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Great rail journeys across Canada

24th January, 2019

Since Michael Portillo’s new series ‘Great Canadian Railway Journeys’ aired this month, we’ve seen an increase in people browsing our Canadian rail tours. So, we thought we’d dedicate this week’s blog to great rail journeys across Canada and provide an insider guide on how best to see Canada by train.

Canada boasts some of the most stunning scenery on the planet. It’s a place of vast landscapes and varying altitudes encompassing mountains, glaciers, canyons, national parks, waterfalls and cosmopolitan cities. A rail journey provides the perfect opportunity to view these sights at a gentle pace, from the safety and comfort of a sleeper.

Whether you’re travelling inter-city, cross-Canada or trans-continental, you will find that Canada’s rail system is highly sophisticated and reliable.

How much of Canada do you want to see?

Downtown Vancouver at dusk

The rail tour you choose totally comes down to what you want to see. You may be captivated by the dramatic wonders of Niagara Falls or Athabasca Glacier, alternatively you might want to soak up the alpine beauty of the Rocky Mountains. You may be more swayed by the super clean cities of Toronto and Vancouver, or perhaps you want to see it all!

As Michael Portillo’s 15-part series explores, there are multiple routes you can take by rail across Canada, each offering a magnificent experience through breath-taking terrain. Here are some of the top tours that prove popular to tourists.

Coast to coast

The stunning Niagara Falls in Ontario, Canada

Explore Canada from the Atlantic to the Pacific Ocean on a four-night tour via sleeper train. The journey winds its way through picturesque mountains and national parks, with stops in Banff, Jasper and Vancouver and sought-after excursions including Niagara Falls, a cruise to the Thousand Islands, a glacier skywalk and city tours of Montreal, Quebec, Ottawa and Vancouver.

Travel across Canada from coast to coast.

Rocky Mountains

The beautiful blue waters of Moraine Lake in Banff National Park

A visit to Canada is not complete without a visit to the Rocky Mountains. Whilst most Canadian rail tours pass through the Rockies, some only have a brief stop. If you want to take in more of this region, you can take a shorter tour that includes a visit to Jasper National Park and Banff National Park, an Ice Explorer ride over the Athabasca Glacier and cable-car ride up Sulphur Mountain.

Discover the Rocky Mountains by rail.

Multiple countries

Spectacular Glacier Bay

Combine a rail tour of Canada with a cruise up the Alaskan coast, to take in the wilderness of two spectacularly beautiful countries. This 15-night journey spends the first half of the tour exploring the Rockies via rail, visiting Calgary, Jasper and Banff National Park. From Vancouver, you board Holland America’s MS Amsterdam, for a seven-night cruise through the Inside Passage, visiting Glacier Bay National Park.

Rocky Mountains and Alaskan adventure.

Michael Portillo’s Great Canadian Rail Journeys continues on Monday nights on BBC2.

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.