This cross-Canada train journey begins on the west coast in Vancouver, and over five trains and 16 days takes you as far east as Québec City. You'll ride in comfort, taking in the varied scenery from the Pacific and Rockies to the prairies and Canadian Shield. Highlights include flying over Vancouver in a helicopter, seeking out the northern lights in Jasper, wandering Toronto's multicultural neighborhoods, cruising the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, and discovering Québec's colonial past in Québec City and Montréal.


  • Unwind in Miette Hot Springs after an overnight train ride to Jasper, Alberta
  • Follow your guide to some of Toronto's landmarks, like the CN Tower
  • Admire Niagara Falls from the sky and behind the Horseshoe Falls
  • Cruise down the Rideau Canal to see Ottawa's illuminated landmarks

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Vancouver (BC), Granville Island Food Tour, Shipyards Night Market Vancouver
Day 2 Helicopter Tour Over Vancouver, Overnight Train to Jasper (Alberta) Jasper
Day 3 Self-guided Day in Jasper, Relax in Miette Hot Springs Jasper
Day 4 Ride the Jasper SkyTram, Visit the Jasper Planetarium Jasper
Day 5 Guided Tour of Jasper National Park, Maligne Lake Cruise Jasper
Day 6 Free Day in Jasper National Park Jasper
Days 7-9 Scenic Train Ride to Toronto (Ontario) Toronto
Day 10 Half-Day Toronto Tour, Discover Kensington Market Toronto
Day 11 Transfer to Niagara Falls, Helicopter Ride & Niagara Falls Tour Niagara Falls
Day 12 Transfer to Toronto, Train to Ottawa, Cruise on the Rideau Canal Ottawa
Day 13 Train to Québec City (Québec), Old Québec Walking Tour Québec City
Day 14 Half-Day Trip to Montmorency Falls, Train to Montréal & Evening Cruise Montréal
Day 15 Jean-Talon Market & Little Italy Food Tour Montréal
Day 16 Old Montréal Walking Tour, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Vancouver (BC), Granville Island Food Tour, Shipyards Night Market

Sample delicious street food in the Shipyards Night Market

Welcome to the coastal metropolis of Vancouver, situated on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. Upon arrival, meet your driver outside the airport and transfer to your hotel. After freshening up, join your guide for a food tour on Granville Island, where you can sample farm-fresh produce, freshly caught seafood, and locally-made charcuterie. As you eat, learn about Vancouver's thriving food scene and the passion of the city's independent farmers and food artisans. End the tour with a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth doughnut to appeal to your sweet tooth. Then, the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. 

If you want to continue eating and visiting on a Friday between May and September, you can head to the Shipyards Night Market. Wander down the lively promenade lined with food stalls offering cuisine from around the world, as well as artisanal crafts. Sample gourmet street food, grab a locally crafted beer and find a seat to enjoy the live music. Those who want to explore more of the city can continue to Gastown, Vancouver's oldest neighborhood. Stroll down the cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings and stop at the Gastown Steam Clock, which chimes every 15 minutes.

Day 2: Helicopter Tour Over Vancouver, Overnight Train to Jasper (Alberta)

Get a bird's-eye view of Vancouver and its natural surroundings on a helicopter tour

This morning's activity will surely be memorable as you fly above Vancouver in a helicopter for a bird's-eye view of the city and its natural surroundings. Lift off the helipad and soar above landmarks like Stanley Park and Lions Gate Bridge while you sip a celebratory glass of Champagne. Admire the rugged beauty of British Columbia's sweeping landscapes, from dense forests and snowcapped peaks to fjords and pristine islands dotting the coastline before touching down.

After the exhilarating helicopter tour, it's time to say goodbye to the city and make your way to the train station for an overnight ride northeast to Jasper, Alberta, a charming town in the heart of the Canadian Rockies. Although the journey is 19 hours, the time will fly by as you enjoy views of towering peaks, glacier-fed lakes, and majestic mountain ranges. Even when it gets dark, there will be plenty to see as the sky slowly comes alive with stars. In the morning, you'll wake up to the lush surroundings of Jasper National Park as you pull into the station and transfer to your hotel to check in and refresh.

Day 3: Explore Jasper, Relax in Miette Hot Springs 

Stop at the iconic Peyto Lake on your drive along the Icefields Parkway

After your long train journey, enjoy a free day to unwind and explore at your own pace. You can discover some of the national park's hiking trails or rent a car for the day to go on a scenic drive down the Icefields Parkway, stopping at landmarks like Athabasca Falls and the postcard-perfect Peyto Lake. Both are located just off the highway, so you can easily walk to the different viewpoints to admire the natural wonders. Bow Lake is another must-see stop along the parkway, perfect for a picnic or a stroll along the shoreline.

After hiking or exploring, go to Miette Hot Springs, renowned for having the hottest mineral water in the Canadian Rockies. Unwind in the bubbling spring surrounded by towering mountains and lush forests. If you're up for another hike, consider following the Source of the Springs, a 1.6-mile (2.6 km) out-and-back trail to see where the water emerges from the ground. Along the way, read the informative signs to learn more about the area's geological features and the natural history of the hot springs before returning to your hotel in town.

Day 4: Ride the Jasper SkyTram, Visit the Jasper Planetarium

Ride the Jasper SkyTram up The Whistlers for panoramic views of the natural surroundings

Spend another day exploring Jasper and its national park on your own. You could ride on the Jasper SkyTram, the country's highest and longest guided aerial tramway. Ride the tram for 7.5 minutes to the upper station on The Whistlers 7,424 feet (2,263 m) above sea level, where you can step out onto the viewing platforms to admire the surrounding mountains, turquoise lakes, and tranquil Athabasca River. After enjoying the view, set off on a hike down one of the mountaintop trails, grab something to eat at the Summit Café, or return to the bottom of the mountain.

In the evening, continue to the Jasper Planetarium for an immersive show about the stars, planets, and celestial phenomena. After the show, step outside to observe the night sky using the Rockies' largest and most powerful telescopes. While waiting for your turn, learn more about astronomy, local First Nations constellations, and the science behind the universe. If you're lucky, you may even spot the aurora borealis, so keep your eyes peeled and cameras ready. 

Day 5: Guided Tour of Jasper National Park, Maligne Lake Cruise

Follow your guide through Maligne Canyon in Jasper National Park

Join your guide on a tour of Jasper National Park this morning, starting with a 30-minute trek across the lush Maligne Canyon. Admire the sheer grandeur of the canyon, carved over centuries by the rushing waters of the Maligne River. Get an up-close look at the dramatic rock formations and waterfalls lining the canyon before continuing to Medicine Lake, which disappears during the summer. Learn about the geological processes that lead to this disappearing act and grab some pictures of the natural landscape during this quick 10-minute stop.

Throughout the day, look for wildlife like moose, black bears, and grizzly bears. Your guide will also point out any animals they see and teach you about their behavior and habitats. End the tour with a tranquil cruise across Maligne Lake, surrounded by snowcapped mountains, cascading waterfalls, and hidden coves. Disembark at the small Spirit Island and discover the different viewpoints, perfect for taking pictures of the serene surroundings. After 1.5 hours on the water, return to the shore and enjoy a free evening. 

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Day 6: Free Day in Jasper National Park 

Go on a self-guided hike in Jasper National Park

Lace up your hiking boots and hit the trails in Jasper National Park for a self-guided trek. There are plenty of paths to choose from, but one of the most popular is the Valley of the Five Lakes, an easy-to-moderate loop trail that takes you to five picturesque alpine lakes. The trail also starts in town, so it's easily accessible. Set off down the 2.8-mile (4.5 km) path, stopping at each lake to admire the mesmerizing colors, from emerald greens to vibrant blues. If you're looking for a more challenging hike, consider the 5.2-mile (8.4 km) long Wilcox Pass.

This trail starts at the Columbia Icefield Discovery Centre, one hour outside of Jasper. It takes you through alpine meadows and along the Athabasca River to different viewpoints overlooking the vast Columbia Icefield and Athabasca Glacier. Those who want to skip hiking altogether can spend the day in town discovering the array of shops, art galleries, and restaurants offering a range of dining options. Pop in and out of the shops looking for unique souvenirs or indulge in local delights like a bison burger or fresh salmon sourced from nearby waters.

Days 7-9: Scenic Train Ride to Toronto (Ontario)

After three days aboard a train, you'll pull into the bustling metropolis of Toronto

Trade Jasper's mountains and lakes for the bustling streets of Canada's largest city as you make your way to the station to board a three-day train across the country to Toronto on the shores of Lake Ontario. The first leg of the journey takes you through Jasper National Park, so you can get one last look at the lush wilderness. As you leave Jasper behind, you'll be treated to ever-changing views of towering mountains, pristine lakes, and dense pine forests. Wind through the rugged Rockies before descending into Alberta's rolling foothills.

Cross the provincial borders into Saskatchewan and Manitoba and watch the landscape change from open prairies to rocky outcrops, lush forests, and tranquil lakes. Throughout the journey, enjoy your meals in the luxurious dining cars lined with panoramic windows so you don't miss a thing. When you finally reach Ontario, you'll be captivated by the beauty of the Canadian Shield, a vast expanse of rocky terrain punctuated by countless lakes and dense forests. As the train approaches Toronto, the landscape gradually shifts from wilderness to urban sprawl. Disembark and transfer to your hotel to check in.

Day 10: Half-Day Toronto Tour, Discover Kensington Market

Cruise across Lake Ontario for panoramic views of Toronto's iconic skyline

Join your guide for a four-hour city tour, starting at the iconic CN Tower for a panoramic view over the city from 1,136 feet (346 m) above ground. Then, set off on a fully narrated driving tour of Toronto to see landmarks like Old City Hall, the University of Toronto, Queens Park, Dundas Square, and Nathan Phillips Square, where you can stop to take a picture with the Toronto sign and learn about the PATH, the city's 18-mile (29 km) underground walkway network. Enjoy some free time to explore St. Lawrence Market, where you can browse the stalls full of fresh produce, artisanal food, and international delights. You might like to pick up some sweets, like butter tarts or Nanaimo bars.

End the tour with a boat cruise on Lake Ontario to admire the skyline or visit Casa Loma uptown, North America's only castle, during the offseason. In the evening, find your way to Kensington Market, an eclectic neighborhood of quirky stores and restaurants offering everything from vintage clothing and handmade crafts to global cuisine. Pop in and out of the colorful shops, then grab dinner from one of the many restaurants and cafés. If you don't find something to eat here, try the Distillery District, a pedestrian-only neighborhood lined with Victorian-era architecture housing galleries, breweries, and restaurants.

Day 11: Transfer to Niagara Falls, Helicopter Ride & Niagara Falls Tour

Get an up-close look at Niagara Falls on a 20-minute boat cruise

Trade the bustling city streets for the thundering water of Niagara Falls as you set off on a 1.5-hour transfer this morning. When you arrive, head to the heliport for a quick helicopter ride. Learn about the area's rich history with the onboard commentary as you fly above all three waterfalls, rapids, and landmarks like the Niagara SkyWheel or Skylon Tower. Join your guide next for a tour of the area, starting at the Floral Clock, a working clock featuring 16,000 bedding plants. Your next stop is the Niagara Glen Nature Centre, where you can admire the river in the gorge below and one or two subsequent platforms to check out the Niagara Whirlpool.

When you finally reach the falls, admire them from the scenic overlook, then ascend Skylon Tower for aerial views of the cascade. Next, go on the Journey Behind the Falls, an awe-inspiring attraction that takes you into the tunnels behind Horseshoe Falls. Feel the sheer power as millions of gallons of water surround you, then cap off your adventure with a boat cruise that takes you as close to the American, Bridal Veil, and Horseshoe Falls as possible.

Feel the cool mist on your face and listen to the thundering water on the 20-minute boat ride. If you visit during the offseason between December and April, you can discover the Butterfly Conservatory instead, where thousands of butterflies flutter among lush gardens. Stand still for a selfie with a landed butterfly if you're not squeamish. You'll also learn about the area's history at Niagara's Fury, a 4D motion theater that transports you back in time 10,000 years. End your day with one last look at the falls from a 2,200-foot-long (670 m) zipline above the water. Don your gear, then hook onto the zipline and soar above the gorge, enjoying a bird's-eye view of the natural wonder.

Day 12: Transfer to Toronto, Train to Ottawa, Cruise on the Rideau Canal

Cruise down the tranquil Rideau Canal to see the city's illuminated landmarks

After just one night in Niagara Falls, transfer back to Toronto, where you'll catch a five-hour train farther east to Ottawa, Canada's capital city. When you arrive, check into your hotel and refresh, then venture out on a cruise down the UNESCO-listed Rideau Canal. Glide past landmarks like Parliament Hill, the Fairmont Château Laurier, and Dows Lake. Along the way, learn about the canal's construction and historic locks, built in 1832 but still used today. Following the 1.5-hour cruise, make your way to the lively Elgin Street, lined with pubs, bistros, and trendy restaurants, for dinner.

Day 13: Train to Québec City (Québec), Old Québec Walking Tour

Explore Québec City on a guided city walk, uncovering its colonial roots

Get ready for another train ride today as you make your way to Québec's capital, Québec City. On the six-hour journey, watch the bustling metropolis transition into the countryside's rolling hills, meandering rivers, and small villages. You'll pass through historic cities like Montebello and Trois-Rivières, so keep your eyes peeled for famous landmarks, such as the Fairmont Le Château Montebello. When you arrive, check into your hotel, then set off on a guided tour of the UNESCO-listed Old Québec, the historic district.

Learn about the city's colonial roots as a French settlement as you wander down the cobblestone streets lined with centuries-old stone buildings. Stroll along Dufferin Terrace to admire the Fairmont Château Frontenac, a grand hotel that stands as a testament to the city's storied past, and the tranquil St. Lawrence River. Continue to Petit Champlain, a picturesque neighborhood with boutique shops and cozy cafés, before ending the tour at Place Royale, where Samuel de Champlain founded New France in 1608.

Day 14: Half-Day Trip to Montmorency Falls, Train to Montréal

Peek inside to admire the intricate stained glass windows of Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré

Start your last morning in Québec City with a guided tour to Montmorency Falls, just 15 minutes north of the city. Admire the 272-foot (83 m) cascade, making it 98 feet (30 m) taller than Niagara Falls, from the different observation decks, then cross the suspension bridge for a bird's-eye view. Continue to the Sanctuaire Sainte-Anne-de-Beaupré to admire the basilica's grand exterior before stepping inside to see the ornate altars, sacred artworks, and stained glass windows. Stop at Chocolaterie de l'Ile d'Orléans next to indulge in Belgian chocolates or ice cream in the summer.

Then, end the tour at the Cuivres d'Art Albert Gilles Boutique et Musée to learn about the artistry and craftsmanship behind Albert Gilles' renowned copper artwork. Back in the city, make your way to the station for a 3.5-hour train ride to Montréal, Québec's largest city. When you arrive, check into your hotel and freshen up, then head to the Old Port to board a 3.5-hour cruise down the St. Lawrence River. Cruise past landmarks like the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, Notre-Dame Basilica, and the 1976 Olympic Stadium, all illuminated in a soft glow.

Day 15: Jean-Talon Market & Little Italy Food Tour

Browse the stalls full of fresh produce and local delights in the Jean-Talon Market

You might want to skip breakfast this morning as you join your guide for a food tour, starting in the Jean-Talon Market. Follow your guide through the lively market, where stall after stall brims with colorful produce, artisanal cheeses, and sweet pastries. Sample Québécois delights like Montréal-style bagels or maple syrup treats before moving on to Little Italy, a charming neighborhood where Italian culture and cuisine thrive. Stroll the colorful streets and smell the aroma of freshly brewed espresso and baked goods, tempting you to stop for an Italian pastry or gelato. 

Explore specialty shops selling imported cheeses, olives, and cured meats, then stop at one of the trattorias for an authentic pasta dish or wood-oven pizza. After the tour, the rest of the day is yours to spend as you wish. You could head to Parc du Mont-Royal to hike or cycle along the network of trails winding through a lush forest. The park's hilltop location also offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the tranquil St. Lawrence River. Don't miss Saint Joseph's Oratory, one of the world's largest shrines dedicated to the patron saint of Canada.

Day 16: Old Montréal Walking Tour, Depart

Follow your guide down the cobblestone streets of Old Montreal

After spending 16 days exploring three of Canada's provinces by train, it's time to head home today. Thankfully, you can go on one last adventure: a 1.5-hour walking tour of Old Montréal, the city's historic district. Wander down the cobblestone streets lined with historic buildings and listen as your guide teaches you about how the city has evolved from a French colonial settlement to the bustling Canadian metropolis it is today. 

Stop in Place d'Armes to see the imposing Notre-Dame Basilica up close. Admire the basilica's twin towers, elaborate carvings, and stained-glass windows before exploring the tranquil interior. Then, walk along the Old Port to enjoy the picturesque waterfront in the light of day. After the tour, return to the hotel to grab your bags and meet your driver to transfer to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels! 

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Map of Cross-Canada Train Journey: From Vancouver to Montréal - 16 Days
Map of Cross-Canada Train Journey: From Vancouver to Montréal - 16 Days