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Snow train across Canada

Trans Canada by Rail in Winter

12

days

starting fromUS $3,980per person

Star Rating 4.5

4.5 of 5 stars (2 reviews)

  • 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.

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 at a glance

12 Days / 11 Nights

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

  • 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 – 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

    Choose 1 of the following 3 activities in Vancouver 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
    This morning the excitement builds as you board the Canadian Train for your overnight journey to the Canadian Rockies. A panoramic dome car – where you can relax, unwind, and see the sights all around you – is only a short walk from your cabin. Tasty meals are served in an elegant yet casual dining car and chatting over a drink with fellow travelers makes the day pass by all too quickly. Enjoy the journey as you travel further toward the Canadian Rockies.

    Overnight 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. The snow is glistening as you arrive in the mountain town of Jasper. Step off the train and take a deep breath of the fresh mountain air, you have arrived!

    Choose 1 of the following 2 activities in Jasper 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 Food Tour
    Discover the town of Jasper on a walking food tour. On a short 1.5km (1mi) guided walk learn about the town of Jasper while enjoying delicious tastings of food and drink at the best restaurants in Jasper. Tour includes four tasting locations with alcoholic drink pairings.
    Activity rating: Moderate

    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

    Choose 1 of the following 3 activities in Banff 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 Tour, plus Banff Gondola and Sky Bistro Dinner
    Discover the winter wonderland of Lake Louise, the high alpine lake that has been attracting sightseers for over 100 years. Afterwards, Journey to the top of Sulphur mountain with admission to the scenic Banff Gondola. At the top enjoy dinner with a view with your choice of any appetizer and entrée. Taxi vouchers to/from your hotel and the gondola ensure you can visit on your own time.
    Activity rating: Easy

    • Option 3: Paint Pots Snowshoeing, plus Banff Gondola and 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
    Activity rating: Moderate

    Afterwards, Journey to the top of Sulphur mountain with admission to the scenic Banff Gondola. At the top enjoy dinner with a view with your choice of any appetizer and entrée. Taxi vouchers to/from your hotel and the gondola ensure you can visit on your own time.
    Activity rating: Easy

    Note: Due to Gondola schedule, activity order may vary

    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 to 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
    Today 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 afternoon, 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. Ask us about extending your trip, to explore Eastern Canada on a journey through Ontario and Quebec.
Trans Canada by Rail in Winter  – Map

Availability

DecJanFebMar

Places Visited

VancouverJasperIcefields ParkwayBanffToronto

Accommodation Style

HotelTrain

Your Train Experience

VIA RailSleeper Train

Activity Level

Easy

What you'll 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

Common Questions

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    This trip features a sleeper train journey, and you'll get a comfortable private cabin on the train for the duration of your train ride. The trains feature common lounge areas and dining cars where you can socialize with fellow travelers.

    When not on the train, you'll be staying at various local three to five start 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 free 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.
    • Sleeper Trains feature a once in a lifetime adventure of sleeping on the train in comfortable cabins. You can relax in your private onboard accommodations, or enjoy local wines and chef-prepared meals in the dining car during this unforgettable 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.

  • 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 free trip plan 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.

    Accommodations:
    • 7 nights of 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

    Jasper Experiences:
    • Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Maligne Canyon Icewalk
    2. Jasper Food Tour

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

    Toronto Experiences:
    • CN Tower Admission

    Meal Inclusions:
    • Meals onboard The Canadian Train

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • All airport and train station transfers
    • Transfers between Jasper and Banff

    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.

    Important Trip and Schedule 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.
    • 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.
    • Activity options are limited over Dec 24–26 and on Jan 1, your Vacation Advisor will provide advice on your available options.
    • 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)

    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)

    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.

    • Ask us about the option of staying in more secluded mountain lodges, for a true alpine experience
    • Optional winter activities, including skiing (downhill and cross-country), galcier helicopter tour or skating.
    • Extra nights in Vancouver, the Rockies or Toronto
    •Northern Lights Viewing Package
  • Prices & Dates

    Trip Start 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

    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 $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 $6,793per 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.

  • 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.

    Georgian Court Hotel - Enjoy a soak  before heading out for a stroll along Robson Street

    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 - Exterior of resort

    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 - The Lodge

    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 - Exterior of hotel

    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.

  • Customer Reviews  (2)

    Many, many wonderful memories

    Star Rating 4
    January 18, 2018

    Read full review...

    Many, many wonderful memories (Capilano Suspension Bridge, sleigh ride at Lake Louise, shopping in Banff, nature tour in Jasper and Banff, use of spas in the hotels in Vancouver, Jasper and Banff, and the great train ride from Vancouver to Jasper and then to Toronto.

    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!

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This Trip in Pictures

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.

Get your FREE trip plan organized and arranged for you

Train and hotel availability is limited – we're now booking into 2019.

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.
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