VIA Rail’s Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience Celebrates Achievements and Events in its Fourth Year of Service
Learning Coordinators earn national certification
MONTREAL – In this its fourth season, VIA’s Maritime Learning Experience is well positioned to deliver an exciting and informative program to customers from around the world. From June 15th to October 18th, Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience invites travellers to become immersed in the romance of Canada’s Maritime Provinces with its learning component available to passengers in 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.
Celebrating is what this fourth season is all about, from brand new menus featuring mouth-watering entrees such as Irish Whiskey Atlantic Salmon, Alexander Keith’s Beer Braised Short Ribs and Rum Marinated Chicken Breast, the introduction of wine pairing during meals, to a brand new newsletter that keeps customers informed along the way. Of course some of the old favorites like fish chowder and the lobster-trapping vignette complete with “Larry” the Lobster and his lobster crate still delight customers. For the region, it’s a time to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables and the 250th Anniversary of Democracy and VIA’s Learning Coordinators are happy to provide customers with more details.
“Since its introduction, VIA’s seasonal Maritime Learning Experience has been about creating a unique learning experience on rails”, said Susan Williams, VIA’s Director of Customer Experience in the East. “Our Learning Coordinators are a major contributor to that experience. We are extremely proud to announce that a number of coordinators have earned their TCP (Tourism Certified Professional) designation and are sharing their newfound knowledge with all learning coordinators in the region”.
The certification, through the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council (NSTHRC), involves an intensive course on heritage interpretation. The requirements are rigorous: a lengthy exam, a performance evaluation and 900 hours of work experience. And the result for VIA customers: a better product that uses the latest methods and best practices of the tourism industry. All Easterly Class learning coordinators are schooled in the history of the Maritimes and are familiar with everything from regional wines to lobster trapping.
Easterly Class is a seasonal upgrade to the Ocean’s already existing Comfort Sleeper class. The Ocean operates year-round, six times per week in each direction between Montréal and Halifax while the learning component upgrade is featured throughout the summer season.
All meals on board – three in total from Montréal to Halifax – are included in the ticket price for Easterly Class passengers. Menus also include information about the century-long history of the Ocean service and a thought-provoking Maritime puzzle is served along with the morning’s 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.
A little something extra for couples or families, the sleeping accommodations in VIA’s domed-observation Park Car, which include a triple and quadruple bedroom, can be booked 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 travelers seeking to rekindle their romantic travel experiences from the past.
For more information on train schedules or to book a trip anywhere in the VIA system, customers can visit VIA’s secure Web site at viarail.ca. Passengers also can book their tickets at self-ticketing kiosks in most Québec City-Windsor Corridor stations, by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245), TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired), or through their travel agent.
As Canada’s national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada’s mandate is to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost effective passenger transportation services, both in Canada’s busiest 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. Increasingly travellers are turning to train travel as a hassle-free and cost-efficient alternative to congested roads and airports as well as a more environmentally responsible way to travel.
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