Montreal, VIA Rail, Best of the Maritimes – 16 Days / 15 Nights


This is an Escorted Tour.

This 15 night package starts in the lovely city of Montreal for an overnight before boarding VIA Rail’s Ocean for an overnight to Halifax. Your escorted tour of the Maritimes starts in Halifax where for the next 12 nights you will travel to places that will make you realize why Canada’s Maritime Provinces is one of the world’s most popular destinations!

Day 1 – Arrive Montreal
Welcome to Montreal. A city of sophistication and style, where the restaurant guide is required reading. Where fashion calls home and the shopping is hard to beat! The staff of theFairmont Queen Elizabeth will be waiting to assist you with check-in arrangements.
Overnight – Fairmont Queen Elizabeth

Day 2 – Montreal to Halifax (D)
Your city sightseeing tour gives you an excellent overview of the city. The morning tour still allows time for you to explore on your own before boarding your train this evening to Halifax. Once on board, the staff will see you comfortably settled into your bedroom. Dinner this evening and a continental breakfast will be served in the dining car.
Overnight – VIA Rail Sleeper Car

Day 3 – Enroute to Halifax (B, D)
The train is a wonderful place to meet new people. The VIA Rail staff have a wealth of knowledge about passing scenery and enjoy sharing it with their passengers. You arrive in Halifax late afternoon. Your hotel is a short taxi ride from the rail station. Halifax is a lovely city, reflecting the care that has gone into restoring this historic harbor.
Overnight – Cambridge Suites Hotel

Day 4 – Halifax
Arrive in Halifax and check in to our accommodations which are ideally located in the downtown core of this vibrant and cosmopolitan urban centre on the Atlantic Ocean. Meet our Tour Director and fellow travelers this evening at a Welcome Reception.
Overnight – Cambridge Suites Hotel

Day 5 – Halifax, NS to Moncton, NB (CB, L, D)
Explore the Bay of Fundy and learn about the world’s highest tides as we meander its colourful coastline to New Brunswick’s bilingual city of Moncton. En route, explore the Joggins Fossil Cliffs, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See magnificently exposed layers of rock revealing the world’s most complete fossil record of life in the “Coal Age” of 300 million years ago. After crossing into New Brunswick, an unforgettable culinary experience awaits as we cruise the warm waters of Shediac Bay aboard a lobster boat; learn about the fishing industry and savour a delicious lobster supper. Arrive in Moncton and check into our downtown hotel for the night.
Overnight – Crown Plaza Moncton Downtown

Day 6 – Moncton, NB to Saint John, NB (B, L, D)
Experience a true natural wonder this morning as we visit the Hopewell Rocks on the coast of the Bay of Fundy. Marvel at these massive flower-pot shaped formations sculpted by the highest tides on the planet. Travel through Fundy National Park on to Canada’s first incorporated city, Saint John, on the southern New Brunswick coast. Enjoy a city tour, including the Reversing Falls, before checking into our harbourfront accommodations for a two-night stay.
Overnight – Hilton Saint John

Day 7 – St. Andrews by-the-Sea (B, D)
Enjoy a day trip to picturesque St. Andrews by-the Sea where the quaint charm of this coastal town is sure to captivate. After a Whale Watching Boat Tour (weather permitting), the afternoon is ours to experience the friendly people, beautiful architecture, and rich marine life of this seaside gem at our own pace.
Overnight – Hilton Saint John

Day 8 – Saint John, NB to Annapolis Valley, NS (B, D)
Enjoy free time in Saint John this morning before we ferry back to Nova Scotia; be on the look-out for whales as we cross the Bay of Fundy. Arrive in Digby, the scallop capital of the world, where the fresh sea air and passionate Acadian culture combine to form an enchanting and historically rich town. We overnight in the Annapolis Valley.
Overnight – Digby Pines Golf Resort & Spa

Day 9 – Annapolis Valley, NS to Halifax, NS (B)
Travel the lush Annapolis Valley and learn about the French Acadians who established their first settlement in the early 1600’s. Visit Grand Pre World UNESCO Site where fact and fiction blend to reveal the romance of the Land of Evangeline. Visit a local winery for a tour and tasting before arriving in Halifax for the evening.
Overnight – Cambridge Suites Hotel

Day 10 – Halifax, NS to Oak Island, NS (B, D)
Discover the rustic charm of the renowned fishing village of Peggy’s Cove where we will enjoy breakfast. Travel Nova Scotia’s South Shore and on to the UNESCO World Heritage Town of Lunenburg, renowned for her fleets of Grand Banks’ fishing schooners. Take a walking tour to fully experience one of the most remarkably preserved colonial settlements in the New World, and visit the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic to learn about the town’s famous seafaring heritage. We are then off to postcard-perfect Mahone Bay where a trinity of 19th century-built churches represents an iconic cultural landscape of Nova Scotia. Enjoy some free time to stroll through the town and chat with the welcoming locals who have been known to share superstitions, legends and fables that date back to the rum-running days. Arrive in Western Shore for the night and learn of legendary Oak Island – home of the world’s longest running hunt for lost treasure. We overnight at a peaceful and serene ocean-side resort.
Overnight – Atlantic Hotel & Marina Oak Island

Day 11 – Oak Island, NS to Charlottetown, PE (B, D)
Once only accessible by ferry, today we arrive on Prince Edward Island via the Confederation Bridge, the world’s longest continuous multi-span bridge. En route, learn about Mi’kmaq culture at the Glooscap Heritage Centre & Mi’kmaq Museum. Experience true Maritime hospitality this evening at a traditional Prince Edward Island lobster supper before checking into our Charlottetown accommodations for a two-night stay.
Overnight – Rodd Charlottetown

Day 12 – Prince Edward Island Touring (B, L)
Enjoy a free morning in Charlottetown, Canada birthplace, or join a complimentary walking tour of the city. This afternoon, we drive by red cliffs, white beaches, gently sloping sand dunes and green fields as we make our way to Prince Edward Island National Park. Before returning to Charlottetown, we visit Green Gables Heritage Site, the alluring inspiration of Lucy Maud Montgomery’s classic Anne of Green Gables books. We take in a theatre performance this evening by local entertainers at the Confederation Centre of the Arts (a substitution activity may be necessary due to the theatre schedule.)
Overnight – Rodd Charlottetown

Day 13 – Charlottetown, PE to Baddeck, NS (B, D)
Ferry over the Northumberland Strait back to Nova Scotia and proceed to Cape Breton Island – the Scotland of North America – via the Canso Causeway. Visit the Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site in Baddeck to learn of the many accomplishments of this genius who made his home on the island. Arrive at our accommodations on the Bras d’Or Lake where we will spend two nights.
Overnight – Inverary on Baddeck Bay

Day 14 – Cabot Trail Touring (B, L, D)
We’re off to experience one of the most stunningly picturesque drives in North America. The Cabot Trail winds around the rocky splendor of Cape Breton’s northern shore, ascending to the incredible plateaus of Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Look-offs offer unforgettable vistas of Cape Breton’s rugged coastline so be sure to have your camera on hand. Our day is complimented by a Whale Watching Boat Tour (weather permitting).
Overnight – Inverary on Baddeck Bay

Day 15 – Baddeck, NS to Halifax, NS (B)
The Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site awaits us today. Words cannot do justice to this reconstruction depicting one fifth of the settlement of 1744 New France. Roam the streets and chat with authentically costumed guides. Proceed along the shore of the Bras d’Or Lake to the mainland, and back to Halifax for one last night in the Maritimes.
Overnight – Cambridge Suites Hotel

Day 16 – Depart Halifax (CB)
Tour arrangements end upon check out from the hotel. We hope that you have enjoyed your time with us and that we’ll see you again soon!

Tour Highlights:

  • 1 night – Fairmont Queen Elizabeth
  • 1 night – VIA Rail’s “Ocean”, Sleeper Plus class (seasonal operation) with private bedroom, access to the domed viewing car, service of an on-board learning coordinator and some meal service, from Montreal to Halifax
  • Atlantic Canadian Tour Director
  • Deluxe Motorcoach Transportation
  • Welcome Reception
  • Joggins Fossil Cliff’s – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Lobster Dinner Cruise on Shediac Bay
  • Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tidal Exploration Site
  • Fundy National Park
  • Saint John City Tour including Reversing Falls
  • St. Andrew’s by-the-Sea Day Trip
  • Ferry from New Brunswick to Nova Scotia
  • Grand Pre – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Annapolis Valley Winery Tour & Tasting
  • Peggy’s Cove
  • Lunenberg – a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Glooscap Heritage Centre & Mi’kmaq Museum
  • Confederation Bridge to Prince Edward Island
  • Anne of Green Gables Heritage Place
  • Prince Edward Island National Park
  • Ferry from Prince Edward Island to Nova Scotia
  • Alexander Graham Bell National Historic Site
  • World Famous Cabot Trail
  • Cape Breton Highlands National Historic Site
  • Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site
  • 2 Whale Watching Boat Tours
  • 12 night’s accommodation including 3 two-night stays
  • 24 meals including 2 lobster dinners

Dates & Rates – 16 Days / 15 Nights

  • Begins on select Saturdays
  • A senior discount is available if you are 60+ and traveling on the train between June 3 and September 30
  • Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
Select Dates Land Only
June 2 – 23, 2018
June 30 – July 28, 2018
August 4 – 25, 2018
September 1 – 29, 2018
on request

COMING SOON:  This section will include detailed information about the hotels in this tour, along with a PDF of the hotel brochure.

You clear Canadian Customs and immigration at your first point of entry into Canada. Customs and Immigration clearance is generally a quick and simple process. Please note that Non-citizens should carry a valid passport and check with their local Canadian Council for visa requirements.

If transfers are included in your tour package, vouchers have been provided. Present your vouchers to the bus driver.

Be casual and comfortable. Comfortable shoes are a must. We suggest flat shoes with rubber soles on the train, as this makes getting around easier and safer.

We are pleased to pass your requests to our hotels, but we cannot guarantee that the hotels will be able to accommodate these requests. Please keep in mind, that often hotels are filled to capacity.

Electricity is on the same current in Canada as in the states – 110 volts. If you are traveling on VIA Rail, bedrooms have a small sink and outlet for small appliance use like razors.

When planning your daily activities, please keep in mind that your hotels are generally not available for check in until mid afternoon. If you arrive and cannot check in, we suggest you leave your bags with the hotel bell desk and go off to explore the city!

Based on your tour service selections, Cartan has reserved and paid for these tour services. Services, which you elect not to use, are not refundable. In the event a service cannot be used for reasons beyond your control, a refund will be issued provided the service supplier has agreed that they will refund or credit Cartan Tours. Based on the service suppliers’ refund to Cartan Tours, requests for qualifying refunds must be made in writing and will be processed less a $35.00 handling fee.

Incidental charges such as valet, telephone calls, beverages, and room service must be cleared before leaving the hotel. If you have made calls with a credit card or called collect, you may still have charges to clear. The hotels will appreciate your clearing them before you leave.

Credit cards are widely accepted throughout Canada. To avoid carrying large amounts of cash, we suggest you use your credit cards. Change the amount of money you feel you will need for general day-to-day activities. We find you get the best rate of exchange when you exchange money at a bank. Most people find it convenient to change money at the airport bank when they arrive.

Cartan Tours pays GST on all taxable inclusions; however, we are not required to pay GST on hotel stays for non-Canadian visitors. Thus, there is no GST rebate due on hotel rooms reserved and paid by Cartan Tours.

Tipping percentages and policies are as in the States. A very acceptable tip for a meal is 15%. When dining, always check to ensure the service charge has not been added to your bill. You will see a tax charge that averages 12 – 17%. Service, if charged, should also be listed. Although menus frequently specify their policy on tipping, if unsure, feel free to ask.

It is customary in Canada to leave a small tip for the chambermaid. We suggest $1.00 per room per night. Baggage handling we suggest $1.00 – $2.00 per bag.