It’s All About The Trains – 12 Days / 11 Nights
This package is “All About the Trains”. You would be hard pressed to find a more exciting combination of top caliber rail travel. Start with the excitement of a sleeper train as you board VIA Rail’s “Canadian” in Sleeper Plus class, bound for Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. Enjoy the comforts of your private bedroom, meal service in the dining room and access to the domed-viewing cars. From Jasper, you will travel aboard Rocky Mountaineer. Few train trips offer such dramatic scenery. These two days of daylight travel will take you on a 634 mile odyssey that will astound you with the diverse beauty of Canada’s West. And just when you think scenery couldn’t get any better, you board the “Whistler Sea to Sky” train from Whistler to Vancouver and travel from mountain peaks to shimmering ocean views. Along the way, you will stay in wonderful hotels and resorts.
Toronto, VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class (Toronto/Jasper), Jasper, Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf Service (Jasper/Whistler, with overnight in Quesnel), Quesnel, Whistler, Whistler Sea to Sky Coast Classic Service (Whistler/Vancouver), Vancouver
Departs on selected Wednesdays
Day 1 – Arrive Toronto
Welcome to Toronto – “A World Within A City”. Transfer on your own from the Toronto airport to the hotel. Our choice of the Fairmont Royal York puts you in the heart of Toronto and 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 – Toronto – Fairmont Royal York
Day 2 – Toronto Sightseeing/VIA Rail Toronto to Jasper
With VIA Rail’s schedule, you have all day to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. Plan to have dinner before the train departs at 10:00PM at a nearby restaurant. Please 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 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 are available in the lounge area throughout the day and evening.
Overnight – VIA Rail Sleeper Car
Days 3 & 4 – VIA Rail/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
You will arrive into Jasper at 1:00PM. The long summer days will give you time to explore Jasper and enjoy the mountain scenery. Transportation to either the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge or Sawridge Inn is included. The Fairmont Park Lodge is a resort unto itself in the middle of the wilderness. The Sawridge Inn is located in the town of Jasper, convenient to the rail station and shopping.
Overnight – Jasper
Day 6 – Jasper/Explore Jasper Tour
Jasper, fascinating in beauty and history, is set amid some of the most rugged peaks in the Rockies. This four hour excursion encompasses the area’s outstanding features – Medicine Lake and Maligne Canyon. The canyon has a narrow gorge and limestone walls falling 50 metres to the floor below. From June 1 thru Sep 30, we highly recommend that you add the Maligne Lake Cruise.
Overnight – Jasper
Day 7 – Jasper/Columbia Icefield Tour
Today’s excursion follows the famous Icefields Parkway to the Columbia Icefield Centre. You will view scenic rocky mountain vistas and local wildlife along the way, with a photo stop at Athabasca Falls and Stutfield Glacier. Upon arrival at the Columbia Icefield, you will ride an Ice Explorer onto the glacier. You will also have time to visit the gift shops or museum before your return back to Jasper.
Overnight – Jasper
Day 8 – Jasper to Quesnel/Rocky Mountaineer
Rocky Mountaineer’s Jasper to Quesnel route is a two-day, breathtaking journey through the diverse beauty of Canada’s West. Your train departs at 7:10AM, as you begin to travel through Yellowhead pass continuing to Mt. Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Entering the Rocky Mountain Trench, you are surrounded by the steeply-rising Rocky Mountains to the north and the Cariboo Mountains to the south. Travel through the forests of British Columbia into Prince George and then follow the Fraser River into Quesnel, known for its gold mining. Scheduled arrival time is 6:30PM, and you will be taken to your hotel from the station.
Overnight – Quesnel
Day 9 – Quesnel to Whistler/Rocky Mountaineer
All aboard at 7:10AM for day two of your journey! Following the Fraser River out of town, your highlights include: Deep Creek Bridge – one of the highest railway bridges in the world, sweeping views of Fraser Canyon, glacial-fed Seton Lake, and the shorelines of Anderson Lake. You will pass through the rolling hills and vast ranchlands of the Cariboo Plateau, the desert-like conditions of Fraser Canyon, and the lush farmland of the Pemberton Valley all before your scheduled arrival into Whistler at 7:30PM. You will need to take a quick taxi to either the Fairmont Chateau Whistler or the Hilton Whistler Resort. The elegant Fairmont Chateau Whistler sits at the base of Blackcomb Mountain and the Hilton Whistler Resort is nestled in the village at the base of Whistler Mountain. Both hotels offer incredible views.
Overnight – Whistler
Day 10 – Whistler to Vancouver/Sea to Sky Train
Your morning is free to take in the quaint village and the beauty of the area before departing Whistler. The Sea to Sky train departs at 2:30PM for the scenic train trip to North Vancouver. Cross over the pinnacle of Brandywine Falls before descending a steep grade through the Cheakamus Canyon, where the river below tumbles to a craggy gorge. Pass through the town of Squamish, BC, home to the West Coast Rail Association and the Royal Hudson steam train, and look out for the spectacular dome peak of Mount Garibaldi, rising 2,678 meters (8787 feet). Continuing south, pass the impressive cascade of Shannon Falls, as the train hugs the eastern shores of Howe Sound with the British Columbia Coast Mountains rising sharply to the left and stunning views of ocean and mountain to the right. As you approach the end of the rail tour, you will enjoy views of downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park from the scenic waterfront of West Vancouver’s exclusive residential area, before passing under the Lions Gate Bridge and arriving at North Vancouver Rail Station. You will be transferred to your choice of the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre. The beautiful Fairmont Hotel Vancouver puts you right in center of the city, with everything right at your doorstep. The Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre is centrally located in the heart of Vancouver.
Overnight – Vancouver
Day 11 – 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 – Vancouver
Day 12 – Vancouver Home
Enclosed with your travel documents is a transfer voucher from your hotel to the airport. The staff of your hotel 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. Thank you for choosing Cartan Tours!
- 1 night – Toronto
- 3 nights – Jasper
- 1 night – Quesnel
- 1 night – Whistler
- 2 nights – Vancouver
- Station transfers in Jasper, Quesnel, Whistler, Vancouver
- Explore Jasper Tour
- 3 nights VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class – private bedroom from Toronto to Jasper, access to the domed-viewing cars and lounges, all meals while aboard the train
- Two days of scenic rail travel aboard Rocky Mountaineer with SilverLeaf or GoldLeaf Service from Jasper to Whistler. Breakfast and lunch will be served each day.
- Sea to Sky train, Coast Classic service from Whistler to Vancouver with large picture windows, access to the open air observation car, light meal served at your seat, commentary and complimentary soft drinks
- Columbia Icefields tour with a ride on an Ice Explorer
- Hop on/off tour of Vancouver
- Departure transfer – hotel to the Vancouver Airport
- Maps and destination information
- Hotel, Taxes and GST as applicable
Dates & Rates – 12 Days / 11 Nights
- Package starts on Wednesdays
- A senior discount is available if you are 60+
and are traveling on VIA Rail between July 1 and September 3
- Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
Fairmont Royal York, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Chateau Whistler, Fairmont Hotel Vancouver
GoldLeaf Service / Coast Classic aboard Rocky Mountaineer:
|Selected Dates||Land Only|
|May 2 – 23, 2018||$9,399|
|May 30, 2018||$9,699|
|June 6 – September 26, 2018||$10,399|
Fairmont Royal York, Sawridge Inn, Delta Whistler, Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre
SilverLeaf Service / Coast Classic aboard Rocky Mountaineer:
|Selected Dates||Land Only|
|May 2 – 30, 2018||$7,599|
|June 6 – September 26, 2018||$8,399|
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.
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 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.