VIA Rail, Rocky Mountaineer & La Massif

VIA Rail

Connecting Vancouver and Prince Rupert in the west to Halifax and Gaspe in the east, through mountains, praries, forests and city skylines, there is nothing quite like seeing Canada by rail. No matter where your journey commences or where you might be heading, your vacation starts the moment you climb aboard the train.

Stretching across eight provinces, are a string of exciting routes. Individually they highlight the natural jewels of a chosen region, and, when bound together they form an exquisite, transcontinental journey. 

The Canadian

A voyage of varied and majestic landscapes, The Canadian’s four night journey covers the longest route and operates year round. From Vancouver, it traverses through the breathtaking peaks of the Rockies, over the awesome expanse of the heartland prairies and past the glistening Great Lakes to its Toronto destination. Onboard, the Sleeper Touring Class pampers passengers with superb complimentary dining, a selection of private lounges, including the 360° scenic dome car, and a choice of private berth, single or double cabin accommodation.

The Chaleur

Discover the spectacular coast of the Gaspé Peninsula from the comfort of the gliding train, with the St Lawrence River accompanying your journey aboard The Chaleur. Contrasting environments of fishing villages and farming communities combine with the dramatic mountains and rocky cliffs as you traverse your overnight journey from Montreal to Gaspé. Please note that track repairs are taking place on this route during 2013.

The Ocean

Take a ride along Canada’s historic past and an unforgettable experience into the ever-changing scenery of the Maritimes. The Ocean carries its travellers on a 21 hour voyage from the French heritage of Montreal, along the wooded coast of New Brunswick and into Nova Scotia to the spirited destination of Halifax, the gateway to Atlantic Canada. During peak season The Ocean offers a Maritime learning experience in Sleeper Touring Class.

The Skeena

Also known as the Jasper to Prince Rupert Train, The Skeena provides a unique getaway to Northern British Columbia’s wild and scenic beauty, The Skeena departs Jasper and travels through the rugged terrain of Northern British Columbia to Prince Rupert on the Pacific seaboard. Its 1,160km, two day journey offers amazing views of Mount Robson and the Skeena River and overnights at Prince George where accommodation must be reserved. The Skeena offers a choice of two classes of travel. Choose from the roomy seats of Economy Class or Touring Class (peak season only) which allows access to the Dome Car, offering superb views.

The Corridor

The Corridor creates a criss-crossing network from Windsor at the tip of Ontario to Quebec City in the beautiful French province, and encompasses views of a myriad of historic sites and modern city skylines along the way. A selection of routes entwines a web of exciting destinations to visit diverse cultural destinations and cultural cities. Linking 17 downtown cities of Quebec and Ontario, Corridor Trains are a quick and efficient way of exploring the region. Upgrading from standard Economy Class to the added comfort and sophistication of Business Class provides a more refined level of service. The premium cars offer large comfortable seats with complimentary hot and cold meal service, priority boarding and assigned seating and the use of the relaxing Panoramic Lounge before boarding.

Please note that all VIA Rail trains are non-smoking


Rocky Mountaineer

Considered by many to be the trip of a lifetime, a rail journey aboard either the Rocky Mountaineer or Whistler Mountaineer promises to be a magical experience. With the spectacular scenery of British Columbia and Alberta as a back drop every corner turned brings into view another picture-perfect landscape. Following the historic train route constructed over 100 years ago, the Rocky Mountaineer offers a choice of four superb journeys, each showcasing the diverse beauty of Canada’s West and the Canadian Rockies.

Named for the pass over which it crosses, it commences its journey in Vancouver and traverses the Rocky Mountains with an overnight stop in Kamloops, before reaching its final destination of Banff, Calgary or Lake Louise. Passengers on this two day route will see The Last Spike, Spiral Tunnels, Stoney Creek Bridge, Kicking Horse Pass and the Thompson and Fraser Canyons. Operates: April 23rd to October 1st 2013.

Begins in Vancouver and follows the same legendary journey to Kamloops where an overnight stop is taken, then takes the higher route through the scenic valleys and Rocky Mountains to a final destination of Jasper. This route also operates in the opposite direction. Known for the abundance of wildlife and majestic Mount Robson, this two day route also includes Thompson and Fraser Canyons, Pyramid Falls and Jasper National Park. Operates: April 23rd to October 1st 2013.

This route which begins in Whistler, and follows the mighty Fraser River to Quesnel where an overnight stop is taken before completing its journey to Jasper. This route also operates in the opposite direction. The historic Caribou Gold Rush region and the lush forests of northern B.C. are highlights of this two day route. The Rocky Mountain Trench and Mount Robson can also be viewed. Operates: May 20th to September 23rd 2013.

A choice of three classes of travel ensures that this incredible journey can be enjoyed by everyone.

Passengers can settle back in their reclining seat and enjoy the passing scenery through large picture windows. Onboard service is excellent. In addition to the knowledgeable commentary on the history, nature and culture of the region, delicious meals are served at your seat so not a moment of the spectacular scenery is missed. Overnight moderate accommodation and transfers in Kamloops are included. Suitcases are not removed from the train, so carrying an overnight bag onboard is suggested.

The newest addition to Rocky Mountaineer, SilverLeaf service is available on the First Passage to the West and Journey through the Clouds routes. Enjoy delicious hot meals as you take your voyage through the Rockies. Both breakfast and lunch are served at your seat, offering a choice of entrees, along with a complimentary glass of wine, beer or a soft drink. The landscape is amazing, and in SilverLeaf you'll enjoy panoramic views through large picture windows in the single level dome car. With SilverLeaf, your luggage is delivered to your Kamloops hotel. 

The custom-designed GoldLeaf Dome Car puts you right in the centre of the awe-inspiring scenery and provides both excellent commentary and superb personal service. Guests are welcomed onboard and shown to their rotating and reclining dome-level seats, where complimentary snacks and beverages are served. The gourmet breakfasts and lunches included are served in the lower-level dining room. GoldLeaf Service includes one night’s accommodation in Kamloops and transportation to the hotel. 

Rocky Mountaineer Class of Service Video

This three hour experience offers a relaxing way to witness some of British Columbia's most beautiful seascapes, snow-capped mountain peaks, deep valleys and ancient forests. Travelling between the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver and the ever popular resort of Whistler (this route also operates in the opposite direction), passengers see the shores of Howe Sounds, Shannon Falls, Mount Garibaldi, Cheakamus Canyon and Brandywine Falls. Passengers benefit from large picture windows for fabulous views with reclining seats with ample legroom. Complimentary light meals, onboard commentary and access to the Observation Car are also included.
Operates: May 17th to September 23rd 2013.


Le Massif de Charlevoix 

 Le Massif de Charlevoix is a new scenic rail, mountain and hotel experience. Travelling from Quebec City to the beautiful destination of La Malbaie, this is an impressive 140km journey between mountains and seashore, accompanied by an incomparable riversidelandscape and filled with legends and hidden treasures from a region rich in history.

The Train

From the moment of boarding it is clear that this is anything but a conventional train. A minimalist design, timeless décor, a predominance of white, and the use of organic materials create a contemporary aesthetic, complementing the beauty outside. As the trip unfurls, the train is impacted by the ever changing scenery and the evolution of day into night, and onboard hues are influenced by the change in seasonal colours.

Winter Journeys

During the winter period of January, February, March and April, La Massif de Charlevoix combines a wonderful rail journey with a winter experience at the Mountain. After departing at 8am from Montmorency Fall Station in Quebec City, a hearty breakfast is served in preparation for a day snowboarding or skiing La Massif de Charlevoix Ski Area. Re-boarding at 4.30pm, apre-ski drinks, cocktails and nibbles are served during the two hour journey back to Quebec City. A selection of one day and overnight excursions to Baie-Saint-Paul are also available.

Summer Journeys

Discover the Charlevoix region at its very best during the warmer months of May, June, July, August, September and October. La Massif’s Escape to Malbaie journey departs at 9.30am from Montmorency Fall Station in Quebec City. Journeys commence with a hearty breakfast; fragrant with regional flavours, accompanied by light entertainment. Hugging the St Lawrence River, scenic highlights include Chute Montmorency, Saint-Joachim and Cap Tourmente to name but a few! A little over two hours later, after arriving at Hotel La Ferme in Baie-St-Paul, around three hours are at leisure to explore this wonderful area. Choose to discover the beautiful galleries, boutiques and restaurants of Baie-St-Paul, stay at Hotel La Ferme where a public square, terroir market and railway café can be enjoyed, or take the rail shuttle to the mountain. After re-boarding the train, tea and cocktails are served as the train meanders the final stages of its journey to La Malbaie. Choose to spend the evening and following day in La Malbaie where you may stroll Rue du Quai in Pointe-au-Pic or Chemin des Falaises, or take to the water on a whale-watching expedition. Alternatively, stay on-board for the return journey to Quebec City, where a four-course astronomical feast ends your busy day perfectly.

Those wishing to spend less time on board the train will be delighted with the Discover Baie-St-Paul package. Commencing along the same scenic route as Escape to Malbaie and including the same fabulous breakfast, the journey finishes at Baie-St-Paul. Following three hours at leisure exploring this charming location you re-board the train for the spectacular return journey to Quebec City, during which gourmet tapas are served. An overnight stay in Baie-St-Paul is also available, with your return journey taken the following day.

If you have a tighter schedule, you may wish to travel on the Dinner Rail Cruise. Operating in May, June, July and August, this three hour journey departs Montmorency Fall Station in Quebec City at 6pm. Your voyage includes four delicious courses of local gourmet cuisine which is served as the sun sets, allowing for viewing of the beautiful Charlevoix region at dusk as you dine.

For more information and places to stay in Quebec please click here


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