From the pristine beauty of the Canadian Rockies to the vast prairies of Saskatchewan and the captivating charm of the Maritimes, there are so many things that make Canada a must-experience travel destination. Luckily for you, Canada à la Carte makes it easy to see some of the best things the country has to offer with thoughtfully-planned rail vacations. Before booking your trip, here are five things to know about rail travel in Canada.
1. Train routes are aplenty in Canada.
That’s right - you can go just about anywhere you want in Canada by train, thanks to the extensive networks of tracks that cross the country. There are routes that take travelers across the vast expanses of the eight lower provinces, as well as those that focus on specific regions, such as the West Coast, the Maritimes or the Canadian Rockies. It is easy to see Canada’s great cities - Vancouver, Montreal, Quebec City and Toronto - and the more rural regions all by train.
2. There is no bad season for a rail vacation.
There is no bad time for a railway journey, as each season brings its own beauty and excitement. In the spring and summer, the provinces explode with greenery, and wildlife can be seen roaming about near the tracks. In the winter, the vistas completely change as the trees shed their leaves and snow-capped serenity overtakes the landscape. Cities and resort towns throughout the country host festivals and activities all throughout the year, so there is always an opportunity to immerse yourself in the unique culture of Canada.
3. Your rail adventure can be as simple or luxurious as you please.
Whether you are hoping for a private cabin or do not mind sleeping in your seat, there is an option for you aboard Canada’s trains. VIA Rail’s Canadian offers three levels of service: Economy, Sleeper Plus and Prestige. While this option is open to all travelers, Canada à la Carte suggests Sleeper Plus or Prestige Class accommodations for the utmost comfort during this overnight trip. Daylight-only adventures aboard the Rocky Mountaineer can be made in SilverLeaf Service or GolfLeaf Service. No matter which level of service you choose, the fantastic views and delectable cuisine are sure to delight.
4. VIA Rail Canada makes trans-Canada travel possible without switching trains.
If your travel bucket list includes a trans-Canada adventure, then your Canada à la Carte vacation will include a ride aboard a VIA Rail train. VIA Rail’s network of trains crisscross the country from coast to coast. Ride aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian from Vancouver on the West Coast to Toronto. From Toronto, a series of connecting overnight VIA Rail trains continue on to Halifax, where the laid-back atmosphere of the Maritimes completes the unforgettable journey.
5. Your journey can be as short or as long as you would like.
Traveling from the West Coast to the East - from Vancouver to Halifax - can be accomplished in less than a week aboard Canada’s railways if the train makes no extended stops. If your goal is merely to see the vast changes in each province without disembarking the train, this is fantastic news! For passengers that crave a little more from their travels, there are rail vacations that last up to 17 days and include in-depth looks at each stop along the way. Of course, if traveling coast to coast is not your goal, there are journeys through specific regions that span only a couple of days.
Accomplish your Canadian travel goals this year with a journey from Canada à la Carte. Not only can our Rail Specialists help you choose and customize your perfect vacation, they can also answer any questions you may have about rail travel.