Atlantic to the Arctic Wilderness Adventure
starting from US $10,633per person
Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
Explore Canada’s iconic Canadian scenery and varied wildlife on a special 150 Anniversary train adventure. Explore beautiful Cape Breton Island on Canada’s east coast, then stop at quintessential Canadian lodges as you pass through Quebec and Ontario by rail. Your train reaches it’s most northern frontier in Churchill on the shores of the Hudson Bay. Grab your camera, pack your sense of adventure, and prepare for wildlife viewing heaven. Only two special departures are available, and they are filling up fast. Call now!
Trip at a glance
Arrive Nova Scotia
3 nights Baddeck
1 night Halifax
1 night VIA Rail
3 nights St. Alexis-des-Monts
1 night Toronto
3 nights Algonquin Park
2 nights VIA Rail
1 night Winnipeg
2 nights VIA Rail
4 nights Churchill
1 night Winnipeg
Depart from Winnipeg
Day 1 – Your Pan Canadian wilderness journey begins
Welcome to Canada! Your wilderness journey begins on Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, a place of extraordinary scenery, remarkable coastlines, and rich history and culture. After picking up a rental car at the Sydney Airport, travel around the Bras D’Or Lake region to the town of Baddeck, which will be your base for the next three days.
Day 2 – Whale Watching and Cabot Trail Exploration
Spend the day exploring the unique coastlines and sweeping highlands of the Cabot Trail region. This afternoon, stop in the town of Cheticamp on the western shore to join a whale watching tour. On this breathtaking adventure watch for whales, seals, eagles, seabirds, and wildlife along the scenic coastline.
Day 3 – Discover Cape Breton
Today you are free to explore Cape Breton at your leisure - with such a variety of activities to choose from, you can tailor the day to your interests. Visit the Fleur-de-lis Trail Region on the east coast of Cape Breton and absorb the history of the Fortress of Louisburg National Historic Site. For those seeking adventure, spend the day on the water with a kayaking tour in the St. Ann’s Harbour area. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to end your day at a traditional Ceilidh celebration and take part in the thriving Gaelic culture of Cape Breton.
Day 4 – Cape Breton to Halifax
Travel south to Halifax today. Stop along the way for scenic photos, roadside fruit stands and quaint artisanal shops. Later in the day arrive in Halifax, the largest port in Canada’s Maritime provinces. Stroll the cobble stoned streets to discover the history of this town - learn about the legacy of the 1917 Halifax explosion, trace the landing of survivors from the Titanic, or simply indulge in a beer at a local pub.
Day 5 – VIA Rail’s Ocean Train - Halifax to Montreal
This afternoon you begin your Pan Canadian rail journey onboard VIA Rail’s Ocean Train. Your train journey covers hundreds of kilometers while you sleep. Crossing the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, the overnight journey travels along the St. Lawrence River into Quebec. Overnight on board the train in a private cabin.
Day 6 – Montreal to Hôtel Sacacomie
Wake up and enjoy the views of the charming French Canadian countryside as your train rolls into Montreal. With the freedom of a rental car, enjoy an easy 90-minute drive to Sacacomie Lodge, a gateway to Canadian wilderness. Nestled in the heart of the forest and bordering the Mastigouche wildlife reserve, the lodge overlooks the extensive shores of Sacacomie Lake. The log built structure blends perfectly with the enchanting site where nature reigns supreme. Overnight at Hôtel Sacacomie.
Day 7 and 8 – Hôtel Sacacomie
Spend the day in St. Alexis-des-Monts enjoying a variety of complimentary on-site
recreational activities and equipment, such as canoes, pedal boats and kayaks. You’ll also join an experienced trapper on a guided excursion to observe beaver and bear habitats. After an afternoon of outdoor exploration, relax in the beautiful spa at the Hôtel Sacacomie.
Day 9 – VIA Rail’s Corridor Train – Montreal to Toronto
Enjoy your drive back to Montreal today before boarding your train to Toronto. The Corridor Train carries you into the next province of Canada – Ontario! Enjoy the views along the open farmland of rural Quebec and the shores of the St. Lawrence River. Overnight in Toronto.
Day 10 – Toronto to Algonquin Park
Pick up your rental car in Toronto and begin your journey north to iconic Algonquin Park - known for its vast interior of maple hills, rocky ridges, and thousands of lakes. The best way to explore the park is by canoe or on foot. Enjoy your stay in the park with a private waterside log cabin – inspired by Canadian country-style. Overnight in Algonquin Park.
Day 11 and 12 – Explore Algonquin Park
Explore Algonquin park using your personal canoe docked to your waterfront cabin. Chipmunks greet you at the cabin door, and loons, ducks and beavers swim gently through the calm lake waters. Enjoy hiking, moose spotting, and bike trails, or just relax and sit back on your cabin deck for an Algonquin sunset.
Day 13 – Algonquin Park to Toronto & board VIA Rail – The Canadian Train
Enjoy your drive back to Toronto and return your rental car before continuing your Pan Canadian journey this evening. Climb aboard the Canadian train and settle into your private cabin in anticipation of the upcoming ride. Overnight onboard the train.
Days 14 – VIA Rail’s Pan Canadian Train - Journey West
The overnight train between Toronto and Winnipeg is an incredible rail journey. Leave the picturesque lakelands of Northern Ontario behind, as you travel west to Winnipeg. Settle into your seat and enjoy watching the sights from your window. Overnight on board the train in a private cabin.
Days 15 – Arrive in Winnipeg
After arriving in Winnipeg early this morning, you will have the rest of the day to explore this diverse multicultural city. Known as the “Cultural Cradle of Canada,” Winnipeg is home to Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra and so much more. Enjoy exploring The Forks — Winnipeg’s market gathering place. Included in your package is admission to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, a sight to see from both the outside and the inside. Overnight in Winnipeg.
Days 16 – VIA Rail’s Pan Canadian - Winnipeg to Churchill
Midday, you board VIA Rail’s train to Churchill and depart Winnipeg. Watch the scenery change from wooded forests to plains to tundra as you leave the city and make your way north. The diverse scenery is breathtaking. Overnight onboard the train.
Day 17 - VIA Rail’s Pan Canadian - Continue to Churchill
Spend a quiet day riding the rails across Manitoba. This is a full day onboard the train and is a great opportunity to meet your fellow travelers. The scenery becomes more arctic and barren, and the feeling of crossing such a vast landscape is quite incredible. Overnight onboard the train.
Day 18 - Explore Churchill independently
Your train arrives in sub-arctic Churchill early this morning. The isolated town of Churchill sits on the western shore of the Hudson Bay. Take the day to explore the town, and meet its colourful local residents.
Day 19 - Explore Churchill’s culture
Meet your tour guide and group today on a Churchill Area Tour that will take you to all the cultural and historic highlights of the town. You will also have a chance to visit Churchill’s Eskimo Museum and the Parks Canada Interpretive Centre. Overnight in Churchill.
Day 20 - Boating with Beluga whales
Only on vacations in Canada can you get this up close and personal with the majestic Beluga. Have your cameras ready on a three-hour Beluga whale watching tour into the mouth of the Churchill River. Here you will have the chance to encounter hundreds of beluga whales before taking the time to tour the historic Prince of Wales Fort, which is the oldest most northerly stone fort in all of Canada. Spend the afternoon with a local dogsledding expert, touring the kennels before heading out for a ride on a specialized summer sled, through the Northern Boreal forest. Spend the night in the town.
Day 21 - Getting to Know Polar Bears
Today you will enjoy an exciting excursion in a Tundra Buggy - the best way to get out into the wild to see polar bears in their natural habitat! Safe and snug in a cozy buggy with frost-free double pane glass and propane heating resembling a real fireplace, you’ll be ready for a personal encounter with a wild polar bear. Spend the night in Churchill.
Day 22 - Zodiac with Belugas
This morning will be especially exciting as you board a Zodiac for a surface-level encounter with the belugas. You are sure to have an incredible experience as you take these boats into the beluga estuary with the world’s largest population of the whales. Later this afternoon you will depart Churchill and fly back to Winnipeg. Overnight in Winnipeg.
Day 23 - Departure
In the morning bid farewell to Winnipeg as your Pan Canadian wilderness journey comes to an end.
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?
While our trips are not "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
Celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary on a limited-time Pan Canadian train experience
Discover scenery and Celtic culture on Cape Breton Island
Explore the sprawling forests and mountains of Quebec
Experience the tranquility of Algonquin park canoeing
Learn about the sub-arctic ecology of Churchill
See wildlife such as humpback and beluga whales, black bears and polar bears, moose, and beaver
Inside story #5
‘Merry Widows Cut Loose’
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.
Four Points By Sheraton Winnipeg
An example of our Comfort accommodations
Conveniently located adjacent to the Winnipeg International Airport, Four Points by Sheraton offers a number of complimentary amenities that will make your stay as comfortable as home. Enjoy free coffee and bottled water, high speed internet and a 24 hour fitness center.
An example of our Comfort accommodations
The Tundra Inn is a charming, family run hotel located in the northern town of Churchill. With comfortable, spacious accommodation and complimentary amenities, this is the perfect place to relax before or after your arctic adventure. Your stay includes continental breakfast, free tea and coffee and high-speed internet.
An example of our Lodge accommodations
Located in the heart of Algonquin Park, the Killarney Lodge is surrounded by the scenic Lake of Two Rivers. In this wilderness setting sits classic log and pine cabins, each with a personal waterfront and canoe. Enjoy watching the wildlife from your comfortable rustic cabin. Other activities include hiking, biking, canoeing or simply relaxing in the Canadian wilderness.
An example of our Superior accommodations
Located just an hour and a half from Montreal is the wilderness retreat of Hôtel Sacacomie. Nestled in the dense forest and bordering a wildlife reserve, Hôtel Sacacomie overlooks a serene lake. The log-built style of the lodge blends seamlessly with it's natural surroundings. Spend time enjoying its European influenced delicacies, its GEOS Spa and a large range of outdoor activities.
Prices & Dates2017 Trip Start Dates
July 3, 24
• Prices are per person
• Double means two people sharing a room
• Single supplement is available
• 2017 departures may include slight itinerary variations
Canadian Bear Viewing Adventure
from US $14,219to US $15,357per person
On our Wilderness Adventures, you'll enjoy days with experienced naturalist guides, some meals, seamless connections, and accommodations suited to the unique Canadian surroundings.
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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- 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.
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