With APT and Phil Hoffmann Travel, experience the majesty of Canada in Vancouver, Victoria, Banff, Jasper and Lake Louise coupled with a memorable journey aboard the Rocky Mountaineer where you’ll experience award-winning Gold Leaf Service. You’ll then cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage in sublime style onboard Holland America Line’s five-star cruise liners. Cruise through island-dotted sounds, glacier-cut fjords, see rugged mountains and tumbling waterfalls. Discover Ketchikan, the salmon capital of the world, spectacular Juneau, which is set in a narrow fjord, Skagway and Glacier Bay National Park.
Enjoy a visit in September and you’re in for all kinds of wonderful surprises.
See Mother Nature attired in her autumn best. Under the canvas of a cornflower blue sky, September is further from the madding crowds of July and August, heralding a cool down and the perfect temperature for hiking or strolling through parks or crunching through the spectacular orange, sage and red carpets of fall foliage.
Turquoise lakes shimmer and Butchart Gardens in Victoria is blooming with a riot of colour. The roses give South Oz a run for their money!
Ice carving is more prolific at the glacier parks thanks to the toastier weather, and the Toblerone-shaped peaks shimmer with a dusting of snow.
Elk rutting season brings out all the males with their big antlers and their mating call.
Is there a bear there? There sure is! The roadside berries are ripe so the bears are out and about, fattening themselves up for the big winter sleep. And, the rivers run Jaffa orange with salmon and their spawn providing an irresistible (teddy) bear’s picnic at locations such as Creek Street in Ketchikan.
Beyond Ketchikan, there’s a shore excursion to a working salmon hatchery at Neets Bay aboard a small float plane (book it aboard your cruise). While brown bears are creatures of the wild, it’s here they put on quite a display in September. Just like John West commercial, they select with one paw swipe, the best and juiciest salmon to devour in one combination chew/gulp. Only the bones of the hapless salmon appear to see daylight again!
At Juneau, near the Athabasca Glacier, bears can also be seen gorging on salmon.
And, beyond nature, there are the sales. Shops are awash with late summer sales and Alaskan ports of call offer breathtaking bargains of the must-buy kind.
Come to Canada and Alaska in September, but don’t just experience a slice of heaven. Come and enjoy a jolly great chunk.
By Melanie Wynne