Canada by Rail, Alaska by Sea – 15 Days / 14 Nights
Combine two lifelong travel dreams when you travel from Toronto to Vancouver, in the comfort of VIA Rail’s Canadian in Sleeper Plus class with a private bedroom. Experience Vancouver before departing on a 7 night round trip cruise between Vancouver and Alaska aboard Holland America Cruise Line.
Toronto, VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class (Toronto-Vancouver)
Vancouver, Holland America Inside Passage Cruise (Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, as well as cruising Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay), Vancouver
Departs on selected dates
Day 1 – Arrive Toronto
Welcome to Toronto, the starting point for your rail journey across Canada. Transfer on your own from the airport to your hotel. Our choice of the Fairmont Royal York puts you into one of Toronto’s most popular historic hotels. Built by the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, the Royal York opened in 1929, introducing visitors to the largest hotel in Canada and the tallest in the British Empire! The hotel has so many pleasing features that you can enjoy without ever leaving the hotel. Revel in the elegance of their gracious lobby, beautiful pool and spa, delicious dining, and unique shops. However, do plan to go outside and explore the many famous sights and attractions only minutes from the hotel.
Overnight – Fairmont Royal York
Day 2 – Toronto Sightseeing/VIA Rail Toronto to Vancouver (D)
You will have all day to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. Included is a city tour that allows you to hop on and off at various attractions throughout the city; pick and choose what interests you the most! This evening we have included dinner at Joe Badali’s restaurant. The restaurant is close to the hotel and train station making it a perfect place to have a wonderful meal between the city tour and boarding the train. The train is scheduled to depart at 10:00PM.
Plan to be at the rail station one hour prior to boarding. The rail station is just across the street from the Fairmont Royal York. If you need assistance with your luggage, let the bell desk know that you will be departing on VIA Rail’s Canadian in Sleeper Plus class. VIA Rail has a special check in area for Sleeper Plus passengers. Here you can present your tickets to the VIA staff and check the luggage that you want to travel in the baggage compartment.
Nothing shows you Canada like a trip on the train. VIA Rail’s bedroom accommodation has your sitting room by day converting to upper and lower berths at night. Once aboard the train, the staff will see that you are settled into your room. As a Sleeper Plus passenger, your fare includes all meals, use of the lounges and access to the Skyline dome car for spectacular viewing. The VIA Rail staff will brief you on the dining schedule. Seating in the Skyline Dome car is on a first come, first served basis. Hot tea and coffee is available in the lounge area throughout the day and evening.
Overnight – VIA Rail Sleeper Car
Days 3, 4, & 5 – En route to Vancouver
As you travel east to west, you will travel through five of Canada’s Provinces. Starting in Canada’s largest city, Toronto, the train heads north through the Canadian Shield. This region of billion-year-old rock lies between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. Here, ancient glaciers scoured thousands of lakes and filled them with remarkably clear water. On their rocky shores, outcroppings of granite, pink, grey, and black form rounded boulders that breathtakingly tower over the tracks. As you pass through this area of forests, lakes, and streams it is not unusual to see bear or moose. As the train crosses into Manitoba, you enter a land of forests and lakes. Many of the 200 lakes were formed by meteor craters. This wealth of trees and water made Winnipeg, located at the junction of the Red, Assiniboine, and Seine Rivers the capitol of Canada’s fur trade. Saskatchewan shows you the unique beauty of the prairie lands. Cross into Alberta heading towards Edmonton, home of the world famous West Edmonton Mall. Midway between Edmonton and Jasper you have your first view of the Rockies and the promise of what is yet to come. This is an excellent time to get a seat in the domed viewing car. Following Jasper, you continue through what is considered the jewel in the crown of this wonderful rail trip, the Canadian Rockies. As you continue west the train crosses into British Columbia and the Rockies give way to fertile fields and eventually to the Pacific Ocean where Vancouver is perched.
Overnights – VIA Rail Sleeper Car
Day 6 – Arrive Vancouver
You are scheduled to arrive into Vancouver at 9:45AM. Transportation from the rail station to your Vancouver hotel is included. Both hotels are beautiful and centrally located in the heart of Vancouver. Due to your early arrival, your room may not be available for check in, so leave your bags at the hotel and set out to explore Vancouver with your hop-on/hop-off sightseeing tour. Visit Gastown, a lovely 19th century restoration offering a selection of excellent restaurants and shops. Other places to visit while in Vancouver are: Stanley Park, the Aquarium, Granville Island, the Capilano Suspension Bridge, Grouse Mountain, colorful Chinatown, BC Place, the Sunken Gardens of Queen Elizabeth Park and the Bloedel Conservatory.
Overnight – Fairmont Waterfront Hotel or Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Day 7 –Vancouver
Your hop on/off city sightseeing ticket is good for 2 consecutive days, giving you all day to explore Vancouver. This will allow you to go back and spend additional time at places you visited earlier or visit some of the other interesting places on the route.
Overnight – Fairmont Waterfront Hotel or Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Day 8 – Holland America Cruise/Inside Passage
The Fairmont Waterfront is located directly across from the pier. If you are staying at the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver it will be a short taxi ride to the pier. Welcome aboard the ms Volendam, your home for the next week while cruising the inside passage of Alaska. You will feel like a welcomed guest the moment you board the ship. Lunch will be available to boarding guests.
Overnights – All overnights will be aboard Holland America’s ms Volendam
Day 9 – Cruising the Inside Passage
Relax and enjoy the passing scenery, as well as the many activities offered during your cruise.
Day 10 – Cruising Tracy Arm/Juneau
Tracy Arm is a narrow, 26 mile-long fjord with dramatic glacier settings. Lush rain forests recede to reveal bare canyon rock and waterfalls everywhere. Icebergs of every size and shape are making their way to the sea. At the end of this waterway are two reminders of the Ice Age – The twin Sawyer Glaciers. Mountain goats and seals are common sights with the sighting possibility of bears or whales.
This afternoon you will arrive in Juneau, the capital of Alaska. Located at the foot of grand mountain peaks on the Gastineau Channel, the town of Juneau has the massive Mendenhall Glacier and the immense Juneau Icefields at its back door. Juneau is the place to let your imagination run wild. Explore the lush Tongass National Forest, visit the rustic shops in town or get out and kayak, dogsled, raft, hide, whale watch, “Flightseeing” or fish. There’s no end to the adventure because of the long daylight hours. Climb aboard the Mt. Roberts Tramway for a great spot to hike and take a dramatic souvenir photo. Don’t forget to visit the world famous Red Dog Saloon in town!
Day 11 – Skagway
Skagway is everyone’s picture of what Alaska must have been like during the Gold Rush. It is also famous for being the home to The White Pass and Yukon Railroad. It is a very memorable trip. There are also many other shore excursions to choose from. Visions of the Klondike days are plentiful with old time saloons, shops, memorabilia, and costumed people throughout town.
Day 12 – Glacier Bay Scenic Cruising
The trip to Glacier Bay takes you through scenery that is breathtakingly beautiful. You travel through passages that bring you close to the rock walls and under high cliffs. The highlight is seeing “calving”; you hear a loud crash and then see a huge chunk of the ice break off into the water. A stunning event you will never forget.
Day 13 – Ketchikan
Native heritage plays a large role in Ketchikan culture. For example, the largest collection of totem poles in the world is found in Ketchikan at Totem Bight State Historical Park, Saxman Native Village and the Totem Heritage Center Museum.
Day 14 – Cruising the Inside Passage
The ship’s fun-loving crew will keep you busy and entertained throughout your cruise.
Day 15- Vancouver/Home
Enclosed with your travel documents is a transfer voucher from the pier to the airport. The pickup point is just outside the Pan Pacific hotel. We hope you enjoyed your visit to Canada, and that it will be one of many return trips.
(If you need an extra night due to your flight schedule, we will be pleased to assist with the arrangements.)
- 1 night – Fairmont Royal York
- Toronto hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing tour
- Dinner at Joe Badali’s in Toronto
- 4 nights – VIA Rail’s Canadian, Sleeper Plus class with private bedroom from Toronto to Vancouver, access to the lounges and domed viewing cars
- Meals aboard the train
- Transfer – Vancouver rail station to hotel
- 2 nights – Fairmont Waterfront or Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
- Vancouver hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing tour
- Holland America – ms Volendam
- 7 nights roundtrip from Vancouver
- Ports of call: Juneau, Skagway, Ketchikan, cruising Tracy Arm and Glacier Bay
- Transfer – Vancouver Pier to Vancouver Airport
- Maps and destination information
- Hotel, rail & GST taxes as applicable
Dates & Rates – 15 Days / 14 Nights
- Package is offered on select dates
- Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
Port Taxes and Government Fees of $495 must be added to the prices shown above.
Please refer to Holland America’s website for Deck Plan information.
The Fairmont Royal York
Toronto is a city that has grown up around this grand landmark – The Fairmont Royal York. Steps away from its famous doors in the heart of Canada’s largest metropolis are an exciting mix of activities and attractions. From the theater, entertainment and financial districts, to shopping, sightseeing, and world-class sports facilities, The Fairmont Royal York truly is at the center of it all. The Fairmont Royal York includes: luxurious surroundings, thoughtfully appointed guest rooms, elegant suites, and a knowledgeable Concierge. The Fairmont Royal York is the ultimate downtown Toronto hotel. Regardless of the reason you are in Toronto, this landmark hotel has everything you need.
VIA Rail Sleeper Plus Class
The Sleeper Plus class offers cozy accommodations, cuisine prepared on board by our chef and impeccable service. Let yourself be gently rocked by the peaceful rhythm of the train in a cabin for one to four people or a suite. Enjoy all the essential conveniences and little extras.
A cabin for two is designed for two people.
- Room size: 7 ft. 2¾ in. X 4 ft. 11⅝ in. (220 cm x 151 cm), excluding 2 ft. 9 in. x 2 ft. 1 in. (84 cm x 64 cm) for private washroom
- Mattress size: approximately 71 in. x 31 in. (180 cm x 79 cm) on Chateau and Manor cars
- Private washroom available inside each double bedroom
- Mirror over sink with electrical razor outlet (110 VAC)
- Individual control for heating, ventilation and air-conditioning system
- Storage for one piece of carry-on baggage
- Daytime: two folding chairs
- Night-time: upper and lower beds replace chairs
- Large window with blind
- Exclusive access to a shower room (one shower room per car)
- Shower towels and amenity bag for body care articles
- Door locks on the inside only (no individual key)
- Other amenities: small closet, drinking water, paper and towels, pillows, sheets and blankets supplied, exclusive access to the departure lounge (Panorama Lounge) and priority boarding in Toronto and Vancouver.
The Fairmont Waterfront Hotel
The Fairmont Waterfront luxury hotel showcases the best of Vancouver. It is conveniently situated beside the Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal and within walking distance to historic Gastown, Robson Street and Stanley Park. The stunning harbor, Stanley Park and North Shore mountain views and a central downtown Vancouver location make The Fairmont Waterfront hotel in Vancouver the perfect fit.
CUSTOMS/IMMIGRATION – PLEASE NOTE: ALL U.S. CITIZENS MUST HAVE A VALID U.S. PASSPORT FOR TRAVEL TO OR FROM CANADA AS OF JANUARY 08, 2007.
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.
HOTEL CHECK-IN TIMES
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.
GOODS AND SERVICES TAX
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.