Eastern Canada Winterfest

Eastern Canada Winterfest



starting fromUS $2,470per person

  • Get this trip plan customized to cover everything you want to see.
  • Learn which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.

Ontario and Quebec Winter Vacation by Train

Embark on a truly unique Eastern Canada winter wonderland experience. Journey by train across the snowy Quebec and Ontario countryside to visit historic Quebec City, eclectic Montreal, and Canada’s charming nation’s capital. Cultural tours, winter activities, and great food are highlights of this vacation.

Trip at a glance

8 Days / 7 Nights

Arrive Quebec City 3 nights Quebec City 2 nights Montreal 2 nights Ottawa Depart Ottawa

  • View Details Of Each Day

    Sample Itinerary

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized experience for you that matches your schedule, travel style and budget.

    Day 1 – Your Canadian Winter Adventure Begins in Quebec!
    Quebec City is one of the oldest cities in Canada – once fought over by the French and English in the early days of Canadian history. When you arrive in Quebec City you will almost feel like you have arrived in Europe, as the snow-covered cobbled streets and stone buildings have an old-world atmosphere. Admire the mountains on the horizon, peruse lovely local shops and galleries and discover Quebec City’s charms.

    Overnight in Quebec City.

    Day 2 – Explore Quebec City
    Spend a full day discovering the beauty of Quebec City in winter, with its French-Canadian culture. Marvel at the beautiful architecture of the fortified city, visit historic sites commemorating the battles between French and English, and discover the many warm and cozy local shops and galleries.

    You have 3 options to choose from today:

    • Option 1: Private Old Quebec Sightseeing Tour by Vehicle
    Relax in the comfort and convenience of a vehicle with your local private tour guide. At Fresh Tracks Canada, we pride ourselves on finding the best local guides so you have the most memorable and informative experience. Witness history first hand – and hit all the top spots including the Chateau Frontenac, the Latin Quarter, Ramparts, and the Plains of Abraham.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 2: Old Quebec Culinary Walking Tour
    Discover the food culture of Quebec from a local’s perspective. Sip wine, savor the aroma of fresh baked baguettes, and sample gourmet cheese. Taste the local specialties – traditional Quebec cuisine, French Bistros, chocolate factories, poutine, and crêpes. Stop at 7 different venues and samples around 15 products.
    Activity rating: Moderate 

    • Option 3: Private Walking Tour of Quebec City
    Stretch your legs on this walking tour of Quebec, this tour covers all the must-see sights in Old Quebec. The tour follows a leisurely downhill route and takes in the Citadel, the Chateau Frontenac, the Quebec Fortifications, and Place Royale.
    Activity rating: Moderate 

    Insider tip: Enhance your winter experience in Quebec by adding a visit to the German Christmas Market. Explore the market with a guide to get all the insider secrets and tips! (available seasonally)

    Overnight in Quebec City.

    Day 3 – Discover Quebec City and the Hotel du Glace / Ice Hotel
    Quebec City is truly a winter wonderland. With Christmas Markets decorated with enchanting snow-covered lights in the holiday season, to the world’s biggest winter carnival, Quebec City is a world class destination throughout the entire winter season.

    • Included:
    Visit to the Hotel du Glace / Ice Hotel
    “Wow!” This is what two Fresh Trackers said when they stepped into this Ice Palace. A winter palace built in ice and snow, with uniquely themed rooms, an Ice Cocktail Bar and Sugar Shacks! Make and eat maple taffy, a Quebecois delicacy made by pouring piping hot Maple syrup into snow and rolling it up into a tasty morsel. Your photos and memories made at this winter wonderland will be yours to treasure for a lifetime.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Upgrade Option:
    Quebec Dog Sledding Adventure (additional cost)
    On this true winter experience learn how to handle a dog sled and mush on your own. Located only 30 minutes from Quebec City, discover the winter paradise of the Jacques-Cartier Valley. Spend time meeting the dog pack before enjoying 1.5 hours on the trails. Stay warm and cozy with roundtrip transportation right from your hotel.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Insider tip:
    Every year in February Quebec City holds the Quebec Winter Carnival. Make sure you do not miss out on any special events by having your Vacation Advisor plan your trip around the festival.

    Overnight in Quebec City.

    Day 4 – Board VIA Rail – Quebec City to Montreal
    Later this morning, enjoy a private transfer to the train station. Meals are served on the train to Montreal while travelling in Business Class. The snowy vistas provide a stunning sight as you pass through some of the prettiest countryside in French Canada. This 3-hour route takes you along the northern shore of the St Lawrence River, past charming Cap-de-la-Madeline and historic Trois-Rivieres.

    Arrive in Montreal refreshed after a relaxing train journey and enjoy the rest of the day exploring the many amazing sights the city has to offer.

    Feature Dinner in Montreal
    Staying in such a food centric city, we wanted to give you a chance to sample some of the best cuisine. We have selected one of our favorite restaurants for you in Montreal. With a menu created with a certain ‘French flair’, enjoy a showcase of the finest, freshest, regional products.

    Overnight in Montreal.

    Day 5 – Explore Montreal
    You have 3 options to choose from today:

    • Option 1: Private Montreal City Tour by Car
    A tour that ensures you see as much as possible of Montreal from the comfort and convenience of a vehicle. Journey through the Old Town and historic heart of the city and then onto downtown with its hustle, bustle and towering skyscrapers. Venture past the Old Port, Bonsecours Market, and head up to Mont Royal Park, a unique oasis in the middle of the city. You will hit all the scenic spots to take the perfect photo. This tour captures it all!
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 2: Private Montreal Walking Food Tour
    Enjoy a variety of delicious offerings on this tour which compliment your exploration of the Old Town. This food tour slightly differs from the norm in that it is not about famous chefs and on trend restaurants, rather it is a lens into the Montreal’s varied food traditions. Influenced by, among others, indigenous culture and Expo 67. Hear historical anecdotes and spot unique street murals and architecture along the way.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 3: Private Old Montreal Walking Tour
    Explore the winding cobblestone streets of Old Montreal on a privately guided walking tour. Travel back in time to Fort Ville-Marie in 1642, to today’s modern city of Montreal. Over the Christmas period, your guide can highlight some of the special holiday touches learn about traditional New France Christmas customs, and see some of the wonderful light displays.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Overnight in Montreal.

    Day 6 – Board VIA Rail – Montreal to Ottawa
    A private transfer takes you to the train station where you board the train to Ottawa. Enjoy the snowy vistas glide by the train window as you nestle into your comfortable seat.

    Welcome to the capital of Canada! Don’t let the assumption that this is a bureaucratic government town fool you – Ottawa is a hub for culture and history and has a definite hidden flair! Home to seven national museums that recount the tales of Canada’s colorful past, a thriving restaurant scene, and plenty of stunning historic buildings to explore. Ottawa has an abundance of attractions no matter the time of year!

    Spend the rest of the day in Ottawa at your leisure. Skate along the Rideau Canal (weather dependent) while indulging in a hot chocolate (you can’t get more Canadian than that!) or head to Byward Market for souvenirs.

    Insider tip: Choose to visit the Capital over one of the weekends at the beginning of February for the annual Winterlude Fesitval that the city holds. Ask your Vacation Advisor for more details for all the activities that the festival offers.

    Overnight in Ottawa.

    Day 7 – Explore Ottawa
    Ottawa has so much to explore including impressive museums – the National Gallery of Canada is home to a permanent Canadian collection and often features exhibitions by Canadian artists.

    You have 3 options to choose from today:

    • Option 1: Private Ottawa Tour by Vehicle with a Local Guide
    With a local Ottawan as your guide, enjoy an immersive tour full of anecdotes only a local would know. This tour visits the top sights in Ottawa, including Parliament Hill, and then onto Rockcliffe via the Ceremonial Route. See official government residences, Rideau Hall, an experimental farm with arboretum and ornamental gardens. This tour is fully customizable to your interests – from photography to food, your guide will show you the best in Ottawa.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 2: Byward Market Gourmet Food Tour
    The best way to explore a city is through its culinary scene! Discover little known spots in the city’s most historic district and meet quirky local business owners. Of course, you get to sample delicious offerings along the way so bring an appetite! You may want to revisit some of your favorite new spots for dinner.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 3:
    Private Historic Walking Tour of Ottawa
    Visit the historical highlights of Ottawa’s downtown core. Stretch your legs and learn all about the French, Irish and English history of Ottawa. This guided tour takes in all the top spots including Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial, Sparks Street, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Byward Market.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Overnight in Ottawa.

    Day 8 – Depart Ottawa
    Sadly, your vacation is at an end but not without fond memories made to savor for a lifetime. A private driver will take you from your hotel directly to the airport.
Eastern Canada Winterfest – Map



Places Visited

Quebec CityMontrealOttawa

Accommodation Style


Your Train Experience

VIA Rail

Activity Level


What you'll love about this trip

  • Traveling onboard VIA Rail through the snowy countryside

  • Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites

  • Great choice of unique guided tours in Eastern Canada

  • Skating on the Rideau Canal

  • Food tour of Byward Market

  • Exploring winter festivals such as Quebec Winter Carnival and Ottawa Winterlude

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    You'll be staying at various local three to five star hotels or lodges along your route, some of which are very iconic properties with great locations, views and history. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive a complete travel package with detailed documentation and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal before and during your trip to answer your questions.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can request your personalized trip plan to decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • What is the train experience like?

    Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.

    Featured train experiences:

    • VIA Rail is Canada's national train provider, with routes running Coast to Coast and through remote parts of northern Canada. The type of train depends on your journey, and can vary from the classic trans-continental sleeper trains to daylight trains with overnight stops.
  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    With the exception of our guided wildlife trips, our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Will it be cold when I visit Canada in summer?

    The temperature varies from mild to hot, depending on location. Northern Canada will range between 50°F to 64°F (10°C – 18°C) in summer. The interior of BC, prairies, Ontario and Quebec can reach temperatures around 95°F (35°C). Canada's west coast, mountain regions, and Maritimes enjoy milder summer temperatures. They range on average from 59°F to 77°F (15°C – 25°C).

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips can be customized to fit your schedule and budget. The price depends on travel season, train service, hotel level, and the sightseeing tours you choose. Request your personalized trip plan and quote which will provide you with a detailed cost estimate.

  • What's Included

    What's Included in the Price

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    • 7 nights hotel accommodation

    Train Experiences:
    • Business Class on VIA Rail’s Corridor Train – Quebec City / Montreal / Ottawa

    Quebec Experiences:
    Day 1 Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Private Old Quebec Sightseeing Tour by Vehicle
    2. Old Quebec Culinary Walking Tour
    3. Private Walking Tour of Quebec City

    Day 2
    • Visit to the Hotel du Glace / Ice Hotel
    Optional Upgrade:
    • Quebec Dog Sledding Adventure (additional cost)

    Montreal Experiences:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Private Montreal City Tour by Car
    2. Private Montreal Walking Food Tour
    3. Private Old Montreal Walking Tour

    Ottawa Experiences:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Private Ottawa Tour by Vehicle with a Local Guide
    2. Byward Market Gourmet Food Tour
    3. Private Historic Walking Tour of Ottawa

    Meal Inclusions:
    Feature Dinner in Montreal
    • Meal service and complimentary beverages for business class guests on VIA Rail’s Corridor Train

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Personalized pick up from your arrival airport, and drop off at your departure airport
    • All train station private transfers

    Other Inclusions:
    • Gratuities on private tours and transfers (unless otherwise mentioned)
    • Digital Travel Documents
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator with whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests

    Important Schedule and Trip Notes:
    • Any trip falling over Dec 15, 2018–Jan 1, 2019 may have limited tour options as some activities may not run every day over the Christmas period.
    • Choose to substitute your tour in Quebec for the German Christmas Market tour for trips leaving in Nov 23–Dec 23, 2018
    *ask your Vacation Advisor for more details if interested.
    • Ice Hotel Visits only available on Jan 1–March 22, 2019 departures.
    • Skating on the Rideau Canal is likely to be available on Jan 10–Feb 17, 2019 departures based on historical opening trends.
    • Quebec City Carnival runs from February 8–17, 2019 (weekends in Quebec City are the best).
    • Winterlude event in Ottawa runs every weekend between February 1–18, 2019.
    • The Quebec Dog Sledding Adventure (optional upgrade) has a max sled weight of 350lbs with 2 people per sled.

    Not Included
    • Meals, other than those mentioned
    • Airfare (but do not hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities for rail, hotel, and scheduled tour & transfer staff
    • Trip Cancellation or Travel Medical Insurance (highly recommended)
    • Canadian Sales Taxes

    Ideas to customize this trip

    Think of this trip as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • Ski and Winter Package at Mont Tremblant
    Add additional time in Ottawa to take part in the Winterlude Festival
    • Add additional time in Quebec City to take part in the Quebec Winter Carnival

    Add nights in lively Toronto
    Add nights at Le Baluchon Eco Resort, where relaxation, gastronomy and adventure are the order of the day!
    Customize your trip to include an unforgettable night at the Hotel du Glace/Ice Hotel in Quebec City
  • Prices & Dates

    Trip Start Dates

    Trip Start Dates
    Daily departures from December 2, 2018 to March 22, 2019

    • Trips departure dates to take in the Carnival and Winterlude Festivals for 2019:
    Carnival February 8 to 15, 2019
    Winterlude January 27, February 3, February 10, 2019
    Carnival and Winterlude Combo February 9, 2019

    Note: 2020 departures are available. Some itinerary variations may apply.

    Pricing For This Trip

    Prices listed may vary by departure date, hotel class and degree of personalization. Please speak with one of our travel advisors to get a personalized quote.

    Comfort Level Hotels
    from US $2,470 to US $2,667 per person

    Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodation Options

    These are examples of this trip's accommodation choices. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.

    Hotel Bonaparte - Boutique style hotel room

    Hotel Bonaparte

    An example of our Comfort Level hotel accommodations

    The cozy Auberge Bonaparte is a charmingly historic inn, nestled in Old Montreal. Along with an award winning French restaurant, guests can enjoy sunny summer days or moonlit nights on the rooftop terrace. A full complimentary breakfast at the restaurant is included in your stay here (or continental breakfast if guests choose to eat in their room).

    Hotel Place d’Armes - Chic and elegant rooms are perfect for those seeking seductive comfort

    Hotel Place d’Armes

    An example of our Boutique Hotel accommodations

    It takes a special hotel to equal Montreal's unique urban sophistication and charm, and that's exactly what the 4.5 star Hotel Place d'Armes is. Luxury and exceptional service are the rule at this gem nestled among the lovely cobbled streets of Old Montreal. Here, you'll discover three centuries of history, boutiques and art galleries as well as fine dining and vibrant nightlife.

    Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac - Fairmont on hill

    Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac

    An example of our Deluxe accommodations

    This deluxe landmark chateau-style hotel is located within the walled city of Old Quebec. To enjoy views of the St. Lawrence River, upgrade to a deluxe view room. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, 2 lounges, a pool with whirlpool, fitness room, steam bath, spa, and shops.

This Trip in Pictures

Quebec in the wintertime
Quebec in the wintertime
Discover the beautiful winter wonderland of Quebec as you explore on your choice of guided tours.
Inside the Ice Hotel
Inside the Ice Hotel
Enjoy a cocktail inside the amazing ice hotel.
Ask your vacation advisor to arrange your trip during Quebec City's famous Carnaval Festival!
Complimentary service onboard VIA Rail
Complimentary service onboard VIA Rail
Enjoy the service on board VIA Rail with complimentary drinks and snacks.
Rideau Canal in winter, Ottawa.
Rideau Canal in winter, Ottawa.
Glide along the Rideau Canal on skates - wintertime in eastern Canada is truly magical.
Winter culinary tour
Winter culinary tour
Explore the city of Ottawa on a delicious Culinary Adventure.
Winterfest ice sculptures
Winterfest ice sculptures
Take in the amazing sights at Ottawa's Winterfest.

Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
or call us directly toll-free
call1 877 395 5771

Customized Trips

All our trips can be personalized to match your dates, travel style, and budget.

Canadian Insiders

Advice From Canadians

Make the most of your time in Canada with advice from our local Insiders.


Everything Arranged

Feel in control with all the details of your trip organized and booked for you.