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The Canadian: Winter vs. Spring, 2018


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#21 Chessie

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 06:46 PM

I suggest you consider booking a Lower Section Berth instead of a Cabin for One.
Much more affordable with the same amenities and the most comfortable bedding I've ever had on a train!
Keep watching via.ca and look for specials, currently the Winter Season Tuesday departures out of Vancouver to Toronto seem to be the best deals as opposed to Toronto to Vancouver.

I agree that the bed is the most comfortable on the train, but I will still continue to book roomettes on the Canadian.  I like having a door and a power outlets, and the bed isn't that much more comfortable to offset the loss of privacy and availability of power.  My personal choice, just pointing out there are trade-offs to be made.

Thanks for the info, @zephyr17 another question, if I book a berth will I have access to power at some other places on the train?

#22 zephyr17

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 06:46 PM

So, what to do?  Book a late March, 2018 trip this far out?  There will be much water "to flow over the dam" before then.  I'm hesitant to do so.

 

Do I risk not being able to book a Cabin for One by booking maybe this late Summer or early Fall for a late Spring Canadian trip?

 

Given the difference in the price of the Canadian $ and the US $, which is now quite attractive as an American, well, that is another factor to consider.

 

Opinions would be appreciated.  Thank you.

There is no need to book this early for a March 2018 trip.  Booking 3 or 4 months out would probably be fine to get a discount fare in a Cabin for One (roomette).  If you really wanted to gamble, wait until late March dates start showing up in the Discount Sleeper Plus page (probably early to mid February) and see if there is a Cabin for One on a departure that works for you.  However, you'd have to keep your other travel plans on hold until that came through, assuming it did.

 

On the other side, the exchange really is good right now and there is no telling where it will go.  Also, last year I delayed booking (booked about 5 months out) and there was a fare increase between the time I started looking and the time I booked.

 

I would HIGHLY encourage you to join Via's Preference frequent traveler program.  One trip in a roomette or above is over the $999 CAD qualification level for "elite" Privilege status.  With Privilege status comes a 50% off coupon for Sleeper Plus on the Canadian that is good at any time.  While that "50%" is computed off full high season fare, it is still less than the regular discount fare in the winter and is on about the same level as the special Discount Sleeper Plus prices.  And you can book it in advance on pretty much any departure, making planning easy.  They've got me hooked now, I ride it every year.


SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#23 zephyr17

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 06:48 PM

 

 

I suggest you consider booking a Lower Section Berth instead of a Cabin for One.
Much more affordable with the same amenities and the most comfortable bedding I've ever had on a train!
Keep watching via.ca and look for specials, currently the Winter Season Tuesday departures out of Vancouver to Toronto seem to be the best deals as opposed to Toronto to Vancouver.

I agree that the bed is the most comfortable on the train, but I will still continue to book roomettes on the Canadian.  I like having a door and a power outlets, and the bed isn't that much more comfortable to offset the loss of privacy and availability of power.  My personal choice, just pointing out there are trade-offs to be made.

Thanks for the info, @zephyr17 another question, if I book a berth will I have access to power at some other places on the train?

 

Since I have power in my roomette, I haven't had to look.  But I don't recall noticing public or semi public power outlets like the one in the old drink station in the upper level of the Superliner Sightseer Lounges, although that does not mean there weren't any.


Edited by zephyr17, 11 May 2017 - 06:49 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#24 willem

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 03:57 PM

Keep watching via.ca and look for specials, currently the Winter Season Tuesday departures out of Vancouver to Toronto seem to be the best deals as opposed to Toronto to Vancouver.


What is Via's policy regarding exchanging tickets for higher-class accommodations? For example, if I book a Lower Section Berth but a Cabin for One becomes available at a slightly higher (or even lower) price, what penalty do I pay for changing?

 



#25 zephyr17

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 12:50 PM

Well, according to VIA on the sale page, those Discount Tuesday-ish fares are:

  • 100% non-refundable
  • Non-exchangeable
  • Non-transferable
  • Available for a limited time only.
  • Valid for online booking only.
  • Taxes are not included in the prices.
  • Space at this price is limited

However, that conflicts with the note on the booking page itself, which gives the same conditions that apply to the "normal" discount fare:

Before Departure : Exchangeable and refundable less a $100.00 plus applicable tax(es) service charge. A fare difference may apply in case of exchange.
After Departure : Non-exchangeable and non-refundable.

 

So I am really not sure.  Since the special fares have to be ticketed online and you'd have to have an agent process an upgrade, I think I tend to go with the more restrictive conditions.


Edited by zephyr17, 15 May 2017 - 12:50 PM.

SP Coast Daylight, AT&SF San Diegan, AT&SF Super Chief, D&RGW Rio Grande Zephyr, Southwest Limited/Chief, San Diegan/Pacific Surfliner, San Joaquin, Cascades, California/San Francisco Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Empire Builder, Sunset Limited (LA-Orlando), Desert Wind, Pioneer, City of New Orleans, Silver Star, Silver Meteor, Lake Shore Limited, Cardinal, Hoosier State (Amtrak),  Hoosier State (Iowa Pacific), Ann Rutledge, Adirondack, Maple Leaf, NE Regional, Capitol Limited, Via Canadian (CP route), Via Super Continental, Via Atlantic Limited, Via Hudson Bay, Via Skeena, Via Canadian (CN route), Via "Corridor" (Toronto-Montreal), BC Rail Cariboo Dayliner, Eurostar, Thalys, DB, Netherlands Rail, Austrian Railways, BR, Korail (conventional), Korail KTX


#26 Lonestar648

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 05:40 PM

The fare you see on the VIA site is in Canadian dollars and Canadian taxes, so what have you found the USD amount to be in comparison?

 

For Seniors traveling, does VIA honor any senior discounts or would only Canadian citizens qualify for senior discounts?

 

If I take my daughter with me (i am 70, she 40), what room would be the best for us in your opinion?

 

Thanks. 


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#27 Bob Dylan

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 06:58 PM

The Canadian Dollar "Floats" against the US Dollar and has been "Weak" for the past several years. ( ie $1CDN=65-75 cents US so $1,000 CDN= $650-$750 US).

There is a Goods and Service Tax on almost everything in Canada including VIA Fares. ( a combination of Federal and Provencial Tax that varies from Provence to Provence)

Senior Fares are for Anyone over 60.
If you don't mind Sharing a Section(Upper and LowerBerths) y'all will get the Best Fare and still receive all the Sleeper Benefits that Pricey Cabin and Bedroom pax enjoy.They have the most comfortable Beds and Bedding I've ever had on a Train.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 16 June 2017 - 07:01 PM.

 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#28 Lonestar648

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Posted 16 June 2017 - 11:40 PM

Thanks for the update.  I am looking at what my 2018 rail excursion will be, so considering the Canadian.  AS long as my heath holds, I plan a yearly long trip, a few short ones.  I thought the Canadian dollar price on the site was higher than what would pay in USD.  Good suggestion about the upper and lower berths.


Trains Traveled On:
Texas Eagle                                      Sunset Limited                            California Zephyr                                Southwest Chief                Empire Builder            Capitol Limited           Lake Shore limited (NYP & BOS)      Crescent
Kentucky Cardinal                             Cardinal                                       Pere Marquette                                  Wolverines                        Lincoln Service            Empire Service          Keystone Service                               Acelas
NE Regionals                                    Pioneer                                        Desert Wind                                       Broadway Limited             Three Rivers                Southwest Chief        Coast Starlight                                    Empire Service
 
Amtrak Miles Logged: over 206,000


#29 SCbogey

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 09:59 AM

If you don't mind Sharing a Section(Upper and LowerBerths) y'all will get the Best Fare and still receive all the Sleeper Benefits that Pricey Cabin and Bedroom pax enjoy.They have the most comfortable Beds and Bedding I've ever had on a Train.


Superliner upper berths are not easy entry nor easy sleeping. How do the upper Section berths on VIA Canadian compare to Amtrak Superliner upper berths?

#30 Bob Dylan

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Posted 17 June 2017 - 11:55 PM

The Upper Berths on VIA in the Sections(Budd Sleeper)don't have a Window but have plenty of HeadRoom, and the Bed is the most comfortable I've ever expierenced on a Train.

One uses a Ladder, just like in the Superliner Bedrooms, to climb up into the Upper Berth which has a heavy curtain covering the side of the Berth instead of a wall to ensure privacy.

The biggest drawback is the lack of Storage space, passengers must check all large bags, and only small carryons and packs ( also small) are permitted in the Sleepers.

The attendants are very good at finding places to hang jackets,sweaters etc but at night your personal stuff has to placed inside your Berth.

Edited by Bob Dylan, 17 June 2017 - 11:56 PM.

 
"There's Something About a Train! It's Magic!"-- 1970s Amtrak Ad
 
".. I ride on a Mail Train Baby, can't buy a thrill.."--I said that!
 
"..My heart is warm with the friends I make,and better friends I'll not be knowing,
Yet there isn't a train I wouldn't take,No matter where its going!.." -Edna St. Vincent Millay

#31 SCbogey

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Posted 18 June 2017 - 05:31 PM

We will use this information in planning our father son bucket list trip on the Canadian, probably Vancouver-Toronto during the off season. Thanks for the help.

#32 NS VIA Fan

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Posted 19 June 2017 - 04:21 AM

One uses a Ladder, just like in the Superliner Bedrooms, to climb up into the Upper Berth which has a heavy curtain covering the side of the Berth instead of a wall to ensure privacy.


If you scroll down here 5 pictures...you will see how the Sections/Berths are set up in day/night configuration. Unlike a Superliner Roomette....they are open to the aisle during the day and only a closed heavy curtain at night.

http://members.kos.n...agnon/canb.html

This is from a CPR brochure from the 1960s. Other equipment shown are Duplex Roomettes, VIA calls these "Cabin for 1'. Another style of Cabin for 1 in Manor cars have the rooms all on the main floor and no steep-up.

The Bedrooms shown are now called 'Cabin for 2'

Edited by NS VIA Fan, 19 June 2017 - 04:26 AM.


#33 Paul CHI

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Posted Yesterday, 10:10 AM

My wife and I rode the Canadian from Vancouver to Toronto a couple of years ago, in late January, using a 2 person cabin.  We found the trip totally enjoyable despite being -12F in Winnipeg when we got there.  Nice to have a toilet in the unit, and the shower down the hall was warm and comfortable.  We did not find the short days to be a problem, since there was snow everywhere and the nights were not super dark.  The Park car is just wonderful and I wouldn't do a trip of that length if I could not get access.

 

We pulled into Toronto around noon.  I had scheduled an evening flight out of Pearson so we had plenty of time.






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