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US TO CANADA TRAIN TRIPS

Enjoy a train journey north of the border

Cross the border on a train to Canada and discover just how spectacular America's northern neighbour can be. Relax and watch as a vast wilderness of rushing waterfalls, lumbering bears and deep pine forests rolls past your train car window.

There are several trips, available through Amtrak, which will take you north of the 49th parallel. For example, the Amtrak Maple Leaf takes you from New York City to Toronto via the Empire Corridor, through the spectacular Hudson River Valley and the Finger Lakes region.

Or begin in Seattle to see the untouched beauty of the Pacific Northwest and the Rockies. Travel alongside the glimmering Pacific Ocean, heading north to Vancouver before venturing deep into Canada's wilderness and ending the journey surrounded by sky-scraping Rocky Mountain peaks. Once you arrive in Canada, we can help you plan the next part of your journey. Continue your adventure by riding on the VIA Rail Canadian or the legendary Rocky Mountaineer. Then admire pristine northern scenery from a comfortable seat in the specially designed glass-dome car.

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By this stage, you're already having dreams about mountains, moose and maple trees. We combine your personal preferences with our insider knowledge to save you hours of pointless internet trawling.
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We're here to make sure you get the inside scoop before you even leave home. And you can relax on your vacation because you know that we're a phone call away if you have any questions while you're in Canada.
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USA vs Canada Train Vacation Facts

  • The US receives 75.6 million tourists every year, while Canada only receives 20 million. That means in Canada, you'll deal with fewer crowds and line-ups at major attractions.
  • 90% of Niagara Falls flows through Canada and the Canadian side of the falls is much more scenic because it features trees and countryside rather than industrial buildings.
  • Canada has approximately three million lakes, which is more than the rest of the world combined.
  • Canada also has the largest coastline in the world — it stretches 125,566 miles (202,080 km).
  • Canada has 79 million hectares of protected wilderness. Visitors come from all over the world to explore the beautiful national parks, such as Banff, Jasper and Pacific Rim.
A birds eye view of a Hornblower Cruise boat approaching the Niagara Falls
A grizzly bear running through the water with a salmon in it's mouth
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A Guide to Traveling from Seattle to Canada

  • You'll enjoy two of the West Coast's most beautiful cities. Seattle and Vancouver could be cousins - as they are two equally fascinating Northwest metropolises separated by the border. They are both renowned for their superb art museums, live music, international cuisine, beautiful green spaces and public parks.
  • Departing from historic King Street Station, the Amtrak train will take you over the border into Canada, passing stunning vistas of the Cascade Mountains, Mount Baker and the Pacific Northwest shoreline along the way. You'll travel through Chuckanut Bay, where the mountains of the Cascade Range meet the sea, and along the shimmering waters of Puget Sound.
  • Traveling from Vancouver to Banff on the Rocky Mountaineer, you'll admire the ocean views before heading into the heart of British Columbia's interior. You'll travel through increasingly dramatic scenery as you climb towards the peaks of the Continental Divide and into the legendary Alberta Rockies.
Sea lions on the dock at Cowichan Bay.
Exterior of a SilverLeaf coach of the Rocky Mountaineer train in Morant's Curve
View of the sky and mountains as seen from the Goldleaf dome coach
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EXPERIENCES

Traveling by train means that you'll be pampered on the journey with gourmet food, friendly service and comfortable sleeping cabins.

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ADVANTAGES

Whether you are traveling from New York or taking the train from Seattle to Banff, there are many benefits to a Canadian train vacation.

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1. See more remote, untamed scenery

1. See more remote, untamed scenery

While the US does have plenty of unspoiled nature, Canada's pristine wilderness is so much more vast and untouched. Canada has only 10 people per square mile. Compare that to 86 people per square mile in the US and you'll see why Canada is more relaxing and peaceful. And most of Canada's population can be found in the major cities such as Toronto, Vancouver, Winnipeg and Calgary. Once you leave the main centres, you'll find vast tracts of quiet, rugged wilderness. On many of our great Canadian train routes you can travel for hours through forests, lake country and mountains without seeing any human settlements. You can even combine your train journey with an Alaskan cruise that will take you through the legendary Inside Passage where whales swim through cold, clear waters. The diversity of the scenery will blow you away. You might already be picturing the craggy peaks and glaciers of the Rockies, but did you know that there are arid deserts and sun-soaked vineyards in British Columbia? Or limestone grottos and caverns in Ontario? Venture out into the Canadian wilds and you'll find true relaxation and solitude.
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Why Canadian trains provide the best rail experience

Sure, we might be a little biased (after all, we're the experts in Canadian train vacations.) But we honestly think that Canadian rail journeys offer you an experience that can't be found south of the border.

The second largest country in the world, Canada has so many wonders — from the autumn leaves of New Brunswick to the eerie rock formations of the Alberta badlands and the soaring peaks of the Rockies.

A journey by train in Canada is not just a mere commute — it is an adventure. The scenery you'll travel through will dazzle and the stations along the way are historic monuments to the early pioneering days.

So if you're not sure about whether to book a US or Canadian train vacation, this guide is for you.

VIA Rail's Canadian Train going through the Rocky Mountains
Couple converses while seated in train car
Guest reading a newspaper on a passenger train beside a large window
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Ready to start planning your Canadian journey?
Here at Fresh Tracks Canada, we have gourmet globetrotters, tranquil train-travellers, bold backpackers, and nature lovers. But what ties us together is that we're all passionate travellers. When we're not helping people plan vacations to Canada, we're getting together to plan our own adventures.
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