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The Great Canadian Rail Journey

The Great Canadian Rail Journey

19 nights from
AU$7,599 Per person twin share
 
  • Package Type
    Rail & Coach
  • Travel From
    26 May 2019
  • Travel Until
    23 Sep 2019
Save Now
Save up to $399 per person*
Enquire about this Package
19 nights from
AU$7,599 Per person twin share
 
  • Package Type
    Rail & Coach
  • Travel From
    26 May 2019
  • Travel Until
    23 Sep 2019
Save Now
Save up to $399 per person*
Enquire about this Package
Description 
  • Package Highlights
    AccommodationAccommodation 16-night accommodationActivityActivity Ice Explorer ride onto the Athabasca & Glacier Glacier SkywalkInclusionInclusion 2-day Rocky Mountaineer rail journeyInclusionInclusion Private cabin for 2 on VIA Rail’s ‘The Canadian’ MealsMeals 6 breakfasts, 9 lunches & 4 dinnersTourTour Tour of Canada's major cities including Toronto, Ottawa & Montreal

Summary

Admire the natural beauty and charm of Canada as you traverse from east to west with our fabulous, 20-day The Great Canadian Rail Journey. Your trip starts from Vancouver (or Montreal). Board the famous Rocky Mountaineer until you reach the town of Banff. From Banff, explore the most scenic and popular destinations including the Banff National Park, Yoho National Park, Lake Louise, Moraine Lake and Takakkaw Falls. From Lake Louise, head to Jasper and experience the world-famous Ice Explorer Ride and Glacier Skywalk. In Jasper, get up close with Canada’s wildlife. From Jasper, board Rail’s “The Canadian” for a memorable train journey until you reach Toronto. Explore Canada's major cities including Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec.

*Offer

For a limited time, save up to $399 per person on VIA Rail journeys. Valid on VIA Rail long distance rail journeys and is on sale until 8 April 2019 - valid for travel dates 12 April - 07 September 2019 inclusive.

Highlights

  • Two day Rocky Mountaineer Rail journey*
  • Four days onboard VIA Rail’s ‘The Canadian’
  • Jasper, Banff & Lake Louise
  • Moraine Lake & Takakkaw Falls (seasonal)
  • Ice Explorer Ride on the Athabasca Glacier
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Wildlife Discovery tours
  • Banff Gondola
  • Toronto city tour & cruise
  • Niagara Falls tour with cruise (seasonal)
  • Discover Ottawa – Canada’s capital
  • Montreal & Quebec

Inclusions

  • 2-day Rocky Mountaineer Rail journey*
  • Private Cabin for 2 on VIA Rail’s ‘The Canadian’
  • VIA Rail Toronto – Ottawa – Montreal in economy class**
  • 16-night hotel accommodation
  • 6 breakfasts, 9 lunches & 4 dinners
  • Ice Explorer Ride on the Athabasca Glacier
  • Glacier Skywalk
  • Wildlife Discovery tours
  • Banff Gondola
  • Toronto city tour & cruise
  • Niagara Falls tour with cruise (seasonal)
  • Discover Ottawa hop on/off tour
  • Montreal walking tour
  • Tour of Quebec City

*Your choice of SilverLeaf or GoldLeaf
**Upgrade to business class available

Departure Dates

  • Eastbound from Vancouver: Monday only from 6 May 19 - 23 September 2019
  • Westbound from Montreal*: Tuesday only from 23 April 19 – 10 September 2019

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Vancouver
Own arrival to your hotel and day at leisure.

Overnight in Vancouver: Metropolitan Hotel or similar

Day 2, Vancouver - Kamloops
Board the Rocky Mountaineer train this morning for your first day to spectacular rail journey into the interior of British Columbia. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. (B, L)

Overnight in Kamloops.

Day 3, Kamloops - Banff
Board the Rocky Mountaineer train at the Kamloops Station as your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Arrive this evening into the town of Banff where you’ll be transferred to your accommodation. (B, L)

Two night accommodation in Banff: Elk & Avenue Hotel or similar

Day 4, Banff
Build a connection to our World Heritage Site on our trademark sightseeing tour as you visit Banff's landmarks and historic places. Hear how the 11,000 year old human history of the Bow Valley changed when three railway workers rediscovered a hidden natural hot spring. Visit the abandoned mining town of Bankhead, a relic of Banff's industrial past. All the while learn about wildlife behavior, habitat, and their winter survival adaptations as you tour around the area. Your time will be spent enjoying the sights, taking photos, and participating in short walks to view points, on the many stops of the tour.

Tour highlights: Bow Falls, Banff Springs Hotel, Bankhead (an abandoned mining town and relic of Banff's industrial past), Surprise Corner, Hoodoos & Bow Valley Viewpoint, Lake Minnewanka, refreshment and maple cookies.

Drop off is available at the Banff Gondola. Please advise your driver at time of boarding if you would like to be dropped off there.

A breathtaking ascent to the pinnacle of Sulphur Mountain for an awe-inspiring 360-degree panorama of sheer mountain majesty. Enjoy the interpretative hiking trails that lead along the ridge.

Day 5, Banff - Lake Louise
Visit the most treasured spots in the Canadian Rockies on this remarkable excursion through Banff and Yoho National Parks. Experience the evolution of land and discover how it has shaped the appearance of the spectacular natural wonders found in these mountain settings. Travel along the Bow Valley Parkway and Johnston Canyon where a pleasant mid-morning stroll provides time to stretch your legs and snap a few pictures. Next it is on to Moraine Lake in the Valley of the Ten Peaks before crossing the Great Divide into Yoho National Park via the scenic Kicking Horse Pass. The magnificent Yoho Valley and Takakkaw Falls will be the final scenic stop before beginning the drive back to Lake Louise.

Highlights: Lake Louise, Moraine Lake, Valley of the Ten Peaks, Spiral Tunnels, Takakkaw Falls, BBQ lunch at Emerald Lake Lodge, light snacks and refreshments. Potential alternate stops are Johnston Canyon, Marble Canyon, Field Visitor Centre, and Natural Rock Bridge.

Note: Takakkaw Falls and Moraine Lake access may be restricted due to seasonal road closures. Alternative sightseeing will be arranged if necessary.

Two night accommodation in Lake Louise: Deer Lodge or similar

Day 6, Lake Louise
A full day at leisure to explore the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Perhaps take out a canoe and paddle amongst the turquoise waters of Lake Louise (additional cost), take in a stroll around the lake, afternoon tea at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (additional cost) or for the more adventurous, a hike to the Lake Agnes Tea House for bird’s-eye views.

Day 7, Lake Louise - Jasper
This morning, you will depart Lake Louise and drive through the "heart" of the Canadian Rockies to Jasper along the world-famous Icefields Parkway. Rushing waterfalls, crystal-clear rivers, emerald lakes, alpine meadows and snow-capped peaks create an ever-changing montage of mountain wilderness. The entire day is spent in the majesty of Canada's two most famous National Parks, Banff and Jasper. Stops will be made at Crowfoot Glacier, Bow Lake, Peyto Lake and the Weeping Wall before arriving at the Athabasca Glacier and Columbia Icefield to visit the chalet and allow time to enjoy the Ice Explorer ride on the Glacier and Glacier Skywalk. From the Chalet the parkway descends Tangle Ridge and follows the Athabasca River, which begins as melt water from the Athabasca Glacier. We then stop at the Athabasca Falls, where the boiling waters of the river plunge into a chasm gouged out of the valley floor. Your exciting day ends in the quaint townsite of Jasper.

Highlights

  • A hearty picnic lunch is included and will be enjoyed at a secluded location along the Icefields Parkway.
  • Glacier Adventure Package (Ice Explorer & Glacier Skywalk) admissions are included on a separate voucher.

Two-night accommodation in Jasper:  Chateau Jasper or similar

Day 8, Jasper
The town of Jasper and its surrounding area occupies is the largest inhabitable valley in the Canadian Rockies, which means more food for "All Creatures Great and Small". Put on your safari hat as you set out into the Park with your own Wildlife Interpreter in search of all of the park's most iconic creatures. Big or small, there are lots of animals to see in Jasper! Elk, bear, deer, big horned sheep, mountain goats, foxes, coyotes, wolves, and moose, are just a sample of Jasper's many wild mountain animals. This tour is the perfect chance to enjoy spectacular scenery and learn more about Jasper's original inhabitants. The SunDog guides are well versed in the history, geology, and ecology of the area, they are happy to answer any questions you may have and may lead you on short, interpretive walks during the tour. As you travel through the Athabasca Valley you will see some of the park’s most beautiful scenery, so have your camera ready to capture some amazing photos of the highlights of your visit! Photos are usually taken from the inside the vehicle or on the ground at a safe distance from the animals. Jasper National Park is not a zoo but a wild, protected area.

While Jasper is one of the premier year-round wildlife viewing destinations in all of Western Canada, our most successful summer viewing months are May, June, September and October. The larger animals in the park can be more elusive during July and August but stunning photo opportunities abound!

Kindly note that the selected route is at the discretion of your guide and is dependent on the location of the animals and the unpredictable weather conditions in the Rockies.

Optional: Upgrade to Maligne Valley and Maligne Lake cruise tour during June to September.

Day 9, Jasper - Toronto (onboard VIA Rail)
A checked baggage service is available for your journey. Baggage must be checked at least 45 minutes before departure at terminal stations.

Board VIA Rail's "The Canadian" for an unforgettable train journey! The original stainless steel "streamliner" railcars, made famous by the "Canadian" in the 1950's, are totally refurbished with air conditioning. Relax in the dome car and experience stunning 360-degree views. Follow the Athabasca River out of the Canadian Rockies to enter the Great Central Plains of Canada, stretching east for a thousand miles through Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

By day, rest comfortably in an armchair while enjoying the spectacular views of the landscape rolling by. Each spacious bedroom has private toilet facilities, a sink, a mirror, razor outlet, a small closet, large window with blind and locking door. A shower, just a few steps away from the bedrooms and berths, is reserved for sleeper plus class passengers. Complimentary shower towels and an amenity bag for body care articles are provided. At night, your armchair will be converted into a cozy bed equipped with a reading light. Pillows, sheets and blankets are provided.

Inclusions: All meals and non-alcoholic beverages included in the dining car. Complimentary coffee, tea, fruit and cookies in the lounge cars.

Note: While VIA Rail endeavors to operate according to the set schedule, freight traffic does take priority on the railroads in Canada and can occasionally cause delays outside of VIA Rail's control.

Day 10 - 11, Onboard VIA Rail
Travel through the heartland of Canada; pass the plains that are the "bread basket" of the nation and home to huge ranches and wheat farms spread across this vast landscape. After departing the City of Winnipeg, the prairies give way to the rugged, forested landscape of Northern Ontario and the Canadian Shield. The Canadian Shield is vast layer of exposed, pre Cambrian rocks that are over 500 million years old, dotted with thousands of lakes, covering hundreds of thousands of square kilometers rich in nickel, copper, gold, and other precious minerals. Turning south at Sudbury for Southern Ontario, the rail line skirts the shores of Georgian Bay before arriving in Toronto, Canada's largest city.

Day 12, Arrive in Toronto
Arrive Toronto late afternoon and make your own way to your accommodation.

Three-night accommodation: Chelsea Hotel Toronto or similar

Day 13, Toronto
Come and see the sights of Canada's largest and most diverse city. Tour highlights include: the Eaton Centre, Chinatown, CN Tower (admission not included), and Old and New City Halls with opportunity for pictures along the way. After the city tour, you will be dropped off at the dock to enjoy a Toronto Harbour & Islands boat tour.

Day 14, Toronto
Travel on an air-conditioned motorcoach for a breathtaking, full-day tour through the orchard-laden Niagara Peninsula to Niagara Falls, one of the great wonders of the world. Tour includes:

  • Hornblower Cruise or Journey Behind the Falls
  • 3-course lunch overlooking Niagara Falls
  • Free time in Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Winery tour including a wine tasting

*Hornblower Cruise operates May through October, weather permitting. Journey Behind the Falls will be substituted from Oct to May.

Note: The itinerary may vary in the winter months depending on opening hours of wineries and attractions, and the lunch will either be buffet style or a plated 3-course menu.

Day 15, Toronto - Ottawa (onboard VIA Rail)
Make your own way to Toronto’s Union Station after check-out and board your region Corridor service to Ottawa – the capital of Canada! Take a short taxi from the station to your hotel.

Two night stay in Ottawa: Metcalfe Hotel or similar

Day 16, Ottawa
Experience Ottawa's original and most comprehensive Hop-on-Hop-off City Tour aboard one of our London Style open top Double Deckers or turn of the century Trolleys. Tour officially starts on the corner of Sparks and Elgin Streets, however one can hop on at any of over 12 stops located throughout the National Capital Region. Your ticket is valid for 24 hours, which allows you to tour our Nation's Capital at your own pace, or join us for a two hour fully narrated tour. Tour highlights include: Parliament Hall, Canadian Museum of Civilization, Notre Dame Basilica, Rideau Hall, RCMP Museum and Stables, Canadian Aviation Museum and Byward Market.

Day 17, Ottawa - Montreal
Depart Ottawa on-board VIA Rail. Your rail journey to Montreal is just under four hours, and takes you into rural Ontario, with maple forests and pasturelands, crossing into Quebec at Coteau where the rail line joins the Toronto-Montreal line. Cross the Ottawa River to Dorval Station where a short stop is made before proceeding to Central Station in downtown Montreal. Central Station is located two floors below the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel lobby. From the central station, you can also connect to numerous subway lines that’ll connect you around the city. Upon arrival in Montreal, take a short taxi ride to your hotel.

Two-night accommodation in Montreal: Le Saint Sulpice or similar

Day 18, Montreal
Your small group will provide a more intimate experience with your guide to go up, down, over and under to see less-obvious sights and hidden perspectives of Montreal's charming historic quarter.

Explore how Old Montreal and its St. Lawrence River Port were the most important and wealthy part of Canada for over 300 years, and how it has evolved into the dynamic and thriving (but less industrial) riverfront neighbourhood it is today. You'll pass centuries-old architectural gems, cobblestoned streets, and catch views of ships at dock. Feel free to poke your head into restaurants, galleries, bars, or shops as we pass by to take note for later pleasures. Your guide will be happy to share their recommendations and favourite spots as you relax over a coffee!

Meeting Point: Café Olimpico at the William Gray Hotel, 419 St Vincent Street, Old Montreal

Day 19, Montreal
This all-day tour, guided to and from Quebec City, includes your return transportation and sightseeing tour in Quebec with a local licensed guide. This tour will take you back more than 400 years to the historic landmark of the French regime. You will be charmed by the old world atmosphere of Quebec City with its narrow streets, steep hills and numerous historical treasures on the banks of the St. Lawrence River. The tour includes a photo stop at Montmorency Falls -- higher than Niagara Falls!

Day 20, Departure
Your rail package ends upon check out from your hotel. Looking at extending your rail journey to the Atlantic coast of Canada? Ask our team and we can customize an itinerary to your liking.

Note: This itinerary also runs in reverse direction.

Contact a Canada & Alaska Travel Specialist

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Contacts

Enquire about this Package

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our Canada & Alaska Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 794 959

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Find out more information from our Canada & Alaska Specialist

Call us

Prefer speaking to us over the phone? Our Canada & Alaska Specialists would love to help you out!

AU 1300 794 959

Opening Hours:
9am - 5.30pm Monday to Friday

Your Accommodation

3/4/5-Star Canada Accommodation

Complete you extraordinary Canadian experience by staying at the best hotels & resorts of the country. Choose from our array of 3/4/5-star hotels, each featuring upscale facilities that will make your vacation truly unforgettable.

 
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Find out more information from our Canada & Alaska Specialist

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