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Banff

Cruises & boat tours

Our most recommended Banff Cruises & Boat Tours

Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

1. Banff: Lake Minnewanka Cruise

Admire views of the Canadian Rockies as you cruise on the largest lake in Banff National Park. Meet your guide and captain on the boat dock at Lake Minnewanka and begin your 1-hour adventure. Glide through the crystal clear water of this glacier lake and soak up the views of the mountains and blue sky above you. Keep an eye out for wildlife on the lakeshore, including big-horned sheep, deer, mountain goats, and even the occasional bear. During your cruise, interpretive guides will share interesting facts and stories about the wildlife and vegetation that inhabit the Canadian Rockies. Learn about the culture of the indigenous people who used to call the area home and hear a lot of entertaining legends of the area.

Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

2. Banff National Park: 1-Hour Spray River Horseback Ride

Embark on a horseback riding adventure as you breathe in the pine-spiced mountain air. Approach the Bow Falls and enjoy spectacular views. Pass by the famous Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course known as one of the most immaculately manicured courses in Canada. Continue along the edge of the Fairmont Banff Springs Golf Course and cross through the waters once more. A partial climb up Sulphur Mountain brings you through a wooded residential area and back to the corrals. Enjoy a unique experience and cross the Spray River. On hotter days, your horse may even decide to cool itself off by splashing water onto its belly. Have an experience unlike anything else.

Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

3. Banff: Mount Norquay 2.5 or 4-Hour Guided Via Ferrata Climb

Join this fun alpine climbing tour that's perfect for all abilities, including those with no previous experience. Experience the thrill of climbing a via ferrata with an expert guide and delight in bird’s-eye views of Banff National Park.  Choose between a 2.5-hour Explorer Route or a 4-hour Ridgewalker Route. Upon arrival to Mount Norquay, located just 10 minutes from Banff, check in and meet your guide. Get equipped with a harness, lanyards, and helmet, then ride the sightseeing chairlift to where your adventure begins.  After an equipment check and training is complete, take a short 5-minute walk to your first via ferrata buttress to climb. The 2.5-hour Explorer Route is a great choice for those who are slightly limited on time or looking for an introduction to via ferrata. Spend some time with your guide and get introduced to the equipment before heading up a few pitches and crossing the suspension bridge.  You will reach 2,235 meters (7,332 feet) above sea level. The tour lasts 2-2.5 hours, covers 1 kilometer (3,280 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 145 meters (475 feet). Select the 4-hour Ridgewalker Route to get a greater feel for heights and experience the via ferrata in full.  Get comfortable with the equipment on a practice wall, then continue on the Norquay cliffs, climbing the memorial, sunrise and vista buttresses — and, of course, traversing the suspension bridge. The route heads up to the Ridgewalker Summit, 2,300 meters (7,545 feet) above sea level. At the top, enjoy incredible views and snap some photos before descending back to the starting point.  The tour lasts 3.5-4 hours, covers 1.4 kilometers (4,593 feet), and involves an elevation gain of 260 meters (853 feet).

From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

4. From Banff: Lake Louise and Moraine Lake Sightseeing Tour

Experience Banff’s famous lakes on a guided tour to Lake Louise and Moraine Lake.  Keep your eyes peeled for animals such as deer, elk, and bears on your way and admire views of Castle Mountain before arriving at the first lake of the day. Hear stories about Banff National Park, its history, and the local animals from your guide. Enjoy a 30-minute visit to Lake Louise. Wander the famous shoreline and take photos of the lake against the backdrop of the mountains and Victoria Glacier.  Admire the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise Hotel from the outside or inside. Explore Moraine Lake, set in the rugged Valley of the Ten Peaks with waterfalls and rock piles. Enjoy a short guided walk to the famous Valley of the Ten Peaks viewpoint, or relax and take in the lake from the shoreline. After a 30-minute stop here, your guide will transport you back to Banff and drop you off at your hotel.

Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

5. Banff: Afternoon Kananaskis River Whitewater Rafting Tour

Enjoy whitewater rafting down an idyllic stretch of the Kanaskasis River, the perfect excursion for families, groups, and newcomers to whitewater rafting. Explore the pristine waterways of the Kananaskis River. Scout for local wildlife and enjoy the unrivaled beauty of the Canadian wilderness. Meet at the Nakoda Lakeside Lodge on Highway 1A. Start your rafting adventure with a 45-minute drive from Banff or Calgary. Enjoy the short scenic ride as you wind through the Canadian countryside. Once you're fitted with your wetsuits and other safety equipment, ride in a comfortable bus a short distance to the starting point on the Kananaskis River. Here, your guides will provide safety instructions and teach your paddle techniques. Feel equipped and ready to go as you prepare for the river. Board your raft and begin your journey. Admire the views during calm parts of the river. Practice different paddling techniques with your guide. Spot local wildlife such as soaring eagles, and deer who stroll along the banks of the river. Then, get ready to be splashed as your raft through class 2-3 rapids as you travel along a lovely forested area of the river. At the end of the journey enjoy a scenic float to the finish where you can swim and splash in the water. Return to the river base for high fives and snacks to celebrate your rafting adventure. This tour operates from mid-May to mid-September and is ideal for anyone that has never rafted before or does not know how to swim.

Canadian Rockies: Helicopter Flight with Exploration Hike

6. Canadian Rockies: Helicopter Flight with Exploration Hike

Get ready for an awe-inspiring experience of the Rocky Mountain with this scenic helicopter flight and hiking tour. See the Rockies from a bird's-eye view. Admire the stunning views of the mountains, lakes, and glaciers from above. Then explore the region’s natural beauty on foot. Choose from a 20, 30, or 55-minute scenic flight. Each option includes incredible panoramas of waterfalls, emerald-green lakes, and mountain ridges. With the 55-minute flight, approach the Columbia Icefield, the largest expanse of ice in the Rocky Mountains. After the flight, land at the confluence of the Cline River and Waterfalls Creek. Continue to explore the wild beauty of this region on foot, hiking to the Twin Falls waterfall. Then climb back on board the helicopter and fly back to the heliport, enjoying the fantastic views of Abraham Lake.

Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

7. Banff National Park: Big Canoe River Explorer Tour

Enjoy the serenity of the Bow River on a family-friendly canoe tour. Get ready to be amazed by extraordinary views of Banff National Park and the Canadian Rockies around you. This sightseeing tour is perfect for the whole family and doesn't require any previous experience. Meet at the Banff Canoe Club, just a 5-minute walk from downtown Banff. As you journey upstream, your expert guide will entertain you with stories of the past, history of canoeing, and interesting local facts. Admire the scenery around you, while learning how to paddle as a team. After 1 and a half hours of fun, enjoy a complimentary, refreshing lemonade on the shore.

Athabasca Glacier: Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour from Banff

8. Athabasca Glacier: Columbia Icefield Parkway Tour from Banff

Get picked up from your Banff hotel in a modern mini bus by your friendly guide. Departing from Banff, your guide will welcome you on the tour with an overview of where you'll be headed as you sit back and enjoy the ride along the Icefields Parkway, one of the world’s most stunning scenic drives. Because you don’t have to navigate or watch the road, this tour lets you to focus on the amphitheater of mountains towering above as you keep your eyes peeled for wildlife at the edges of the forest. The highlight of the tour is the Glacier Adventure, located halfway along the Icefields Parkway near the border of Jasper National Park. Stop at the Columbia Icefield Glacier Discovery Centre and board a bus that will take you to the specially designed 56-passenger Ice Explorer vehicle. Then, drive onto the Athabasca Glacier that is thousands of years old. After learning about the glacier along the way, enjoy 20 minutes of free time on the glacier to soak up the views, touch this ancient sheet of ice, and even drink pure, cold water straight from the glacier. From here, head to the nearby glass floor Glacier Skywalk and follow the 1-kilometer walkway that leads to a platform where glass is all that separates you from a 918-foot (280 m) drop. As you step out on the cliff-edge walkway, witness the giant glaciers perched above you and admire the views of the spectacular Sunwapta Valley spread out below. After the Glacier Adventure component of the tour (around 3 hours in total), there will be a scenic stop (weather permitting) to enjoy your hearty packed lunch of a sandwich, juice, fruit, chips, and brownies. Visit iconic landmarks along the Icefields Parkway such as Bow Lake, the headwaters of the mighty Bow River before heading back to Banff.

Banff: Evening Wildlife Safari Guided Tour

9. Banff: Evening Wildlife Safari Guided Tour

Go on an evening wildlife safari tour and discover the animals of Banff. Led by your expert guide, experience twilight wildlife encounters.  As the sun sets behind the craggy peaks, the wildlife of Banff National Park become more active in the cool hours before dark. Get the chance to be up close with some of Banff’s wildest residents. Spot an elk sauntering across a clearing or a bighorn sheep grazing in an alpine meadow. Sometimes, you may even see a grizzly bear snuffling through a berry bush.  Have your guide take you on a paved road bus tour where you are most likely to see Rocky Mountain creatures. Learn about how the park protects these animals and their natural habitat from many threats to the ecosystem.

Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

10. Banff: Wildlife on the Bow River Big Canoe Tour

Discover life on the Bow River in a 12-seat Canoe. Start the tour in the evening and learn fun facts about animal habitats, behaviors, and conservation in the region. Escape the bustling Banff streets and get back to nature. Enjoy paddling up the scenic Bow while keeping your eyes peeled for some of the locals like bald eagles, elk, muskrats, and maybe even “Barry” the resident beaver. Let our informative guides share the best practices for wildlife encounters and discover the challenges they face with increasing human interaction.

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What people are saying about Banff

Overall rating

4.8 / 5

based on 4 reviews

My husband and I were treated to a full day of learning and sightseeing as we toured the Athabasca Glacier in Jasper National Park. From the outset, the tour guide Jake was energetic, courteous and eager to share his knowledge about the area. His background in forestry and teaching made him an ideal guide as we learned about the challenges facing the parks' forests and how controlled fires are essential to their health.

Hayden and Gary were the absolute best! They were so friendly and lots of fun. Learned tons about the lake and surrounding area. They were very knowledgeable and made the experience so much fun!

A very pleasant way to spend an evening in Banff. We were essentially alone on the river and were able to see wildlife. Our guide was helpful and informative

Kelsey was thorough, patient and pleasant. The trip was an incredible experience for my family.

Very enjoyable experience along Bow river, would highly recommend it!!