accepted credit cards. While ATMs are commonly available, there are no guarantees that your credit or debit cards will actually work check with your bank before you travel. A visit to an ATM can be arranged on Day 1 and other days of the trip.
Do not rely on credit or debit cards as your only source of money. A combination of US Dollars as cash (preferably smaller bills, 5’s, 10’s and 20’s) and credit cards is best. Currency exchange is best obtained prior to travel or at the airport, currency exchange is very difficult to find in the USA and most banks do not accommodate.
Always take more rather than less, as you don’t want to spoil the trip by constantly feeling short of funds.
As currency exchange rates can fluctuate often we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com
Please also make sure you have access to at least an additional USD $200 (or equivalent) as an ‘emergency’ fund, to be used when circumstances outside our control (ex. a natural disaster) require a change to our planned route. This is a rare occurrence!
It is customary in North America to tip service providers such as waiters, bartenders and taxi drivers, at approximately 18-20%, depending on the service. Bear in mind, in the US restaurant staff often make very little salary and rely solely on tips. Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels. There are times during the trip where there is opportunity to tip any local guides used. Recommendations for tipping local guides would range from $2-8 USD per activity depending on the quality and length of the service; ask your CEO for specific recommendations based on the circumstances and culture.
Also at the end of each trip if you felt your G Adventures Chief Experience Officer did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference; however as a guideline $5-10 USD per person, per day can be used as a guide. If your CEO exceeded your expectations, feel free to tip more.
Optional activity prices are subject to change and can fluctuate in relation to the high/low season and the number of people on a specific excursion. Not all excursions listed here may be available, due to season or weather conditions. As generally not a lot of time is spent in start/end cities, you may want to arrange to arrive early, or stay longer after the trip in order to allow sufficient time to participate in optional activities there.
Please see the full itinerary for information on optional activities, descriptions and estimated pricing.
Safety and Security
Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government’s advice for their latest travel information before departure. We strongly recommend the use of a neck wallet or money belt while travelling, for the safe keeping of your passport, air tickets, travellers’ cheques, cash and other valuable items. Leave your valuable jewelery at home – you won’t need it while travelling. Many of the hotels we use have safety deposit boxes, which is the most secure way of storing your valuables. A lock is recommended for securing your luggage. When travelling on a group trip, please note that your group leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the trip itinerary if it deemed necessary, due to safety concerns. Your Chief Experience Officer (CEO) will accompany you on all included activities. During your trip you will have some free time to pursue your own interests, relax and take it easy and explore at your leisure. While your CEO will assist you with options available in a given location, please note that any optional activities you undertake are not part of your itinerary, and we offer no representations about the safety of the activity or the standard of the operators running them. Please use your own good judgement when selecting an activity in your free time. Although the cities visited on tour are generally safe during the day, there can be risks to wandering throughout any major city at night. It is our recommendation to stay in small groups and to take taxis to and from restaurants, or during night time excursions.
Water based activities have an element of danger and excitement built into them. We recommend only participating in water based activities when accompanied by a guide(s). We make every reasonable effort to ensure the fun and adventurous element of any water based activities (in countries with varying degrees of operating standards), have a balanced approach to safety. It is our policy not to allow our CEOs to make arrangements on your behalf for water based activities that are not accompanied by guide(s).
Swimming, including snorkeling, is always at your own risk. Read more about travel safety for ways to further enhance your personal safety while traveling.
Our small group adventures bring together people of all ages. It is very important you are aware that an average level of fitness and mobility is required to undertake our easiest programs. Travellers must be able to walk without the aid of another person, climb 3-4 flights of stairs, step on and off small boats, and carry their own luggage at a minimum. Travellers with a pre-existing medical condition are required to complete a short medical questionnaire, which must be signed by their physician. This is to ensure that travellers have the necessary fitness and mobility to comfortably complete their chosen trip. While our leaders work hard to ensure that all our travellers are catered for equally, it is not their responsibility to help individuals who cannot complete the day’s activities unaided. Please refer to the physical ratings in this Trip Details document for more information.
Please note that all passengers traveling to Antarctica are required to fill out this questionnaire.
The medical questionnaire can be found online at www.gadventures.com/medical-form.
A Couple of Rules
Illegal drugs will not be tolerated on any trips. Possessing or using drugs not only contravenes the laws of the land but also puts the rest of the group at risk. Smoking marijuana and opium is a part of local culture in some parts of the world but is not acceptable for our travellers. Our philosophy of travel is one of respect towards everyone we encounter, and in particular the local people who make the world the special place it is. The exploitation of prostitutes is completely contrary to this philosophy. Our group leader has the right to expel any member of the group if drugs are found in their possession or if they use prostitutes.
Travel insurance is compulsory in order to participate on any of our trips. When travelling on a group trip, you will not be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance has been sighted by your leader, who will take note of your insurance details. When selecting a travel insurance policy we require that at a minimum you are covered for medical expenses including emergency evacuation and repatriation. A minimum coverage of USD200,000 is required. G Adventures can provide you with the appropriate coverage. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. Some tours include adventure activities that require extra coverage (e.g. crampon use); please review your itinerary and make sure that you are covered for all included activities. If you have credit card insurance we require proof of purchase of the trip (a receipt of credit card statement) with a credit card in your name. Contact your bank for details of their participating insurer, the level of coverage and emergency contact telephone number.
Planeterra-The G Adventures Foundation
The Planeterra Foundation planeterra.org is a Canadian non-profit organization that helps empower local people to develop their communities, conserve their cultures, and create humane and supportive systems for their endeavours. Planeterra provides capacity building and catalyst grants to get community social enterprises off the ground. These businesses address local challenges by providing benefits for indigenous people, empowering marginalized women, and granting disadvantaged youth access to education, employment, and brighter futures. Planeterra also works to ensure these businesses have a thriving customer base by integrating programs into G Adventures’ itineraries globally.
G Adventures is Planeterra’s largest corporate donor, covering all operating costs so 100% of your donation will bring opportunity to people in need.
G Adventures’ Dollar-a-Day Program provides travellers with the opportunity to give back to the people and places visited on our tours by donating one dollar for every day you are on trip. 100% of these donations go directly to support community development projects worldwide that are implemented by Planeterra.
After your travels, we want to hear from you! Your feedback information is so important to us that we’ll give you 5% off the price of your next G Adventures trip if your feedback is completed on-line within 30 days of finishing your trip. Your tour evaluation will be e-mailed to you 24 hours after the conclusion of your trip. If you do not receive the tour evaluation link in the days after your tour has finished, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we will send it on to you.
Our adventure travel e-newsletter is full of travel news, trip information, interesting stories and contests. To avoid missing out on special offers and updates from G Adventures, subscribe at www.gadventures.com/newsletters/
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You must be 18 to travel unaccompanied on a G Adventures tour. For minors travelling with a guardian over 21 years old, the minimum age is 12.
Check-in times and baggage allowances/restrictions vary by airline and can change at any time. For the most up-to-date information for your flight, please contact your airline. We recommend checking in online in advance to avoid potential delays at the airport.
Chief Experience Officer (CEO) throughout, local guides.
PRODUCT_LINE: NCVR, ID: 23065
Day 1 Vancouver
There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting.
Consider arriving a few days early to Vancouver to fully explore the city. There’s so much to do, and this tour departs the city on the morning of Day 2.
Arrival Day and Welcome Meeting
Day 2 Vancouver/Port Hardy
Take by public bus and ferry to Port Hardy. It’s a long day of travel, but enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.
Local bus (1.00-1.50 hours)
Take in the views or enjoy the café.
Ferry (1.75-2.00 hours)
Local bus (4.50-5.50 hours)
Day 3 Port Hardy/Prince Rupert
The ride is long, but spectacular. With a full day to relax, enjoy the scenery, read a book, or dine at the onboard restaurants.
Reach Prince Rupert, the last stop in Canada, late in the evening.
Due to ferry schedules, there may be layovers at certain stops along the route. If this occurs, your CEO will arrange to visit nearby local towns (time permitting).
Inside Passage Cruise
Day 4 Prince Rupert
Enjoy a free day to discover Prince Rupert. With incredible hikes and abundant wildlife, Prince Rupert is a great place to get outside and explore.
Day 5 Prince Rupert/Juneau
During the journey, keep your eyes peeled for wildlife and relax with a book, cards, or explore the ship.
On board all ferries for the journey the cabins we use are for two people, with an upper and lower bunk, sink area, and an outside facing window. Linens are provided. Public showers and bathrooms are available. There are food options available for purchase on board.
The ferries we use are local ferries that are part of the Alaska Marine Highway. Not a cruise ship, these vessels are used all summer long by locals heading up and down the coast. Travelling this way gives you the opportunity to experience this gorgeous coastline and get a local experience in relative comfort.
Ferry (29.00-30.00 hours)
Day 6 Juneau
Arrive in Juneau and spend time exploring the capital of Alaska. Don’t miss the historic downtown.
Days 7-8 Juneau
With plenty to do in the area, opt to visit the city, go kayaking, or enjoy some whale watching. If you’re after a cold one, opt to visit the Alaskan Brewing Company to try some local beer.
Day 9 Juneau/Seward
Fly from Juneau to Anchorage, an impressive flight over the great Alaska wilds. Continue to Seward with a scenic transfer, stopping at iconic spots along the way.
Plane (2.00 hour(s))
Local bus (3.00 hour(s))
Days 10-11 Seward
Enjoy a free day in Seward. Choose to hike to the Exit Glacier and visit the Sealife Center, or opt to stay closer to Seward and explore the city, take a short hike, or enjoy a boat cruise.
Day 11 Seward/Anchorage
There’s plenty of sunshine, even in the late evening to take in the scenery as we chug along the tracks.
Ride the Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic train. There are food and beverages available on board and all passengers have access to the Vista Dome car for the best views.
Local train (4.00-5.00 hours)
Day 12 Anchorage/Denali
Take the Alaska Railroad to Denali National Park, one of the true gems of the region. See Mt McKinley and enjoy being in this remote wilderness.
Ride Alaska Railroad’s Denali Star train.
Local train (7.00-8.00 hours)
Day 13 Denali National Park and Preserve
Denali National Park is known for its diversity of wildlife and Mt McKinley. Summer is when the animals are raising their young and preparing for migration, hibernation, or survival during the winter and, with a little luck, we witness it all.
Denali National Park Visit
Day 14 Denali/Anchorage
Head back to Anchorage by train for a final night in the city.
Travel back to Anchorage on the Denali Star.
Local train (7.00-8.00 hours)
Day 15 Anchorage
Depart at any time.