With the Rockies as a backdrop, no train journey is more majestic than one aboard The Canadian, thanks to its new Prestige class.
The vast expanse of Canada between Vancouver and Toronto is a mesmerising landscape of mountain peaks, glassy lakes, open prairies and picturesque towns. It’s the sort of scenery that seems to define Canada as we know it, radiating natural splendour in a kaleidoscope of colours.
This is the scenery VIA Rail’s The Canadian glides through on its four-night, 4466-kilometre journey from the West Coast to Ontario (and vice versa), effortlessly taking travellers into the heart of this rugged nation. As the flagship train of VIA and the only service to cross the continent, The Canadian numbers among the world’s most legendary and popular long-haul journeys, and has even been immortalised on the country’s $10 note.
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A prestige onboard experience
For much of its history, The Canadian offered fivestar views, but not five-star service. Within the last year this has changed with the introduction of Prestige Class, offsetting the timeless scenery with the comfort and elegance of private cabins. The six new sleeper cabins provide 50 per cent more space than the pre-existing two-person cabin in Sleeper Plus class with a 60 per cent larger window. The stunning landscapes, transforming with the season, are a perfect complement to the attentive service, including a dedicated Concierge for the discerning travellers of Prestige Class.
Dining is transformed into an occasion, with white linen and china, in a setting illuminated by panoramic windows in the Dining Car. Delicacies created by the onboard chef bring a taste of local favourites to the table, such as lake-fresh fish and regional specialties.
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Journey through the heartland
By day, guests soak up the passing splendour in the lounges of the Prestige Park Car (with complimentary bar service), the scenic dome of the Skyline Car or the utterly immersive experience offered by the all-glass Panorama Car. Scheduled activities, such as wine and craft beer tastings, interactive talks on local history, geography and culture, and live music, provide greater insight into the towns and cities along the route: Kamloops, Jasper, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Winnipeg, Sioux Lookout and Sundbury Junction.
By night, the modular leather lounge found in each Prestige Class cabin is transformed into a Murphy bed for two. to make the most of the passing view, beds face the picture windows while the gentle rocking of the rails lulls travellers to sleep. Prestige Class is also the only to feature private bathrooms with showers, a flat-screen tVs pre-loaded with a selection of videos and a minibar stocked with beverages. Even in the coldest Canadian winter, guests will be kept cosy in their cabins with heated floors and walls.
Prestige Class represents rail travel as it used to be, celebrating the journey within as well as beyond the carriage, and gives five-star travellers another reason to join the more than 100,000 passengers that make the picturesque journey from Vancouver to toronto each year aboard the Canadian.
This article appeared in volume 23 of Signature Luxury Travel & Style. To subscribe to the latest issue, click here.