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Canadian National Parks Family Adventure

Valid for all trips departing January 1st, 2013 - December 31st, 2013 Last Updated:
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Introduction

Collectively, the national parks of Canada’s great western frontier are a massive all-natural amusement park (minus the bad fair food, of course). This 8-day stint will get your family nice and familiar with this majestic land as you hike, raft and horseback ride across it. Check out the curious hoodoo rock formations in Banff, hike Jasper’s gorgeous canyons, visit the Grizzly Bear Reserve in Kicking Horse and marvel at the splendour of nature in Kananaskis. Experience quintessential Canada; true, strong and free.

  • Visit some of Canada's most impressive scenery
  • Enjoy the hoodoo rock formations and views around Banff
  • Raft on clear blue rivers
  • Hike in beautiful
  • Unspoilt scenery
Duration: 8 days
Start/Finish City: Calgary to Calgary
Service Level: Upgraded
  • All the adventure you want, with a softer landing
  • Handpicked, character-rich accommodations with upgraded amenities services
  • Upgraded and private transport, including flights to maximize time
  • More included meals, activities and transfers
Physical Grading: 4
You might encounter a few high-altitude hikes or other more strenuous activities. Pro tip: Put down that pastry, buster.
Travel Style: Family
Trips built for adventurers of all ages

Just because you’ve settled down and had kids doesn't mean your adventuring days are through. Family trips explore exciting locales — Tanzania, Thailand, the Galápagos, Europe and more — with age-appropriate activities and hotels that know how to cater to families on the move.

Trip Type: Small Group
Group trips average 12 travellers per departure, depending on the adventure. The maximum is usually no more than 16, but some can be smaller or bigger, depending on the trip. Check individual trips for details.

Itinerary

Route map for Canadian National Parks Family Adventure (NCFA)

Day 1 Calgary

Arrive in Calgary at any time, and transfer to your hotel. The easiest way to get from the airport is the Airport Shuttle. Full details can be found in the Joining Instructions section of the Trip Details. Once you arrive into your hotel, the rest of the day is free to explore. In the evening we have time for an optional local dinner, to get to know our fellow families better.

Day 2 Banff (1B,1L)

After a short drive to Banff, we are out in the Canadian Rockies. A great way to start here is with a hike at Tunnel Mountain. Known to the Stoney people as 'Sleeping Buffalo' for its appearance, a hike here will give a good introduction to the views across the area. After the hike, we explore the Hoodoos and wildlife around Lake Minnewanka and the Banff area.

We return to Banff for the evening.

Day 3 Banff (1B)

The morning has been left free for you to explore the options available in Banff. Visit to the hot springs will help you to relax, or perhaps take the gondola to the summit of Sulphur Mountain.

In the afternoon, you take part of a rafting trip on the scenic Kananaskis River. This Family trip will take you at the base of the Canadian Rocky Mountain Range on an exciting whitewater adventure (grade 2-3).

Day 4 Jasper (1B,1L)

This morning we take a hike in Johnston Canyon, following catwalks along the side of the rocks, with viewpoints over the falls and the river below. We then follow the Icefield Parkway, one of the most distinctive roads in Canada. Winding its way through the Rockies, the scenery along the road between Banff and Jasper is simply beautiful. We board a Snowcoach tour to explore the huge Columbia Icefield where you will also have the chance to step off and stand on the glacier. Continue toward Jasper, we stop along the way at Peyto Lake, and Athabasca Falls. The 30 metre Falls are an impressive sight along the way.

We arrive into Jasper where we spend the night.

Day 5 Jasper (1B)

Jasper is surrounded by mountains, clear blue lakes, and green pine forest. Hike this morning in Maligne Canyon, where the river flows in great torrents through this impressive view. In the afternoon head for the deep blue Maligne Lake for a walk. Take an optional cruise on Maligne Canyon, horse ride in Jasper National Park, or try rafting on the Athabasca River.

Return to Jasper for the evening.

Day 6 Lake Louise (1B,1L)

Returning along the Icefield Parkway today, on the way to Lake Louise. We visit the Grizzly Reserve at Kicking Horse Mountain. The largest enclosed bear habitat in the world, the refuge is a great way to see grizzly bears in an environment similar to their own. A unique and educational experience that will be enriching for all the family.

We continue to Lake Louise, making a stop at the 250 metre high Takakkaw Falls in Yoho National Park before we arrive.

Day 7 Kananaskis (1B,1D)

Lake Louise has some of the best hiking in Alberta, so we spend this morning walking around the aquamarine waters of the lake. We may follow the quiet Lakeshore trail, in the shadow of the chateau that dominates the skyline of the lake, and past great peaks. Another option would be to take the Lake Agnes Trail, taking us up through the trees, where we can stop at the refuge for a cup of tea before heading back to Lake Louise.

In the afternoon we visit Moraine Lake, where we will see a classic view of the Canadian Rockies before heading to Kananaskis for our farewell dinner.

Day 8 Calgary (1B)

This morning, you could enjoy a walk or hike in one of the Kananaskis Parks. Other options would be optional bike or canoe rental, horse ride or helicopter scenic flight over the mountains. We return to Calgary this afternoon, where the trip ends and we bid farewell to our new family!

Dossier Disclaimer

The information in this trip details document has been compiled with care and is provided in good faith. However it is subject to change, and does not form part of the contract between the client and the operator. The itinerary featured is correct at time of printing. It may differ slightly to the one in the brochure. Occasionally our itineraries change as we make improvements that stem from past travellers, comments and our own research. Sometimes it can be a small change like adding an extra meal along the itinerary. Sometimes the change may result in us altering the tour for the coming year. Ultimately, our goal is to provide you with the most rewarding experience. Please note that our brochure is usually released in November each year. If you have booked from the previous brochure you may find there have been some changes to the itinerary.

VERY IMPORTANT: Please ensure that you print a final copy of your Trip Details to review a couple of days prior to travel, in case there have been changes that affect your plans.

Itinerary Disclaimer

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.

Group Size Notes

Max 20, avg 12

Solo Travellers

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.

About Accommodation

Accommodation for family trips has been chosen to give the best location and facilities for your family. They may vary depending on the location and destination, but designed to give the most comfortable experience while travelling.

You and your family will generally be sharing rooms on a twin or triple share basis. These rooms will be either adjoining or located at close proximity to each other.

Families will be roomed together and not with other families everywhere we stay. If you have any special hotel requests at the time of booking, let us know and we will do what we can to accommodate them.

Spending Money

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.

Emergency Fund

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!

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.

Medical Form

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

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. 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

Planeterra is G Adventures’ non-profit foundation created to make a positive difference in the communities where G Adventures takes travellers. Planeterra supports sustainable social and environmental solutions in destinations travellers love to visit.

As travellers, it’s natural to want to give back to the places we’ve come to love. But to truly impact poverty, we work to build self-sufficiency, not dependency.

Planeterra partners with grassroots organizations with firsthand knowledge of local culture and true community needs. This ensures that solutions come from the people we support. Then G Adventures brings travellers to visit, fuelling sustainable local income in these communities. This model is helping many rural and marginalized communities on their way to self-sufficiency because they are harnessing the power of the tourism industry as a force for good. G Adventures matches all individual donations and pays all administration costs, which means that 100% of each donation is doubled and goes directly to support our projects. For more information about Planeterra and the projects we support, or to make a donation, please visit planeterra.org.

MAKE EVERY DAY COUNT
Fifty percent of our planet lives on less than $2/day. For the price of a coffee, you can make every day of your trip count by giving back to the communities you visit through Planeterra.

To participate in this program please indicate at the time of booking that you would like to participate in G Adventures’ Dollar-A-Day program, either by clicking the check box online, or by advising your G Adventures specialist or travel agent. (Note: Donation will be charged in the currency of your booking).

Feedback

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 customerservice@gadventures.com and we will send it on to you.

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Travel Forum - The Watering Hole

Be sure to stop by The Watering Hole, our adventure travel forum. If you're interested in meeting others booked on your upcoming trip, check out the Departure Lounge section of our forum and introduce yourself. Otherwise, just drop in at anytime to share some travel tips, ask questions, meet other travellers and quench your thirst for travel. Our forum is located at wateringhole.gadventures.com.

Minimum Age

Minimum age of 8 years for this trip. Please see the activities for any specific minimum age requirements.


This trip is recommended for children aged 8-11 years old.