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VIA Rail Canada’s easterly class: A Maritime learning experience enters another season of smartening up Atlantic Canada


MONTREAL - For the past two summers, VIA’s Maritime Learning Experience has received wonderfully positive reviews from travellers around the world. This year, from June 13th to October 14th, as the Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience returns for a third year, travellers can once again become immersed in the romance of Canada’s Maritime Provinces with a new component to pamper passengers in its premier-class sleeper service. Still educational and engaging, The Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience celebrates this history-rich region by spoiling travellers with delightfully relished amenities.

“Our aim was to create a unique learning experience on rails that would give passengers the pleasure of discovering Canada’s Maritime Provinces while learning a little more about the history, culture and cuisine from a part of the country known for its hospitality,” said Louise Beauchamp, Director, Marketing Planning and Communications. “It’s not simply about getting there, it’s about offering a unique experience to our customers. The appeal of this product has continued to grow, and we continue to build on that success.”

Easterly Class is a seasonal upgrade to the Ocean’s already existing Comfort Sleeper class. Operating year-round, six times per week in each direction between Montréal and Halifax, the learning component upgrade is featured throughout the summer season. New for 2007 and beginning in late June in response to customer demand, the sleeping accommodations in VIA’s domed-observation Park Car, which include a triple and quadruple bedroom, will become available for booking by couples as well as families for an additional surcharge. With its Art Deco design, Mural Lounge and all day service of coffee and tea, the Park Car’s warm atmosphere is the perfect setting for travellers seeking to rekindle their romantic travel experiences from the past.

Easterly Class includes on-board learning coordinators schooled in the history of the Maritimes and familiar with everything from regional wines to lobster trapping. Historic, cultural and geographic information vignettes compliment the on-board activities that are an integral part of the Maritime Learning Experience. Maritime décor is also on display throughout the train, including in sleeping compartments.

All meals on board - three in total from Montréal to Halifax - are included in the ticket price for Easterly Class passengers. Dinner, served in the train’s elegant yet unpretentious dining car, features impressive cuisine inspired by local specialties and products. The dining car, with its warm lighting and comfortable seating exemplify the warmth of Eastern hospitality. In affiliation with wine producers of Nova Scotia, a vast variety of fine Maritime wines are available for purchase. Menus also include information about the century-long history of the Ocean service and a thought-provoking Maritime puzzle is served along with the mornings’ cup of coffee. The Ocean’s cozy sleeping accommodations include amenities such as comfortable duvet bedding, plump pillows, towels and a shower kit, bottled water, and chocolates.

Customers can visit VIA’s secure website at to book their complete trip with one-stop shopping for trains, cars, hotels and activities. Passengers also can book their tickets by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (842-7254), TTY 1 800 268 9503 (hearing impaired) or through their travel agent. For complete tour programs that showcase Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience, please visit the package section of VIA Rail’s Web site at, and select “The Ocean” from the drop-down menu in the “VIA Rail Trains Featured” section.

As Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada’s mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally responsible and cost effective passenger transportation services, both in Canada’s business corridor and in remote and rural regions of the country. VIA serves more than 450 communities with a network of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains. Demand continues to grow as more Canadians turn to train travel as a safe and convenient travel choice.


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