Tour the Pacific Northwest and discover British Columbia’s spectacular vistas and awesome wilderness aboard VIA Rail’s Skeena
VANCOUVER - Embarking on a two-day adventure through the majestic mountains and untouched countryside, VIA Rail Canada’s Skeena service takes passengers from the heart of the Rockies to the shores of the Pacific in Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Ideal for leaf peepers or travellers looking to explore a new frontier, VIA’s Skeena service allows riders to enjoy the changing landscape and picturesque vistas without sacrificing amenities or service.
The Skeena departs three times per week year round, in each direction. From mid-May through September, travellers can choose between Comfort class or VIA’s premium Totem Class services. When travelling in Totem Class, featured from May 13 to September 30, passengers enjoy regional cuisine served at their spacious, reclining seats and exclusive access to the Park Car with its 360-degree scenic dome, Mural and Bullet Lounges. For optimum viewing pleasure and at a small additional fee, passengers can upgrade to Totem Deluxe Class, which allows passengers to reserve a seat in the panoramic domed car.
Travellers will be awed by the magnificent scenery along the route including Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; British Columbia’s lush Skeena River Valley and the giant cedars and hemlocks that line the western slope of the Pacific Coastal mountain range. As for the wildlife - from deer and moose to bears and birds - you’ll want to have your camera in hand at all times. And, since the train covers the entirety of its 725-mile journey during daylight hours - the train stops in Prince George overnight to break up the trip - passengers won’t miss a single glimpse of northern British Columbia’s spectacular landscape.
Other highlights along the Skeena’s route include:
Jasper, Alberta attracts visitors from around the globe and is one of Canada’s most picturesque places. Summer activities include hiking and mountain biking opportunities, and winter brings top-notch skiing and outdoor snow sports. With awe-inspiring natural wonders like Maligne Canyon, Sunwapta Falls, Mount Edith Cavell and Miette Hot Springs, Jasper National Park contains some of the most remarkable landscapes in the world. The largest park in the Canadian Rocky Mountains, Jasper National Park is also a wildlife sanctuary perfect for viewing all kinds of animals in their natural habitats.
Prince George, where the Skeena stops overnight, is a beautiful city located in some of Canada’s densest forests. Not surprisingly, the city is one with nature, as over 100 parks can be found within city limits! Prince George also offers several fascinating museums, such as the Fraser Fort George Regional Museum, a hands-on natural history and science center featuring “Adventure Theatre”, an in-depth history of the region’s human culture, and various other activities.
As the train arrives at its final stop: the coastal city of Prince Rupert, travellers will be struck by the numbers of bald eagles resting in the harbour and surrounding area. Built in 1889, the North Pacific Historic Fishing Village features tours and live performances that provide an entertaining look at life in a cannery village. The Museum of Northern B.C. house magnificent architecture of a Northwest Coast longhouse and exhibits that portray the history and culture dating back to the end of the last ice age. Visitors to Prince Rupert also have the option of taking a day trip to the Khutzeymateen Valley, Canada’s only grizzly bear sanctuary.
VIA’s Skeena departs Jasper every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and provides same-day connection with VIA’s eastbound Canadian enroute to Toronto. An overnight stay in Jasper is required for travellers connecting from VIA’s westbound Canadian.
It’s not too late to explore the supernatural beauty of British Columbia by planning for an August or September getaway. For tour programs that showcase Totem Class aboard VIA Rail’s Skeena train, please visit the package section of VIA Rail’s website at viarail.ca/packages, and select “The Skeena” from the drop-down menu in the “VIA Rail Trains Featured” section. To find activities in the regions visited by the Skeena, please visit VIA’s website at viarail.ca/events for details.
Customers can visit VIA’s secure website at viarail.ca to book a trip anywhere in the VIA system, or by calling 888-VIA RAIL (842-7245) or TTY 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired) or through their travel agent.
As Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail connects the entire world to the West’s vibrant tourism industry. With more than 700 employees in Western Canada, VIA is dedicated to improving the quality of passenger service. From Northern Manitoba, across Saskatchewan and Alberta, to British Columbia’s Pacific Rim, VIA serves more than 100 communities. VIA continues to develop, market and deliver services to meet the needs of Western Canadians, in partnership with the people, communities and businesses served by passenger rail.
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