Eastern Canada Winterfest
starting from US $2,090per person
Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
Embark on a unique winter wonderland experience as you journey by train through the snowy Quebec and Ontario countryside. Experience Canada’s charming nation’s capital Ottawa, the unbridled Joie de vivre of Montreal, and historic Quebec City. Cultural tours, winter activities, and great food are highlights of this vacation, as well as .
Arrive Ottawa → 2 nights Ottawa → 2 nights Montreal → 3 nights Quebec City → Depart Quebec City
Day 1 – Your Canadian Adventure Begins in Ottawa!
Welcome to the capital of Canada! Ottawa is a hub for culture and history and has a definite hidden flair! Home to seven national museums that recount the tales of the Canada’s colourful past, a thriving restaurant scene, and plenty of stunning historic buildings to explore. Ottawa has an abundance of attractions no matter the time of year!
Enjoy a private transfer directly from the airport to the door of your hotel. Relax! You’re traveling the Fresh Tracks Canada way - every connection is taken care of from the beginning to the end of your vacation.
Day 2 – Explore Ottawa
You have 3 options to choose from today to help you enjoy Ottawa.
• Option 1: Private Tour by Vehicle with a Local Guide
Meet your charming local guide (we’re keeping his name secret, we’re so smitten with him), a third generation Ottawan and secret beer connoisseur! His knowledge of the nation’s capital appears bottomless, as he narrates your tour with anecdotes that only a local would know. This tour showcases must see locations in Ottawa including Parliament Hill and its environs, and then onto Rockcliffe via the Ceremonial Route. You will see official government residences, Rideau Hall, the enclave of Rockcliffe Park and an experimental farm with arboretum and ornamental gardens. Should you wish to personalize your experience to your tastes, then you absolutely can! Are you a foodie? Your guide will take you to eat an Ottawan delicacy known as a ‘Beaver Tail’ (don’t worry, it’s a sweet treat). Avid photographer? Your guide knows the best scenic spots.
Activity rating: Easy
• Option 2: Private Walking Tour of Ottawa
A tour that focuses on the historical highlights of Ottawa located in the downtown core. Stretch your legs and learn all about how the French, Irish and English influenced everything about this town, right down to its layout. This guided tour takes in all the hotspots including Parliament Hill, the National War Memorial, Sparks Street, the Fairmont Chateau Laurier and the Byward Market.
Activity rating: Moderate
• Option 3: Food Tour of the Byward Market
There’s nothing quite like exploring a city on a culinary adventure! Explore little known spots in the city’s most historic district and meet quirky local business owners - from chefs, to producers, to food artisans - the chocolate at Stubbe Chocolate is world class! Of course, you get to sample tasty offerings along the way so bring an appetite! Be sure to ask your guide for their local restaurant recommendations, you never know what gem they might uncover for the evening.
Activity rating: Moderate
Day 3 – Explore Ottawa and Board VIA Rail to Montreal
Now you have oriented yourself to the city you have more time at leisure to enjoy Ottawa. Head to the Rideau Canal for a skating adventure and indulge in a hot chocolate (you can’t get more Canadian than that!) or head to Byward Market for souvenirs. Alternatively, you may wish to explore Ottawa’s museums - the National Gallery of Canada comes highly recommended and is home to a permanent Canadian collection and often features exhibitions by Canadian artists.
Insider tip: If skating on the Rideau Canal is on your bucket list, make sure to plan your trip between the end of January and March to ensure you have the best chance of arriving when the canal is fully frozen. Since this activity is weather dependent, make sure to ask your Travel Advisor for more advice.
This afternoon, enjoy a transfer to the train station and board your train to Montreal. There’s nothing quite like train travel in the snow - enjoy the vistas rush by your window as you nestle into your comfortable seat. Overnight in Montreal.
Day 4 – Explore Montreal
You have 3 options to choose from today to help you enjoy Montreal to the fullest.
• Option 1: Private City Tour by Vehicle
This tour ensures you see as much as possible of Montreal from the comfort and convenience of a vehicle. Journey through the Old Town and historic heart of the city and then onto downtown with its hustle, bustle and towering skyscrapers. Venture past the Old Port, Bonsecours Market, and head up to Mont Royal Park, a unique oasis in the middle of the city. You will hit all the scenic spots to take the perfect photo. This tour captures it all!
Activity rating: Easy
• Option 2: Explore Mont Royal Park
An authentic and unique Canadian outdoor experience, this tour explores Mont Royal Park. Try your hand at snowshoeing, skating (why not, you had all that practice on the canal in Ottawa!) or tube sliding. Hear stories of how Montreal became the dynamic and diverse city that it is today from the vantage of this small oasis in the centre of a busy metropolis.
Activity rating: Easy
• Option 3: Food Tour
Enjoy a variety of delicious offerings on this tour which compliment your exploration of the Old Town. This food tour slightly differs from the norm in that it is not about famous chefs and on trend restaurants, rather it is a lens into the Montreal’s varied food traditions. Influenced by, among others, indigenous culture and Expo 67. Hear historical anecdotes and spot unique street murals and architecture along the way.
Activity rating: Moderate
Feature Dinner in Montreal
We have selected one of our favourite restaurants for you in Montreal. With a menu created with a certain ‘French flair’, enjoy a showcase of the finest, freshest regional products.
Day 5 – Explore Montreal and Board VIA Rail to Quebec City
Continue to enjoy Montreal at your leisure this morning. Stroll down to the Old Town to explore the art galleries and capture a few more pictures, or enjoy a coffee and simply watch the world go by. The unique atmosphere of this city is something to soak in.
Later this morning, enjoy a private transfer to the train station. The snowy vistas are a stunning sight as you pass through some of the prettiest countryside in French Canada. This 3-hour route takes you along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence River, past charming Cap-de-la-Madeline and historic Trois-Rivieres.
Arrive in Quebec refreshed after a relaxing train journey and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel.
Day 6 – Explore Quebec City
Designated as a UNESCO world heritage site for its unique city walls and gates, Quebec City is full of the architectural wonders of Canada.
You have 3 options to choose from today to help you enjoy Quebec City to the fullest.
• Option 1: Private Tour by Vehicle
Relax in the comfort and convenience of a vehicle with a local private tour guide. At Fresh Tracks Canada, we pride ourselves on finding the best local guides so you have the most memorable and informative experience. Witness history first hand and hit all the top spots including Chateau Frontenac, the Latin Quarter, the Ramparts and the Plains of Abraham.
Activity rating: Easy
• Option 2: Walking Tour of Quebec City
Stretch your legs on this walking tour of Quebec City - this tour covers all the must-see sights in Old Quebec. The tour follows a leisurely downhill route and takes in the Citadel, Chateau Frontenac, Quebec Fortifications and Place Royale.
Activity rating: Moderate
• Option 3: The Food Tour – Canadian Signature Experience
So confident are the folks that run this tour – that they simply called it ‘The Food Tour’ – the only food tour you will need to take! Ready your taste buds, because this tour covers seven different venues, and samples about 15 different products. Expect to try food of French Canadian origin at venues like Le Tournebroche (organic rotisserie), La Buche (Traditional Quebecois Cuisine) and Creperie le Billig (Crepes) and Le Moine Échanson (Organic wine).
Activity rating: Moderate
Day 7 – Explore Quebec City and Surrounding Area
Quebec City is truly a winter wonderland. From the Christmas Markets and the enchanting decorations of the holiday season, to the world’s largest winter carnival, Quebec City is a world class winter destination all season.
Included today is one of the most popular winter activities in Quebec, a visit to the Ice Hotel.
• Visit to the Ice Hotel
Wow! Is the first phrase that comes to mind upon seeing the Ice Hotel. A winter palace built of ice and snow, with uniquely themed rooms, an Ice Cocktail bar and Sugar Shacks where you can make and eat maple taffy, a Quebecois delicacy made by pouring piping hot maple syrup into snow and rolling it up into a tasty morsel. Your photos and memories made at this winter wonderland will be yours to treasure for a long time.
Insider tip: The Quebec Winter Carnival takes place every year from the end of January to mid-February. To make sure you don’t miss out on any special events, have your Vacation Advisor schedule your trip around the Carnival.
Day 8 – Depart Quebec
Sadly, your vacation comes to and end today. With fond memories made, a private driver will take you from your hotel directly to the airport.
Are you on the train the whole time?
All of our trips include some stops to get off the train, to explore Canada's beautiful national parks and unique cities. However, if you're keen to maximize your time onboard, we'll pair you up with the perfect experience.
Is this an escorted tour?
With the exception of our guided wildlife and northern lights train trips, our vacations are not typically "escorted." We combine the best of both worlds – the reassurance of seamless connections, customer service support, and scheduled activities plus the freedom of 'independent' travel. You are not tied into a specific group, or a rigid daily itinerary. This allows us to personalize your trip to suit your occasion, interests, and timeframe. Click here for a more detailed comparison.
How do the trains work in Canada compared to the US or UK?
Because most Canadians typically do not use the train for commuting (as in Europe and the US), the two main rail providers here are driven by tourism. You'll experience the romance of true trans-continental rail travel, with a wide selection of services, accommodation types, plus great food.
What types of trains are used?
Two main companies operate trains in Canada: VIA Rail and Rocky Mountaineer.
Rocky Mountaineer operates daylight touring trains, which travel along 3 of the most spectacular routes in Western Canada. You'll enjoy onboard commentary, award winning service, and incredible food.
VIA Rail is Canada's national train provider, with routes running Coast to Coast and through remote parts of Northern Canada. The type of train depends on your journey, and can vary from the classic trans-continental sleeper trains to daylight trains with overnight stops.
What we love about this trip
Travelling on VIA Rail through the snowy countryside
Visiting UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Local guides that bring Eastern Canada to life
Skating on the Rideau Canal
Food tour of Byward Market
Below you'll find examples of this trip's accommodation options. Please call us for the full list or advice on how to customize your experience.
An example of our Comfort Level hotel accommodations
The cozy Auberge Bonaparte is a charmingly historic inn, nestled in Old Montreal. Along with an award winning French restaurant, guests can enjoy sunny summer days or moonlit nights on the rooftop terrace. A full complimentary breakfast at the restaurant is included in your stay here (or continental breakfast if guests choose to eat in their room).
Hotel Place d’Armes
An example of our Boutique Hotel accommodations
It takes a special hotel to equal Montreal's unique urban sophistication and charm, and that's exactly what the 4.5 star Hotel Place d'Armes is. Luxury and exceptional service are the rule at this gem nestled among the lovely cobbled streets of Old Montreal. Here, you'll discover three centuries of history, boutiques and art galleries as well as fine dining and vibrant nightlife.
Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac
An example of our Deluxe accommodations
This deluxe landmark chateau-style hotel is located within the walled city of Old Quebec. To enjoy views of the St. Lawrence River, upgrade to a deluxe view room. The hotel offers 3 restaurants, 2 lounges, a pool with whirlpool, fitness room, steam bath, spa, and shops.
Prices & Dates2017-18 Start dates
This trip runs daily from December 8, 2017 to March 9, 2018
• Price is per person, based on one or two people sharing a room.
• Triple and child prices are available on request
• Some activities may not run every day over the Christmas period.
• Ice Hotel Visits available from December 25 trip start date onwards
• Rideau Canal skating likely available from Jan 15th – Feb 20th based on historical opening trends
• Quebec City Carnavale runs from January 21st—February 5th departure dates (weekends in Quebec City are best)
• Winterlude event in Ottawa runs February 3nd- February 18th departure dates (runs Saturdays and Sundays)
Comfort Level Hotels
from US $2,090to US $2,591per person
Our Comfort Level vacations include our favorite 3 star hotels, in great locations. Combined with our unique sightseeing tours and personalized service, you’ll receive exceptional value, a step above what you might expect anywhere else.
Boutique Level Hotels
from US $2,395to US $2,915per person
Our Boutique Level provides amazing value for clients wanting something more upscale but not at the price of a top-end 5 star resort. Boutique Level hotels are some of our favorites because of the character and unique charm that you won't find at the average chain hotel. Private drivers and unique tours complete your itinerary.
Fresh Tracks Favorite
Deluxe Level Hotels
from US $2,855to US $3,731per person
On our Deluxe Level vacation, it's likely you'll be staying at one of the iconic Canadian Fairmont Hotels in a room with a view. Built for the Canadian Pacific Railway in the early 20th century, these hotels are luxurious and full of history – ensuring an experience you'll never forget. Enjoy unique sightseeing experiences and the insider detail that only Fresh Tracks Canada can provide.
Canadian Train Vacations Vs. Others
||Canadian Train Vacations
||Local Travel Agency
Flexibility and freedom of a personalized tour to suit your travel goals.
Carefully crafted to your budget and needs.
Plan your trip with help from insiders who live and travel in Canada. You'll know when to come, where to stay, which train to take, and lots more...
Someone in Canada you can call before and during your trip, seven days a week.
No-one can be trusted more
You'll feel confident when booking your vacation with our accreditation and consumer protection through the following organizations.
Cheapest type of travel with rigid itineraries and crowds.
Why choose us?
Online booking sites prefer you to book your vacation with them online. Truthfully, they'd prefer you not to bother them at all! Our approach is completely the opposite.
We don't use online booking – instead we use technology to put visitors directly in touch with our Canadian travel insiders because we believe the best vacations are personal.
Online booking sites and local travel agencies focus on multiple destinations – we focus only on Canada because it's our home and we know it better than anyone else.
Canadian Train Vacations Team
No one can be trusted more...
You'll feel confident when booking your vacation with our accreditation and consumer protection through the following organizations
Consumer Protection BC
- License Number: 31202
- The Travel Assurance Fund (TAF) provides a possible source of compensation when consumers do not receive the travel services they purchased through a BC licensed travel agent.
- Membership Number: Y6176
- Our UK clients have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct which means that all package holidays sold by Canadian Train Vacations (Fresh Tracks Canada) in the UK are covered by a full financial protection in the event of the company failure.
- We're one of the only agencies in Canada offering this protection.
- A BBB Accredited Business since 08/02/2008
- Highest rating: A+
- BBB has determined that Fresh Tracks (Canada) Inc meets BBB accreditation standards, which include a commitment to make a good faith effort to resolve any consumer complaints. BBB Accredited Businesses pay a fee for accreditation review/monitoring and for support of BBB services to the public.
- Fresh Tracks Canada is an IATA Accredited Agent.
- Full accreditation authorizes travel agents to sell international and/or domestic tickets on behalf of IATA member airlines. It also allows access to IATA's Billing and Settlement Plan (BSP), an efficient interface for invoicing and payment between the agent, airlines and transport providers.
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Get your custom itinerary before availability is gone. Because we're now booking into 2018.
- Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
- Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
Based in Canada with 20 years experience and over 15,000 personalized vacations.
Choose from handpicked experiences that create memories of a life-time.
Experience Canada with seamless transfers. All coordinated and planned to your taste.