Canadian Rail Holidays
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A luxury rail tour experience
The experience onboard
If you're thinking of Canada train tours, then the first journey that will spring to mind will undoubtedly be the Rocky Mountaineer and its diverse landscapes and luxury. From your fanfare welcome to chef-prepared meals, you'll be treated to a VIP experience from start to finish. Rocky Mountaineer only travels in daylight, meaning you'll spend the nights in a hand-picked hotel where your luggage will be waiting for you. The hosts onboard are so welcoming and will prove the highlight of your tour, with fun facts, storytelling and wildlife spotting. You'll constantly have a drink in your hand and a smile on your face!
Rocky Mountaineer is one of the most famous trains in the world and there are three great routes in Canada you can go on. The world-famous First Passage to the West route travels between Banff and the city of Vancouver, stopping at Kamloops. Rainforest to Goldrush travels between Vancouver and Jasper, stopping at Whistler and Quesnel. Journey through the Clouds links Vancouver and Jasper via Kamloops and can be combined with any of the other two routes for a longer journey. All the routes offer at least one overnight stopover, and on each one, you will experience some spectacular scenery which you can enjoy from the viewing platforms on the train or in the glass-domed carriages.
Superior service levels
There are two luxurious service levels to choose from on Rocky Mountaineer. SilverLeaf Service boasts tall picture windows and chef-prepared meals delivered to your seat. GoldLeaf Service is extra special, with a 360° domed glass carriage, à la carte meals in the separate dining carriage and an outdoor viewing platform. If you are looking for luxurious Canada train holidays, then booking a trip on Rocky Mountaineer on its GoldLeaf Service means you can enjoy complimentary drinks and snacks, from local wines to freshly-baked muffins. You can even be upgraded to GoldLeaf Deluxe service for the most luxurious accommodation.
Cities made easy
The experience onboard
VIA Rail is Canada's national provider, with routes crisscrossing the whole country. For anyone looking for more affordable Canadian train journeys, VIA Rail is a great option as it is a convenient way to city-hop along the East Coast or a more budget-friendly way to travel by train through the Canadian Rockies. The experience on board offers comfortable seats and café areas but varies depending on your route. Some routes offer reclining sleeper chairs. Some have two or four bunk cabins. Some even boast Prestige Class, with double cabins with en-suite bathrooms, dining facilities and a glass-domed viewing car.
VIA Rail's routes
The Canadian is one of the most famous rail journeys in the country as the famous 4-night train crosses Canada from Toronto to Vancouver. In the East, VIA links the major cities like Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal and Québec City. The Ocean route through the Maritimes heads all the way to Halifax in Nova Scotia, through New Brunswick, and is one of the most famous Canadian rail journeys you can enjoy. VIA's Adventure Routes link Winnipeg with Churchill and Jasper with Prince Rupert, as well as heading off the beaten track to adventure destinations in Québec province.
Service levels onboard
Service levels vary depending on your route. Economy sleeper services offer a comfortable reclining seat, while Sleeper Plus provides a bunk in a two-bed cabin with shared shower facilities and access to the scenic glass dome car. On The Canadian train trip, Prestige Class is a cut above the rest, with double en-suite cabins, concierge and à la carte dining. They even have private lounge cars for a comfortable space to relax.
Rail hot spots
The Rocky Mountains
Whilst there are lots of Canada rail holidays to choose from, the Rocky Mountains should be the first one on your bucket list. The Rocky Mountaineer is best known for its routes through the Rockies and is not only considered one of the best train rides in North America but in the whole world. Its destinations include coastal Vancouver, Kamloops in the BC Interior, adventurous Whistler, historic Quesnel and the mountain towns of Banff and Jasper. The daylight service means you won't miss any views, and you'll be able to explore more of each destination on your overnight stopover. VIA Rail also travels between Vancouver and Edmonton via Kamloops and Jasper on a sleeper service, providing a great travel experience.
East Coast city-hopping
VIA Rail connects more than a dozen towns and cities along Canada's East Coast, and during your holiday, you can go on one of these iconic Canadian train journeys. In Ontario and Québec, the route connects Windsor in Ontario through Toronto, Niagara Falls, Kingston in the Thousand Islands region, and the capital city, Ottawa. As it heads into Québec, it passes Montréal and Québec City, all the way up to the Gaspe Peninsula. In the Maritimes, you can visit Moncton and Halifax in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia.
One of the most iconic train routes in Canada is VIA Rail's The Canadian. This train across Canada links Toronto with Vancouver. From the Rockies to the Prairies, the route takes in Vancouver, Kamloops, Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sioux Lookout and Toronto. It takes four nights and three days, passing incredibly varied scenery as you begin to understand how vast Canada really is. The Canadian route offers the luxurious Prestige service class as well as Sleeper Plus and Economy.
If you are an outdoor enthusiast, then there are Canada rail holidays that will cater for you. VIA Rail's Adventure Routes link some of the more remote wilderness locations in Canada. There is no road to Churchill, The Polar Bear Capital of the World, but you can hop on a train service from Winnipeg. From Jasper, there is a route to beautiful Prince Rupert on Kaien Island, close to the border with Alaska, where you can enjoy incredible bear viewing opportunities. You can also travel from Montréal to Senneterre and Jonquière, which are full of outdoor activities. These are routes you won't find on any driving tour!
How to book Canadian rail holidays
Four easy steps
Step 1 - What are you after?
If you're looking for Canada rail tours or holidays and are after fine dining on board your train and hosts to narrate all the incredible sights that you’ll see in some of Canada’s most famous national parks, you'll want Rocky Mountaineer. If you'd like the experience of sleeping on board in your own rail car, you'll be after VIA Rail. Do you want luxury through the Rockies on your rail vacation? To city hop along the East Coast? Or an epic train journey across Canada? We can help you choose a train trip with the perfect route to suit you.
Step 2 - The finer details
What have you dreamed of experiencing in Canada? How long have you got to spare, and what is your budget? Together, we'll plan a full itinerary to make the most of your time. We'll advise which service class will suit you best, whether it's GoldLeaf Service on Rocky Mountaineer or Sleeper Plus on VIA Rail. Our travel experts will also help you with transfers, excursions and hotels. For an extra special experience, you can even add a cruise to your rail tour.
Step 3 - Optional add-ons
Tailor and enhance your Canadian train journey with carefully curated excursions and activities. Your Rocky Mountaineer package will likely include some incredible excursions, from city sightseeing to helicopter rides and national park tours. However, any rail journey can be enhanced by adding on excursions before or after your rail tour. Perhaps you fancy whale watching when you arrive in Vancouver or a day trip to Niagara Falls from Toronto? Just speak to us, and we can tailor your Canadian rail holidays to include extra nights and incredible experiences.
Step 4 - Review and hop aboard!
Review your full rail tour itinerary with us, confirm you're happy with everything, and you're ready to book. You'll get a copy of all your confirmation details and your holiday will be ATOL protected. Remember, if you've seen a package you like, you can call us to book it. You'll be able to tailor your service level on board and choose your hotels. For extra help or tailor-made holidays, give our travel experts a call to chat through things.
VIA Rail or Rocky Mountaineer
Seeing the Rockies by train
If you’ve heard of an iconic luxury rail tour through the Rockies, you’ll likely be thinking of Rocky Mountaineer. These opulent trains offer daylight journeys through the awe-inspiring Rockies and provide a gold-star service onboard. VIA Rail also serves the Rockies on its Canadian route, which is a sleeper service.
Daylight views and interpretive guides
If you don’t want to miss any views, choose Rocky Mountaineer, as their rail service only travels during daylight hours. Part of Rocky Mountaineer’s unique experience is its friendly and knowledgeable hosts. If you’d like to hear about history and wildlife, you’ll love their commentary. Plus, they bring you drinks like local wines and snacks fresh from the kitchen throughout your journey.
Trans Canada or city-hopping by rail
If you’d love to travel right across Canada on a train, taking in everything from the Rockies to the Prairies, VIA Rail’s ‘The Canadian’ is for you.
The best way to visit Ottawa, Toronto, Montréal, Québec City and Halifax in one trip (without driving) is to hop on VIA Rail.
Rail & Cruise
Combine with a cruise
Two amazing experiences
One of the most indulgent, iconic and exciting ways to experience Canada is on a rail and cruise holiday. Combine your rail tour through the Rockies with a cruise from Vancouver to the Inside Passage of Alaska. These two very different methods of travel go together like pancakes and maple syrup, providing two different flavours of Canada that contrast and combine perfectly. You can cruise first or enjoy the train rides first and add extra days in town too.