EXPERIENCE THE DRAMATIC CHANGES IN CANADA’S LANDSCAPE AS YOU TRAVEL FROM VANCOUVER IN THE WEST TO HALIFAX IN THE EAST ABOARD THE COUNTRY’S PREMIER TRAINS.
An adventure of epic proportions, this cross-country rail expedition covers thousands of miles and seven of Canada’s provinces over 16 days. The tour begins in Vancouver, with several days to explore the most popular sites of this oceanside gem, including a day trip to Vancouver Island and the capital city of Victoria. From Vancouver, taste your way through the Okanagan Valley’s wine country before arriving in the Canadian Rockies. After exploring the beauty of Jasper and its national park, we board VIA Rail’s Canadian for a memorable overnight journey through the ever-changing landscape to Toronto. The city is vibrant and filled with culture, and as we disembark the Canadian, we have a chance to experience some of its highlights, including Niagara Falls. VIA Rail’s Corridor Service train takes us out of Toronto and to the next exciting destination on our itinerary, Quebec City. Filled with history and French ambiance, this city’s charm is undeniable. Our journey concludes with the overnight trip from Quebec to Nova Scotia aboard VIA Rail’s Ocean. Our arrival in the Maritime region of Canada brings coastal sightseeing, lighthouses and a wonderful culture that cannot be found anywhere else. A trip of a lifetime, an expedition to remember: This coast-to-coast rail tour offers all the best of Canada.
* Rail travel on VIA Rail Canada (4 nights on train)
* Hotel accommodations for 11 nights
* 13 meals, including 4 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 3 dinners
* Guided city tours of Vancouver, Toronto and Québec
* Visit to Butchart Gardens and free time in Victoria
* Excursion to Maligne Lake & Canyon
* Excursion to Niagara Falls including a ride on the Hornblower
* Guided Excursion along the Nova Scotian coast
* Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
* Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 - Vancouver
Arrive in Vancouver, and transfer to your hotel to meet your group and Tour Manager. This hotel is ideally located, which puts us near fantastic shopping opportunities, award-winning restaurants and the best attractions in downtown Vancouver. Overnight Vancouver.
Day 2 - Vancouver Sightseeing
The city of Vancouver is one of the most desirable places to live in the world, thanks to its fantastic atmosphere and incredible setting between the breathtaking Coastal Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. We take all this in and more today on our guided sightseeing tour through the city. We visit Gastown - an area of coffee shops, galleries, native art stores and the famous Gastown Steam Clock. We experience the vibrant surroundings of Chinatown and drive to leafy Stanley Park, where Vancouver's famous totem poles are situated. We finish at Granville Island with time to explore the amazing food market and peruse the craft studios. Following the tour, the remainder of your day is at leisure to continue your explorations or to experience the eclectic food scene in the city. Overnight Vancouver.
Day 3 - Vancouver Island and the Butchart Gardens
For over 100 years, Butchart Gardens on Vancouver Island has been one of British Columbia’s premier attractions. Today, we learn why. As we arrive at the gardens, we are enveloped by colorful flowers and lush foliage. There are five themed gardens here, as well as perfectly manicured hedges, rose archways, water features, a carousel and more. Later, we enjoy free time in Victoria itself. Perhaps visit the Royal BC Museum or visit the British Columbia Parliament Buildings. Overnight Vancouver.
Day 4 - To Hope and Kelowna
We depart on the first leg of our trans-Canadian adventure this morning, traveling by coach to Canada’s wine region, the Okanagan Valley. Our daylight journey presents the beauty of Canada’s varied landscapes - and possibly its wildlife, too. We make a brief lunch stop in the picturesque town of Hope and then continue toward Kelowna, a lakeside city surrounded by orchards, pine forests and mountain peaks. Our route takes us across Coquihalla Pass, a mountain pass that stands at 4,081 feet above sea level, before we continue to a local winery. Indulge in a tasting of locally produced wines before we transfer to our hotel for the night. Overnight Kelowna.
Day 5 - En Route to Jasper
After breakfast this morning, our journey takes us north to the picturesque town of Clearwater. Located in the North Thompson River Valley, we enjoy lunch here surrounded by natural beauty. Our journey continues as we head toward Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. We enter the park this afternoon surrounded by dense forests, glittering lakes, snaking rivers and soaring snow-capped as we approach the town of Jasper. Overnight Jasper. (L)
Day 6 - Jasper National Park
Take the morning at leisure in Jasper, giving you a chance to explore this charming town. Perhaps grab breakfast or a pastry in one of the local cafés or gaze upon the city from above on the Jasper Skytram. This afternoon, a scenic excursion takes us around Jasper National Park to discover the natural beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Some of the highlights of the journey include Maligne Canyon, a 164-foot deep gorge that includes gnarly rock formations, sheer limestone walls and breathtaking waterfalls, and Maligne Lake, the largest glacier-fed body of water in the region. Overnight Jasper.
Day 7 - Jasper at Leisure and The Canadian
Continue your explorations of Jasper this morning during your time at leisure. Hiking paths of varied difficulty allow you to experience the mountains on foot, or there are several spas in Jasper where you can relax and rejuvenate. Later, we transfer to Jasper’s train station to begin our unforgettable journey to Toronto aboard The Canadian. Settle into your berth and watch as the dramatic scenery unfolds on our spectacular route through the mountains. Upgrades are available to Sleeper Plus Class cabins, should you desire (speak with a rail specialist for details). Overnight train. (D)
Day 8 - The Canadian Through Winnipeg
As you wake this morning, we are traveling along the Athabasca River Valley toward Saskatoon. Take in the amazing vistas from your seat, or head to one of the domed-glass sightseeing lounges for an even better view. As The Canadian approaches Winnipeg, the sights change once again as we pass through the dynamic city. Continuing, the train travels overnight into the Canadian Shield. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - The Canadian
Keep your eyes peeled for moose and other wildlife as you admire the landscape from the train. Enjoy delicious meals and the company of your fellow travelers as we make our way toward Toronto. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Toronto
After another relaxing morning aboard The Canadian, we arrive in the enthralling city of Toronto this afternoon. The giant CN Tower comes into view as we approach this vibrant city, which is known to be one of the most diverse in all of Canada. Leaving The Canadian, we are transferred to our hotel for check-in and then the rest of the day is yours to get acquainted with the city at your own pace. Overnight Toronto. (B, L)
Day 11 - Niagara Falls
Traveling by coach, today’s excursion takes us to one of the seven natural wonders of the World: Niagara Falls. We enjoy the thundering roar, awesome power and cool mist that come along with the American Falls, Canadian Horseshoe Falls and breathtaking Great Gorge during our Voyage to the Falls aboard the Hornblower. After our ride to remember, we continue to Niagara-on- the-Lake at the confluence of the Niagara River and Lake Ontario. This delightful destination is a story in small-town charm and offers wineries, breweries, historic landmarks and gorgeous waterfront views for your enjoyment. Take the afternoon to explore the town’s offerings at your leisure. Overnight Toronto.
Day 12 - To Québec City
Departing Toronto via the Corridor Service this morning, we arrive in Montreal late this afternoon. In Montreal, we change trains one last time for the final stretch of the day’s travels, this time to Quebec City. Our hotel in Quebec is the beautiful Manoir Victoria, which is located in the epicenter of the city. We enjoy access to the restaurants, boutiques and points of interest throughout this French-speaking city, thanks to its convenient location. The food scene in Quebec is continually evolving and has a dynamic range of offerings. Perhaps seek out one of the local restaurants to try for yourself. Overnight Quebec City.
Day 13 - Quebec Sightseeing
Our day begins with a guided tour of Quebec. As we travel through the city and marvel at its varied architecture and French vibe, we pass intriguing sites such as the Citadel and the Plains of Abraham. This afternoon, you are free to explore at leisure. Quebec has a wealth of historic and cultural sites you may wish to visit including the Basilica- Cathedral of Notre Dame; rues Saint- Jean, Saint-Louis and Saint-Paul, all lined with restaurants and boutiques; and Old Quebec.
This evening, we are transferred to the train station to board our sleeper train, The Ocean, for an overnight journey to Nova Scotia. We travel comfortably in Sleeper Plus Class. Overnight train. (L)
Day 14 - The Ocean to Nova Scotia
While we sleep, The Ocean travels along the St. Lawrence River to Chaleur Bay. We continue on our journey across New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia this morning, arriving in Halifax later today. While on the train, enjoy the views of rural Canada from one of the lounge cars. Upon arrival in Halifax, we are transferred to our hotel, the Westin Nova Scotian, and enjoy close proximity to some of the capital city’s most interesting attractions. Use the remainder of the day to begin your explorations. Overnight Halifax. (B, L)
Day 15 - Nova Scotia Sightseeing
We explore Nova Scotia’s maritime treasures on a sightseeing tour today. One of the crowning jewels of this tour is Peggy's Cove, a charming fishing village with a famous and distinctive lighthouse. We also visit picturesque Lunenburg during our explorations. This town was founded in 1753 and has since earned UNESCO World Heritage status, as it is the best example of a colonial British settlement in all of North America. The charm of this city is undeniable, from its quaint waterfront and colorful wooden buildings to its narrow, winding streets and historic homes. Returning to Halifax, you have the evening at leisure to relax or dine in one of the local eateries. Overnight Halifax.
Day 16 - Halifax and Homeward
Your day is at leisure to sightsee your way through Halifax independently and to return home as you please. Perhaps explore the star-shaped Citadel or visit the Titanic Cemetery, where many who perished in the 1912 disaster are buried. Pier 21, Canada's equivalent to New York's Ellis Island, is also an excellent option. The tour comes to a close as you transfer to the airport on your own for your return flight.