“Beauty takes no shortcuts.” That’s the new tag line for the historic Canadian, VIA Rail Canada’s flagship train. It runs between Toronto and Vancouver three times a week, traveling 2,775 miles.
IRT recommends VIA’s new Prestige Class, introduced in 2015, full en suite bathroom and shower, large double bed by night, and modular L-shaped leather sofa by day, plus a host of amenities including flat-screen TV (with a selection of videos), unlimited free drinks, including alcoholic drinks, 24-hour butler service, and first choice for meals (read about Prestige Class in our blog, Track 25, here).
Reserve any bedroom on the overnight train and enjoy the many perks that come with it—from a special waiting room at the main stations, to priority boarding, “welcome aboard” reception, wine tastings and all delicious meals included. One big delight is access to the great dome cars for seeing the sights day or night.
Meanwhile, the schedule from Toronto to Jasper allows three nights on board (10 p.m. departure from Toronto, 1:00 p.m. arrival in Jasper.) All the way to Vancouver is four nights (three days, 14 hours and 42 minutes!) Arrival in Vancouver is scheduled for mid-morning.
Latest News: Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest news on the Canadian and other of our World’s Top 25 Trains™.
IRT recommends Prestige Class so you can have a large, private room (about 70 square feet) with double bed; full, en suite bathroom including shower, sink and toilet and the many perks listed below.
Prestige Class: With large double bed and full, en suite facilities — there’s no more slogging down the corridor in the morning to take your shower — this is the accommodation for which IRT travelers have been patiently waiting. Just introduced, Prestige Class rooms are 50% larger than Doubles and have windows 60% bigger. These cabins are approximately 70 square feet in size (including bathroom and shower). Also included in the fare are the following amenities:
• unlimited free drinks (including alcoholic drinks)
• 24-hour butler service • first choice for meal sittings
• separate greeting in the first-class lounge
• private escort to the train • turn-down service
• free off-train tour in Winnipeg for westbound passengers (but only if the train’s on time)
• fully stocked mini bar and fridge
Double: A Sleeper Touring Class bedroom is 35.25 square feet, not including the private en suite toilet and sink. Each bedroom features two armchairs that collapse at night to make way for the two bunks (one upper/one lower), a small closet, fan, electrical outlet and mirror. A small table can be set up for you upon request. The shower is down the hall. Our most recent travelers on this train in general loved it — but managing the ladder at night to get down to the bathroom was a challenge.
Single bedroom: This is a roomette designed for one person. The room is roughly 24 square feet. During the day, there is a comfortable seat, sink and toilet. At night, the seat folds into a bed that takes up just about all the room and covers the toilet. Shared shower and toilet are down the hall. Many of IRT’s single travelers say this is much too small for them; they don’t like their toilet covered up by the bed; they book single use of a double instead.
Upper or Lower Berth: This is a chair that makes up into a bed that is 5 feet, 10 inches long by about three feet wide. It makes up into a chair by day, facing another chair. The upper bed gets a ladder for climbing up at night. These “sections” have curtains for privacy. IRT does not recommend these accommodations.
All meals are included when you book sleeping accommodations on board the Canadian. For dinner, there are three seatings, served with china, silver and linen and featuring Canadian wines. Our recent travelers thought the meals were excellent and the service friendly and professional. (Alcoholic beverages are additional except in Prestige Class.)
Sleeper guests have exclusive use of the signature domed Park Car and the other dome cars. It is indeed memorable to enjoy an after-dinner drink watching the stars.
This extremely versatile train will stop just about anywhere you want between Sudbury and Winnipeg, a great boon for adventure lovers.
You can connect to other scenic rail adventures, such as the train to Hudson Bay, which runs Winnipeg-Churchill, to see the polar bears, and to the Skeena to see the wild landscape of northern British Columbia, Jasper-Prince Rupert on the coast, via Prince George.
You can take the Canadian in the winter for a “snow train” experience. Or, combine it with the Rocky Mountaineer for a deluxe journey across Canada (see IRT’s package tour combining both trains by clicking here).
Note there is no smoking on board. We highly recommend that you check most of your baggage. You’re allowed a maximum of 2 carry-on bags in your room, but we recommend taking just one. Note that traditional gratuities to train staff are not included in the cost of the ticket. Alcohol in the bar is additional except for Prestige Class guests.to top