Canada & the Rockies » Review by Matt
What can I say? I really cannot describe how amazing and breathtaking this tour is! You will see some of the most amazing picturesque sites of your life.
Firstly let me start out and say this tour is nothing like the Contiki tours where the focus is the drinking and partying, you literally don't want to spend any part of your coach drives hungover and asleep, especially the drive from Whistler to Kamloops which is one of the windiest roads in the world!
Moving onto the tour guide and driver. Our driver was Darren who drove us in our brand new coach fitted with individual power sockets and multiple monitors which displayed the drivers view of the road from a dashcam. Darren was courteous and a superstar at his role. He always partied with us where he could and is generally an all round great guy!
Our guide was Jen, who is just an absolute star at what she does and goes above and beyond anyone's expectations of a tour guide! Our tour proved particularly tough for both Darren and Jen who faced a massive setback in our tour due to flooding and mudslides around Banff which prevented the tour from stopping there. Jen worked so hard to organise alternative plans for our group and worked her butt off for our group! I cannot describe how much her drive and motivation really turned a terrible situation into something unique and spectacular.
Jen and Darren work extremely well together, so if you are lucky to complete your tour with these two then I can assure you that you will be taken care of and you'll be in for a great time.
Moving onto the optional extras. I highly recommend that everyone completes the zip lining adventure... I am someone who is absolutely of terrified of heights but this experience is like no other. You will not regret it! Secondly you have to do the boat cruise on the final night of Contiki! Not only should this be on your not negotiable list but you shouldn't even need to think twice! You HAVE to do it! Unfortunately we were unable to complete the helicopter tour due to the flooding, however, if you can afford this, then you have to do it too.
Onto accommodation. Firstly, it's Contiki so don't expect the Hilton or Sheraton because you ain't gonna get it! But overall most hotels rate highly based purely on location and service! Whistler and Jasper top my list as one of my favourite hotels on the tour. They are both so different but are so unique so I'm sure you'll love them too! Jasper is a very homely hotel with a gaming room (slot machines) and an attached bar (where you'll experience the Contiki shot, known as a beaver liquor). Luckily all hotels included wifi free of charge, however don't expect anything remotely fast as it can be painfully slow!
Finally this tour has a diverse range of ages, unlike my previous Contiki which was 90% under 25, this Contiki has a vast range of age groups which can be challenging as it creates a separation in the group. I also understand that my tour had some guests aged over 35, so I'd hope that in future they'd be a little more thorough in their acceptance of guests to prevent group divides. However, this group was full of party animals and everyone seemed to mix and get along fine!
Overall I strongly recommend this tour to anyone looking to experience some of the most amazing sites that this planet has to offer, if you're looking for a booze cruise, then this tour is not for you!
Review written Jul 2013event 0.3