Independent VIA Rail Tours
Winter Rail Tours
High Tides and Scenic Trains - 10 Day Tour
The pleasure of train travel meets coastal Canada on this 10-day rail-drive combination tour through two unique provinces. Your tour begins in the Cultural Capital of Montreal, where high fashion mingles with old world attractions. From there, travel to Moncton by train, where your coastal adventure gets underway. Pick up your rental car and start exploring the Bay of Fundy, home to some of the world’s highest tides, and its coastal towns of Saint John and St. Andrews. Never has high fashion and high tides paired so well than on this unique rail-drive combination tour, giving you the best of both city living and coastal escape.
- Round-trip transportation aboard VIA Rail’s Ocean from Montreal to Moncton
- Two nights aboard VIA Rail’s Ocean in Sleeper Plus (first class) accommodations, including access to a domed viewing car
- Select meals onboard the train
- Compact car rental with unlimited mileage
- Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
- Montreal city sightseeing tour
- Shediac Bay Lobster dinner cruise
- Saint John Reversing Falls sightseeing (seasonal operation)
Day 1 - Bienvenue Montreal
Welcome to Montreal! Canada’s Cultural Capital is brimming with style and sophistication. Gourmet restaurants, haute couture, and endless entertainment options await you. Spend the day browsing the fashionable shops and sampling culinary treats. Overnight Fairmont Queen Elizabeth
Day 2 - Montreal Sightseeing
This morning embark on your Montreal sightseeing tour, which takes you to more than 200 points of interests throughout the city. Highlights include the beautiful Notre Dame Basilica, historic Old Montreal, Olympic Park, and Mount Royal, where you will have unrivaled views of the city and the St. Lawrence River. Spend the remainder of the day exploring Montreal’s historic neighborhoods and beautiful homes; its Old Port, one of the largest redeveloped old ports in the world; and the Bonsecours Market where you will enjoy some shopping served up with a bit of Canadian history.
This evening, transfer to the train station for your evening departure aboard VIA Rail's Ocean for your overnight journey to Moncton. Settle into your first class accommodations and bid adieu to Montreal as the Ocean travels along the St. Lawrence River east to the Bay of Fundy. Make a point of visiting the Ocean’s domed viewing car as the sun sets over the St. Lawrence River. Overnight train.
Day 3 - Moncton
After breakfast this morning, enjoy the passing scenery from the domed viewing car and learn about the area from onboard Learning Coordinators. The Ocean arrives in Moncton late this morning. The afternoon is at your leisure to explore this lovely city. Moncton offers a unique combination of urban sophistication and coastal serenity. Pick up your rental car and begin to discover the town and its distinct attractions. You may wish to visit Magnetic Hill Zoo or Magnetic Hill, where you can put your car in neutral and travel uphill! This evening visit the town of Shediac, the Lobster Capitol of the World, for a Shediac Bay lobster dinner cruise. Your excursion includes catching the lobsters and learning cooking tips and tricks from the crew, and ends with a delicious lobster dinner on the water. Overnight Delta Beausejour.
Day 4 - Bay of Fundy
Today’s driving adventure takes you to the Bay of Fundy. On your way to the Rocks and Fundy National Park, you may wish to stop at the Salem & Hillsborough Railroad Museum to see an extensive collection of railway artifacts including an operating 1912 steam engine. Continue along the jagged Atlantic coastline to the Bay of Fundy, a unique ecosystem known for its high tides—some of the largest in the world! There are 15 species of whales that visit the Bay. The area also draws 34 species of shorebirds.
During low tide, explore the ocean bottom or follow the Caribou Plain trail and boardwalk to the upland forest and bogs. Keep an eye and ear out for some of the Park’s stunning waterfalls! Hike up the shore at Hopewell Cape for striking views of the Flowerpot Rocks, rock formations created by tidal erosion. Because of the Bay’s amazing tidal range, the base of the Rocks are covered in water twice a day, dramatically changing the view of the Rocks and surrounding scenery with each tide level. Spend the day uncovering the natural history of the area, millions of years in the making, before enjoying the leisurely drive back to your hotel. Overnight Delta Beausejour.
Day 5 - Drive to Saint John, "The Loyalist City"
Today scenic coastal drive takes you to Saint John, the largest city in New Brunswick. Not only is it Canada’s oldest incorporated city, but it’s home to the country’s oldest museum and farmer’s market. Spend the day getting acquainted with the city and its many attractions. In addition to a bustling downtown, Saint John is brimming with attractions. Unearth 350 million years of natural history at the New Brunswick Museum where you can see a life-size Right whale, learn about the area’s lumber and shipbuilding heritage, and view historic artifacts. Walk through the Irving Nature Park, a scenic coastal path on the Bay of Fundy that provided the opportunity to see harbor seals and porpoises.
Or, spend the day visiting the city’s many historic sites including the Saint John City Market, which opened in 1876 and whose roof is shaped like an inverted hull; Carleton Martello Tower, dating back to the War of 1812 and now a national historic site with a restored barracks, exhibits in the tower, and amazing views of the city and its harbor; and, Loyalist House, constructed in 1811 and the oldest building in the city. Overnight Delta Brunswick.
Day 6 -Reversing Falls Sightseeing Excursion
One of Saint John’s most amazing sights is the Reversing Falls, a unique occurrence caused by the tidal action in the Bay of Fundy. At low tide, the Saint John River empties into the bay through a narrow gorge. The rising tide stops the river current, and when the tide becomes higher than the river, the current is reversed until high tide. Once the tide recedes and water is back to river level, the current corrects its flow. It is truly something to be seen firsthand, and you’re lucky enough to do so on today’s sightseeing boat cruise! Experience the whirlpools and reversing rapids, spot marine life, and see historic sites. The remainder of the day is yours to explore this amazing city. Overnight Delta Brunswick.
Day 7 - Drive to St. Andrews
Today make the scenic drive to St. Andrews, the epitome of a classic coastal town. The city has numerous historic sites and interesting attractions including the Kingsbrae Horticultural Garden, where you can see more than 50,000 different plants, the St. Andrews Biological Station, the Huntsman Aquarium, and the Ross Memorial Museum. Your hotel during your stay in St. Andrews is the historic Fairmont Algonquin. This “castle by the sea” overlooks the Passamaquoddy Bay and has been the resort of choice for summering celebrities, world leaders, and royalty since 1889. Overnight Algonquin Hotel.
Day 8 - St Andrews at Your Leisure
The day is yours to discover more of St. Andrews many attractions. You may wish to visit Minister’s Island, a 5-minute ride from downtown St. Andrews and famous as the summer home of Sir William Van Horne, builder of the Canadian Pacific Railway; Sheriff Andrews House, a museum showcasing life in 1820’s St. Andrews complete with costumed guides, authentic furniture, and open-hearth cooking demonstrations; and, St. Andrews Blockhouse, a coastal defense structure in the War of 1812. Overnight Algonquin Hotel.
Day 9 - Return to Moncton / VIA Rail's Ocean to Montreal
Embark on a leisurely drive along the coast back to Moncton, where you’ll return your rental car and make your way to the train station for your late afternoon train to Montreal. Situate yourself in your private accommodations and prepare for your overnight journey aboard the Ocean. As with your trip to Moncton days earlier, you will have access to the private domed viewing car, where you will be able to enjoy panoramic views of the passing scenery and discuss your journey with your fellow travelers. Overnight train.
Day 10 - Arrive in Montreal
Your train arrives in Montreal just after 9:00 am this morning. You may wish to spend some time at a sidewalk café or shopping in some of the city’s shops before transferring to the airport for your return flight home. Or, elect to extend your stay in Montreal for additional sightseeing.
Hotels include the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth, Delta Beausejour, Delta Brunswick, and The Algonquin (or similar). VIA Rail accommodations are in Sleeper Plus class in a private cabin. Meals are included aboard the train along with exclusive access to lounges and observation cars.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be of similar quality and amenities.
*Sleeper Plus service offered 6/15-10/10. Other tour dates confirmed in Sleeper class where no meals are included.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your High Tides and Scenic Trains vacation featuring Montreal, New Brunswick, Bay of Fundy and St. Andrews.
3-night minimum stay in Montreal during the Gran Prix (June 6-10, 2013). Ask your rail specialist for details.
Rates are in US Dollars, per person, double occupancy.
If you are 60+, a discount will apply.