Canada’s Extraordinary Train Trips - What Can You Expect On The Way

By: Tiasha Chatterjee

If you want to experience the great scenic beauty of Canada at its absolute best, there is simply no way to do it better than through Canada’s excellent long-distance train network

From the untouched beauty of the Canadian Rockies to the busy big cities of the East and West Coasts, VIA Rail in Canada operates 494 trains in eight Canadian Provinces, over 7,800 miles of track! If you are not sure what are the best train journeys which will offer you a glimpse of the best scenic beauties in Canada, keep reading this article - you are in for a ride! 

Visiting Canada has never been easier since the Government of Canada has introduced the simplified and streamlined process of obtaining electronic travel authorisation or Canada Visa Online. Canada Visa Online is an electronic travel authorization or travel permit to visit Canada for a period of time less than 6 months. International visitors must have a Canadian eTA to be able to enter Canada and explore this amazing country. Foreign citizens can apply for an Canada Visa Application in a matter of minutes. Canada Visa Application process is automated, simple, and completely online.

Classic Canada Coast to Coast

Classic Canada Coast to Coast

A once-in-a-lifetime journey that will take you across the many wonderful sites in Canada, the Classic Canada Coast to Coast will give you an experience of the retro Halifax community situated in the Canadian Maritimes. Next, it will take you to Montreal where you can explore the historic and culturally rich streets, to your heart’s extent!

You can set your foot on Toronto, the largest city in Canada, or enjoy a full day filled with sightseeing at the Ontario side of Niagara Falls, and all the beautiful natural wonders that surround the area. Next on the journey, you will head over in the western direction, through the Canadian plains and the Canadian Rocky Mountains. Your journey will finally come to an end in Vancouver where you can immerse yourself in the liveliness of the vibrant and diverse city!

Directions of the train ride - Halifax, NS → Vancouver, BC. (Includes Halifax, NS - Quebec City, QC - Montreal, QC - Toronto, ON - Niagara Falls, ON - Jasper, AB - Vancouver, BC).

Total days - 16 Days

Total number of destinations - 7 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $4,299 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Sightseeing city excursion of Montreal
  • Sightseeing excursion of Niagara Falls from Toronto
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Toronto
  • Sightseeing tour of Jasper National Park with Lake Maligne and the Canadian Rockies
  • Multi-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Vancouver
  • Access to the Vancouver Lookout

What is included in the tour -

  • One-way Rail ride in Economy accommodations from Halifax to Quebec City, Quebec City to Montreal, Montreal to Toronto; Toronto to Jasper and Jasper to Vancouver on The Ocean, Capitol Corridor and The Canadian.
  • 11 nights’ accommodations; 5 nights onboard the Rail
  • 1 meal included (1 dinner).

READ MORE:
Ontario, along with Quebec, is located in Central Canada, and is the most populous and second largest province in Canada, larger than the state of Texas in the United States. Learn more at Must See Places in Ontario.

Canadian Rockies Discovery Eastbound

Canadian Rockies Discovery Eastbound

If you are a fan of natural surroundings, there is no better way to experience them than through the incredibly beautiful scenic railway ride of Canadian Rockies Discovery Eastbound, which takes you from Vancouver to Calgary. Be prepared to lose yourself in the breathtaking landscapes and gorgeous scenery of the Canadian Rockies, and the surreal views of Vancouver, which you will view from hundreds of feet above sea level at the Vancouver Lookout

If you want some rustic vibes to your journey, take a little stroll down the beautiful cobblestone streets of Victoria. You will be given the chance to get real close and enjoy a stunning view of the massive glaciers while you are on the interactive ride on the Ice Explorer. And while you are there, do not miss out on the spectacular natural wonders of Jasper, or the many little treasures that Banff and Calgary have to offer - there is simply no end to the wonders that Canadian Rockies Discovery Eastbound can bring to its visitors!

Directions of the train ride - Vancouver, BC → Calgary, AB. (Includes Vancouver, BC - Victoria, BC - Jasper, AB - Banff, AB - Lake Louise, AB - Calgary, AB).

Total days - 10 Days

Total number of destinations - 6 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $1,799 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing excursion of Vancouver
  • Access to the Vancouver Lookout
  • Sightseeing tour of the Canadian Rockies and Jasper National Park with Lake Maligne Cruise (Keep in mind that Lake Cruise is seasonal and runs from June to September)
  • Sightseeing tour of the Icefields Parkway
  • Sightseeing tour of Lake Louise

What is included in the tour -

  • One-way overnight rail ride from Vancouver to Jasper on the Canadian®
  • 8 nights' hotel accommodations; 1 night onboard the railways
  • Round-trip ferry service from Vancouver to Victoria
  • Tour transfer from Jasper to Banff and shuttle transfer from Banff to Calgary
  • 2 meals (2 lunches)

Ultimate Canada and Rockies Westbound

Ultimate Canada and Rockies Westbound

If you are still not sure about what makes the Canadian Rockies so grand, you are in for a ride! Get a glimpse of the majestic Canadian Rockies on the Ultimate Canada and Rockies Westbound train ride, which will take you through four different cities, as well as a full day trip in Niagara Falls! If you wish to have a little more fun, you can take a cruise on the lake and get real close to Niagara falls or be a part of the winery tour and get a taste of the delicious local wine.

At the Jasper National Park, you can expect some truly stunning natural treasures. When you get abroad the Jasper Skytram, you can experience a breathtaking view of the Canadian Rockies. The Arctic Circle, in Columbia Icefield in Banff, is one of the largest expanses of ice and snow south in all of Canada. These two days of a wonderful journey in Vancouver are going to give you memories that you will cherish for the rest of your lifetime!

Directions of the train ride - Toronto, ON → Vancouver, BC. (Includes Toronto, ON - Niagara Falls, ON - Jasper, AB - Banff, AB - Jasper, AB - Vancouver, BC).

Total days - 13 Days

Total number of destinations - 5 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $3,899 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Sightseeing city tour of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Sightseeing tour of Jasper National Park and Lake Maligne (Keep in mind that Lake Cruise is seasonal and runs from June to September).
  • Sightseeing tour of the Icefields Parkway
  • Admission to the Jasper Skytram
  • Multi-day hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Vancouver
  • Admission to the Vancouver Lookout
  • Admission to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

What is included in the tour -

  • 8 nights' hotel accommodations; 4 nights onboard the train. One-way ride via the train in economy accommodations from Toronto to Jasper; Jasper to Vancouver on The Canadian.
  • Round Trip shared transfers between Jasper and Banff
  • 3 meals (2 lunches, 1 dinner)

READ MORE:
A Canadian eTA, or Electronic Travel Authorization, is a required travel documents for citizens of eTA eligible countries. Applying for an eTA is a simple process yet does take some preparation.. Learn more at eTA Canada Visa Application Process

Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies via Rail

Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies via Rail

An 11-day adventure ride that will take you through spectacular landscapes and scenery, when you get aboard the Glacier National Park and the Canadian Rockies by rail, you will get a surreal view of the Glacier National Park as you move past the world-famous Going-to-the-Sun Road. One of the most scenic journeys in the world, you will be moved by the stunning views of the Canadian Rockies. 

Do not miss out on the tour at Icefields Parkway or ride an Ice Explorer vehicle onto Athabasca Glacier! The beautiful little mountain town of Banff has wonderful beauties to offer, whereas the splendor of Lake Louise is bound to move you as you relax by the historical Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Directions of the train ride - Chicago, IL → Calgary, AB. (Includes Chicago, IL - Glacier National Park, MT - Vancouver, BC - Jasper, AB - Banff, AB - Lake Louise, AB - Calgary, AB).

Total days - 11 Days

Total number of destinations - 7 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $3,749 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Glacier Park Two Medicine Valley Boat Cruise
  • Big Sky Circle Tour of the entire Glacier National Park
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Vancouver
  • Admission to the Vancouver Lookout
  • Icefields Parkway expedition starting from Jasper will also include a ride on the ice explorer motorcar
  • Entry to the Glacier Skywalk as well as Glacier Discovery Center
  • Sightseeing tour of Lake Louise and Banff

*Seasonal activity includes Glacier Park Two Medicine Valley Boat cruise runs early June to early September and Big Sky Circle Tour runs mid-June to mid-September.

What is included in the tour -

  • 7 nights' hotel accommodations; 2 nights aboard Amtrak; 1 night aboard the Rail
  • One-way Amtrak in Coach accommodations from Chicago to Glacier National Park; and Glacier National Park to Vancouver on the Empire Builder and the Cascades
  • One-way via Rail in Economy class, from Vancouver to Jasper 
  • Shuttle transfer from Banff to Calgary
  • 2 meals included (2 lunches)

READ MORE:
New Brunswick is a popular tourist destination in Canada, most of its attractions being by the coast. Its national parks, salt water beaches, tidal bores, whale watching, water sports, historic towns and museums, and hiking trails and campgrounds bring tourists here all year round. Learn more at Must See Places in New Brunswick, Canada.

Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria Rail Journey

Seattle, Vancouver, and Victoria Rail Journey

A 7-day ride that is full of wonderful sights from the Pacific Northwest, this multi-city journey is not one you will forget anytime soon! Explore the buzzing metropolis town of Seattle as you immerse yourself in an insightful sightseeing tour that will take you to the harbor in front of the city, the busy Pioneer Square, and the iconic Space Needle, where you will be given the opportunity to go on to the observation deck, which towers 500 feet over the city!

Oh, and while you are there, do not miss out on the spectacular artwork at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit. Once you are done with Seattle, hop on the Amtrak's scenic Cascades train route, which will next take you to Vancouver. This sightseeing tour will offer you a glimpse of everything that the city has to offer, from the beautiful and lush forests of British Columbia to the stunning Capilano Suspension Bridge. The immense beauty of Butchart Gardens that sits in the charming little town of Victoria is straight out of a fairytale! Get ready to be a part of a magical fairytale experience that awaits you in this 7-day journey.

Directions of the train ride - Seattle, WA → Seattle, WA. (Includes Seattle, WA - Vancouver, BC - Victoria, BC - Seattle, WA).

Total days - 7 Days

Total number of destinations - 3 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $1,249 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Seattle*
  • Entry to the Space Needle as well as Chihuly Garden and Glass Exhibit
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Vancouver
  • Admission to the Vancouver Lookout
  • Admission to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Victoria**
  • Admission to Butchart Gardens in Victoria***

*Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours in Seattle are seasonal from May to September. Visitors will be offered a guided Seattle City tour in case the hop-on, hop-off tour is unavailable.

What is included in the tour -

  • 6 nights' hotel accommodations
  • One-way Amtrak in Coach accommodations from Seattle to Vancouver on the Cascades
  • The ferry service will take you from Vancouver to Victoria, or from Victoria to Seattle and Vancouver.

Canadian Rail Experience

Canadian Rail Experience

A magical experience that is simply unlike any experience that you have had to date, the Canadian Rail Experience guarantees all the cultural excitement that Toronto and Vancouver have to offer! The fun and user-friendly hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tours will give you a cross country tour to the west.

This train ride will cover the images of beauty and majestic sights of the innumerable plains, mountains, lakes, and glaciers that fill the Canadian countryside. There is no dearth of amazing experiences that you can take from the cross-Canada trip, thus making it the number one way to cherish the Canadian beauties!

Directions of the train ride - Toronto, ON → Vancouver, BC. (Includes Toronto, ON - Vancouver, BC).

Total days - 8 Days

Total number of destinations - 2 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $1,899 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Toronto
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Vancouver
  • Admission to the Vancouver Lookout

What is included in the tour -

  • One-way rail ride in Economy accommodations from Toronto to Vancouver on the Canadian.
  • 3 nights' accommodations; 4 nights onboard the train.

READ MORE:
The Land of the Maple Leaf has many delightful attractions but with these attractions come thousands of tourists. If you are searching for less-frequented quiet but serene locations to visit in Canada, look no further. Learn more at Top 10 Hidden Gemstones of Canada.

New York and Eastern Canada

New York and Eastern Canada

This cultural ride of 11 days will take you from the “Big Apple” to the picturesque Niagara Falls and on to historical Eastern Canada. Starting in New York, this hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour will allow you to explore the city, and bring you to the most beloved New York spots, such as the Empire State Building and Central Park.

Next on the tour, you will be taken to Eastern Canada where you can see the magnificent Niagara Falls, multicultural Toronto, and the historic cities of Montreal and Quebec City. When you are in Niagara, you can take a full day to enjoy the wonders of the city and its surrounding areas. While in Toronto, you can also go and take a tour of the famous CN Tower, as well as the wonders of Montreal and Quebec City. So brace yourself, an exciting tour awaits you!

Directions of the train ride - New York City, NY → Quebec City, QC. (Includes New York City, NY - Niagara Falls, ON - Toronto, ON - Montreal, QC - Quebec City, QC).

Total days - 11 Days

Total number of destinations - 5 Destinations

Pocket pinch - Starts from $2,849 pp.

Highlights of the tour - 

  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of New York
  • Sightseeing tour of Niagara Falls and Niagara-on-the-Lake
  • Hop-on, hop-off sightseeing tour of Toronto
  • Admission to the CN Tower
  • Sightseeing city tour of Montreal (Keep in mind that Tours departing on Sunday or Monday from November 1-February 29, admission will not include the Montreal City Tour.)
  • Sightseeing city tour of Quebec City

What is included in the tour -

  • One-way Amtrak tour will be in Coach accommodations and take you from New York to Niagara Falls on the Maple Leaf
  • One-way via the railways in Economy from Niagara Falls to Toronto; Toronto to Montréal; Montréal to Québec City
  • 10 nights' hotel accommodations
  • 2 meals included (1 lunch, 1 dinner)

Final Word

Whether you are a big fan of train rides or not, there is no denying that there is simply no better way to explore the scenic beauties of a place. So grab your passport and visa, and hop on any one of these amazing train rides - the journey of a lifetime awaits you!

READ MORE:

Otherwise known as the Parent Visa in Canada or the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, It is a travel authorization that is granted exclusively to parents and grandparents of a Canadian citizen or permanent resident of Canada. Learn about What is Canada Super Visa?


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