Northern Lights and Winter Rockies

from £1253
excluding flights *
9 nights Dec-Apr

Overview

Combine a 3-night stay in search of the aurora borealis at Fort McMurray - one of the best places in Canada to view this natural phenomenon - with a leisurely exploration of the Canadian Rockies. Offering great chances of seeing the northern lights as well as visiting Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise, this itinerary offers the very best of winter in Alberta!

Highlights

  • Witness the northern lights from a designated viewing site
  • Expert photography and astronomy instruction
  • Guided snow-shoeing excursion to Paint Pots
  • Ice walk at Jasper’s Maligne Canyon
  • Evening sleigh ride at Lake Louise

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Express coach from Calgary through The Rockies
  • Snowshoeing at Paint Pots (16 Nov - 21 Apr)
  • Maligne Canyon Ice Walk (15 Dec - 30 Mar)

Full description

Northern Alberta’s Fort McMurray is renowned for reliable northern lights activity. Situated 450 km north of Edmonton and under the southern edge of the auroral oval, during your 3-night stay in Fort McMurray your time will be focused on aurora hunting with nightly visits to the designated viewing site. Here a local astronomy expert will be on hand with information on the aurora borealis and the constellations that can be seen from Fort McMurray, as well as a professional photographer who will provide assistance with camera instructions and lessons on taking aurora and dark sky images. During the days your time is at leisure to relax or to enjoy your choice of optional excursions that explore the surrounding spectacular northern wilderness.

Following your stay in the north, fly to Calgary for an independent, scheduled-coach tour through the incredible snow-covered mountain scenery of the Canadian Rockies. On this tour you’ll explore by snowshoe the Paint Pots as well as discover the frozen Maligne Canyon’s ice-clad limestone walls on an Ice Walk. On days when the Ice Walk isn’t possible you’ll take a guided Wildlife Tour, exploring the lower valleys’ dramatic backdrop for the elk, deer and wolves that are present here in winter. You’ll wrap up your holiday at Lake Louise, where you’ll enjoy an evening horse-drawn sleigh ride in picture-postcard surroundings, before enjoying a day at leisure to explore.

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Prices & Dates *

Airfares start from around £550 per person and are quoted separately to the holiday price. When enquiring, our Travel Specialists will provide the best fare possible from your preferred airline / airport.

From prices per person based on 2 sharing a room with private bathroom

Departure Duration Accommodation Twin Price (pp)
14 Dec 2018 9 nights Standard £1,298
21 Dec 2018 9 nights Standard £1,419
04, 25 Jan 2019 9 nights Standard £1,253
01, 15 Feb 2019 9 nights Standard £1,271
15 Mar 2019 9 nights Standard £1,271
05 Apr 2019 9 nights Standard £1,271
14 Dec 2018 9 nights Superior £1,339
21 Dec 2018 9 nights Superior £1,502
04 Jan 2019 9 nights Superior £1,421
25 Jan 2019 9 nights Superior £1,366
01 Feb 2019 9 nights Superior £1,366
15 Feb 2019 9 nights Superior £1,394
15 Mar 2019 9 nights Superior £1,394
05 Apr 2019 9 nights Superior £1,394
14 Dec 2018 9 nights Deluxe £1,566
21 Dec 2018 9 nights Deluxe £2,281
04, 25 Jan 2019 9 nights Deluxe £1,637
01, 15 Feb 2019 9 nights Deluxe £1,705
15 Mar 2019 9 nights Deluxe £1,705
05 Apr 2019 9 nights Deluxe £1,705

What's Included

  • Accommodation in rooms with private bathroom
  • Scheduled express coach from Calgary through the Rockies as per itinerary
  • 3 nights in search of the aurora with an expert astronomer & photographer
  • Snowshoeing at Paint Pots (16 Nov - 21 Apr)
  • Maligne Canyon Ice Walk (15 Dec - 30 Mar; or Wildlife Tour on days when Ice Walk not possible)
  • National park fees
  • Return airport transfers in Fort McMurray
  • Travel documentation including detailed itinerary and vouchers
  • 24 hour emergency assistance from our team during your holiday
  • No surcharge guarantee

Itinerary & Accommodation

Itinerary & Accommodation

Day 1: Fort McMurray

Arrive Fort McMurray and transfer (included) to your hotel. The balance of the day is at leisure. This evening transfer to the aurora viewing site for some memorable night-sky watching. After the aurora viewing you will be transferred back to your hotel.

Days 2-3: Fort McMurray

Days at leisure to enjoy the many optional winter activities that Fort McMurray has to offer. Optional day tours can be booked in advance - these include a guided city tour of Fort McMurray and guided oil sands tour. Each evening you will be transferred to the viewing building for night-sky watching, and, conditions permitting, aurora viewing. A professional photographer will be on-site to provide camera instructions and lessons on how to take aurora / dark sky photos. Or join the aurora and star interpretive presentation given by a professional astronomer on site. Complimentary snowshoeing and Boreal Forest interpretive walk are available during aurora viewings.

Day 4: Fort McMurray - Calgary - Banff (flight not included)

This morning your aurora viewing experience ends with an included transfer to Fort McMurray airport. Fly to Calgary (flight not included), where you will board an express coach to the vibrant resort town of Banff, in the heart of the Canadian Rockies.

Day 5: Banff

This morning is free to relax or explore the magical winter wonderland of Banff. This afternoon take a leisurely snowshoe tour winding through a forest of pine trees to the Paint Pots, a cultural treasure within the national park. Along the way you will hear stories of Banff's indigenous people, explorers and fur traders who lived and travelled through the Rockies. Afterwards enjoy a uniquely Canadian treat - hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen dessert.

Day 6: Banff - Jasper

Travel north along the Icefield Parkway to Jasper today. This spectacular drive through glacier country will be highlighted by massive snow covered mountains, frozen waterfalls and broad reaching valleys.

Day 7: Jasper

An opportunity to view the wonders of Maligne Canyon from the ground up! The canyon has withstood 10,000 years of erosion and has created a 50m gorge. Certified guides will lead groups of no more than 12 along the frozen canyon floor and its ice-clad limestone walls. Super soles and winter boots will keep you warm and secure as they explore this wonderland of rock and ice.

Day 8: Jasper - Lake Louise

Return south to spectacular Lake Louise. Included this evening is a wonderful 40 minute Sleigh Ride that takes place beside the lake.

Day 9: Lake Louise

Lake Louise is the most famous glacial lake in the Canadian Rockies and one of the most beautiful in the Western Hemisphere. The lake, named for the Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, daughter of Queen Victoria, is 1,730 metres (5,680 feet) above sea level. Spend the day at leisure exploring Lake Louise.

Day 10: Lake Louise - Calgary

Depart the Rocky Mountains for the Great Central Plains and your onward journey from Calgary Airport.

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