Mounties, Mountains and Moose – 13 Days / 12 Nights
When you think of Canada what three icons come to mind? The Royal Canadian Mounted Police otherwise known as Mounties, the majestic Mountains of Alberta and British Columbia, and of course the mighty moose. Traveling from Ottawa to Prince Rupert will certainly give you the best opportunity to see these three icons as you travel across Canada on three of VIA Rail’s finest trains.
Ottawa, Toronto, VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class (Toronto/Jasper)
Jasper, VIA Rail (Jasper-Prince George-Prince Rupert)
Prince George, Prince Rupert
Departs on Fridays
Day 1 – Arrive Ottawa
Welcome to Ottawa, Canada’s Capitol. Canada’s capitol is a jewel. The soft green of the weathered, copper roofs and the weathered stone of Parliament Hill, give Ottawa an elegance enjoyed by few cities. Our choice of the beautiful Fairmont Chateau Laurier puts you right in the heart of everything: Parliament, twelve National Museums, Galleries, Public Statues, Libraries, the Rideau Canal, outdoor markets including the ByWard Market, as well as an array of restaurants all for your choosing.
Overnight – Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Day 2 – Ottawa
Today your hop on/off tour of Ottawa offers stops at historical landmarks, scenic waterways and beautiful parks. Parliament Hill, the Canadian Museum of Civilization, Rideau Falls, Royal Canadian Mint and the National Gallery of Canada are just a few of the fascinating sites you will view while on your tour. During the summer, free tours of Parliament are offered daily. The changing of the Guard takes place at 10am – June thru August. The Sound and Light Show on Parliament Hill occurs from July 5 to September 13, and should not be missed. With the winds as hosts and storytellers, the Spirit of Canada is revealed in captivating music, shimmering lights and stunning giant projections on the Parliament Buildings. It is woven with a rich tapestry of words, music and sounds to tell the story of Canada. The free 30 minute shows in July are at 9:30pm and 10:30pm, and in August at 9:00pm and 10:00pm.
Overnight – Fairmont Chateau Laurier
Day 3 – Ottawa to Toronto
An afternoon train from Ottawa to Toronto awaits you today. Board VIA Rail in Business Class and sit back, relax, and enjoy the four and a half hour ride through the Ontario countryside with a delicious lunch included. Upon arrival into Toronto the Fairmont Royal York is conveniently located across the street from the station. Toronto as you will quickly come to realize; is a city where people live and play, as well as work. Lake frontage, friendly people, wonderful food and great shopping are a few of the reasons people return again and again.
Overnight – Fairmont Royal York
Day 4 – Toronto – Niagara falls by night including the Hornblower and buffet dinner.
Your morning is at leisure to shop or sightsee in Toronto. Don’t miss taking a walk across the glass floor at the CN Tower, the world’s tallest freestanding structure. See the Hockey Hall of Fame, and visit the Sky Dome or tour Casa Loma, Toronto’s majestic castle. The plans that we have made for your visit to Niagara Falls are just the best! This afternoon, board a first class motor coach for a drive through the orchard-laden countryside of the Niagara Peninsula. The lush green, rolling hills take you through historic Niagara-on-the-Lake, a picturesque community that prides itself on stylish Victorian Houses and picture-perfect lawns. No matter how many times you visit Niagara Falls, one’s sense of awe never fades. Thus; we wanted you to see the falls in daylight, up close, and somewhat wet on the “Hornblower”. Then see the falls from the lofty heights of a penthouse dining room and at night, in dramatic color, as you watch the multicolored illumination show. Your tour includes a ride aboard the “Hornblower” to the base of Horseshoe Falls. This is the perfect way to experience the power of the falls. Enjoy a buffet dinner with breathtaking views from the penthouse dining room. Time allows you to visit the flower-filled grounds while waiting for the illumination show to get started. On Fridays starting in mid-May, you will have the added bonus of a free fireworks display over the falls. Your coach will return to the Fairmont Royal York about 11PM.
Overnight – Fairmont Royal York
Day 5 – VIA Rail Toronto to Jasper
With VIA Rail’s schedule, you have all day to enjoy this cosmopolitan city. Then it will be evening and time to check-in for your rail adventure.
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 you 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.
Your journey will take you out of Toronto and up through the “Canadian Shield”. This region of billion-year-old rock lies between the Great Lakes and Hudson Bay. Here, ancient glaciers scoured the bottoms of 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 and moose. “Dinner in the diner, nothing could be finer” and then it’s off to bed.
Overnight – VIA Rail
Days 6 & 7 – VIA Rail continue to Jasper
This morning, you arrive into Winnipeg where the Red, Assiniboine and Seine Rivers converge. You have time to get off the train, stretch your legs and get some fresh air here. There is a mall across the parking lot from the station with many shops and cafes. All Aboard!!! Departing Winnipeg, the train passes through the “Prairies” of Manitoba and Saskatchewan, known as the bread-basket of Canada. Sixty percent of the country’s wheat is produced here and is home to some of the largest grain farms in the world. Enjoy a delicious dinner and then it’s off to sleep.
Overnight – VIA Rail Sleeper Car
Day 8 – Arrive Jasper
Crossing the border into Alberta, wheat fields give way to oil wells. Edmonton has been a “Canadian Boomtown” from the fur trading days, to the Yukon Gold Rush, to the discovery of oil and is home to the famous West Edmonton Mall. After a brief stop in Edmonton, be sure to get a seat in the dome car. Soon you will be in a “sea of mountains” and heading into Jasper National Park, “the Gem of the Rockies”. You are scheduled to arrive into Jasper in the early afternoon. The long summer days will give you time to explore Jasper and enjoy the mountain scenery. We will provide a transfer from the station to the Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – wilderness luxury at its finest.
Overnight – Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Day 9 – Jasper – Discover 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 many of the area’s outstanding features. You will see Medicine Lake, as well as Maligne Canyon. The canyon’s narrow gorge and limestone walls fall 50 meters to the floor below. From June through September, we highly recommend that you add the Maligne Lake Cruise.
Overnight – Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge
Day 10 – VIA Rail Jasper to Prince George (L & D on the Train)
Your morning is at leisure to enjoy and explore Jasper. Transportation from your hotel to the station is provided. The wilderness beauty of Jasper is but a picture of what is in store for you today, as you travel from Jasper to Prince George. The Skeena River valley route travels through country little changed by man. Your route takes you past Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies, down the western slope of the range with its giant cedars and hemlocks, and across British Columbia’s interior plateau en route to the Skeena River valley. The Skeena arrives into Prince George at 7PM; the Coast Hotel is a short taxi ride from the station.
Overnight – Coast Inn of the North Hotel
Day 11 – Prince George to Prince Rupert (B, L, & D on the Train)
An early morning is in order. The Skeena departs at 7:45AM. The rail station is a short taxi ride from your hotel. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served aboard the train, so settle back to enjoy another day of dramatically beautiful scenery. Highlights of your routing include Fraser Lake, the meeting of the Telkwa and Bulkley Rivers and Kathlyn Glacier and Twin Falls, one of the best views of a glacier from a passenger train in Canada. Then, to the river for which the train was named, the mighty Skeena River, taking you past snow-covered mountain peaks, graveled flood plains, and lush river beds to the Pacific Ocean tidal zone, where the river widens on its way to the ocean. Scheduled arrival into Prince Rupert is 8pm. When you arrive, take a taxi to your hotel.
Overnight – Crest Hotel
Day 12 – Prince Rupert
Today you are booked on a wildlife tour. The tour varies depending on the time of year, so it will either be whale watching or a bear watching tour. The city is small, so getting around is easy. The Crest Hotel is just delightful, built right at the water’s edge. It offers an array of ocean views. Cow Bay is a “must see” with great bovine decorating ideas at every turn. Fish lovers will find that the Halibut is so fresh and delicious you will want it for every meal.
Overnight – Crest Hotel
Day 13 – Prince Rupert/Home
Today you transfer on your own from Prince Rupert to Vancouver. If you need an additional night in Vancouver due to your flight schedule, please let us know and we can assist you with the arrangements.
- 2 nights Fairmont Chateau Laurier – Ottawa
- 2 nights Fairmont Royal York – Toronto
- 2 nights Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge – Jasper
- 1 night Coast Inn of the North – Prince George
- 2 nights Crest Hotel – Prince Rupert
- Rail station transfers in Jasper
- Sightseeing in Ottawa
- Niagara Falls night tour with dinner buffet and Hornblower cruise
- Discover Jasper Tour
- Prince Rupert sightseeing tour
- VIA Rail Business Class – Ottawa to Toronto with meal service
- 3 nights VIA Rail Sleeper Plus class – private bedroom from Toronto to Jasper, access to the domed-viewing cars, lounges, and all meals while aboard the train
- Two days of scenic rail travel from Jasper to Prince Rupert aboard VIA Rail with Touring class seating , delicious meals served at your seat and access to the dome car
- Maps and destination information
- Hotel, taxes & GST as applicable
Dates & Rates – 13 Days / 12 Nights
- Package starts on a Friday
- A senior discount is available if you are 60+ and traveling on the train between July 1 and September 16
- Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy
|May 4 – 18, 2018||on request|
|May 25 & June 1, 2018||on request|
|June 8 – 22, 2018||on request|
|June 29, 2018||on request|
|July 6 – August 31, 2018||on request|
|September 7 & 14, 2018||on request|
|September 21, 2018||on request|
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.
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.