The magic of Christmas and the quiet glory of Canada’s winter landscape create a holiday journey to remember on this rail vacation from Toronto to Vancouver aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian.
About the Tour
A spectacular winter adventure between Toronto and Vancouver beckons as you travel from central Canada to the West Coast aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian, one of the most impressive long-distance trains in North America. Begin in Toronto, a booming metropolis brimming with art, culture and wonderful cuisine. Our time here is spent at leisure for the first day; however, on the second, we experience the sheer power of nature at none other than Niagara Falls. As we depart the city by train, our windows are overtaken by the calmness of snow-covered fields, the magnificence of towering mountain peaks and the contrasting beauty that is brought to attention as we weave in and out of small towns and pristine forests. Our route offers a glimpse of the varied terrain of Canada from areas that are not accessible by car as we approach the coast. On arrival in Vancouver, our first adventure takes us to Grouse Mountain, where we ascend the mountain by cable car and then enjoy a sleigh ride around the mountaintop. Enjoy the milder winter temperatures while you sightsee through the city’s various neighborhoods and discover the landmarks that make Vancouver and its surroundings so incredible.
- Rail travel on VIA Rail Canada (4 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 5 nights
- 13 meals, including lunch overlooking Niagara Falls
- Niagara Falls tour
- Grouse Mountain excursion, including a sleigh ride at the summit
- Vancouver sightseeing tour
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Services of a professional tour escort and knowledgeable local guides for touring
Day 1 - Arrive in Toronto
As you arrive in Toronto today, make your way to your centrally located hotel for check-in, then enjoy the remainder of the day at leisure. Toronto is a multicultural melting-pot with an inviting, laid-back atmosphere. The city looks out across mesmerizing Lake Ontario from its position on the northern shore and is overlooked by the CN Tower, one of the tallest structures in the world. After your afternoon of perusing the sights at your own pace, you may wish to explore Toronto’s amazing culinary scene, which features a delightful array of restaurant choices. Overnight Toronto.
Day 2 - Niagara Falls
The roar of rushing water surrounds us as we visit Canada’s own natural wonder today, Niagara Falls. Our full-day excursion offers ample time to explore the attractions and to gaze upon the falls, which are all the more impressive in the wintertime, with their colossal icicles and surroundings of dense snow. We enjoy lunch in the Falls View Restaurant at the Sheraton Hotel and take in the dramatic scenery while dining on scrumptious dishes. Overnight Toronto. (L)
Day 3 - Boarding the Canadian
We depart our hotel this morning and transfer to Toronto’s rail station to embark on our unforgettable journey aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian. Settle into your onboard accommodations and enjoy the rapid change in scenery as the train pulls out of the city and heads into the countryside. Crossing through plains, farmlands and mountains, our route highlights Canada’s magnificent panoramas as we approach Vancouver. Overnight train. (BR, D)
Day 4 - En Route Aboard the Canadian
A wild land of frozen lakes, snow-covered trees and isolated communities is brought to life as the Canadian crosses the Canadian Shield today. Sit back and relax as the incredible wintertime scenery passes by your window. You may also choose to watch the landscape unfold from the sightseeing lounge on the train. As we press on through the most remote stretches of land, keep your eyes peeled for the captivating local wildlife, including bear, moose, eagles and elk.
This evening, our train makes a quick stop in Winnipeg with time for you to disembark and stretch your legs. The train station itself is beautiful, with its impressive limestone construction and historical design. Step outside to see the city thoughtfully adorned in twinkling lights before reboarding the train and continuing with our journey. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 5 - Christmas Day aboard the Canadian
Merry Christmas, one and all! Enjoy the joy and merriment of the holiday surrounded by your travel companions as we cross vast expanses of plains and weave through towering evergreen forests. The train makes a quick stop in Saskatoon this morning and continues through the snow-clad landscape. A festive Christmas dinner is served onboard as we make our way toward Edmonton this evening. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 6 - Jasper and the Canadian Rockies
As the sun peeks up over the ridges of Canadian Rockies, our train pulls into the station in Jasper. This beautiful resort town sits at the edge of the wilderness of Jasper National Park in the heart of the Rocky Mountains. Take in the quiet atmosphere of the tree-covered mountains and blankets of snow complemented by the quaint townsite. The combination creates a picturesque winter wonderland. We continue our journey on board the Canadian and climb further into the Rockies, gazing upon truly spectacular scenery. Glaciers and frozen lakes come into view as we approach Kamloops. We pass by plunging canyons and see waterfalls that have been transformed into cascades of ice by the frigid temperatures. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 7 - Vancouver/Grouse Mountain
The plateaus and folded rock layers of the Western Cordillera are our guide to the coast as we travel the final leg of our journey, arriving in Vancouver after breakfast. On arrival, we transfer to Grouse Mountain for an exhilarating excursion to the peak by cable car. We change modes of transportation as we arrive at the summit and board a sleigh for a festive sleigh ride through the snow-covered forests of the mountaintop. As the ride concludes, we make our way to our hotel in the heart of Vancouver and check-in for a 3-night stay. The rest of the day is yours to get acquainted with the city. Overnight Vancouver. (B)
Day 8 - Vancouver Sightseeing
A comprehensive introduction to Vancouver lies ahead today as we set out on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Our excursion includes destinations like Gastown, an area that combines history and contemporary boutiques and restaurants, and Chinatown, one of the largest Chinatowns in all of North America. The final stop of the tour is Stanley Park, Vancouver’s crowning jewel. Encompassing nearly 1,000 acres of stunning parkland, Vancouver's first and largest park features a wonderful Seawall that provides incomparable views of the city, a train and famous totem poles. Following the tour, you are free to continue your explorations of the city at your own pace ahead of dinner tonight at the “Top of Vancouver,” a revolving rooftop restaurant that presents superb views of the city. Overnight Vancouver. (D)
Day 9 - Vancouver at Leisure
Today is a free day for you to continue sightseeing in Vancouver at leisure. Thanks to the city’s remarkable location, you have access to the ocean, the mountains and to all the urban delights one could wish for. You may wish to take the ferry to Victoria, where there are charming shops and wonderful gardens to explore, despite the cold temperatures. Alternatively, head back to Grouse Mountain for a day of skiing or snowboarding. In the city, there are excellent museums and art galleries to explore, as well as fantastic attractions throughout the various neighborhoods. Overnight Vancouver.
Day 10 - Tour Conclusion
Your wintertime tour through Western Canada concludes this morning as you check out of the hotel and make your independent transfer to Vancouver International Airport for your return flight home.
Hotels include the Hilton Toronto, Toronto and the Blue Horizon, Vancouver Accommodations onboard the Canadian are in a Sleeper Plus Class in a Semi-Private Berth featuring seating by day and curtain closure at night. Upgrades to private cabins are available for an additional fee.
Traveling from Vancouver to Toronto on a route that covers nearly 2,800 miles (4,466 kilometers), VIA Rail’s Canadian is Canada’s flagship rail journey. In all, the journey takes four days and four nights to complete. Guests of the train have the option of three levels of service during their travels, including Prestige, Sleeper Plus and Economy classes. In Sleeper Plus, guests have several options, including berths and cabins for one, two or four. Meals are included onboard the train, and guests are welcome to enjoy the passing scenery from the comfortable lounges on the train, all of which offer 360-degree panoramic views.
Tour Dates & Prices
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