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The Essential Guide to Luxury Train Travel in Canada

The Essential Guide to Luxury Train Travel in Canada


Loons gliding across mirror-like lakes. Jagged mountains topped with glistening snow. Dense pine forests alive with birdsong. Canada’s landscapes are vast, unspoiled and inspiring.

But you don’t have to “rough it” in a tent in the woods in order to see them for yourself. Luxury train travel in Canada gives you the opportunity to explore the pristine wilderness while leaning back in a comfy chair with a chilled glass of Okanagan Valley Chardonnay in your hand.

Read on to learn more about luxury train travel in Canada, as well as some insider tips for booking your trip.

Top Luxury Train Trips in Canada

The Rocky Mountaineer

One of the most famous and iconic luxury train trips in Canada, the Rocky Mountaineer provides an unforgettable experience. When you travel on the GoldLeaf service, you’ll glide through spectacular mountain landscapes while admiring the views from the bi-level, custom-designed, glass-dome coach. Along the way, you’ll be treated to gourmet meals created by executive chefs and made with fresh local ingredients.

Via Rail The Ocean

The oldest continuously running “named” passenger train in North America, The Ocean has been carrying travelers through Quebec, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia since 1904. This spectacular 836-mile trip glides along the picturesque Baie des Chaleurs, where small villages of clapboard houses line the rocky coast and the sunlight glints on the water.

Via Rail The Canadian

It’s impossible to see all of Canada in one trip, but this journey comes pretty close. You’ll travel from Toronto all the way to Vancouver – passing by stunning waterfalls, lakes, mountains and prairies along the way. It’s a five-day, four-night journey across five provinces and four time zones. When you travel in Prestige Class, you’ll enjoy excellent meals, private lounges and the services of a concierge.

Orford Express

Known for its high-quality cuisine, this “Train Touristique” travels through the Eastern Townships of Quebec. It’s a day trip train and it is available from May to December. As you admire the peaceful, pastoral views you’ll dine on refined dishes such as corn pesto-crusted local rainbow trout or flank steak au jus with miniature Quebec-grown potatoes.

Tips For Booking a Luxury Train Trip

Book a Sleeper Car

Whenever possible, treat yourself to a sleeper car when taking a luxury train trip across Canada. For example, the sleeper car in Prestige Class onboard Via Rail The Canadian is like a compact hotel room on rails – with a double bed, an en-suite bathroom and shower, a flat-screen TV and a large picture window.

There’s something so incredibly relaxing about sleeping on a train. You’ll be lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking movement of the cars and you’ll wake up somewhere new – with a fresh view outside your window.

Leave Extra Time for Onward Travel

It’s a good idea not to book onward travel on the same day your train arrives at the station. Your time of arrival is more of a general estimate, so keep your plans loose for the day you arrive so you don’t have to worry about missing your onward bookings.

Often trains traveling across Canada must give priority to freight trains, so this can sometimes cause a few delays along the way. (Which just gives you more time to relax in the lounge car and have another glass of wine!)

Bring Analog Entertainment

Many of the luxury trains in Canada have WiFi, but there may be some points in the journey across this vast and remote nation that you will be off the grid. If you want to take a break and enjoy a digital detox, this can be perfect for you. Being on the train makes you slow down and savor the moment in a way that is difficult to come by in this fast-paced world.

You can finally finish that book you’ve been meaning to read, write some observations in your journal or just gaze out the window and soak it all in. (Plus, many trains will have onboard activities such as wine tastings and live music, so there’s plenty to keep you busy.)

Consider Traveling In Winter

If you can handle the chill, there are a lot of reasons to consider enjoying your luxury train vacation in Canada during the winter months. First of all, the landscapes look simply magical when they are covered in a sparkling blanket of freshly fallen snow. There’s something so cozy and comforting about curling up with a mug of hot chocolate while you watch the frosty pines and frozen lakes go by.

Plus, the trains will be less crowded and you’ll get your pick of seats in the dome car. Also, winter is festival season in many of Canada’s cities, so you’ll have the chance to attend events such as Winterlude in Ottawa and Carnaval de Quebec in Quebec City.

Book As Early As Possible

When you are booking your luxury train journey in Canada, it’s best to book in advance. When you book early, you’ll get the best availability and the widest selection of fares and options.Also, train journeys can be customizable. It is often possible to add on tours and activities at the beginning or end of your trip. Or, you may be able to take a longer stopover in a particular destination along the route, so you have more time to explore.

This way, you can turn your train trip to Canada into a full, bucket-list experience where you see as much of this stunning country as possible!

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. Flight radar
    December 4, 2019 at 6:54 pm

    This is so cool! we really need to do this next time we travel.

  2. Luik Airport Vluchten Volgen
    December 17, 2019 at 10:42 pm

    There is no dearth of routes and destinations that you could choose when you decide to move around Canada on rail. It certainly would not be possible to cover each and every destinations that is covered by rail route.

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 30, 2019 at 11:54 am

      I loved exploring Canada by train!

  3. Trevolin
    March 3, 2020 at 5:03 am

    Very lovely reading and useful article and the the images you have uploaded are very nice. Thanks for sharing your great ideas about luxury train travel in Canada.
    But one question, how enjoyable it is to travel by train in winter? Can you please write an article specially on the luxury train travel in winter?
    Thank you.
    Trevolin recently posted…New platform to find travel buddy, accommodation and travel guideMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      March 13, 2020 at 3:59 pm

      I haven’t been to Canada in the wintertime, sorry! I’m sure it’s beautiful.

  4. Rifat
    April 18, 2020 at 9:15 am

    very good post.

    • Carmen Edelson
      April 25, 2020 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you for reading!

  5. Amit wadhwani
    April 25, 2020 at 8:44 am

    Dear Carmen, You have shared wonderful insights. Train travel has always fascinated me and you have given me one more reason to pack my bags again. Great work!

    • Carmen Edelson
      April 25, 2020 at 9:28 pm

      So nice to hear, thank you! I love train travel.

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