Breathtaking glacier lakes, rugged mountains, stunning waterfalls, fascinating geysers, tremendous slabs of ice breaking off and “calving” into the sea, and the “big sky”—these and much more wait for you on this National Parks tour with an Alaska cruise. Your tour starts in Salt Lake City, ends in Seattle, and overnights along the way in Jackson, West Yellowstone, Helena, Kalispell, Spokane, and aboard Holland America’s MS Eurodam. Visit Yellowstone National Park, where you’ll view the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and stand in awe as you hear the roar of the water and view the glorious falls of Yellowstone’s impressive Upper and Lower Falls. Witness Old Faithful Geyser as it explodes into the air and admire the herds of bison, elk, and other wildlife as you travel the park. On your Alaska cruise, visit Juneau, Sitka, Ketchikan, and Victoria. A highlight of this western National Parks tour is your ride on the vintage Red Jammer bus in Glacier National Park, with its pristine forests, jagged mountains, alpine meadows, and gorgeous lakes. You’ll drive along the Going-to-the-Sun Road, one of North America’s most spectacular roadways. Hugging the mountainside, witness stunning scenery along the way. This National Parks tour also includes sightseeing in Seattle, and a stop at the National Bison Range with a chance to watch for bison, elk, antelope, and mountain sheep. Scenic drives will let you discover why Montana is called Big Sky Country. For the value-minded traveler, this tour is a dream vacation!
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SALT LAKE CITYOrientation tourJACKSONVisit the Wild West townYELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARKSightseeing; visit the Canyon Earthquake Lake Visitors CenterMISSOULAGuided tour of the Smokejumper Visitor Center; visit the National Bison RangeGLACIER NATIONAL PARKTravel along Going-to-the-Sun Road in Red Jammer busesWALLACEGuided tour of a silver mineSEATTLESightseeing; visit Pike Place MarketHOLLAND AMERICA CRUISE7 night Inside Passage Cruise on the MS EurodamGuides:
PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTORNotes:
Holland America’s MS Eurodam; private, deluxe, air-conditioned motorcoach while touring with free Wi-Fi.
8 breakfast, 4 continental breakfasts, 6 lunches, 7 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
SALT LAKE CITY. Welcome to Salt Lake City! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
SALT LAKE CITY–JACKSON. Salt Lake City is the center of the Mormon religion, where Brigham Young declared to his followers, “This is the place.” Our orientation tour will show you the best of the vibrant capital of Utah, including Temple Square with its impressive six-spired temple and adjacent tabernacle. Continue north to the Wild West town of Jackson with its wooden sidewalks and swing-door saloons. Free time to explore the shops and museums of historic downtown.
JACKSON–WEST YELLOWSTONE. This morning, make your way into America’s first national park, YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Spend the next two nights in West Yellowstone, the west entrance and gateway community to the national park.
WEST YELLOWSTONE. DAY EXCURSION TO YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK. Today, you will see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone with its Upper and Lower Falls. Watch for herds of bison, and view many of Yellowstone’s geothermal sites, including Old Faithful Geyser.
WEST YELLOWSTONE–VIRGINIA CITY–HELENA. Today, we continue through Montana’s Big Sky Country. Travel past bison, see bighorn sheep and elk habitat, and take in views of Hebgen Lake with its crystal-blue water and picture–perfect mountain backdrop. Marvel at the forces of nature unleashed at Quake Lake and visit the CANYON EARTHQUAKE LAKE VISITORS CENTER, where the results of a 7.4-magnitude earthquake and the ghostly shadows of the trees and cabins in the bottom of the lake are visible below the enormous rockslide. Finally, drive through the incredible Madison River valley, where “big sky” comes to life and you will discover the well preserved Victorian mining town of Virginia City, once the territory capitol. Overnight in Helena, “Queen City of the Rockies.”
HELENA–MISSOULA–KALISPELL. Today, we make our way to Missoula, a major lumber center and home of the U.S. Forest Service and the Smokejumpers’ training center. Visit the SMOKEJUMPER Visitor Center for an in-depth guided tour of the jump base and working facility of the smokejumpers. Learn about the jump gear, parachutes, cargo and aircraft used by the brave men and women in this demanding occupation. Stop by the VISITOR CENTER at the 18,450-acre National Bison Range, and watch for bison, elk, antelope, and mountain sheep. Continue along the shores of Flathead Lake, lined with cherry orchards and one of America’s largest freshwater lakes.
KALISPELL–GLACIER NATIONAL PARK–GOING-TO-THE-SUN ROAD–KALISPELL. Upon entering GLACIER NATIONAL PARK, board the famous vintage RED JAMMER BUSES that will take you along one of North America’s most spectacular highways: Going-to-the-Sun Road. After crossing 6,664-foot-high Logan Pass, enter a geographical wonderland of alpine scenery, where jagged peaks, deep-green forests, pristine lakes, and meadows dominate the landscape. NOTE:The visit to Logan Pass is normally possible from mid-June to mid-September. If unable to travel to Logan Pass, alternative sightseeing on the Red Jammer buses will be done.
KALISPELL–WALLACE–SPOKANE. This morning visit Wallace, Idaho and tour the SIERRA SILVER MINE, where you travel underground with an experienced miner and learn the history of mining in this region. There’s time to explore this small historic city before continuing to Spokane, Washington, for the night.
SPOKANE–SEATTLE. This morning, we make our way to Seattle, the “Emerald City.” This afternoon’s sightseeing includes the Seattle Center, site of the 1962 World Fair and the 605-foot-high Space Needle, and a stop at the colorful Pike Place Market.
SEATTLE (EMBARKATION). Embark your cruise ship the MS Eurodam. (CB,D)
CRUISING: AT SEA. A relaxing day at sea provides time to explore the ship’s many amenities. (B,L,D)
JUNEAU. Accessible only by air and water, history, Native culture, wildlife, and nature come to life here. Shop for gold nuggets, saunter through the swinging doors at the Red Dog Saloon, or visit mighty Mendenhall Glacier. (B,L,D)
SCENIC CRUISING: GLACIER BAY. This incredible Biosphere Reserve protects a unique ecosystem, hosting an amazing spectacle as tremendous slabs of ice break off and “calve” into the sea. (B,L,D)
SITKA. Charming Sitka was capital of Russian America for 100 years. Catch a performance by the New Archangel Dancers, meet Native Tlingit people, and see where the U.S. took possession of Alaska. (B,L,D)
KETCHIKAN. Hugging the shores of the Tongass Narrows, this self-proclaimed “Salmon Capital of the World” boasts the largest totem collection on the planet and a former red-light district-turned art district on historic Creek Street. (B,L,D)
VICTORIA. A touch of England awaits in Victoria: Afternoon Tea at the grandiose Empress Hotel, double-decker buses, and the world-famous Butchart Gardens—a brilliant tapestry of colors spread over 50 blooming acres. (B,L,D)
SEATTLE (DISEMBARKATION). Your cruise ends this morning. Please schedule flights after Noon.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 10 years
"The Western United States' national parks have some of the most spectacular scenery on the planet, and provide experiences and memories that last a lifetime. Where else can you see wild animals roam free among natural wonders and stunning canyons? It's my great honor to introduce travelers to these beautiful places as I tell the little-known facts and stories that bring each destination to life."