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Canada by train

Halifax, United...
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Canada by train

Hi. We want to travel across Canada by train next May (2015) for my hubby's 60th. We hope to fly into Toronto and then get the Via train to Jasper. (with a cabin)

From Jasper get the Rocky mountaineer for the Journey through the clouds to Vancouver. (silver class

From Vancouver 1st passage to the West to Calgary.

From Calgary fly back to Manchester.

Can anyone recommend the best economical way to book this ourselves. are there any good times for deals with train companies/hotels/airlines or a safe site to tailor make it for us from the uk? Many thanks. Cate

Chicago, Illinois
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for Train Travel
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1. Re: Canada by train

Book it yourself as soon as possible.... Like yesterday. The longer you wait the more it will cost and the fewer accommodations available. It reads like you're going to double back on yourself : Jasper to Vancouver/Vancouver to Calgary?!?

VIA Canadian is a wonderful, wonderful trip but Amtrak's California Zephyr is even more scenic.

Vancouver
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2. Re: Canada by train

Hi, came across this site from another link, it has a lot of great info for you. http://www.seat61.com/Canada.htm#.U7jfVJa9KSM

If you are coming from Toronto to Calgary and then the train through the Rockies, you can also check the Via Rail site as well as Rocky Mountaineer train, http://www.rockymountaineer.com. and compare packages and prices. You might have enough of trains by the time you reach Calgary and could consider a car rental one way from Calgary to Vancouver, Beautiful drive, waterfalls and lakes and towns to stop in and enjoy an few days. No need to go back to Calgary, fly out of Vancouver, British Airways as well as others fly direct to London. The Canadian Rockies are quite different than the areas you would find on the California train. If you want to see of the USA, consider doing an Alaska cruise in and out of Vancouver once you arrive here. All major cruise lines do trips several times a week starting in May, beautiful scenery up the coast, see the whales and dolphins etc. All of these options would be easy for you to book online yourself (they all have help lines) or with the help of a travel agent if needed. Enjoy! we will probably be in Europe when you are over here:)

West Grey, Ontario
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for Toronto
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3. Re: Canada by train

Hi cate21;

Book directly with the two respective companies.

www.VIARail.ca

www.RockyMountaineer.com

Best Regards

Halifax, United...
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4. Re: Canada by train

Thank you so much for your replies. Not really double backing- it's the only way we can go on 2 out of the 4 Rocky Mountaineer trips without duplication of the sights.

Thanks for your advice re who to book with and seat61 ...

Last question...is there a sight with voucher codes for the Rocky Mountaineer/Via

Thanks again

Kind regards

Cate

Halifax, United...
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5. Re: Canada by train

Sorry- I forgot to say a big thank you too to Vancouver52 for the tips. Enjoy Europe

New Hampshire
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6. Re: Canada by train

Hi, we just took the 'Canadian' from Toronto to Vancouver this past May. I wrote a review under 'Via Rail Canada' of our experiences.

I have to disagree with one piece of advice you've received. Via Rail is always offering 50% off fares, I mean always, but they don't do it a year in advance. If you bought your tickets now (unless they are fully refundable) you'll kick yourself later when the price gets reduced.

Now if you were talking about Amtrak you do want to reserve a year in advance because those prices do go up.

Go to the Via Rail site and sign up to get their newsletter/announcements, that way you'll be sure to know when the sale is on.

For our journey this past May, I reserved in January and got 50% off and a choice of dates. Honesty, I thought I would have to wait until February, but it came early.

This year, they have continued the promotion into summer, that surprised me but they must feel they have to do it to fill the trains.

We met lots of Brits on our trip and had a great time!!

Edited: 07 July 2014, 21:37
Halifax, United...
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7. Re: Canada by train

Thank you so much for that great tip- that would be one very large saving! I'm going to log on to the VIA site this very evening to sign up for their newsletter and to look at your feedback!!

Kind regards

Cate

Washington State
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8. Re: Canada by train

FYI, I just got an email from VIA that there is another 50% sale on right now. 50% off tickets can be purchased between now an July 14, good for travel through October 8.

That is pretty typical of the 50% off sales, they are good for about 4 months out, and they are the best time to buy, given the Canadian's prices.

Halifax, United...
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9. Re: Canada by train

Thank you. I did enrol and got the price reduction update. I'm just not confident to hold one --it would just be my luck not to book now and wait and see and then when I want tickets for May the train will be full!!

I've been looking at various comments re the Via train and can anyone enlighten me

1. are the views from Jasper to Vancouver as good as the Rocky Mountaineer as it is the same track

2. no lady has written (that I can see)I f you can use a hairdryer on board. It's ok for you men but 4 days without my hair seeing a hairdryer would scare anyone!

3. we are thinking of having a cabin for 2. Is the viewing/dining car solely for the use of people with cabins?

Many thanks in anticipation

Kind regards

Cate

Can anyone help me out please?

Washington State
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10. Re: Canada by train

1. The main difference is that the Canadian is overnight, so much of it is in darkness and you miss the Frasier River Canyon entirely. Also going westbound, if the train is late, much of the rest will be in the dark even in May. I have ridden both directions and concluded that between Vancouver and Jasper, eastbound is better because you get more of the Rockies in daylight. The Rocky Mountaineer is all in DAYLIGHT, you stay overnight in Kamloops. Also, if you take the Banff Rocky Mountaineer, the line through Banff and Lake Louise is generally considered to be more scenic, although both are nice.

2. You can try with a hair dryer but that is awfully high amperage and I wouldn't bet on it.

3. All sleeper plus public facilities, the diner(s - 2 or even 3! - you will be assigned to one depending on where your accomodation is in the train), the Skyline dome cars (now called "activity cars") and Park dome/observation, are available to all sleeper passengers, regardless of accomodation type from berths (open sections) to Cabins for 3 (Drawing Room), Coach passengers are restricted to their portion of the train, but coach passengers have access to their own Skyline dome, and usually have access to one of the diners.

When they run the 50% sales, my experience is most accomodations are available most days. The difference can be $1000 or more, so it can be worth it. If you are a teensy bit flexible on dates, like a Tuesday departure instead of a Sunday departure, you can be pretty sure you'll be able to book it.