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