2012 Canadian Rockies by Rail


  • Truly a Finesse West Classic, this will be our 16th bridge vacation to the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. On tour, in an area that is the perfect blend of beautiful and breathtaking natural scenery, we'll scout for deer, elk, bighorn sheep, bear and (if we're really lucky) moose. We'll also explore the metropolitan cities of Calgary, Victoria and Vancouver and ride the world-famous Rocky Mountaineer railroad. Plus, we will be honored guests at bridge clubs throughout the provinces of Alberta and British Columbia for dinner and bridge. Come join the biggest moving land bridge party on the North American continent in August of 2012!

    Dates: August 17 to 28, 2012 - 12 days
    Cost: $4,396.00 USD

    Tour Schedule
    Day 1 Arrive Calgary
      Fly from your home city to the high-spirited, Wild West town of Calgary, site of the 1988 Winter Olympics and home of the Calgary Stampede. This evening, get acquainted with your host, Fred Theurkauf, and other tour participants at a special "Welcome to Canada" dinner at our hotel.
    Hotel: Hyatt Regency Hotel
    Meal(s): , Dinner
    Day 2 Calgary

    Enjoy breakfast atop Calgary Tower
    Our first introduction to Calgary begins with breakfast high atop the Calgary Tower, followed by a guided tour of the city. Founded in 1875 by the Northwest Mounted Police as a protected fort for westward-bound travelers, Calgary is now a center for Canada’s oil and cattle industries as well as an internationally recognized winter sports site. Today, we’ll visit Fort Calgary, Olympic Park, and the Saddledome.
    Hotel: Hyatt Regency Hotel
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     Brenda Bertrand and Maureen Bailey have made special plans for Calgary bridge playes to join with us for a buffet style dinner followed by our first session of duplicate bridge in Canada.
    Day 3 Calgary - Banff

    Peyto Lake viewed from our lookout point
    We board our motor coach for a short ride to Banff, world-famous alpine resort nestled in the Rocky Mountains. Upon arrival, our guide takes us on a tour of the Banff townsite and its magnificent local natural scenery. We'll take a spectacular gondola ride to the top of Sulfur Mountain to enjoy the view of the Rockies surrounding this beautiful Bow River Valley.
    Hotel: Banff Caribou Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast

     Finesse West Tours has invited Banff & Canmore players to join us for an evening of social duplicate bridge in Banff National Park.
    Day 4 Banff

    Lunch at Chateau Lake Louise with stunning
    views of the lake and the Victoria Glacier
    We'll tour Yoho National Park and the famous lakes of the region today, enjoying vista upon vista of craggy icebound peaks, brilliant emerald lakes, and pristine forests unfolding before us. The day’s highlight will be a stop at stunning Lake Louise where we'll lunch at the world famous Chateau Lake Louise.
    Hotel: Banff Caribou Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch
    Day 5 Banff - Jasper

    Visit the Athabasca glacier via SnoCoach
    This is a day we’ll never forget! We’ll travel along the Continental Divide via the awesome Icefields Parkway. Looming over the mountain lakes, huge icefields and glaciers shimmer and glow in white and blue hues. Spirits will soar when we stop for an exhilarating "Sno-Coach" ride across the mighty Athabasca Glacier.
    Hotel: The Sawridge Inn
    Meal(s): Breakfast
    Day 6 Jasper

    Enjoy a cruise on Maligne Lake
    Jasper National Park is a fairy-tale mountain retreat with untamed wildlife and scenery beyond compare. There’s golfing, fishing, hiking and hot springs. Our Canadian guide takes us on a tour of Jasper’s townsite along with a slow, peaceful walk at serene Pyramid Lake. Later, we venture to Maligne Lake for a boat cruise to Spirit Island on this pearl of the Rockies.
    Hotel: The Sawridge Inn
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     Surprise event tonight at our hotel. Be prepared for bridge fun and games, directed (so to speak) by our own Fred Theurkauf.
    Day 7 Jasper - Kamloops

    Cross the Rockies on the 'Mountaineer'
    "The finest way, bar none, to experience the Rockies," wrote one rail passenger about the trip we’re about to take. We board the "Mountaineer" this morning for a spectacular journey through some of the most stunning landscape in the world, gliding past glacier-capped peaks, plunging canyons, and verdant highland meadows, we can scan the timberline for bighorn sheep and perhaps even a bear or two. Tonight we stop in Kamloops by the Thompson River, a one-time hub for fur traders in the western provinces.
    Hotel: Kamloops Town Lodge
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

     Tonight the bridge players of Kamloops and the surrounding areas have planned a buffet dinner along with an evening of duplicate bridge just for our visit.
    Day 8 Kamloops - Vancouver
      We rejoin the "Mountaineer" and again recline in the super comfort of our wide-windowed Dayniter to continue our way through untamed wilderness of the great north woods, watching the mountains, canyons and waterfalls slip by us. Early evening, we arrive in Vancouver, Canada’s vivacious west coast center. The evening is free to dine at one of the city’s many fine restaurants.
    Hotel: Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch
    Day 9 Victoria

    Explore Victoria’s Butchart Gardens
    This morning we'll depart for Tsawwassen Station to board our B.C. Ferry for a cruise to Vancouver Island. We’ll spend the day sightseeing in Victoria, a city of castles and gardens, of totems and English traditions. Victoria’s Parliament Building and Empress Hotel are pictures of old-world elegance. We’ll visit the world-famous Butchart Gardens - a flower lover's dream come true. Following our visit to the gardens, it's a short drive to meet our B.C. Ferry return cruise through the endless evergreen islands to Vancouver.
    Hotel: Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

     Debbie Wastle & Loren Leader, owners of bridge clubs in Victoria, have invited us to join local Victorian bridge players for a light lunch followed by a special Sectional-rated event here on Vancouver Island. Wear your best English manners this afternoon.
    Day 10 Vancouver
      Today our guide shows us sophisticated Vancouver located in a spectacular natural setting and surrounded by water on three sides. First, we'll stop in the urban rainforests of lush Stanley Park with its towering redwoods and a photo opportunity at Prospect Point overlooking Lions Gate Bridge and the famous North Shore. Then it's on to the many enclaves of this vibrant city. We won't miss Chinatown, Japantown, famous Gastown in the historic district, and finally the rare boutiques, open markets and restaurants of Granville Island. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure before a busy night with local players.
    Hotel: Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     Tonight we are honored guests of the owners of the Vancouver Bridge Center. We’ll dress up a bit as local players join us for a most social evening of dinner and bridge.
    Day 11 Vancouver
      This morning you are free to relax or sightsee and shop in downtown Vancouver, all in close proximity to our super boutique hotel. Tonight's grand Farewell Dinner will be a lively finale to a great vacation. We will recount the events of our trip and toast our many new friends.
    Hotel: Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver
    Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

     The Vancouver Bridge Centre has invited us to join their regular game of duplicate this afternoon. Join with local Canadians one last time.
    Day 12 Vancouver - Depart
      After breakfast, transfer to Vancouver International Airport for your flight home.
    Meal(s): Breakfast

    Your 12-Day Package Includes

     2-day first-class rail transportation via the "Rocky Mountaineer."

     Twin or double bedded deluxe & first-class hotel accommodations throughout.

     First-class air-conditioned motor coach transportation.

     21 meals - 11 Full American Breakfasts (B), 4 Lunches (L), and 6 Dinners (D).

     Professional tour guides throughout; all activity & National Park entry fees included.

     Airport transfers, porterage, and hotel service charges.

     6 bridge sessions, including games with local players in Calgary, Banff, Kamloops, Victoria and Vancouver.

    Click here for a full-color brochure.