Canada By Rail Classic – 7 Days / 6 Nights
Nothing shows you Canada like the train. Travel in either direction between Toronto and Vancouver onboard VIA Rail’s signature train “The Canadian.”
We are often asked, “What is the best time of year to travel?” Each season has its own distinctions. In spring, there may still be snow on the mountain tops. This snow creates run-off that fills the otherwise, dry river beds of the valley. Daylight hours start getting longer, vegetation begins to bloom and wildlife emerges from hibernation. During the summer months, daylight hours are plentiful, it becomes considerably warmer and everything is in full bloom. When traveling during the fall, portions of your journey will display Mother Nature’s resplendent beauty, as trees change color and wildlife begin to mate and prepare for winter hibernation. Winter brings the cold and snow, but from inside the warmth of the train, you will enjoy watching the crystallized and frozen, snow-covered landscapes pass by.
Regardless of the season, you will travel comfortably in a private sitting room by day that converts into your personal bedroom at night. Spending four nights aboard the train allows you the time to relax, while experiencing delicious meals, outstanding service and the time-honored care that still makes rail travel so popular today. You will also enjoy access to the domed skyline car. This exclusive car provides you with an ideal vantage point for spectacular photo opportunities during your journey.
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 amuse yourself without ever leaving the hotel. Enjoy the elegance of their gracious lobby, their 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)
Your train departs later this evening allowing you all day to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. We have included a city tour that allows you to hop on and off at various attractions throughout the city. This will allow you to 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 areal 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 any of the lounges and access to the domed skyline car for spectacular viewing. The VIA Rail staff will brief you on the dining schedule. Seating in the domed skyline cars 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 – Enroute 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 make 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 9:30am. Transporation to your hotel is included. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver is a beautiful hotel 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. Your hop on/off trolley tour gives you a wonderful overview of Vancouver and allows you to make stops along the way at your leisure. 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 Hotel Vancouver
Day 7 –Vancouver/Home
Transportation from your hotel to the Vancouver Airport is included. We hope that you have enjoyed your journey across Canada and plan to explore more of Canada on a future trip!
- 1 night – Fairmont Royal York
- Toronto hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing tour
- Dinner at Joe Badali’s Restaurant in Toronto
- 4 Nights – VIA Rail’s Canadian in Sleeper Plus class, private bedroom from Toronto to Vancouver with access to the lounges and domed viewing cars
- Meals aboard the train
- Transfer – Vancouver rail station to hotel
- 1 night – Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
- Vancouver hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing tour
- Departure or arrival airport transfer in Vancouver
- Maps and destination information
- Hotel, rail & GST taxes as applicable
Dates & Rates – 7 Days / 6 Nights (Starting in Toronto)
- Package starts on Monday, Wednesday* or Friday from Toronto
- Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
|May 2 – 30, 2018||
|June 1 – September 14, 2018||
|September 17 – October 26, 2018||
Dates & Rates – 7 Days / 6 Nights (Starting in Vancouver)
- Package starts on Monday, Thursday or Saturday* from Vancouver
- Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
|May 3 – 31, 2018||
|June 1 – September 10, 2018||
|September 13 – October 29, 2018||
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 Hotel Vancouver is the landmark hotel in downtown Vancouver. Known as the ‘Castle in the City’, it reflects the timeless luxury of Canada’s iconic hotels. Located just steps from Vancouver’s business, shopping and entertainment district, it is the perfect place to explore Vancouver’s spectacular scenery and vibrant downtown Vancouver lifestyle.
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.