Holidays By Rail

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Trans Canada By Rail & the Rockies - Travel across Canada by train with visits to Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff.

Trans Canada By Rail & the Rockies

There is no better way to travel across Canada than by train. Experience the very best of the country on this 12-day tour through five Canadian provinces. Your rail holiday begins in the cosmopolitan city of Vancouver. Your travels take you east on VIA Rail’s Canadian, admiring unspoiled natural scenery and amazing wildlife along your route. As you travel through the heart of the Canadian Rockies, enjoy stops in charming alpine towns. Visit Jasper, tranquil Lake Louise, and tony Banff before continuing your journey across Canada to Toronto.

Your rail adventure across Canada and through the Canadian Rockies includes first-class rail accommodations, superior or deluxe hotel accommodations, sightseeing, ample time at your leisure, and more!

Dates and Prices

Maligne Lake, Alberta Canada
A Black Bear in Banff, Alberta Canada

Tour Inclusions & Scenic Highlights

  • One-way rail transportation aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto
  • Meals onboard the train
  • Train accommodations for four nights aboard VIA Rail’s Canadian in Sleeper Touring Class (first-class)
  • Special in-room train amenities including shower kit, bottled water, and ear plugs
  • Priority boarding from exclusive pre-boarding lounge
  • Hotel accommodations for one night in Vancouver
  • Hotel accommodations for two nights in Jasper
  • Hotel accommodations for one night in Lake Louise
  • Hotel accommodations for two nights in Banff
  • Hotel accommodations for one night in Toronto
  • Vancouver city sightseeing tour
  • Toronto Hop On/Hop Off city sightseeing tour
  • Banff city sightseeing tour
  • Transfers from Jasper train station to hotel; from Jasper to Lake Louise; from Lake Louise to Banff
  • Maps and destination information
  • Hotel taxes and GST on applicable items
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
  • Toronto
  • Sioux Lookout
  • Winnipeg
  • Saskatoon
  • Edmonton
  • Jasper National Park
  • Maligne Lake
  • Lake Louise
  • Banff National Park
  • Kamloops
  • Vancouver

Tour Map

Trans Canada By Rail Map
Trans Canada By Rail & the Rockies


Day 1 – Vancouver
Arrive in the coastal city of Vancouver and check-in to your centrally-located hotel. Take the day to explore Vancouver’s shops, attractions, and restaurants on your own. Overnight Fairmont Hotel Vancouver or Renaissance Vancouver Harbourside.

Day 2 – Vancouver Sightseeing and Departure for Jasper
Today enjoy a Hop on/Hop Off city tour, visiting Vancouver’s most impressive attractions including Stanley Park, the Vancouver Aquarium, English Bay Beach, the urban oasis of Granville Island, Chinatown, the Robson Street shopping district, and much more! This evening transfer from your hotel to the train station for your 20:30 train departure. Settle in to your Sleeper Touring Class accommodations on the sleek Canadian and prepare for your trip to the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Your first-class accommodations convert from a sitting room by day to comfortable upper and lower berths by night. Overnight train.

Day 3 – En Route to Jasper
Awake this morning to the beauty of the Canadian Rockies. Spend the morning hours taking advantage of some of the trains most enticing features. Enjoy breakfast and lunch in the Dining Car prior to your arrival in Jasper, and be sure to admire remarkable views of the passing scenery from one of the observation cars. Upon arrival in Jasper this afternoon, transfer from the rail station to your hotel with the remainder of the day to explore Jasper on your own. You may elect to go on a hike or ride the Jasper Tramway for aerial views of the surrounding area. Overnight Jasper Park Lodge or Sawridge Inn. (B, L)

Day 4 – Jasper to Lake Louise
The morning is yours to drink in the beauty of Jasper before meeting your transfer to Lake Louise for a 12:50 departure. Upon arrival at the Chateau, take time to view the famous lake and explore the grounds before dinner. The original Chateau was built by the Canadian Pacific Railway over the course of several years as a means to entice wealthy travellers to vacation by rail in western Canada. Overnight Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise.

Day 5 – Lake Louise to Banff
Today’s travels take you east to Banff, a resort town surrounded by the Sulphur and Cascade Mountains. Originally settled by the Canadian Pacific Railway in the 1880’s, the town is a veritable outdoor playground offering an assortment of activities including hiking and biking paths and pristine ski areas. One of Banff’s most popular attractions is the Banff Upper Hot Springs located in Banff National Park. Overnight Fairmont Banff Springs or Rimrock Resort.

Day 6 – Banff
Take the day to fully explore the exciting town of Banff. Take advantage of all of the outdoor activities available to you, enjoy a gondola ride to the top of Sulphur Mountains, or explore Banff National Park, Canada’s oldest National Park. Be sure to carve out time to visit the grand Banff Springs Hotel, a former railway hotel constructed in the Scottish Baronial style in 1888. Overnight Fairmont Banff Springs or Rimrock Resort.

Day 7 – Banff to Jasper
Enjoy a full-day sightseeing tour of Banff on your return to Jasper. Your tour takes you along the Icefield Parkway, a scenic two-lane road that parallels the Continental Divide and travels through Banff and Jasper National Parks. A highlight of the tour is a stop at the Columbia Icefield, where you will venture by Ice Explorer onto the massive Athabasca Glacier. There will also be a brief stop at tranquil Lake Louise. Named after the fourth daughter of Queen Elizabeth, Lake Louise is known for its brilliant turquoise waters that draw its color from glacial sediment suspended in the water. Overnight Jasper Park Lodge or Sawridge Inn.

Day 8 – VIA Rail Jasper to Toronto
The day is yours to revisit some of your favorite sights in Jasper. Transfer to the rail station late this afternoon to board VIA Rail’s Canadian for your 17:30 departure east. Tonight the train travels through Alberta’s capital city of Edmonton as you head east toward Toronto. Overnight train. (D)

Day 9 – En Route to Toronto
The Canadian travels through Saskatoon, Canada’s leader in the high technology and mining industries, and Melville, named after Charles Melville Hays, President of the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad Company. Spend the day chatting with your fellow travellers and enjoying panoramic views from the train’s observation cars. This evening the Canadian stops in Winnipeg, the capital of Manitoba and once the hub of the Canadian fur trade. You will have 3 hours to explore the city’s downtown area before re-boarding the train to continue your journey to Toronto. Overnight train. (B, L, D)

Day 10 – VIA Rail to Toronto
A highlight of today’s scenic trip includes Longlac. Located at the northern tip of Long Lake, the town was part of a historic canoe route for fur traders. On your last full day on the Canadian, spend time in the Park Car enjoying its three salons and observation deck as well as the Skyline Car with an observation dome offering 360-degree views of the ever-changing landscape. Overnight train. (B, L, D)

Day 11 – Toronto
Awake this morning as you near your final destination of Toronto. Your train is scheduled to arrive at 9:30. Embark on a Hop On/Hop Off sightseeing tour of Toronto, taking you to 20 stops on a 12-mile route through the city centre and showcasing some of the city’s most impressive landmarks. Spend the remainder of the day exploring the city on your own, enjoying Toronto’s unique shopping and dining options. Overnight Fairmont Royal York. (B)

Day 12 – Toronto
Your rail holiday through the Canadian Rockies ends this morning. You may wish to extend your stay in Toronto to better explore this cosmopolitan city and its neighboring attractions.

This itinerary can be done in reverse.

  1. Dates & Pricing
  2. Trains & Transportation
  3. Accommodations

Dates & Pricing

Prices are per person based on double occupancy. All prices are subject to change without notice.

The Toronto Hop on/Hop off bus is available from 1st May through 10th October.  A Toronto City Pass will be substituted outside of these dates.
Ice Explorer Tours onto the Columbia Icefields are subject to seasonal operations.

VIA Rail’s Canadian

The Canadian travels three times per week between Toronto and Vancouver, cutting across 5 provinces and past immense forests, pristine lakes, tranquil prairies, and the majestic Canadian Rockies. Learn more about VIA Rail’s Canadian


Deluxe Hotels

Hotels include Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise and Fairmont Banff Springs.

Superior Hotels

Hotels include Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver, Sawridge Hotel Jasper, Chateau Lake Louise, and Rimrock Resort Banff.

Contact Holidays By Rail online or call a rail specialist at 0800 033 7960

Canada Train Holidays

Industry Awards

British Travel Awards Winner 2013 Best Small Holidays By Train Tour Operator
British Travel Awards Winner 2012 Best Small Holidays By Train Tour Operator
TravelMole Web Awards UK 2012 Winner

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