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Snow train across Canada

Trans Canada by Rail in Winter

12

days

starting fromUS $4,940per person

Star Rating 5

5 of 5 stars (6 reviews)

  • Choose your own activities and experiences to make the most of your trip.
  • Have all the details of your trip organized and arranged for you.

Snow Train Across Canada

Your Canadian rail vacation begins as you climb aboard the train in Vancouver for your overnight journey to the Canadian Rockies. Arrive in a Rockies winter wonderland – playing outside during the days and cozying up each night in a warm hotel. Continue your memorable vacation with a cross country train journey through Canada and end your trip in Toronto.

Trip Outline

12 Days / 11 Nights

Arrive Vancouver 2 nights Vancouver 1 night VIA Rail 1 night Jasper 2 nights Banff 1 night Jasper 3 nights VIA Rail 1 night Toronto Depart Toronto

Trans Canada by Rail in Winter - Map

Availability

DecJanFebMar

Places Visited

VancouverJasperIcefields ParkwayBanffToronto

Accommodation Style

HotelTrain

Your Train Experience

VIA RailSleeper Train

Activity Level

Easy

What you'll love about this trip

  • Seeing the majestic Canadian Rockies in winter

  • Sleeping on VIA Rail’s Canadian Train in a private cabin

  • Exploring Vancouver, Jasper and Banff

  • Choice of unique winter tours and excursions

Common Questions

  • Is this an escorted tour?

    Our vacations are not typically 'escorted.' We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities, plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe.

  • Can this trip be made shorter or longer?

    Absolutely! We personalize all our clients' trips to fit their exact tastes and needs. You can add days at locations that you'd like to explore and spend more time at. Or leave out certain areas that don't interest you as much. Discuss your travel goals with our Canadian Insiders who make sure that your trip fits your needs and budget.

  • Can I customize this trip?

    Your trip can be as rich as you'd like, and completely arranged around your interests and needs. The greatest benefit of working with us is our local knowledge. You can get your FREE personalized trip plan and decide what you'd like to see and do.

    If your trip is a special occasion, we'll make sure it is unforgettable. Or if you're traveling with a group, we'll take care of the logistics so you can share time together stress-free.

  • Am I on the train the whole time?

    All of our trips include stops to get off the train to explore Canada's beautiful locations, national parks and unique cities. However, if you're keen to maximize your time onboard, we'll pair you up with the perfect train experience.

  • Where am I staying on this trip?

    This trip features an overnight rail journey, and you'll get a comfortable private cabin on the train for the duration of your train ride. The trains feature common lounge areas and dining cars where you can socialize with fellow travelers.

    When not on the train, you'll be staying at various three to five star hotels or lodges along your route. All our accommodations are carefully selected by our Canadian Insiders. We'll make sure that wherever you stay, you get the best value and comfort based on the seasonal availability.

  • What is the train experience like?

    Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in the US or Europe), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, and great food.

    Featured train experiences:

      VIA Rail is Canada's national train provider, with routes running Coast to Coast and through remote parts of northern Canada. The type of train depends on your journey, and can vary from the classic trans-continental sleeper trains to daylight trains with overnight stops.

      Sleeper Trains feature a once in a lifetime adventure of sleeping on the train in comfortable cabins. You can relax in your private onboard accommodations, or enjoy local wines and chef-prepared meals in the dining car during this unforgettable trip.

  • How much does my trip cost?

    All our trips are personalized to fit our clients' schedule and budget. The price of your trip generally depends on the travel season, train service, accommodations, and the sightseeing tours you take. Please request your personalized quote which will provide you with the detailed information you need.

  • What is included in the price?

    Typically we include and pre-book all your main trip components so you don't have to worry about your connections, places to stay, or activities on your trip. You'll receive your detailed digital travel documents, and our Canadian Insiders remain at your disposal throughout your trip to answer any questions.

  • What are the best ways to travel around Canada?

    Canada has a network of spectacular roadways, train routes, ferry crossings, and float planes. We can arrange for you to travel by car or to sit back and relax.

  • When is the best time to see wildlife?

    That depends on the destination and type. As a rule, the main feeding and migration seasons are best for wildlife experiences. Tell us which animals interest you and we'll make your trip coincide with the best viewing season.

This Trip in Pictures

Enjoy the tranquility of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in winter

Enjoy the tranquility of the Canadian Rocky Mountains in winter

You arrive in Vancouver and are welcomed by beautiful ocean and mountain vistas.

You arrive in Vancouver and are welcomed by beautiful ocean and mountain vistas.

Watch pristine winter forests pass by, as you enjoy 'Sleeper Plus' class on the Canadian train.

Watch pristine winter forests pass by, as you enjoy 'Sleeper Plus' class on the Canadian train.

Choose to join a guide for a unique ice walk experience.

Choose to join a guide for a unique ice walk experience.

Visit bustling Banff, home of the Fairmont Banff Springs and full of winter delights.

Visit bustling Banff, home of the Fairmont Banff Springs and full of winter delights.

Choose to join a day trip to the beautiful Lake Louise, a timeless Rockies highlight

Choose to join a day trip to the beautiful Lake Louise, a timeless Rockies highlight

Join in on the fun – the Rockies have endless possibilities for winter adventure.

Join in on the fun – the Rockies have endless possibilities for winter adventure.

Now it's time to settle in for your trans Canadian train voyage.

Now it's time to settle in for your trans Canadian train voyage.

Enjoy delicious cuisine and a glass of wine as the frozen Canadian landscape passes by.

Enjoy delicious cuisine and a glass of wine as the frozen Canadian landscape passes by.

End in Toronto, a destination unto itself for those who have time to stay.

End in Toronto, a destination unto itself for those who have time to stay.

Recommended Itinerary

Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. Our experienced Canadian Insiders will create a personalized trip plan for you that matches your travel style, schedule and budget.

Day 1 – Canadian Vacation Begins – Arrive in Vancouver
The cool, crisp air in Vancouver is invigorating as you start your Canadian winter train vacation. Vancouver’s relatively mild weather is a great introduction to a Canadian winter. Look to the north and discover the winter scene you’ve been dreaming of – Vancouver’s coastal mountains stand before you covered in pure white snow.

 

Feature Dinner in Vancouver
Did you know Vancouver is one of the top culinary destinations in the world? Enjoy a great meal in the best setting while making memories with your loved ones – in one of our favorite restaurants!

Overnight in Vancouver.

 

Day 2 – Discover Vancouver
Choose 1 of the following 2 options in Vancouver today:

 

• Option 1: Privately Guided Sightseeing Tour
There is so much to see in Vancouver – let us arrange a private local guide to get the most out of your day. At your own pace, discover historic Gastown and the 2010 Olympic Cauldron. Then make your way to Stanley Park – an oasis of towering rainforest surrounded by the Pacific Ocean. Savour the laid-back beach vibe of English Bay, eclectic Granville Island Market, and the lush VanDusen Botanical Garden.
Activity Rating: Easy

• Option 2: Eagle Viewing River Float Tour
Starting in Vancouver, you will be taken to one of the world’s largest population of bald eagles. From December until mid-February, these magnificent birds return to the area to feed on spawning salmon. This tour lets you view the eagles from the best place – on the river. In addition, you will travel along the scenic Sea-to-Sky Highway and enjoy views of ocean vistas, soaring mountains, and rainforest. Return to Vancouver this evening.
Activity rating: Moderate

Overnight in Vancouver.

 

Day 3 – Board VIA Rail’s Canadian Train – Vancouver to Jasper
This morning the excitement builds as you board the Canadian Train for your overnight journey to the Canadian Rockies. A panoramic dome car – where you can relax, unwind, and see the sights all around you – is only a short walk from your cabin. Tasty meals are served in an elegant yet casual dining car and chatting over a drink with fellow travelers makes the day pass by all too quickly. Enjoy the journey as you travel further toward the Canadian Rockies.
Overnight in your private cabin.

 

Day 4 – Rockies Winter Wonderland – Arrive in Jasper
Continue northeast through the Caribou Mountains and enter the spectacular Canadian Rockies. Wake up on board The Canadian train and enjoy the winter views outside your window. The snow is glistening on mountain peaks of the Canadian Rockies as you end your journey in the little mountain town of Jasper. Step off the train and breathe the fresh mountain air before being transported to your hotel.

Overnight in Jasper.

 

Day 5 – Travel the Icefields Parkway – Jasper to Banff
Enjoy a scenic sunrise transfer along the spine of the Rockies, known as the Icefields Parkway – recognized as one of Canada’s most beautiful routes. Each turn reveals frozen waterfalls and impossibly vast mountain valleys. Have your camera ready – ice climbers are often spotted along the way! End your day in Banff, a bustling mountain village, and the perfect place to experience a Canadian winter.

 

• Upgrade Option: Private Icefields Sightseeing with Heli-Tour (extra cost)
Spend the day with your own private guide to explore the Icefields Parkway at your own pace. Then, step away from the crowds and take a helicopter tour to soar above icy lakes, glaciers, and frozen waterfalls from an Icefields base.
Overnight in Banff.

 

Day 6 – Explore the Canadian Rockies in Banff National Park
The town of Banff is nestled amidst the soaring peaks of Banff National Park. The town itself is the liveliest of the Rocky Mountain towns and the energy is contagious. It’s small enough to walk around and home to world-class eateries and boutiques.

 

Choose 1 of the following 4 options in Banff today:

• Option 1: Discover Banff Tour
Enjoy a small group tour by bus to discover Banff’s unique heritage and stunning backdrop in the Canadian Rockies. Explore the historic sights, hear the folklore, and visit scenic view points surrounding the Banff town site.
Activity rating: Easy

• Option 2: Paint Pots Snowshoe Tour
Snowshoe on an easy trail across the frozen Vermilion River and along the snowy path winding through a forest of pine trees to the Paint Pots, a cultural treasure within Banff National Park. Along the way you will hear stories of Banff’s indigenous people, explorers, and fur traders.
Activity rating: Moderate

• Option 3: Johnston Canyon Icewalk Tour
Enjoy the beauty of winter while you explore Johnston Canyon with the help of ice cleats. As you wander along the catwalks built into the canyon walls, enjoy the views into the gorge below.
Activity rating: Easy

• Upgrade Option: Dog Sledding Tour from Banff (extra cost)
Travel to Canmore today where you will meet a team of friendly huskies waiting to whisk you through the wilderness of the Canadian Rockies. You will have the option to harness the dogs and drive the team yourself, or simply enjoy the experience as a passenger. After your sledding experience, warm up with a hot drink and tasty snack.
Activity rating: Moderate

Overnight in Banff.

 

Day 7 – Travel from Banff to Jasper
Take a relaxing morning to explore the town of Banff. Quaint local shops, delectable eateries, and scenic nature strolls are all at your fingertips. This afternoon you will be picked up and transferred to back to Jasper along the Icefields Parkway for one last night in the Canadian Rockies.
Overnight in Jasper.

 

Day 8 – Depart Jasper and Board the Canadian Train to Toronto
Today you are transferred to the train station for an epic journey across the remote Canadian landscape. Recount your Canadian Rocky Mountain adventures with fellow travelers over a glass of wine or relax in your cozy cabin as you make your way to Toronto.

Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.

 

Day 9 and 10 – Onboard the Canadian Train
The scenery changes as you travel across the undulating plain of the Prairie provinces and into Ontario. Settle into your seat and enjoy watching the sights from your window. The snow-covered trees and colourful barns of the prairies are illuminated in the sunlight.
Overnight on board the train in your private cabin.

 

Day 11 – Arrive in Toronto
Enjoy the views of Ontario’s lake country, before arriving at Toronto’s Union Station. Discover Toronto’s many unique and colourful neighbourhoods. Spend the remainder of your day at leisure.

Overnight in Toronto.

 

Day 12 – Depart Toronto
Much too soon, you leave the clean air and colorful sights of Canada behind as your across Canada train vacation comes to an end and a driver takes you to the airport.

 

Insider tip: Ask us about extending your trip, to explore Eastern Canada on a journey through Ontario and Quebec.

Start Dates

2021-2022 – Vancouver Start Dates*
Jan 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
Feb 5, 12, 19, 26
Mar 5, 12, 19

2021-2022 – Toronto Start Dates*
Jan 4, 11, 18, 25
Feb 1, 8, 15, 22
Mar 1, 8, 15, 22

* Itinerary and price variations may occur for travel over Christmas, New Years and holidays. Give us a call for additional information.

Pricing

Prices of this trip vary by departure date, hotel class and the choice of activities. Request your quote to check availability or to book this trip.

  • Train Experience

    Train Experience

    Learn more about the onboard service and look inside the trains you will be traveling on during this trip.

    Read about the VIA Rail train

    VIA Rail

    VIA Rail trains take passengers across the vast country of Canada through some of the most amazing scenery in North America. The service includes sleeper cars, gourmet meals, and lounge and viewing areas.

    Read about the overnight train trips

    Sleeping on the train

    Experience a once in a lifetime adventure of an overnight train journey. Sleep on board the train and enjoy chef-prepared meals in the dining car during this unforgettable trip.

  • Accommodations

    Accommodations

    In addition to the sleeper train cabin, below are examples of the places you can stay on this trip. Please get in touch to discuss your options and to check availability.

    Rimrock Resort

    Rimrock Resort

    The 4.5 star Rimrock Resort is built into the side of a mountain, when you enter the main lobby, you are actually on the 7th floor, and the views from the pamorama of windows over the Bow Valley are simply stunning. The hotel has an upscale yet understated feel, and the service is impeccable.

    Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

    Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge

    The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is it’s own Canadian wilderness resort. The property is made up of many buildings with different room types throughout the resort. Relax by the lake, or enjoy a round of golf on the beautiful Stanley Thompson Golf Course, or enjoy a game of ice hockey on the lodge’s pond. Be sure to keep your eyes open for Elk as they walk past your building!

    Fairmont Banff Springs

    Fairmont Banff Springs

    Styled after a Scottish Baronial Castle, The Fairmont Banff Springs is located in the heart of Banff National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Enjoy one of the many activities that the hotel has to offer from tennis, horseback riding, a round of golf, skiing, relaxing at the the Willow Stream Spa (charge), or enjoying a great meal at one of 12 restaurants, lounges or pubs.

    The Banff Caribou Lodge And Spa

    The Banff Caribou Lodge And Spa

    After a full day of skiing, hiking or sightseeing in the mountains it is wonderful to retreat to this quiet mountain lodge and relax in your comfortable room. Soak your muscles in the jetted whirlpool or get a massage at the Red Earth Spa. The hotel is also home to one of the most popular steakhouses in Canada, so treat yourself to a special meal while you watch the sunset over the mountains.

  • What's Included

    What's Included

    These are the places and experiences to look forward to on this trip.

    Accommodations:
    • 7 nights of hotel accommodation
    • 4 nights in a private cabin for 1 or 2 onboard the Canadian train

    Train Experiences:
    • Sleeper Plus Class, onboard The Canadian Train between Vancouver – Jasper and between Jasper – Toronto (includes access to dome car)

    Vancouver Activity Options:
    Choose 1 of 3:

    1. Private Vancouver Sightseeing Tour
    2. Eagle Viewing River Float Tour

    Banff Activity Options:
    Choose 1 of 3:
    1. Banff Sightseeing Tour
    2. Paint Pots Snowshoe Tour
    3. Johnston Canyon Icewalk
    4. Upgrade Option: Dog Sledding Tour from Banff (extra cost)

    Meal Inclusions:
    • Feature Dinner in Vancouver
    • Meals onboard the Canadian Train

    Transfer Inclusions:
    • Private transfers between Vancouver airport, hotel and train station
    • Transfers between the Jasper train station and hotel
    • Private transfers from Jasper to Banff / Banff to Jasper
    • Private transfers between Toronto hotel and airport

    Other Inclusions:
    • Digital Travel Documents
    • Gratuities for private transfers and tours (unless otherwise noted)
    • Fresh Tracks Canada customer service – from the time you book, you are assigned your own personal Vacation Coordinator whom you can reach out to with any questions or requests

    Important Trip and Schedule Notes:
    • Train schedules are subject to change and delays may occur.
    • Comfort and Superior hotels include scheduled coach transfers in the Rockies. Deluxe hotels are paired with private car and driver transfers in the Rockies.
    • Occasionally, activities may vary at time of travel due to weather conditions. Your Vacation Advisor will provide advice on the best timing for outdoor winter activities.
    • Activity options are limited over Dec 24–26 and on Jan 1, your Vacation Advisor will provide advice on your available options.


    Not Included

    • Meals and activities unless otherwise mentioned
    • Airfare (but don’t hesitate to ask for help)
    • Gratuities (unless otherwise indicated)
    • Canadian Sales Taxes
    • Trip Cancellation and Travel Medical Insurance (highly recommended – please ask for a personalized quote)

    Ideas to customize your trip

    Think of this itinerary as just a starting point. These are some of the experiences you can add-on to personalize your trip.

    • Ask us about the option of staying in more secluded mountain lodges, for a true alpine experience
    • Optional winter activities, including skiing (downhill and cross-country), glacier helicopter tour or skating
    • Extra nights in Vancouver or Toronto
    • Northern Lights Viewing Package

  • Customer Reviews  (6)

    Many, many wonderful memories

    Star Rating 4

    Read full review...

    Many, many wonderful memories (Capilano Suspension Bridge, sleigh ride at Lake Louise, shopping in Banff, nature tour in Jasper and Banff, use of spas in the hotels in Vancouver, Jasper and Banff, and the great train ride from Vancouver to Jasper and then to Toronto.

    The beautiful nature and crisp fresh air was delightful

    Star Rating 5

    Read full review...

    The beautiful nature and crisp fresh air was delightful. I loved the dog sledding experience. Fun, informative and the dogs were happy and unique! Fresh Tracks was wonderful! I could not have been more pleased.

    We loved experiencing Canada in winter

    Star Rating 5

    Read full review...

    We loved experiencing Canada in winter, meeting fellow train passengers and watching the changing scenery!

    Perfect from start to finish

    Star Rating 5

    Read full review...

    Everyone at Fresh Tracks was extremely professional and helpful, and our vacation was perfect from start to finish.

    The train ride was fabulous!

    Star Rating 5

    Read full review...

    We had a wonderful vacation. Organizational-wise everything went fine, the hotels are recommendable and the train ride was fabulous! The New Years Eve festivities were also a great experience! So all in all I can only thank you for your efforts to make these things happen, I will (and already have) recommended Fresh Tracks Canada for the outstanding job you had done!

    I will definitely be recommending Fresh Tracks Canada

    Star Rating 5

    Read full review...

    Overall the trip was great! I was really impressed with the transfers that were organised. They were fantastic and at times really saved the trip. One part of the trip that we all found quite disappointing was the train trip. On our first part, from Vancouver to Jasper, the train arrived 5 hours late. I understand that these things happen but the Via Rail staff were extremely unhelpful and by the time we finally arrived in Jasper we were all feeling very disheartened and figured that being 5 hours late we would not be making it to Lake Louise that night. Luckily our driver from Sundog Tours was there waiting for us – hence why the transfers at times saved our trip. The rest of the train trip wasn't as bad but overall the staff on the train were unhelpful and I will not be recommending that any of my friends travel using Via Rail. On a lighter note, I was impressed with all the hotels, except for the Rundlestone Lodge in Banff where the people working at the desk were again rude and snappy. All the other hotels were wonderful and the people working there made our trips really pleasant! One of the highlights of the trip was definitely staying at Lake Louise. It was like a magical winter wonderland and our snow shoeing adventure was one of the most fun things I have ever done! Our guide was amazing and made sure we were warm, safe and most of all had fun! Overall I really appreciated, as did my parents, that all the little details such as the transfers and activities were organised for us by you all at Fresh Tracks Canada. Having never been to Canada before it was good having people who know the country and where to go and what to do helping us organise our trip. Although I won't be recommending travel with Via Rail to friends and family, I will definitely be recommending Fresh Tracks Canada!

Get your personalized trip plan organized and arranged for you

Get your personalized itinerary
  • Get a trip that covers everything you want to see.
  • Know which places to go and which areas are best during certain times of the year.
  • Have someone local who knows the area to suggest trains, hotels, dining, sightseeing, etc.
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Customized Trips

Customized Trips

All our trips can be personalized to match your dates, travel style, and budget.

Advice From Canadians

Advice From Canadians

Make the most of your time in Canada with advice from our local Insiders.

Everything Arranged

Everything Arranged

Have all the details of your trip organized and booked for you.