Discover the Bears of Canada by Train
starting from US $10,990per person
Choose your own activities and experiences to enjoy between scenic train tours.
Tailor your stay to perfectly suit your timeline and budget.
For just two special departures this year, witness both Polar Bears and Grizzly Bears in their natural habitat while traveling across Canada on the VIA Rail Pan Canadian train celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary. From the lush and abundant Great Bear Rainforest, to the barren arctic tundra of Churchill - no safari better represents Canada’s immense diversity. For the true wildlife and train enthusiast, this is one of the great opportunities to experience the best of Canada. Space is very limited, so be sure to book early!
Arrive Vancouver → 1 night Vancouver → 1 night Campbell River → 2 nights Knight Inlet Lodge → 1 night Vancouver → 2 nights VIA Rail → 2 nights Winnipeg → 2 nights VIA Rail → 3 nights Churchill → 1 night Winnipeg → Depart Winnipeg
Day 1 - Pan Canadian bear viewing adventure begins in Vancouver
As the perfect combination of nature and big city, it’s no wonder that Vancouver’s population continues to grow. Depending on your arrival time, you might want to just relax and watch the world go by with latte in hand, or get out and explore on foot or by bicycle. Overnight in Vancouver.
Day 2 - Fly to Campbell River
This morning, fly to Campbell River and check in to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours to explore the “Salmon Fishing Capital of the World”. Today is the day to make sure you have all your camera film, memory cards, and batteries ready to go for your adventure tomorrow.
Days 3 - Up Close with Grizzly Bears - fly to Knight Inlet Bear Viewing Lodge
Get ready to begin an exciting few days of grizzly bear tours, adventure, and relaxing. The spectacular float plane flight heading for Knight Inlet Lodge takes roughly 30 minutes. Spend the rest of the day participating in one of several activities available at the lodge, including kayaking, hiking, and wildlife viewing or spend the day on a grizzly bear tour.
Day 4 - Knight Inlet Lodge
Your grizzly bear viewing at the rustic Knight Inlet Lodge continues. Relax in the vast west coast wilderness, choose a lodge activity, or go grizzly bear viewing accompanied by an experienced guide.
Day 5 - Knight Inlet Lodge/Campbell River to Vancouver
Get up early to soak in the fresh wilderness air, perhaps spotting a grazing deer or two as you sip your coffee. Today you fly back to Campbell River, and then onwards to Vancouver. Spend the rest of the day enjoying the sights and sounds of the city. Overnight in Vancouver.
Day 6 - Day in Vancouver & Board VIA Rail’s Pan Canadian Train
Spend the day relaxing in Vancouver. Ask us about booking a sightseeing tour for you - walking tours, bike tours, food tours, and nature tours are available to suit all interests. Alternately, simply stroll the sea wall and English Bay, to admire the beautiful harbour views, framed by snowy coastal mountains.
This evening, climb onboard the train to Winnipeg for the first portion of your Pan Canadian rail journey. Settle into your cozy private cabin for your overnight journey, where you will be lulled to sleep by the gentle rocking of the train.
Day 7 - VIA Rail’s Pan Canadian rail journey continues through the Canadian Rockies
Enjoy a full day of sights from your picture window as your train continues towards Winnipeg. Marvel at the snowcapped mountain peaks as the train weaves through the Canadian Rockies. Watch for bears, deer, elk or moose - you never know when you might spot one. Overnight on board the train in a private cabin.
Day 8 - Arrival in Winnipeg
The scenery changes as you travel across the undulating plain of the Prairie Provinces. Settle into your seat and enjoy watching the sights from your window. Arriving in Winnipeg this evening, you will have time 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.
Day 9 - Experience unique culture in Winnipeg
Today you have a choice of how to explore Winnipeg. Join a city tour and discover the long held secrets of the Manitoba Legislative Building, learn the tragic history of the St. Boniface Cathedral, and explore the bustling Forks National Historic Site and Market. No tour of the city would be complete without a stroll through the formal English gardens and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden in Assiniboine Park. Alternatively, spend the day at the Assiniboine Park Zoo and get a preview of what’s to come on your Polar Bear adventure with the “Journey to Churchill” exhibition.
Day 10 - VIA Rail’s Pan Canadian - Winnipeg to Churchill
Midday today 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 and vast wilderness is awe-inspiring. Overnight onboard the train.
Day 11 - 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 12 - Explore Churchill
Your train arrives in Churchill early this morning. You’re sure to get a good introduction to this community with a town and area tour. A visit to the Eskimo Museum will offer insight into the lives of the first settlers of the region.
To amp up the excitement for the days to come, enjoy an evening slide presentation by a local photographer all about the bears – baby cubs, bears at play, and more. Once you learn more about these fascinating and lovable creatures, you’re sure to be anxious to get out there and see them!
Days 13 and 14 - Encounters with Polar Bears
Get almost nose-to-nose with one of the most feared predators in the world. Luckily you will be safe and comfortable in your ‘Tundra Buggy’. With an expert guide and the convenience of small groups your experience will be truly memorable.
Day 15 - Dogsledding Adventure & Return to Winnipeg
Learn more about the way of the north, as you meet a professional dog sled guide today. Enjoy a thrilling ride as you mush your own team - a true Canadian adventure! Take an afternoon flight back to Winnipeg for the last night of your vacation.
Day 16 - Depart Winnipeg
Much too soon you leave the nature of Canada behind as your Pan Canadian Polar Bear and Grizzly journey comes to an end.
Note: The order of events will vary at the discretion of your guides - based on their expert knowledge of wildlife behavior at the time and their desire to give you the best experience possible.
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
Grizzly bears gorging on salmon in anticipation of their upcoming hibernation
Celebrating Canada’s 150th anniversary on VIA Rail
Churchill’s famous polar bears
Traveling by float plane
22 person maximum on the Tundra Buggy allows for amazing polar bear viewing
Inside story #1
‘Canada Wins the Planning Night’
Up to $450 in free credits to personalize your trip
if booked by May 31st. Click for details...
Celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary with our special pan Canadian rail experiences
if booked by September 30th. Click for details...
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 Superior accommodations
This beautiful boutique hotel is situated in the heart of downtown Vancouver, within walking distance to shopping and restaurants. Facilities include indoor pool, fitness centre, sauna, whirlpool, and spa.
Knight Inlet Lodge
An example of our Wilderness Lodge accommodations
Knight Inlet Lodge is a floating haven for nature and wildlife enthusiasts. This unique accommodation is nestled within a wild and remote area of the BC coastline, offering spectacular scenery and an abundance of wildlife right on your doorstep. Relax at the lodge after days filled with adventure, and enjoy meals featuring the local catch of the day.
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.
Prices & Dates2017 Dates starting in Vancouver
October 1, 12*
*Please note - The October 12th departure includes an additional night in Winnipeg prior to visiting Churchill.
Canada travel price notes
• Prices are per person
• Double means two people occupying a room
• Please inquire about Single, triple, quad, and children rates (minimum age: eight years old)
Canadian Bear Viewing Adventure
from US $10,990to US $12,075per 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.
Not Included• The following flights:
- Your home to Vancouver
- From Winnipeg to your home
• Meals, except as indicated
• Canadian Taxes
• Hospital, medical insurance, trip cancellation insurance (highly recommended)
• Gratuities for your guides (unless otherwise noted)
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.
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