Rail Touring through Canada is brought to you by
Morwenna Williams of Calder and Lawson House of Travel, Hamilton.
See below for more details and contact information for
A RAIL TOURING EXPERIENCE THROUGH CANADA
Think of Canada and the following picture springs to mind - majestic, rugged mountain peaks, picturesque lakes, the scent of pine, spruce and wild mountain flowers. Canada presents some incredible scenic scapes, friendly locals and familiar language and cuisine options. For those looking for an adventure without the intrepid components, Canada has something to offer for all ages and fitness levels.
One of the most stunning ways to experience Canada and its
scenic treasures is by the comfort and ease of rail. Rail travel
enables you to view a destination from a unique perspective.
Rail often routes through native bush and terrains inaccessible by
vehicle. Rail touring gives you the best of both worlds - the
luxury of stretching your legs, walking around the cabin and even
popping outside to a viewing area for fresh air. Meanwhile points
of interest, landmarks and historically significant sites are
announced by onboard attendants. Breakfast, lunches and
refreshments are enjoyed onboard.
There are primarily 2 types of rail touring options through Canada to choose from - the first being the travel and scenic touring by rail, with overnight hotel stays in key tourist stops. The second is the touring and sleeping on rail car option.
Rocky Mountaineer is the foremost operator of the rail touring option with hotel stays, focussed primarily on the West Coast and Canadian Rockies . Depending on the service you choose, the trains maximise the viewing pleasure of passengers with especially designed carriages to enable full enjoyment of the mountain vistas.
Breakfasts and lunches are served at your seat and knowledgeable
onboard attendants provide an interesting and entertaining running
commentary touching on the history of the area, the geological and
geographical influences that have shaped the landscapes. Gold Leaf
travellers even have an open-air vestibule for viewing the journey
To maximise the touring experience, Rocky Mountaineer itineraries can be combined with a number of sight-seeing options including Alaskan cruises, nature safaris (whales and bears), helicopter tours and city stops.
Where to Go and What to See
Rocky Mountaineer focuses on the great train journeys through the Canadian Rockies - ie Calgary west. This geographical region is characterised by temperate coastal rain forests, rugged mountain peaks, vast lakes and foaming waterfalls, icefields, ancient glaciers and picturesque alpine meadows.
Most of the Rocky Mountaineer itineraries will cover a number of the following scenic highlights :
Banff & Jasper National Parks, Alberta - Both part of the UNESCO World Heritage site, these famous national parks provide stunning mountain vistas, alpine meadows and a great variety of wildlife and native fauna.
Lake Louise, Alberta - An iconic feature of the Rockies, Lake Louise is widely regarded as the "hiking capital of Canada" for its spectacular mountain backdrops, glaciers and waterfalls.
Calgary, Alberta - Home of the annual Calgary Stampede, this scenic city nestles at the foothills of the Rockies, and exudes Western character.
Vancouver, British Columbia - The cosmopolitan hub of West Canada offers fantastic dining, shopping and entertainment. As the gateway to Western Canada, Air New Zealand provides services 3 times per week (increasing to 5 services per week from mid December to February to accommodate the ski season).
Whistler, British Columbia - An hour and half north of Vancouver, Whistler resort is widely regarded year round as an adventurer's dream. Exceptional facilities for skiing in the winter turn into an active infrastructure for mountain biking, hiking and rafting in the summer.
If a Trans-Canada adventure takes your fancy, Via Rail offers options connecting all the states of Canada. Depending on the touring itinerary, travellers can enjoy private cabins where they will overnight on VIA Rail.
The scenic highlights of a West to East journey not only enable visitors to enjoy the splendour of the West Coast, but the wide prairie and grasslands lands of the South and the stunning lakes and forests of the East.
Toronto - a cultural melting pot of Latin American, Caribbean and Asian communities. Toronto also acts the gateway to the stunning Niagara Falls.
Niagara Falls - Approximately 53m high and 790m wide, the falls are a highlight of any visit to East Coast Canada. The Maid of the Mist boat tour has been ferrying passengers to the base of the falls since 1846.
Montreal & Quebec - With the distinctive French charm of the
East Coast, wander through cobbled streets, enjoy the
ambiance of the outdoor cafes and pubs. Quebec's 17th Gallic
century character has seen it accorded UNESCO World Heritage
TIPS FOR TRAVELLERS
BOOK EARLY! Rocky Mountaineer tours operating between April to
October are known to sell out, so don't be disappointed
Book your pre and post night accommodation and tours early, especially in the smaller towns to avoid disappointment
The atmosphere on board a Rocky Mountaineer tour is social and has a very relaxed feeling
Passengers are allocated seats for the duration of the journey
If you have daily medications and other things you required access to during the day it is best to carry these in your hand luggage as you don't have access to your luggage on board the train.
If you are overnight onboard VIA Rail you are required to pack a small overnight bag
Morwenna last visited Canada in 2008, travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer's Gold Leaf Tour from Vancouver to Jasper, with an overnight stop in Kamloops. She was particularly taken by the amazing scenery, and the opportunities to spot wildlife such as bears, elk, and eagles from the comfort of the domed glass carriages.
Morwenna's area of speciality is South America, where she has travelled to many times over the years. She has just recently returned from a trip to Argentina and Brazil, where her father and brother live. Email Morwenna at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 07-856-9009