Rockies tours recommendation from Vancouver

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#1
Williams Western Australia
254 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Gday
We will be visting Vancouver in 2019 where we will embark on an Azamara 10 day cruise. Very excited to be visiting this part of the world. The cruise also ends in Vancouver.
Either before or after our cruise we would like to do a tour of the Rockies - Whistler, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper ect. We would like to do a more casual, small group tour, that's not high end, maybe stay in hostels or camping areas or more budget accommodation, no more than 7 - 10 days, you know like a Contiki expect for 50 year olds.... I know that I'm not going to get everthing i want, but i was hoping some fellow CCs have some recommendations for smaller tour groups or for busing and organising hostels/hotels ourselves & any other helpful hints for a couple of young at heart (if not body) experienced traveling Aussies, trying to make our budget stretch further.
Also please let me know what you think is the best location/s to stay in Vancouver which will give us a great introduction to the city and for sightseeing.
Thanks for any help you might be able to give
Cheers
#2
Calgary, AB Canada
2,486 Posts
Joined Mar 2001
Suggest you check out the forums on Trip Advisor as this subject is covered extensively. 7-10 days is not a lot of time to do a round trip from Vancouver to the Rockies and back again. You should consider flying from Vancouver to Calgary and driving yourself from there.


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#3
YVR & PDX
3,830 Posts
Joined Jul 2010
^+1 - either flying into Calgary at the beginning of your trip, or out of there at the end, would be a much more efficient use of your time. We've only done self-drive so cannot recommend any tours, but you'll likely find much more info on the TA forums than here since this is cruise-focused and very few cruisers have the time to add on a week+ Rockies tour.

I'll give you one useful hint right off the bat though - Whistler isn't even close to the Rockies. Whistler is in the Pacific Range, part of the Coast Mountains. Depending on your route you may have to cross yet another range (the Cascades) before you hit the Rockies. Driving between all the places you list is quite feasible to put together - while Google thinks it would be <16 hours total driving, I'd allow for 20-24hrs as you will inevitably be slowed by tourists in RVs that are very hard to overtake (and as tourists yourselves there are MANY potential stops at viewpoints and scary-looking bits of road you'll probably not be able to maintain the listed speed limit on).

Edit - almost forgot. If you're in Calgary it should be a criminal offence NOT to visit the Badlands, especially the absolutely outstanding Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller. Jurassic Park meets cowboy country!
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#4
Vancouver native, volunteer extraordinaire and addicted to cruising
8,062 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
In Banff - check out the Banff YWCA Hotel:

http://ywcabanff.ca/hotel/

It is my preferred place to stay when in Banff and unlike the HI hostel it is very close to all the action on Banff Ave and all the restaurants etc.

Hope this helps.

Cheers!

Dennis
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#5
Vancouver native, volunteer extraordinaire and addicted to cruising
8,062 Posts
Joined Jan 2004
As for Vancouver you will want to stay in the downtown core and the pricing is on the high side but one place that is regularly recommended by Martincath is the YWCA hotel - here's a link:

https://ywcavan.org/hotel

Hope this helps!

Cheers!

Dennis

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#6
YVR & PDX
3,830 Posts
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Just as well you're here to pick up the slack Dennis - totes missed the Vancouver hotel part of OPs post! And yes, if I'd been paying more attention I'd definitely have pointed them at YWCA Hotel.

Re-reading more carefully, I should also have mentioned VIA Rail and Greyhound for ad hoc rather than tour group travel between some or all of these locations - and Epic Rides for a cheap Whistler shuttle from Vancouver...
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#7
Williams Western Australia
254 Posts
Joined Dec 2012
Mŕrtincarth, Urban Treckr & cruiseryyc

Thank you for your thoughts - i will check out the Ymcas', Badlands, Greyhound buses & TA (again) that you all recommended.
I hadn't thought of Vancouver to Calgary (or vv) but will research that as well.
Much appreciated