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3 Reasons to Travel by Train from Coast to Coast in Canada

Revel in the contrasting natural wonders of Canada by travelling coast to coast.
Revel in the contrasting natural wonders of Canada by travelling coast to coast.

Canada is a vast country famous for its pristine landscapes and unique natural attractions. As a traveller, accessing the wild heart of Canada can be difficult, as the country is so immense and the wilderness so varied that the traditional daytrip out of a city like Vancouver or Toronto is unlikely to encapsulate the breadth of natural beauty that Canada has to offer. When it comes to negotiating a country of this size, rail travel is the best way to go and the Canadian Trails (ex Vancouver) is a 9 day /8-night long journey that will let you appreciate the breadth of natural beauty, culture and history contained between the country’s two coasts. This week, we take a look at three good reasons why this coast to coast rail journey is one of the best ways to travel through Canada.

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Elk and moose are a common sight throughout the southern provinces. 

Watch the changing landscape across 5 provinces

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Grain silos on a sparse Manitoba prarie. 

Travelling by rail through the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario gives you a unique opportunity to take in the dramatic, contrasting vistas that mark Canada out as one of the last truly wild places on earth.

Travelling from the West Coast aboard the Rocky Mountaineer Train, you’ll get to experience the wild heart of the Rocky Mountains with it’s jewel coloured lakes, craggy snow capped mountains, lush forests, and abundant wildlife. Day tours through the Banff and Jasper National Parks allow you to immerse yourself in these bewitching landscapes and fully appreciate their pristine majesty.  

As you leave the Rockies behind and travel into Alberta, the hilly landscape continues with the rolling Miette Range, which rises above a blanket of spruce and pine. It’s only once you travel into Saskatchewan province that things begin to flatten out, with fertile fields and prairies as far as the eye can see between Saskatoon and Manitoba. As your journey winds down and you head into Ontario, you’ll get your first sight of the the Canadian Shield, characterised by thick boreal forests occasionally broken by bare rock, and an intricate web of lakes.  

 

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Contrasting landscapes: (clockwise from top) Lake Ontario, Jasper National Park, bison in Alberta Province, a Manitoba field. 

Experience two of Canada’s great coastal cities

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Capilano Suspension Bridge.

As your trans-Canadian rail journey is bookended by two of the nations great metropolises, this adventure is the perfect opportunity to explore the charms and contrasts of urban Canadian life in Toronto and Vancouver. A perfect day out in Toronto might start by taking advantage of Bike Share Toronto and cycling along the trails through Toronto Island Park, trying a peameal bacon sandwich (a local delicacy) for lunch, spending the afternoon wandering through the vibrant and hip Kensington Market and then as the sun goes down, heading towards the brick lined streets of the historic Distillery District to soak up the nightlife in boutique bars and eateries.

 

A day in Vancouver, on the other hand, should encompass the eclectic mix or urban and natural attractions that the city is famous for. Start the day by taking in a birds eye view of the West Coast rainforest from the Capilano Suspension Bridge before experiencing true culinary fusion at a JAPADOG outlet, which takes the traditional hot dog and mixes things up with Japanese toppings. In the afternoon you might like to learn more about the culture and history of Canada by wandering through the outstanding exhibitions at the UBC Museum of Anthropology before spending the evening at the Rogers Arena watching the Vancouver Canucks play a rousing game of ice hockey.

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The journey is bookended by two of Canada's great coastal cities, Vancouver and Toronto. 

Undertake an epic train journey in absolute comfort and style

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Travelling in style on the Rocky Mountaineer. 

Rail is really the only mode of transport equipped to let you take in the immense wild beauty of Canada without having to compromise on creature comforts. The Rocky Mountaineer affords you absolute luxury on rails, with both the GoldLeaf and Silverleaf Services designed to tend to your every need. Enjoy travelling in a custom designed glass domed coach that enables you to become surrounded by the forest whilst dining on gourmet meals, and learning more about the landscape you are travelling through from your on-board storytelling host. Elegant accommodation is also included whichever service class you choose, and can include a stay in the fairytale Fairmont Hotel on Lake Louise.

 

Aboard VIA Rail’s legendary Canadian Sleeper Touring Class service heading towards Toronto, you’ll be equally well treated with a private lounge during the day that transforms into a bedroom by night and access to the iconic Park Car.

 The Canadian Trails 2017 packages are selling fast, so book your epic coast to coast Canadian rail journey today with Rail Plus.

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The Fairmont Hotel on Lake Louise. 

 

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