Canada Coast to Coast with The Ocean, The Canadian and The Rocky Mountaineer trains
Prices from £6,695 per person
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As one of the largest countries in the world, Canada boasts not only some of the world’s most diverse scenery, but also some of its most beautiful. On this epic adventure from Halifax to Vancouver, you discover the very best of Canada as you travel from the Atlantic to the Pacific. On the way you discover the cities that have shaped Canada, along with the spellbinding scenery of the Rockies with its abundant wildlife, the Canadian Shield, the prairies, glaciers, great lakes and of course the world-famous Niagara Falls.
21 night / 22 day holiday, including economy class return flights from London with Air Canada, 2 nights in Halifax, an overnight journey on The Ocean train in a 2-berth ensuite cabin, 3 nights in Montreal, 3 nights in Toronto, 3 nights on board The Canadian in a 2-berth cabin with w.c. and washbasin, 2 nights in Jasper, 2 nights in Banff, a night in Kamloops and 3 nights in Vancouver, plus transfers on arrival and departure, an excursion to Niagara Falls and a journey along the Icefields Parkway from £6,695 per person (based on two people travelling together).
Day 1 – Flight from the UK and arrival in Halifax
Your holiday begins as you take to the skies and fly from London Heathrow to Halifax with Air Canada. Here you are transferred to your hotel for the next two nights, the friendly, comfortable Hollis Doubletree by Hilton (4 star). Take the rest of the day to settle in and perhaps begin your explorations of this lively city.
Day 2 – Sightseeing in Halifax
Make the most of a full day to discover more of Halifax’s attractions. Pier 21, where thousands of immigrants from Europe arrived to start a new life, is well worth a visit (payable locally). Other highlights include the Citadel (payable locally), the impressive star-shaped fortress which stands guard above the city and the harbour below. You may like to visit the Maritime Museum, which tells the story of Halifax’s sea-facing history (payable locally). Perhaps the most memorable exhibits are those devoted to the Titanic, and the Halifax Explosion. There is a collection of artefacts from the Titanic, including the only remaining deck chair. The Halifax Explosion exhibit combines newspaper and survivor accounts with objects recovered from the scene, including a pocket watch that stopped at the moment of impact.
Day 3 – The Ocean
Today heralds the start of your journey across Canada, as you bid farewell to Halifax this afternoon and join The Ocean sleeper service for the overnight journey to Montreal. The train covers more than 800 miles as it travels westwards across Canada’s diverse landscape, so be sure to admire the incredible views from the scenic dome in the Park Car. Dinner is included in your Sleeper Plus class. When you are ready, you can retire to your private sleeping compartment.
Day 4 – Arrive in Montreal
This morning The Ocean arrives in Montreal, where you spend the next three nights at the charming Le Place d’Armes (4 star), which is well placed for discovering the city’s highlights.
Days 5 and 6 – At leisure in Montreal
Take two days to discover more of Montreal. As the world’s 2nd largest French-speaking city, Montreal mixes a rich cultural heritage with cutting-edge modern architecture and is a delight to explore. A great place to start is the historic quarter of Vieux-Montreal, with its narrow streets lit by gas lamps and charming squares. Undoubtedly the highlight here is the impressive Notre Dame Cathedral, with its stunning interior. Nearby is the Vieux Port, which has been lovingly transformed into verdant parklands and beaches facing the mighty St. Lawrence River.
The ‘newer’ downtown is home to The Main, with its lively restaurants and pretty pavement cafés. These are overlooked by Mont Royal, a landmark of the city which offers an impressive view over the skyscrapers and the city below. There is also an array of art galleries and museums to satisfy anyone’s appetite.
Day 7 – Montreal to Toronto
Today you leave Montreal as you return to the station and travel in Business Class to Toronto. Sit back and admire the beautiful scenery as the train takes you through the St Lawrence River valley and alongside the vast Lake Ontario.
This afternoon you arrive in Toronto, for a three-night stay at the highly-rated Hotel X by Library Hotel Collection (4 star). You are then free to discover more of Canada’s largest city at your own pace.
Day 8 – Niagara Falls
Today you enjoy an included excursion to Niagara Falls, one of the world’s most spectacular sights. Take the time to admire the impressive curtain of water crashing into the river below from the viewing area, before you take to the waters for a cruise to the foot of the thundering falls, to see them from a different angle. Lunch and wine tasting is also included during your visit. At the end of a truly memorable day, you return to Toronto.
Day 9 – Exploring Toronto
Today is free for you to discover more of Toronto. You could ascend the famous CN Tower (payable locally), to take in the unrivalled views of the city and its surroundings from the peak. The city is also home to Yonge Street, which at more than 1,100 miles in length is the world’s longest street and is well worth a visit. You may also like to take a ferry out to the islands in Lake Ontario – which is also a great way to see the impressive Toronto skyline.
Day 10 – Westwards to the Rockies on The Canadian
This morning you make your way back to Toronto’s Union station where you board The Canadian for an outstanding journey across Canada to Jasper. Take the time to settle in to your Sleeper Plus cabin as the train sets off on the first stage of the route westwards.
Day 11 – The Canadian Shield
Today is your first full day on board, relax over breakfast as the train takes you across the beautiful Canadian Shield. This vast, untamed land is dotted with shimmering lakes and dense forests of mighty trees. Perhaps relax in your cabin or take a seat in the scenic dome car and keep an eye out for the superb scenery. You may get a glimpse of wildlife including moose, bears and eagles. Later today the train reaches Winnipeg, where The Canadian stops giving you the chance to stretch your legs and perhaps see some of the landmarks of the city, known as “the Gateway to the West”.
Day 12 – Across the Prairies
On today’s leg of the journey on The Canadian, you travel across the prairies and into the province of Saskatchewan. Unwind in the lounge, as you take in the incredible passing views. Enjoy your included meals in the dining car as you continue westwards. Later you begin to climb into the foothills of the Rockies. Make the most of the scenery as the train passes glaciers, plunging canyons and gushing waterfalls, set against the backdrop of the towering peaks.
Day 13 – Arrive in Jasper
This morning the train arrives in Jasper, a charming town in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Here you alight from The Canadian and spend two nights at the delightful Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge (4 star), set in the magnificent surroundings of Jasper National Park, wrapped around the shores of pristine Lac Beauvert.
Day 14 – Jasper National Park
Today is free for you to discover more of Jasper and Jasper National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. One of the main attractions is the Maligne Canyon, a spellbinding limestone gorge of waterfalls that is up to 164 ft deep. You can also see the glacier-fed Maligne Lake, with its distinctive turquoise waters. Another popular option for today is the Jasper SkyTram, a cable car which runs into the mountains as 2,263 metres above sea level. The views from the summit station are celebrated as “the best in Jasper”.
Day 15 – Jasper to Banff on the Icefields Parkway
You leave Jasper this morning as you are transferred by coach along the Icefields Parkway. This road of more than 140 miles leads to Banff and passes through truly spectacular mountain scenery. Passing some of the tallest of the Rockies’ peaks, you head along the valley which is also lined with lakes to the Icefields Centre – at the edge of the Columbia Icefields. From here you can visit the huge Athabasca Glacier. You then continue to Banff, for two nights at the Moose Hotel and Suites (4 star).
Day 16 – Banff National Park
Enjoy a day to take in the beautiful sights of Banff National Park. Lake Louise, surrounded on all sides by mountain peaks, is a noted beauty spot. Emerald Lake is also famous for its vivid colours. The Kicking Horse Pass and Takkakaw Falls are both well worth a visit, as are the Spiral Tunnels, a marvellous feat of engineering designed to allow the railway to navigate the steep mountain passes.
Day 17 – The Rocky Mountaineer in Gold Leaf Class
Excitement builds today as you leave Banff on the superb Rocky Mountaineer. This private train takes you from Banff National Park and across the Continental Divide, through the scenery of the ‘First Passage to the West’. Travelling in Gold Leaf Class, you can step out onto the exclusive outdoor viewing platform to get even closer to the beautiful passing landscapes. You may prefer to stay indoors in the bi-level glass-domed coaches, enjoying gourmet meals prepared by executive chefs. This evening the train arrives in Kamloops, where you spend tonight at a local hotel.
Day 18 – Kamloops to Vancouver on the Rocky Mountaineer
Today you return to the train and enjoy the final stretch of the journey to Vancouver, which offers some of the most dramatic scenery on the line. Keep a look out for the diverse wildlife of the region as the train passes through the Fraser and Thompson Canyons. Before long the train arrives at the Pacific Coast, where all too soon it is time to disembark as you arrive in Vancouver. Here you spend three nights at the highly-rated Hotel l’Hermitage (4 star).
Days 19 and 20 – Discovering Vancouver
You have two full days to discover more of Vancouver. This vibrant, exciting city is regularly named as one of the world’s most desirable places to live, and it is not hard to see why. Set between the Pacific Ocean and a backdrop of mountains, Vancouver boasts not only a superb natural location, but also wonderful architecture. Some of the main sights include Gastown with its historical buildings and famous steam clock, and the spacious Stanley Park – with its intricate totem poles. Visitors can hire bicycles to discover more; the park’s boundary forms part of the sea wall.
If you wish to venture a little further afield, you could travel to Grouse Mountain. Also called ‘the Peak of Vancouver’, there is a cable car to the summit which provides fantastic views over the city. You could take a ferry to Granville Island and take in the sounds and scents of the famous market there. You might like to simply take a stroll along the harbour front, watching the small sea planes as they dart about between the outlying islands.
Days 21 and 22 – Vancouver to London
After another morning to perhaps do some last-minute sightseeing, today you are transferred to the airport for your overnight Air Canada flight back to London, arriving on Day 22.
About Your Trains
The Ocean takes passengers on a journey of more than 800 miles and across different time zones as it travels from Halifax to Montreal. Your journey is in Sleeper Plus Class, which is the highest class of travel on board. The comfortable cabins are furnished with a WC and washbasin, and during the day there is armchair seating which converts to upper and lower berth beds at night.
Passengers in Sleeper Plus Class have exclusive access to the Park Car with its observation dome and lounge. Three-course meals prepared using local ingredients and regional specialities where possible, are included and are served in the Dining Car. Alcoholic drinks are available at reasonable prices, whilst complimentary Wi-Fi is available in all areas.
The Canadian, complete with its original stainless steel coaches from the 1950’s, is a classic sight on Canada’s railway. The coaches have been beautifully restored to offer Sleeper Plus guests an unforgettable experience. Each two-berth cabin converts from daytime armchair seating to upper and lower berth beds and feature a private enclosed WC and washbasin with access to the shower room. Meals are included for Sleeper Plus passengers and are served in the restaurant car. In addition to the Skyline car, Sleeper Plus passengers also have access to the Panorama car and also the Park car at selected times, with its panoramic observation dome.
THE ROCKY MOUNTAINEER
The Rocky Mountaineer train is the only luxury train travelling through the Canadian Rockies from Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff to Vancouver. This stylish, luxury train operates in daytime only in order to allow for the best possible views across the vast Canadian landscapes. The scenery from the train is truly a sight to behold, with the dramatic Rocky Mountains lining the backdrops and towering over dense, verdant forests and pristine sapphire lakes. The Canadian Rockies are also home to a myriad of wildlife, including wolves, coyotes, eagles, moose and bear; all of which can often be spotted on the journey.
Travel in ultimate style, in a custom-designed bi-level dome car. The Gold Leaf car boasts unparalleled views of the towering Canadian Rockies, as well as spacious, reclining seats. Gold Leaf passengers have access to covered open-air vestibules, perfect for reflection-free photography, as well as the separate Gold Leaf dining room where an impeccable à la carte menu is served. Complimentary beverages and gourmet snacks are available throughout the journey.