Comments and pictures from the 2012-2013 Rose Parade Tour can be found in the Rose Bowl section of our website. Please click HERE
to be taken there directly.
Snow Train - January 2011
I just wanted to drop a quick line to thank you and your company for providing my wife and I with a trip that we will remember for years to come. The trip package provided us with all the info and documents we needed from start to finish. If we had any questions during the trip, all we had to do was take a quick look at our package and all questions were answered.
Travel from Fairmont to Fairmont was flawless. The overnight train ride to Jasper was outstanding. The scenery was amazing. To quote Diana: "It was a rolling postcard."
The accomodations were wonderful and each planned activity was fantastic. The highlight had to be dogsledding. We both enjoyed that immensely.
Thanks again and if we need help with future travel, we know where to go.
Canada by Rail from Toronto
Subject: Overdue thanks
To all at the Lisle Cartan Tours office.
Our 3 day VIA Train Tour was MARVELOUS. Thank you for all your input, patience, and efficiency in knowing what was needed and when, and for being available (and congenial) as we plied you with questions during phone conversations.
This year, at least, we were probably a week to 10 days beyond the peak of colored foliage on the west side of the provinces, but as we traveled southeast toward Toronto we were treated to splashes of red, yellow, bronze and brown.
Pat and I enjoyed one another's company and we were treated to gourmet meals 'worth dying for' which should read: 'worth waiting every few hours for!'
I only regret that I didn't inquire about adding on time in Toronto. Arriving at 10 P.M. and being out at 7:30 am for the airport bus gave no opportunity to experience that city's flavor and uniqueness.
We are recommending the VIA experience to friends. Maybe we'll take that recommendation to heart another year - in the spring.
With our appreciation,
MC and PN
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Trains Across Canada
Ladies - While I am addressing this to just the two of you, it applies to all of the folks at Cartan who worked with me over the last several months. I just wanted to tell you how much my friend Connie & I enjoyed the Canada trip you put together for us. The Banff Springs Hotel was supremely comfortable and had a lovely view to boot, as did the Jasper Lodge. The staff a Chateau Lake Louise could not have been nicer, especially when I came down with a respiratory infection that almost torpedoed the rest of the trip. The whole crew for Brewster Tours is as professional as they come. The rail segment had its ups & downs, due to poor on-time performance and a trainee crew for part of the trip, but nothing can beat that scenery. Thank you again for the personal attention you gave us - between the logistical challenges of bi-continental travelers and badly delayed flights we through you a couple of rainbow curve balls. We were delighted with your services & will both recommend you highly & look to book with you again.
Canadian Rockies By Rail Tour
The Canadian trip was great. Even the air travel portion was textbook and hassle free.
Hotel accommodations in Vancouver, Victoria, Jasper, L. Louise and Banff were top drawer. Even got an upgrade to a jr. suite at two of the facilities. Food was delicious and even when we used the fine dining facility at Jasper there was no extra charge.
Pacific Coast Lines trip from Vancouver to Victoria VIA ferry was right on schedule and an interesting event. Ferry ride gave us a good view of the space between the two cities. We elected to use the float plane service in Victoria to return to Vancouver because it gave us an extra two hours which we used to go to the gardens. Price was $80 US per person and was well worth it. Can't take a large suitcase though. So if you plan to mention this in future advertising consider the luggage load limit. We travel carry on everywhere we go so there was no problem with the luggage weight.
Compliments to Carol Perry who met us for dinner on our arrival night in Vancouver. She was a pleasure to be with and helped us with the few questions that we had.
Weather in Vancouver and Victoria was a little rainy, cloudy, sunny and in the 50's. City tour of Vancouver was great as was the tour of the gardens in Vic.
Compliments also to Sun Dog Tours. The did a great job and the driver/guides were friendly, knowledgeable and gave us a great deal of info about the Can Rockies that we otherwise would not have known.
All plans made by you were first class and we have decided that down the road we'll be back for a trip from Toronto to Halifax. Would like to travel along the St. Lawrence seaway and I believe you have a tour for that.
Oh, almost forgot....VIA Rail did a fine job. Accommodations were compact but comfortable and the food was very good.
Thanks for making our trip one to remember.
G. & P.L.
Canada by Rail
We are now home from an excellent holiday.
The complete journey across Canada went without a hitch: the excursion to Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff and Jasper was well organised we had nothing to do except take in the scenery and enjoy ourselves.
The staff on the trains were helpful and the passengers with whom we shared meal tables were lovely, being genuinely interested in us and our travel.
Admittedly the holiday was helped by the weather, warm and sunny from the day we landed in Washington, our only rain was on the day we left Lake Louise. The next day we were cycling in Banff, warm and dry: We had a similar warm sunny ride in Vancouver The Fairmont hotels were all excellent making us glad we chose them for the complete trip.
One point The underground passageway from Toronto Union Station to The Royal York Hotel has two flights of stairs.
At 74, I am fortunate in still being able to carry 45 kg of cases, but I suggest you warn prospective customers they might need a porter.
So thank you all for the work you put in.
V. & J.H.
Quebec City, Rail, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island
My husband and I recently completed the Quebec City, Rail, Nova Scotia and PEI tour of eastern Canada. I spoke with you on the phone and you said that you welcomed any comments we had about the trip
The accommodations were excellent choices. We were never disappointed. We chose your tour agency because we like the variety you offered in this eastern Canada tour. Last summer we took an extended escorted tour from Vancouver to Toronto. We wanted to experience eastern Canada this summer.
The covered expenses were clearly described and we only had one “problem” with the hotel accepting the voucher. It was the last hotel at the Halifax Airport and the manager resolved the problem later that evening. It was the new clerk that didn’t recognize the voucher.
There are a couple things that we would have found useful to know ahead of time. The ferry from Nova Scotia and PEI information was helpful. We would suggest that you also include the Confederation Bridge information and cost in the summary. Crossing the ferry one way and returning on the bridge the other way gave us more of chance to enjoy both PEI and see more of New Brunswick and the western side of Nova Scotia.
The food was always excellent and easy to find restaurants to suit any budget or specialty. The people were always kind and seemed to be very glad that we chose to visit Canada. They were even very gracious in Québec City. In every province they told us about the impact of the economy, lower US/Canada exchange and the SARS problem had on this year’s tourism. The doorman at the Frontenac told us it was the first time in his 20 years of service that the hotel was not full every day during the summer season.
We learned a lot about our travel preferences and we like the flexibility your unescorted tours offer (combined with city tours).
J. & J. E.
Scenic Rail Journeys
Thanks to you and the others at Cartan Tours who assisted us in scheduling and making our trip a success. IT WAS WONDERFUL!! The scenery on the train rides to Jasper, Prince George and Prince Rupert was spectacular and each of the accomodations in Vancouver, Jasper and Prince Rupert was just perfect. We would recommend this trip to anyone and everyone.
P.N. and R.P.
Scenic Rail Journeys
I've been meaning to write and express again our heartfelt thanks for your help with our little detour!!
The detour worked out just fine - we even beat the train into Prince George.
There was only one coach on the Skeena and it was half full. There also was a DOME coach and a snack coach so we all had plenty of room to roam around which was a good thing because that's a VERY LONG train ride from George to Rupert.
Some thoughts in general on our overall itinerary...
Maybe add an extra day in the Banff/Jasper area if the tourists are the outdoors type.
Prince Rupert is definitely worth an extra day or two, especially if you want to explore VIA boat or plane.
Highlights of our trip:
Fantastic food in Vancouver, fantastic views in Vancouver, fantastic views from the train - you were right, the windows were plenty big seeing elk grazing on the lawn right in front of the Banff Springs hotel.
Seeing a BEAR right NEXT to our coach while we were stopped at a siding. Poor little guy was visibly upset that the train was between him and the direction he wanted to go. We understand bear sightings like this are the exception.
Broken rail just outside of Kamloops that added 1.5 hours while we waited for it to be repaired. Fantastic coach attendant on our Rocky Mountaineer train leg - she was wonderful. Fantastic views in Banff/Lake Louise area.
Red River cereal for breakfast - we liked it so much we went to the supermarket in town and bought a box to bring home.
Alexander Keiths India Pale Ale from Nova Scotia and British Colombia wines and of course, plus your kind and wonderful attention to ensuring we had a great vacation.
L. S. & S. F.
Diamond Bar, CA
Trains Across Canada
We had a wonderful holiday. We met up with a family of three - daughter from West Vancouver and parents from Utah, Salt Lake City. They were with Cartan Tours as well.
The view from the dome car was wonderful, particularly through the Rockies. The Prairies were just flat and a bit uninteresting.
We enjoyed our visit to Niagara Falls. It was awesome. We did have a problem with the tour to Niagara. I checked with the Niagara Tour Operator at 8am of the morning of the tour and they knew which hotel we were staying in but when we got down to the lobby - at least 10 minutes before time - the tour guide said that we were not on his list and that we would have to wait for another bus. The mistake was realized and the Manager of the tour company came out in his personal car and picked us up and took us to the Falls to meet up with the bus, after that there were no other problems. We really enjoyed the day.
Montreal was a very interesting place and the tour was interesting. We enjoyed being in Montreal and was only disappointed at having only one night there.
Quebec was something else. The Chateau Frontenac is a wonderful place to stay. We loved it. We thought Quebec City was superb and would have liked to have had more time there. It is so quaint and there were some really interesting streets.
Halifax was a very nice place to be in even although there had been a hurricane the day before we were due to go there. The devastation was enormous but did not affect us at all. A lot of restaurants were closed but we did find places to eat. We did not think much of the hotel - Delta Halifax - I think that is because we had been spoiled with the Fairmount hotels in Toronto, Montreal and Quebec. They were superb.
I personally am glad that we did the journey and it was certainly an experience.
Thank you so much for all your help and perhaps sometime in the future can use you again for another vacation. I will look on your website.
Romantic Rockies By Rail
You arranged a tour for my family to Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies in Nov/Dec 2002 - remember?
Just wanted to inform you that we enjoyed the vacation thoroughly. The arrangements you made for us were excellent. The VIA train, the accommodation arrangements and the transport connections all ran like clock-work. Everything was tip-top with no hitch at all. Credit and thanks to you. Just for info, the best hotel was the Chateau Lake Louise. I think we were given the best room in the house with panoramic windows facing the lake.
Thank you very much for the excellent arrangement and we will certainly recommend you to our friends planning to travel to destinations you cover.
Best wishes for a wonderful New Year ahead.
P. Y. K.
Canadian Train Tour
Everything about our recent Canadian train tour was just superb! By that I mean, not only the spectacular scenery and memorable experiences, but the Cartan arrangements as well.
You did an outstanding job of arranging our tour. I would highly recommend Cartan on every score: accommodations, timing/connections, sightseeing tours, adequate free time, our itinerary package with your vouchers and helpful instructions. Absolutely everything!
We had superior Hotel Accommodations, including several complimentary upgrades. The timing of our transfers and tours enabled us to get ourselves around with ease. Our rail and airlines tickets were all in order, and thankfully, allowed adequate time to make connections without stress overload.
We had never used your company before; and our local travel agent was not familiar with your company until I introduced her. I found Cartan by researching the Internet. However, our confidence in Cartan developed quickly and was borne out on our entire trip. Cartan is obviously well respected by the hoteliers and transportation companies.
We had only the tiniest hitch along the way when presenting your vouchers. At the Vancouver train station office of Brewster, there was some question whether our bus voucher included the cost of admission at Buchart Gardens. The challenge was quickly resolved to our benefit.
I understand our travel agent at Ravenel Travel is using Cartan for another couple's wedding trip. I hope you get more referrals and repeat business. You deserve it.
G. B. M.
Mountain Magic and Canada by Rail Tour
I have just returned from your Canadian Rockies/Rail tour and want to let you know I had a wonderful time. The driver who met us at the airport and took us to Kananaskis was very friendly and informative. Your guide for the trip, Anton (don't know his last name) was great. I felt like a family member was showing me around to their favorite places .
B. G. H.
Majestic Rockies and Canada by Rail Tour
We just want to say that we had a wonderful trip Richmond, VA to Calgary to Jasper to Toronto and home, Aug. 14 to Aug. 23. Our driver in the Canadian Rockies was John Powers, who works for the Banff Limousine Company, and I'd like very much to write and thank him for the delightful four days we had there. Do you have an address--E-Mail or otherwise, at which I could contact him? Also have a couple of photos I'd like to send O. H. from Las Vegas and B. W. from Phoenix, Arizona. They were our traveling companions in Alberta, and on the train to Toronto, and we failed to exchange addresses. If this is something you can do, I'd appreciate having their addresses too. Also want you to know that we had no problem at all, checking into the Royal York at 4:30 A.M. Thanks for your help. Too, the train staff was very helpful with the problems caused by the train's being 7 hours late getting into Toronto.
Again, this was a wonderful trip, and we will recommend your company to other people.
Glen Allen, VA
Victoria, Vancouver, Rail and the Canadian Rockies - Customized Individual Tour-
Just wanted to say thanks for arranging such a great trip for us!
Everything went very smoothly and we loved it all-the train trip, the hotels, the self-drive trip. With all the fun and wonderful things we did, we both agreed that the drive up and down the Icefields Parkway was number 1.
Just a suggestion for your file: When checking in for the Rocky Mountaineer train in Vancouver, they take your bags before you check in (as you know, passengers may take on board only an overnight bag.)
Thanks again for your great planning and for all the info you sent.
We're glad to have found you on the Internet!
P. S. and V. A.
Canadian Rockies Tour
(e-mail) Cartan Tours:
In August 1999, my friend, R. W. and I took your Canadian Rockies tour. It was wonderful in every way. Thank you for your kind attention.
O. C. H.
Las Vegas, NV
Canadian Cities/Canadian Rail Tour
Dear Cartan Staff:
I write to tell you that we enjoyed a fine Canadian Cities Tour in Ontario and Quebec. And good late summer weather co-operated too. Our three hotels lived up to their 4 star ratings. They were virtual worlds within themselves. The respective city tours were interesting, informative, and well done.
Our air and rail connections were always on time with comfortable seating. The Hotel - Train Terminal location interface provided excellent ease of travel connection. The Quebec City travel service was convenient and effective.
Thanks for providing all requested preliminary information and doing a fine job of our tour setup. We certainly were in good hands.
Canadian Rockies by Rail Tour
As I told you on the phone yesterday, we had a superb trip in Canada two weeks ago. I was always grateful when a student commented favorably about what I did in class, so I try to tell someone when I have a really good experience.
The day at Jasper came at just the right time, as both of us were tired from sitting on the train for two days. And then the highlight of the trip was the drive from Jasper to Banff. The country was lovely and cool, knowledgeable Kevin found us all sorts of animals and made dinner reservations for us, the food was delicious, and the dining room service was so intense as almost to qualify as hovering.
The true test of a good trip is the desire to return and to tell people about our good time. I am now trying to figure out when I can revisit Banff, and I can't stop talking about how wonderful that week was.
Thank you for a lovely trip.
Canadian Lodges & Rockies by Rail
Just had to email you and let you know what a wonderful trip we had to the Canadian Rockies. It couldn't have been planned any better. Everything went so smoothly. Believe it or not, of the 4 airline segments, two were on time and two arrived early! The time spent in each place was just enough and we were ready to move on. The lodges were beautiful and very accommodating. The car rental and the train to Vancouver were great.
Thank you so very much for making all this possible. In the future, we most certainly will call upon you again.
Costa Mesa, CA
Trains Across Canada
We are now home from our cross-Canada trip. Both Alexis and I would like to express our thanks to you personally (and Cartan). The trip involved a large number of events and transfers and hotels - and it all went like clockwork. We both thought that with so many vouchers something somewhere would go astray, BUT nothing went wrong. Everyone was expecting us or came to pick us up as planned. Brilliant.
Thank you for all the hard work in putting together all of the arrangements. We enjoyed the trip immensely.
Rose Parade Tour 2009/2010
When I booked my trip I had hoped it would be all that you all said it would be and I want you to know that it was even better than I could possibly imagine. From the beginning to the end it was first class and I would recommend that anyone contact you. Trudy was a joy and went beyond being helpful. Thank you so much for everything!!!!!!!!
Rose Parade Tour 2009/2010
Thank you for a wonderful time.
P. & E.
Rose Parade Tour 2009/2010
It was a pleasure touring with our group. Thank you for a wonderful experience. Glenn was a top notch bus driver. Good choice.
A.C. & P.T.
Mountain Tracks to the Sea
The trip to Alaska was more than I expected. All the travel plans were flawless. I had an outstanding trip. The Volendam is a charming ship. It was a delight to be amongst civil company and service people. Thank you for your part in making it all happen.
Anne B. – California
Canadian Trains and the Rockies
We came back from our month long trip to Canada and California a couple of weeks ago. You did a terrific job putting our trip together and we had a fantastic trip!!! We upgraded to Gold service at Fairmont Hotels......we probably had the best cabin at
Jasper Park Lodge right at the edge of the lake and the view from our room at Fairmont Lake Louise was just breathtaking!!!
We loved the trip aboard Rocky Mountaineer!!! We are telling all our friends about our Gold Leaf experience and suggesting them to take a trip soon! Sightseeing tours were fun and everything worked out well. Thank you so much Stacey! It really was
a great trip.
Sumie & Bill Murakami
My wife and I wanted to thank you and Cartan Tours for the wonderful tour of Vancouver, Whistler, and Vancouver Island. The hotels, transportation, and other arrangements were excellent. The train to and from Whistler was a very enjoyable journey. Everyone was so nice everywhere we went.
The vouchers worked perfectly and everything worked out as planned without one problem.
While not the highlight of the trip, but the hotel on the last night of our trip Vancouver Airport (Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel), was an outstanding choice and the convenience to the various US airline ticketing counters could not have been more convenient. This too all of the stress out of getting to the airport and "making" the scheduled flight on time.
We had a great time and the arrangements could not have suited us better.
Paul & Claudia Crocombe
High Tides & Scenic Trains - 2012
We enjoyed our lovey trip to new Brunswick and the high tides. Thank you for making all the recommendations and reservations for us.
We went to prince Edward island one day and enjoyed the beautiful country side.
There was a lovely lobster restaurant in Shediac called Gabrielle we enjoyed and would recommend. They suggested going to the dunes in Bouctouche and walking along the water on a boardwalk. We did that after dinner and enjoyed it.
The hotels were simply awesome!! We loved the fairmont queen Elizabeth in Montreal.
The first hotel we have stayed in where they had a real bathroom rug.!! OLovely.
The Algonquin at st Andrews by the sea was out of this world. They gave us a suite that had two baths, a fireplace living room, kitchenette and lovely bedroom.
We were very comfortable on the train. Very clean, lovely meals, friendly people. When we got off the train at Moncton the train waitress offered to take us to the car rental and we took her up on it she was so kind.
Thank you for all of your help. I had a wonderful 50th birthday in Quebec City and we really enjoyed our trip to Canada. It was one of our best trips we have done. We loved the trains and the hotels. The Fairmont hotels are in great locations for everything that we did. - B.B., Sacramento, CA