The Real Deal: Two nights' accommodations, ferry cruise, and a sightseeing tour from $439 per person—plus taxes of about $26.
When: Nov. 1-Dec. 22, 2008; add $20 through April 29; $30 for Oct. 16-31; $60 for April 30-May 30, Oct. 1-15; $100 for June 1-Sept. 30.
The fine print: Taxi transfers in Seattle and Victoria, a ferry cruise between Seattle and Victoria aboard the Victoria Clipper, transportation from Victoria to Vancouver by bus and ferry, and entrance to Butchart Gardens are included. Breakfast inclusion depends on the hotel. Hotel taxes are an additional 6 percent (about $26) per room. Airfare is not included. Based on double occupancy; single supplement is $200. Read before you book any Real Deal.
Contact: Rocky Mountaineer Vacations, 877/460-3200, rockymountaineer.com.
Why it's a deal: The cost of this package breaks down to about $219 a day, and it includes hotel accommodations, transportation by ferry and motorcoach, and a tour of the Butchart Gardens. Aside from benefiting from the reduced group room rates when you book through Rocky Mountaineer, you'll save time and money by not having to make separate arrangements for hotels, transportation, and tours.
Trip details: The includes two nights' accommodations: one in Seattle and one in Victoria.
The mini getaway begins in Seattle, where you'll stay overnight at the Roosevelt Hotel, a downtown boutique hotel near historic Pike Place Market, the Convention Center, shopping, theaters, and the Monorail.
Each of the 151 guest rooms comes with bathrobes, a hairdryer, cable TV with HBO, a coffeemaker, and an iron and ironing board. For convenient dining, try the adjacent Von's Grand City Café, which serves Northwestern cuisine (think salmon!) and is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
While in Seattle, we suggest checking out one of the city's newest attractions: Olympic Sculpture Park a nine-acre former industrial site along the edge of Elliott Bay that has been transformed by the world-class Seattle Art Museum into a green space with gorgeous views and works by the likes of Richard Serra and Ellsworth Kelly.
After spending a day exploring Seattle on your own, you'll board the Victoria Clipper ferry for a two-and-a-half-hour ride to Victoria, B.C. You'll stay overnight at the 181-room Executive House, a family-run downtown property, directly across from Victoria Conference Center and a block from Victoria Inner Harbour. You can opt to stay instead at the nearby 177-room Chateau Victoria for the same price.
In Victoria, you'll tour the famous Butchart Gardens, whose 55 flowery acres—started in 1904 by Jennie Butchart—are located on Vancouver Island, part of Greater Victoria, and are open year-round.
For the last leg of the trip, you'll travel for about 95 minutes by bus and ferry to Vancouver. From here you can choose to head home, extend your stay (from $98 per person per night), or join one of Rocky Mountaineer's signature rail vacation packages—you can learn more here.
You can extend your stay in Seattle or Victoria; expect to pay $92 to $172 per night.
Getting there: In a recent search on Kayak, the lowest multi-city fares we found, arriving in Seattle and departing from Vancouver in early November, are $402 from L.A., $414 from Miami, $458 from Chicago, $468 from New York City, and $485 from Houston; all on multiple carriers.