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Trans Canada by Rail in Winter

Trans Canada by Rail in Winter

12

days

starting fromUS $3,980per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (1 review)

  • Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget
Trans Canada by Rail in Winter  – Map
Sample trip map & photos – personalize your trip by adding extra nights and activities in each location
Downtown Vancouver lit up at night and distant mountain views
Downtown Vancouver lit up at night and distant mountain views
You arrive in Vancouver and are welcomed by beautiful ocean and mountain vistas.
In a snow covered mountain valley the VIA Rail Canadian train travels by
In a snow covered mountain valley the VIA Rail Canadian train travels by
Watch pristine winter forests pass by, as you enjoy 'Sleeper Plus' class on the Canadian train.
A couple on a guided tour of Maligne Canyon look up at the surrounding rocks and ice formations
A couple on a guided tour of Maligne Canyon look up at the surrounding rocks and ice formations
A guide will take you to eerie and beautiful Maligne Canyon, frozen in time.
The Banff Springs hotel towers above snow covered forests at the base of the Rocky Mountains
The Banff Springs hotel towers above snow covered forests at the base of the Rocky Mountains
Visit bustling Banff, home of the Fairmont Banff Springs and full of winter delights.
In the Rocky Mountains, visitors embark on a sleigh ride on Lake Louise
In the Rocky Mountains, visitors embark on a sleigh ride on Lake Louise
Beautiful Lake Louise is a timeless Rockies highlight to enjoy from a cozy sleighride.
In front of the Chateau Lake Louise, guests ice skate on the frozen lake
In front of the Chateau Lake Louise, guests ice skate on the frozen lake
Join in the fun - the Rockies have endless possibilites for winter adventure.
Complimentary drinks are served on the dome car of the Canadian train
Complimentary drinks are served on the dome car of the Canadian train
Now it's time to settle in for your trans Canadian train voyage.
Onboard dinner of roast beef with red wine
Onboard dinner of roast beef with red wine
Enjoy delicious cuisine and a glass of wine as the frozen Canadian landscape slips by.
VIA Rail train arrives in Toronto, Ontario
VIA Rail train arrives in Toronto, Ontario
End in Toronto, a destination unto itself for those who have time to stay.
  • Quick Overview

    What we love about this trip

    • Seeing the majestic Canadian Rockies in winter

    • Sleeping on VIA Rail’s Canadian Train in a private cabin

    • Exploring Vancouver, Jasper and Banff

    • Unique resort hotel experiences

    • Local winter tours and excursions

    • Optional dog sledding, skiing, skating and more

    Start your Canada vacation by climbing aboard the train in Vancouver and being lulled to sleep, while the snow falls silently outside. Awake in a Rockies winter wonderland and spend a few days exploring and playing outside, each night cozying up in a warm hotel. Continue your memorable vacation by train again through Canada, and end your trip in Toronto.

    Trip Outline

    Arrive Vancouver 2 nights Vancouver 1 night VIA Rail 1 night Jasper 2 nights Banff 1 night Jasper 3 nights VIA Rail 1 night Toronto Depart Toronto

  • 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 – Canadian Vacation Begins – Arrive in Vancouver
    The cool, crisp air in Vancouver is invigorating as you start your Canadian winter train vacation. Vancouver’s relatively mild weather is a great introduction to a Canadian winter but look to the north and discover the winter scene you’ve been dreaming of – Vancouver’s coastal mountains stand before you covered in pure white snow.

    Overnight in Vancouver.

    Day 2 – Discover Vancouver
    You have 3 options to choose from today:

    • Option 1: Eagle Viewing Float Tour
    Just an hour north of Vancouver is one of the world’s largest population of bald eagles. From October until April, these magnificent birds return to the area to feed on spawning salmon with the highest numbers of eagles arriving between mid-November to mid-February. This gentle river float tour lets you view the eagles from the best place – on the river in the comfort of a raft. In addition, you will travel along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway and enjoy views of ocean vistas, soaring mountains, and rainforest.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 2:
    Vancouver Sightseeing Tour
    This is the best way to visit the main attractions and neighbourhoods of Vancouver. Tour along the scenic harbour and through the historic areas of downtown Vancouver. Visit the totem poles at Stanley Park, browse art galleries and shops at Granville Island, walk along the Capilano Suspension Bridge and learn about the Pacific Salmon at the Capilano Salmon Hatchery.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 3:
    Granville Island Market Tour and Tasting
    Granville Island is Vancouver’s destination for lovers of food, art, and culture. During the tour, guests taste a variety of fine foods from independent farmers and food artisans, including cheeses, locally-made charcuterie, and silky-smooth chai tea. 18 tastings, 10 stories, and 2 hours of Canadian delights!
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Overnight in Vancouver.

    Day 3 – Board VIA Rail’s Canadian Train – Vancouver to Jasper
    Enjoy the day exploring the city of Vancouver at your leisure. Later this evening, a cozy and comfortable cabin awaits on the Canadian. A panoramic dome car – where you can relax, unwind, and see the sights all around you – is only a short walk from your cabin. Chatting over a drink with fellow travelers makes the evening pass by all too quickly. Climb into your warm bed and fall asleep as you travel further toward the Canadian Rockies.

    Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.


    Day 4 – Rockies Winter Wonderland – Arrive in Jasper
    This is one of the most memorable days of your Canadian vacation! Awake onboard the Canadian train, to trees blanketed in fresh snow – with green branches just peeking through – as you near the Canadian Rockies. Enjoy the views over breakfast onboard. The snow is glistening as you arrive in the mountain town of Jasper. Step off the train this afternoon and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, you have arrived! After being driven to your hotel, enjoy the evening at leisure.

    Overnight in Jasper.

    Day 5 – Travel the Icefields Parkway – Jasper to Banff
    Enjoy a scenic transfer along the spine of the Rockies, known as the Icefields Parkway – recognized as one of Canada’s most beautiful routes. Each turn reveals frozen waterfalls and impossibly vast mountain valleys. Have your camera ready – ice climbers are often spotted along the way! End your day in Banff, a bustling mountain village, and the perfect place to experience a Canadian winter.

    Overnight in Banff.

    Day 6 – Explore the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park
    You have 3 options to choose from today:

    • Option 1:
    Dog Sledding Tour
    For those seeking a longer dog sledding experience travel to Canmore today, about an hour from Banff, where you will meet a team of friendly huskies waiting to whisk you through the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. You will have the option to harness the dogs and drive the team yourself, or simply enjoy the experience as a passenger. Either way, this is sure to be one of your most memorable Canadian experiences.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 2: Discover Lake Louise + Banff Gondola with Sky Bistro Dinner
    Discover the winter wonderland of Lake Louise, the high alpine lake that has been attracting sightseers for over 100 years. Learn the history of Canadian Mountaineering, try snowshoeing, visit the Chateau Lake Louise or just take in the views. Enjoy hot chocolate and maple cookies before returning to Banff. Later today, journey to the top of Sulphur mountain with admission to the Banff Gondola. At the top enjoy dinner with a view with your choice of any appetizer and entrée.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 3: Paint Pots Snowshoe Adventure + Banff Gondola with Sky Bistro Dinner
    Strap on snowshoes and venture across the frozen Vermilion River! Suitable for beginners or experts, enjoy the views of Banff National Park as you walk approximately 3km(1.9mi) through the beautiful crisp snow. After this winter snowshoe, enjoy a uniquely Canadian treat – hot maple taffy poured into snow to make a sweet frozen treat! Later today, journey to the top of Sulphur mountain with admission to the Banff Gondola. At the top enjoy dinner with a view with your choice of any appetizer and entrée.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Overnight in Banff.

    Day 7 – Travel from Banff to Jasper
    Take a relaxing morning to explore the town of Banff. Quaint local shops, delectable eateries, and scenic nature strolls are all at your fingertips. This afternoon you will be picked up and transferred back to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway for one last night in the Canadian Rockies.

    Overnight in Jasper.

    Day 8 – Explore Jasper and Board the Canadian Train to Toronto
    You have 2 options to choose from today:

    • Option 1:
    Maligne Canyon Icewalk
    If you’re feeling adventurous, strap on some ice cleats and walk the floor of Maligne Canyon today with a group and expert guide! You’ll be surrounded by icefalls and rock formations that will take your breath away! Learn about Jasper’s Maligne Valley and disappearing Medicine Lake as you walk approx. 2 miles (3km) exploring one of Jasper’s most impressive winter adventures.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    • Option 2:
    Jasper Morning Discovery Tour
    Join a knowledgeable guide and small group to seek out and learn about the ecology and rich diversity of Jasper National Park! Travel through the Athabasca Valley to some of the park’s most beautiful Canadian Rocky Mountain scenery – have your camera ready to capture amazing photos! There is minimal walking on this tour, so sit back and enjoy the winter scenery from the comfort of a sightseeing coach.
    Activity rating: Easy

    This afternoon you are transferred to the train station for an epic journey across the remote Canadian landscape. Recount your Canadian Rocky Mountain adventures with fellow travelers over a glass of wine, or relax in your cozy cabin as you make your way to Toronto.

    Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.


    Day 9 and 10 – Onboard the Canadian Train
    The scenery changes as you travel across the undulating plain of the Prairie provinces and into Ontario. Settle into your seat and enjoy watching the sights from your window. The snow-covered trees and colourful barns of the prairies are illuminated in the sunlight.

    Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.


    Day 11 – Arrive in Toronto and CN Tower
    This morning, arrive into Canada’s largest city, Toronto. Discover Toronto’s many unique and colourful neighbourhoods. Included today:

    CN Tower Admission
    Standing 553.33 m (1815 ft) tall, this symbol of Toronto offers sweeping panoramic views. The glass faced elevators, now with glass floor panels, whisk you to the LookOut Observation level in 58 seconds. Dare to walk the Glass Floor or sample the exquisite cuisine at the revolving 360 Restaurant.
    Activity rating: Easy


    Overnight in Toronto.

    Day 12 – Depart Toronto
    Much too soon, you leave the clean air and colorful sights of Canada behind as your across Canada train vacation comes to an end and a driver takes you to the airport.

    Insider tip: Ask us about extending your trip, to explore Eastern Canada on a journey through Ontario and Quebec.
  • What's Included
    Accommodations:
    • 7 nights hotel accommodation
    • 4 nights in a private cabin for 1 or 2 onboard the Canadian train

    Train Experiences:
    • Sleeper Plus Class, onboard The Canadian Train between Vancouver – Jasper and between Jasper – Toronto (includes access to dome car)

    Vancouver Experiences:
    • Choose 1 of 3:
    1.
    Eagle Viewing Float Tour
    2. Vancouver Sightseeing Tour
    3. Granville Island Market Tour and Tasting

    Banff Experiences:
    • Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Dog Sledding Tour
    2. Discover Lake Louise + Banff Gondola and Sky Bistro Dinner
    3. Paint Pots Snowshoe Adventure + Banff Gondola and Sky Bistro Dinner

    Jasper Experiences:
    • Choose 1 of 2:
    1. Maligne Canyon Icewalk
    2. Jasper Morning Discovery Tour

    Toronto Experiences:
    • CN Tower Admission

    Meal Inclusions:
    • 4 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 2 dinners onboard The Canadian Train

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Private transfers between Vancouver hotels, airport and train station
    • Jasper train station transfers
    • Scheduled bus transfers between Jasper and Banff
    • Private transfer between Toronto hotels and airport

    Other Inclusions:
    • Documentation package
    • Gratuities for private transfer and tours (unless otherwise noted)
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests.

    Inclusions Notes:
    Comfort and Superior hotels include scheduled coach transfers in the Rockies. Deluxe hotels are paired with private car and driver transfers in the Rockies.

    Seasonal Restrictions:
    • Occasionally, activities may vary at time of travel due to weather conditions. Your Vacation Advisor will provide advice on the best timing for outdoor winter activities.
    • Due to Gondola schedule, the Banff Gondola and Sky Bistro Dinner activity will take place on your arrival day in Banff on eastbound departures. This activity is not available for Jan 2
    –16 eastbound departures or Dec 31–Jan 14 westbound departures.
    • Train schedules are subject to change and delays may occur.

     

    Not Included

    • Meals and activities unless otherwise mentioned
    • Airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities (unless otherwise indicated)
    • Taxes
    • Trip Cancellation Insurance (highly recommended)

    Get your personalized itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2019

    • Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
    • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
  • Accommodations

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

    Georgian Court Hotel

    An example of our Comfort accommodations

    The Georgian Court Hotel features 180 guestrooms in a 12-story brick building, in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Enjoy a comfortable sleep in your elegant room, surf the internet with the complimentary wireless, or enjoy a meal on the seasonal patio.

    Rimrock Resort

    An example of our Superior and Deluxe accommodations

    The 4.5 star Rimrock Resort is built into the side of a mountain, when you enter the main lobby, you are actually on the 7th floor, and the views from the pamorama of windows over the Bow Valley are simply stunning. The hotel has an upscale yet understated feel, and the service is impeccable.

    Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

    An example of our Deluxe Lodge accommodations

    The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is it's own Canadian wilderness resort. The property is made up of many buildings with different room types throughout the resort. Relax by the lake, or enjoy a round of golf on the beautiful Stanley Thompson Golf Course, or enjoy a game of ice hockey on the lodge's pond. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Elk as they walk past your building!

    Fairmont Banff Springs

    An example of our Deluxe accommodations

    Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs is located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy one of the many activities that the hotel has to offer from tennis, horseback riding, a round of golf, skiing, relaxing at the the Willow Stream Spa (charge), or enjoying a great meal at one of 12 restaurants, lounges or pubs.

     

  • Prices & Dates
    2018/2019 – Vancouver Start Dates
    Dec  12, 19*, 26
    Jan  2, 9, 16, 23, 30
    Feb  6, 20, 27
    Mar  6, 13, 20


    2018/2019 – Toronto Start Dates
    Dec  10, 17, 24*, 31
    Jan  7, 14, 21, 28
    Feb  4, 18, 25
    Mar  4, 11, 18

    Note:
    *Itinerary and price variations may occur for travel over Christmas, New Years and holidays. Give us a call for additional information

     

    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 $3,980to US $4,795per 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.

    Superior Level Hotels
    from US $4,190to US $5,173per person

    Our Superior Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Superior level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Unique tours and seamless transfers complete your itinerary.

    Fresh Tracks Favorite
    Deluxe Level Hotels
    from US $5,290to US $6,794per person

    On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.

  • Common Questions

    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).

    What are the best ways to travel around Canada on my vacation

    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.

    Is it safe to drive in the mountains?

    New visitors will drive with ease because of the wide and well maintained roadways. We'll ensure your trip includes the most spectacular and safest routes throughout your trip.

    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.

    Are your tours escorted?

    No, but you'll feel like it is with all your connections and experiences prearranged. Our clients love the freedom and flexibility it gives them. Some of our wildlife experiences are small group tours led by specialist guides.

  • Special Offers
  • Customer Reviews (1)

    I will definitely be recommending Fresh Tracks Canada

    Star Rating 5
    January 1, 2013

    Read full review...

    Overall the trip was great! I was really impressed with the transfers that were organised. They were fantastic and at times really saved the trip. One part of the trip that we all found quite disappointing was the train trip. On our first part, from Vancouver to Jasper, the train arrived 5 hours late. I understand that these things happen but the Via Rail staff were extremely unhelpful and by the time we finally arrived in Jasper we were all feeling very disheartened and figured that being 5 hours late we would not be making it to Lake Louise that night. Luckily our driver from Sundog Tours was there waiting for us – hence why the transfers at times saved our trip. The rest of the train trip wasn't as bad but overall the staff on the train were unhelpful and I will not be recommending that any of my friends travel using Via Rail. On a lighter note, I was impressed with all the hotels, except for the Rundlestone Lodge in Banff where the people working at the desk were again rude and snappy. All the other hotels were wonderful and the people working there made our trips really pleasant! One of the highlights of the trip was definitely staying at Lake Louise. It was like a magical winter wonderland and our snow shoeing adventure was one of the most fun things I have ever done! Our guide was amazing and made sure we were warm, safe and most of all had fun! Overall I really appreciated, as did my parents, that all the little details such as the transfers and activities were organised for us by you all at Fresh Tracks Canada. Having never been to Canada before it was good having people who know the country and where to go and what to do helping us organise our trip. Although I won't be recommending travel with Via Rail to friends and family, I will definitely be recommending Fresh Tracks Canada!

Get your personalized itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2019

  • Choose your activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
  • Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.