Canada by Rail with the Rockies from Toronto – 12 Days / 11 Nights
This is one of our most popular packages, and it is no wonder. Nothing shows you Canada like the train. Your Toronto overnight ensures that you are at the station in plenty of time, while still having the opportunity to see the highlights of this cosmopolitan city. You will be traveling in comfort and style on VIA Rail’s Sleeper Plus class that includes a private sitting room by day and bedroom by night. Enjoy delicious meals and outstanding service. With 4 total nights aboard the train, you will experience the time-honored care that makes rail travel so popular. Your skyline car provides an ideal vantage point for spectacular photographs. Travel from Toronto past shimmering lakes and towering forests, across the “big sky” prairies for three nights. Arriving Jasper, you leave the train and stay in Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff in some of the “Rockies” most famous hotels. Continue your journey with one more overnight of rail travel through majestic mountains to Vancouver and the sparkling Pacific Ocean. Your morning arrival into Vancouver has you refreshed and ready to explore Vancouver. This package includes one night in Toronto and Vancouver; however; should you choose to stay additional days in either city, we can make the necessary arrangements for you.
Toronto, VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class (Toronto/Jasper/Vancouver)
Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff, Vancouver
Departs on Wednesday & Friday
Day 1 – Arrive Toronto
Welcome to Toronto, the starting point for your rail journey across Canada. Transfer from the airport to your hotel is on your own. 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 Jasper (D)
Your train does not leave until later this evening so you have 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. Plan to have dinner before the train departs at 10:00PM at a nearby restaurant. 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 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 – VIA Enroute to Jasper
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.
Overnights – VIA Rail Sleeper Car
Day 5 – Arrive Jasper
Today you 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. Transportation to either the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or Sawridge Inn is included. The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is a resort unto itself in the wilderness. The Sawridge Inn is located in the town of Jasper.
Overnight – Jasper
Day 6 – Jasper/Lake Louise
Your morning is at leisure. This afternoon, a transfer has been arranged to Lake Louise. The drive takes you through country that is breathtaking. After miles of wilderness, you arrive at the jewel in the crown, the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. Even after you have seen Lake Louise you can’t describe the magnitude of the beauty of the lake and the surrounding mountains. Sunny terraces and flower filled gardens make it the perfect place to relax.
Overnight – Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Day 7 – Lake Louise/Banff
After the beauty of Lake Louise, you will be surprised to find that Banff offers a different perspective. This active alpine village is just about the best place to be in summer. Towering mountains and the sweeping Bow Valley offer stunning contrasts. Elk roam about the grounds of the local hotels as if they were household pets. The Fairmont Banff Springs is the castle amongst the mountains and forests and boasts of offering a world class golf course and spa. The Rimrock Resort is built in such a manner that you have to take an elevator “down” to your room. Plan to visit many of Banff’s fun places. Don’t miss a gondola ride up Sulphur Mountain or a dip in the sulphur pool.
Overnight – Banff
Day 8 – Banff
You are never at a loss for things to do in Banff. The village is filled with delightful boutiques, restaurants, and shops. Be sure to spend some time at the Fairmont Banff Springs as it is a village in and of itself. If you enjoy outdoor activities, you can golf, bike, or hike.
Overnight – Banff
Day 9 – Banff/Jasper
If during your travels to Banff you saw places and longed to stop, our full day excursion will take you to many of them. As you travel to Jasper along the beautiful Icefield’s Parkway, you will pass some of the most beautiful vistas found any place on the globe. A stop at the awesome Athabasca Glacier for an Ice Explorer ride on this prehistoric river of endless ice is included in your day. Emerald Lakes, towering waterfalls and mountain peaks make this a day to remember. Your full day sightseeing excursion will bring you into Jasper late this afternoon. Once again you have the option of staying at either the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or the Sawridge Inn.
Overnight – Jasper
Day 10 – Jasper to Vancouver
You have the morning to relax and enjoy the beauty of Jasper. Your train departs this afternoon and we have arranged transportation to the station in Jasper. Your VIA Rail attendant will see that you are settled into your room for your continuation of your trip overnight by train to Vancouver. This is an excellent time to get a seat in the domed viewing car. The scenery out of Jasper is breathtaking as 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.
Overnight – VIA Rail Sleeper Car
Day 11 – Arrive Vancouver
You are scheduled to arrive into Vancouver at 9:45AM. Whether you choose the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, we have included a transfer from the Vancouver station to your hotel. The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver puts you right in center of the city with everything right at your doorstep. The Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre 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. 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.
Day 12 – Depart Vancouver
Enclosed with your travel documents is a transfer voucher from your hotel to the airport. The staff of the hotel you are staying at will direct you to your pick up point. We hope you enjoyed your visit to Canada, and that it will be one of many return trips.
- Toronto hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing tour
- (* Please see our itineraries and price charts to select your hotel plan choices)
- 1 night – Toronto
- 2 nights – Jasper
- 1 night – Lake Louise
- 2 nights – Banff
- 1 night – Vancouver
- 3 nights VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class Toronto to Jasper (Private bedroom with toilet)
- 1 night VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class Jasper to Vancouver (Private bedroom with toilet)
- Meals aboard the train
- Access to the dome cars and lounges
- Transportation – Jasper-Lake Louise/Lake Louise-Banff
- Full day sightseeing tour from Banff to Jasper with a stop at the Columbia Icefield and a ride on an Ice Explorer
- Transfer – Vancouver rail station to hotel
- Vancouver hop-on/hop-off city sightseeing tour
- Departure transfer – hotel to Vancouver Airport
- Baggage handling and housekeeping at mountain hotels
- Maps and destination information
- Hotel, rail & GST taxes as applicable
Dates & Rates – 12 Days / 11 Nights
- This package starts on a Wednesday or a Friday
- Departure dates on or within the seasons shown will determine the price
- Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
Staying at all Fairmont Hotels:
Royal York, Jasper Park Lodge, Chateau Lake Louise, Banff Springs, Hotel Vancouver
|May 2 – 23, 2018||
|May 25 – 30, 2018||
|June 1 – August 30, 2018||
|September 5 – 21, 2018||
|September 26 – October 12, 2018||
Royal York, Sawridge Inn, Chateau Lake Louise, The Rimrock Resort, Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre:
|May 2 – 23, 2018||
|May 25 – 30, 2018||
|June 1 – September 21, 2018||
|September 26 – October 12, 2018||
Staying at: The Fairmont Royal York, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
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 Jasper Park Lodge
Experience the natural beauty of Jasper along with all the amenities you come to expect from a Fairmont Hotel with your stay at The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge. Surrounded by snow-capped mountain peaks and glistening lakes, the views around the resort are spectacular. Rustic elegance, friendly staff and wildlife abounds here in the Canadian Rockies, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
Stunning scenery, majestic surroundings, breath-taking views, total bliss…..all these describe this wonderful resort located in the heart of Banff National Park. The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise treats you to old world elegance with up to date style. Lake Louise, known as the “crown jewel”, is one of the most photographed landscapes in Canada. Unmatched scenery and service is what you’ll find here!
The Fairmont Banff Springs
The Fairmont Banff Springs, known as Canada’s “Castle in the Rockies” is an iconic beauty amidst snow-capped peaks, enchanting lakes and pristine wilderness. Styled after a Scottish castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs offers stunning vistas, legendary hospitality and unsurpassed service for guests. Few hotels in the world can rival the majesty, hospitality and scenery of The Fairmont Banff Springs.
The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
Nestled between the majestic coastal mountains and the tides of the Pacific Ocean, on Canada’s west coast, lies Vancouver, a city that attracts travelers from around the world who are drawn to its breathtaking scenery and energetic lifestyle. 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. Just steps from the shopping and entertainment district, it is the perfect place to start exploring Vancouver.
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.