Discover the beauty of Atlantic Canada on this dual-country 13-day rail adventure.
Discover the rugged, salt-sprayed coastlines and lush green inland of Nova Scotia. Though it has its fair share of rustic charm, this captivating peninsula is much more than just the setting of Anne of Green Gables. Colored by its maritime origins and vibrant history, Nova Scotia is a breathtakingly beautiful, diverse, and culturally rich destination guaranteed to stir your imagination. On this tour, you’ll visit posh and exciting Montréal, sleepy coastal fishing villages, Nova Scotia’s charming capital of Halifax, and much more. Adventure awaits on this wonderful rail tour of Maritime Canada.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Roundtrip rail transportation from Chicago aboard Amtrak's Lake Shore Limited (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 8 nights
- Select meals (Midwest: 17; East: 12)
- Sightseeing and scenic excursions per itinerary
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling, taxes, and tips
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
- Bay of Fundy
- Peggy's Cove
- Maritime Museum of the Atlantic
- Hopewell Rocks
- Magnetic Hill
- Hector Heritage Quay
- Cape Breton Highlands National Park
- Tantramar Marshes
Day 1 - Depart Chicago
Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island Midwest and West travelers will meet in Chicago Union Station this afternoon. At 8:00 p.m. we'll start boarding the eastbound Lake Shore Limited. Departure is scheduled for 9:30 p.m. Relax in your comfortable reclining coach seat with leg rest. Roomettes or Bedrooms are available at an additional cost. You're free to explore the train. Go to the lounge car for snacks, sandwiches, and beverages.
Eastern tour members will depart tomorrow for Boston.
Day 2 - En Route
The Lake Shore will pass through Toledo, Cleveland, and Erie early this morning. You will want to enjoy breakfast in the diner and view the passing scenery as we continue through the states of New York and Massachusetts to Boston. Upper New York residents can board at Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, Utica, and Albany during the day. Lunch in the dining car and a boxed dinner are included en route to Boston.
Eastern and Mid-Atlantic travelers will arrive in Boston throughout the day and transfer to our hotel. The Lake Shore Limited's arrival into Boston is scheduled for 9:10 p.m. We will transfer to the DoubleTree Suites for the night. (B*, L* D*)
Day 3 - En Route / Yarmouth
Following breakfast this morning, we'll set out on a sightseeing tour of Boston. We will travel to Portland where we will have dinner prior to boarding the Nova Star Cruise / Ferry to Yarmouth. The ship, at 528-feet, is the largest sized ship that can navigate into Yarmouth Harbor. An ocean view cabin is included for the overnight trip. The ship amenities include the Century Casino, live entertainment and large screen for movies and presentations, dancing and the Nova Spa. (B)
Day 4: En Route / Halifax
Upon arrival into Yarmouth this morning we'll transfer to our motorcoach for the drive to charming Halifax. Halifax is the Maritimes largest city and one of Canada's most important commercial centers. An “on-your-own” lunch stop will be made en route. Upon arrival we'll check in at the Delta Barrington. Our home for the next two nights is conveniently located near major Halifax attractions. You're free this evening to begin to discover all that this delightful, nautically-oriented city has to offer. Try the great seafood!
Day 5 - Halifax
A hot breakfast is included each morning in Halifax. You'll spend the day on a sightseeing tour of the greater Halifax area, stopping at a number of historical sites. We'll also enjoy several views of the magnificent Halifax Harbor, one of the most beautiful in the world. We'll follow the rugged coast of St. Margaret's Bay to famed and picturesque Peggy's Cove where a seafood luncheon is an option. You'll find the Maritimes Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax to be fascinating. A number of relics from the Titanic are housed here. We have a gala evening planned for you at the Grafton Dinner Theatre. Each dinner course will be followed by one of the acts of a musical or light comedy. (B & D)
Day 6 - Hopewell Rocks / Charlottetown
We'll reboard our motorcoach this morning and travel to the Hopewell Rocks Ocean Tide Exploration Site. Ocean tides have carved the Flower Pot Rocks, pillars of sandstone and conglomerate rock with balsam fir and dwarf spruce growing on top. Visitors may walk the beach below the rocks from three hours before low tide until three hours after low tide. At high tide, the rocks resemble islands. An interpretive center provides viewing decks and multimedia exhibits about the Bay of Fundy. An opportunity for an “on-your-own” lunch is available at the High Tide Restaurant. This afternoon we'll visit a very unusual attraction in Moncton . . . Magnetic Hill. Cars appear to be driving downhill when actually going uphill. We'll depart Moncton by mid afternoon for the 136-mile journey across land and sea to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. On our way, we'll cross the nine-mile long Confederation Bridge that connects the New Brunswick mainland with Prince Edward Island, Canada's smallest province. Late in the afternoon we'll arrive in the capital city, Charlottetown. Our home for the next two nights is the attractive Rodd Charlottetown. (B)
Day 7 - Prince Edward Island
Today we explore the island. We'll tour northward passing horse farms, potato fields, sandy beaches, dunes and salt marshes that abound with shore birds. A visit to the home of “Anne of Green Gables” is scheduled; also a stop at Charlottetown's waterfront development and farmers market. We'll stop on our return at one of the Island's most famous eateries, the New Glasgow Lobster Suppers. Enjoy a family-style supper of lobster, cold ham, or beef, served at communal tables (included). (D)
Day 8 - En Route / Baddeck
This morning we'll reboard our motorcoach and travel east to Wood Island where we'll board a ferry for the hour-and-a-half crossing of the Northumberland Strait to Caribou. We'll stop in nearby Pictou for an “on-your-own” lunch. There will be time to visit the historic Hector Heritage Quay. We'll continue to Baddeck, a charming village on Cape Breton Island. We'll visit the Alexander Graham Bell Museum. You'll find working models and related written materials, artifacts and photographs of Bell's experiments during the 37 years he lived in Baddeck. Our home for the next two nights will be the Auberge Gisele's Country Inn. You'll have dinner at our delightful hotel. (D)
Day 9 - Cabot Trail
A full breakfast is included this morning. A highlight of your tour is the marvelous circle trip along the Cabot Trail through Cape Breton Highlands National Park. The views are absolutely breathtaking as your motorcoach surmounts some of the steepest grades in the world. Lunch is included. Watch for picturesque Neil's Harbour, a quiet fishing village; Cape North, where Cabot landed in 1497; the Sunrise Valley; the Lone Sheiling stone hut; Pleasant Bay; Cheticamp, noted for its rug hookers, and St. Peter's Church. We'll return to the Auberge Gisele's Country Inn. Dinner tonight is included. (B, L & D)
Day 10 - En Route / Truro
Following an included breakfast we'll board our motor-coach and travel west 162 miles from Baddeck to Truro. An “on-your-own” lunch stop will be made. At 12:31 p.m. we'll board VIA Rail Canada's Ocean for Montréal. A warm and friendly train staff is ready to meet your every need. The Park Car, with its all-glass, bubble-top Vistadome will be the “gathering place.” Enjoy your private accommodations. Dinner aboard the train is included. (B & D)
Day 11 - En route / Montréal
Arrival into Montréal is scheduled for 9:15 a.m. Upon arrival we'll depart on a sightseeing tour of this world class city including Notre Dame de Montréal (the most magnificent of French-Canadian churches), Old Montréal, the French Quarter, McGill University, and a view of this great city from an observation point atop Mount Royale. Following our tour we'll check into the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, which is located above the train station. Montréal's ever-expanding underground city soars upward, downward, and sideways around our hotel and beyond. You'll have access underground to more than a thousand boutiques, major department stores, and more than 125 restaurants and bars, movie theaters, art galleries, and more. (B)
Day 12 - En Route
This morning we'll descend into the VIA Rail Station and prepare to board Amtrak's Adirondack for our 9:30 a.m. departure for the 222-mile run along Lake Champlain and the beautiful Adirondack Mountains.
Arrival into Schenectady is scheduled for 4:45 p.m. You will board the Lake Shore Limited for the 7:31 p.m. departure for Chicago. Eastern passengers will remain on the train until 5:40 p.m. when the train reaches Albany. They will spend the night at Hilton Albany ($75 dbl / $150 sgl). (D*)
Day 13 - En Route to Chicago
This morning we are scheduled to arrive into Chicago at 9:45 a.m. Passengers will continue to home destinations throughout the day. Eastern people will depart Albany for home destinations. (B*)
* Midwest members only.
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the DoubleTree Suites, Delta Beausejour and Fairmont Queen Elizabeth. Amtrak accommodations are in Coach class and include a reclining seat with leg rest. Upgrades to Roomette and Bedroom sleeping accommodations are available for an additional fee.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
Dates & Prices
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