About Canada Rail Vacations

Located in Banff and Calgary, Alberta, our team has guided 10,000+ guests throughout North America, Canada, and the Rockies since 1995.

Canadian Train Vacation Planners

  • 28 years' experience guiding in the Canadian Rockies - we know the best locations & experiences!
  • Located in Calgary and the Canadian Rockies - we are on the ground
  • 15,000+ guests have travelled safely, worry free with us
  • Our team has travelled to 60+ countries around the world - we know what our guests need
  • Our team lives at and plays at all of the incredible locations that we will share with you
  • Our team is active! When we are not planning your tour, we are: hiking, backcountry guiding, camping, RVing, skiing, heli-skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, cycling, rock climbing, swimming, boating, playing golf, cooking, eating at amazing restaurants, or travelling.

We love Canada and we can’t wait to share it with you.

Meet Our Team

Our History

Canada Rail Vacations was founded by Martin Flanagan in 1995. He’s been everywhere there is to go in our beautiful country and his exuberance when sharing Canadian experiences with guests only grows brighter with each year! Let us know if you love cycling, and Martin will set you up on a private cycling tour no matter the season. 100% Canadian owned and operated, we provide unforgettable Canadian vacations for our clients. Whether you want to glide through the Canadian Rockies aboard the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer, travel the entire breadth of North America from coast to coast aboard VIA Rail, or completely customize a tour to chase the Aurora Borealis, we have the tour package you are looking for.

What sets us apart is that we plan every tour individually – we don’t merely re-sell pre-existing tour packages. We are a small, family business that personally books every element of your tour. We take a little more time and pay close attention to detail to ensure that your tour package is exactly what you want. We customize train travel packages so that you can experience Canada by rail, your way.

Martin and his wife Heather Flanagan have dedicated years to building up the business based upon their own travel experiences. They have traveled to over 50 countries worldwide and always try to include train travel everywhere they go. People they meet while travelling always ask about some of Canada’s natural treasures: the Rocky Mountains, Niagara Falls and Banff National Park. They are always happy to talk about Canada and show it off.

Through their 28 years of experience operating tours, Heather and Martin have built meaningful partnerships within Canada’s tourism industry, so they know and approve of every location, hotel and excursion that we book in Canada.

The Canada Rail Vacations Advantage

The advantages of booking your trip with Canada Rail Vacations can be summed up by 3 key categories:

Our Prices: They’ll get you in the door
Our Team: We’ll hand-make your holiday with quick response times
Our Experience: All of our Vacation Planners have experienced the tours that they’re recommending to you

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Meet Our Team

As a family owned business, we keep a small tight-knit team. We work together on all bookings and we’re proud of our attention to detail in everything we do. When you book with us, you won’t just be a number as every one of us has worked on your file at some point in time. We’re happy to have you join our family when you book with us and we really look forward to hosting you on our tours.

Martin Flanagan

Company Founder

Martin is the founder of Canada Rail Vacations. He has achieved the goal of turning a travel junkie’s passion into a reality of full-time travel. Martin has travelled to nearly every location in Canada and has stayed in every hotel we work with. He has been creating and guiding tours since 1995 and has personally guided over 10,000 guests in the past 28 years. Many of these guests have come back to Canada specifically to take a tour with Martin.
Martin speaks fluent English and German and was previously a competitor in the sport of luge. After realizing he couldn’t make a career out of travelling around the world sledding down icy chutes, he figured he would stop the sledding and just travel. In his spare time, Martin likes hiking, cycling, cross country skiing, travelling, and visiting excellent restaurants worldwide. Martin’s favourite tour is our Canadian Trip of a Lifetime. This was the trip he took his mother on to celebrate her 65th birthday.

These days, Martin spends more of his time as a guide with our clients. If you would like a private guide or if you would personally like to customize your dream holiday, please contact him at [email protected].

Heather Flanagan

Managing Partner

Heather is the Managing Partner of Canada Rail Vacations. After nearly twenty five years of working for companies in highrise towers in both Calgary and Vancouver, Heather is happy to now be working with the great team at Canada Rail Vacations and with her husband and comanaging partner, Martin.

Together Heather and Martin have travelled to many amazing places, but they really love to show off beautiful and breathtaking Canada to fellow travelers. When Heather is not crossing the T’s and dotting the i’s at CanadaRail.ca, she can be found indulging in her love of music by attending music concerts all over the world. If you are a music lover, Heather would love to speak with you. 

Heather’s favourite tour is our Canadian Prestige as it offers a nostalgic rail experience where you can make new friends from all over the world while enjoying luxurious accommodation, great food, and even better wine.

Spencer Arsenault

Sales Manager

Spencer has been with Canada Rail Vacations since 2015 and is our most experienced Vacation Planner. Originally from Hamilton, Ontario (just south of Toronto), he has made his way across Canada and has finally settled in Calgary after living in Panorama for several years.

An avid golf player, Spencer has worked for several world-class golf courses, including Greywolf and Kananaskis. He loves to get out on the course, and has extensive experience in the industry, having played just about every major golf course in Western Canada. He is your go-to guy for questions about our Golf Tours!

In his free time, you will likely find him golfing. If he’s not on the links, he’s adventuring the mountains in Canmore, Kananaskis, Banff or Panorama or exploring downtown Calgary, enjoying local food, restaurants and live music.

Spencer’s favourite tour is our Rockies Gold Rush Golf tour as it provides the opportunity to play some of the top golf courses in Western Canada. If you’re looking for an extra playing partner for your round of golf, or have any local dining questions, please reach out to Spencer! He will be happy to assist you with any questions about your journey to Canada.

Dalton Feltham

Product Manager

Dalton has been with Canada Rail Vacations since 2016. He also joins us from Toronto, Ontario where he completed a diploma in Tourism Management. Following college, Dalton moved out west to the Rockies for a summer job in Kamloops, British Columbia, and hasn’t looked back since. Over the years, he has lived all over Canada with his two favorite stops along the way being a summer in the remote mountain town of Jasper, Alberta, and a year on Canada’s east coast in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

Dalton has traveled in many different styles, including a study abroad in France where he had the opportunity to spend a couple of months traveling all over Europe, as well as six months traveling the coast of Australia in a camper van. He has done multiple road trips across Canada and the United States, spent plenty of time on beaches throughout the Caribbean, and has now been on five of our train trips throughout Canada and the US.

In his time off he can be found on the golf course or hanging out with his dog.

Dalton’s favorite trip is our Eastern Canada by Rail tour as it provides a homecoming trip where he can stop and see his friends and family in each city along the way.

Whitney McRae Johnson

Business Operations Manager

Born and (mostly) raised in Calgary, Whitney has found her way back home after spending over 6 years living in Vancouver. While not much of a hiker, she’s had the opportunity to explore some of the beauty Western Canada has to offer – a favorite being the stunning drive between Calgary and the West Coast.

Whitney has spent some time travelling internationally, having visited Seoul, done some road tripping through the Central/Pacific U.S., and enjoyed some gorgeous beaches in Mexico and Cuba. Over the last few years, she’s been more interested in vacationing in Canada, where Sechelt and Kelowna are top of the list. Taking the Rocky Mountaineer has been a lifelong dream, and she was so excited to be on her first train in 2022.

Whitney’s favorite trip is our new Rockies to the Red Rocks route between Denver and Moab as it offers a different perspective of the Rocky Mountains from the comfort of the Rocky Mountaineer through the unique landscapes of Utah’s National Parks! The rock formations provide some great, easy hiking trails that will make you feel like a kid on the jungle-gym.

When she’s not working, Whitney is busy cuddling with her pup, Bailey, watching scary movies, and making art. She’s very passionate about her friends and family, making connections with new people, and helping others accomplish their goals.

Ivana Momčilović

Sales Team Lead

An avid traveler, Ivana takes every available opportunity to voyage and discover the world. Born in Belgrade, Serbia, she has spent most of her career exploring Europe and sailing European rivers before eventually immigrating to Canada. Now a permanent resident, she is ecstatic to call Calgary her new home.

After completing her degree in Tourism and Hospitality, her first stop was Martha’s Vineyard, where she spent her summer working in Edgartown’s historic Harbourview Hotel. After returning to Europe, she further pursued her passion for travel. Visiting the Swiss Alps and making cheese, navigating through the canals of Amsterdam, and sipping coffee while enjoying the views of the Middle Rhine castles was only the beginning! A true globally experienced traveler, she has also spent time in Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Her newest passion is the Canadian Rocky Mountains, and she looks forward to showcasing its beauty to the world. In her time off, she can be found enjoying nature, hiking and trying out new sports, like snowshoeing.

Ivana’s favorite tour is the Canadian Adventurer as it includes exploring the Rockies and all the must-see highlights.

Sebastian Yoria

Senior Vacation Planner

All the way from Bogota, Colombia, Sebastian has been living in Canada since 2012. Upon completing his degree in Hospitality and Tourism Management, Sebastian decided to leave South America and come to here to improve his English by living abroad. After a few years of studying in Vancouver, working in Banff, and completing a post-graduate program in Toronto, he knew he was in it for the long haul.

Sebastian has lived in the Rocky Mountains for over 5 years, and the opportunity to live in such a beautiful place contributed greatly to his appreciation for adventure and natural surroundings. He moved to Calgary in 2020 to stay close to the mountains and has loved it ever since. Apart from his extensive Canadian travels, he has explored some places in South America, including Argentina and Brazil, and has even road-tripped through Montana, Washington, and Florida in the USA.

His other hobbies include reading, playing guitar, getting to the gym, snowboarding and climbing.

Sebastian’s favourite tour is the Train Lover’s Dream as it includes two unique train routes with time to explore Jasper and see friends in Banff.

Nikki Ganos

Vacation Planner

Nikki is another true Calgarian on the Canada Rail Vacations team! After having lived most of her life here, she ventured off in 2016 to Vancouver so she could experience the West Coast, where she discovered her love of the ocean, marine wildlife, and fresh coastal air. Aside from exploring British Columbia, Nikki has driven across Canada, travelled overseas to Thailand, and made her way around New York City (which has now made the top of the list as her favourite place she’s been). There’s no shortage of places she wants to see, but her number one priority is getting to Greece.

With over 15 years in Hospitality, Nikki loves connecting with people, sharing stories, and making new friends. She has a passion for creating the perfect experience for all our guests, and if you’re ever looking for great restaurants or activities to check out in Vancouver, Calgary or Montreal – don’t be afraid to ask, she’ll point you in the right direction!

Trying new foods, cooking at home, watching documentaries, and spending time with her friends and family are just a few of her favourite things!

Having now been on the Rocky Mountaineer from Banff to Vancouver, Denver to Moab, and on VIA Rail from Vancouver to Jasper, she’s always looking for the next adventure which she hopes will be the West Coast Expedition so she can explore the remote parts of Canada that few people ever get to see.

Helene Dubreuilh

Vacation Planner

Helene is joins us from France, and her passion for travel brought her to Canada in 2018. At the age of 16 she was an exchange student in Vermont, USA, which further strengthened her interest in exploring the world. Since then, she has been on many Canadian adventures and spent several months on the road exploring all that Canada has to offer. She has driven across our country from Ontario to Vancouver Island and has experienced the Rockies on VIA’s overnight train, “The Canadian”. She has visited all of the hotels we work with in Western Canada.

After falling in love with the Canadian Rocky Mountains, she decided to pursue a career in the travel industry and settle in Calgary. She is a graduate of tourism with a college diploma, and is excited to share her knowledge and travel experiences to help plan your vacation.

Helene’s favourite tour is the Rockies Relaxer as it provides an extended amount of time in Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff where she has free time to do some hiking.

Michael Mardell

Digital Product Designer & Vacation Planner

Growing up in northern Saskatchewan, cold weather was always a part of everyday life, and through various winter sports including hockey and snowboarding, Michaels adoration of frigid climates and brisk mornings only grew stronger. After moving to Jasper and spending a couple seasons as a freestyle snowboard coach at Marmot Basin, he has since followed his love of winter action sports all around Western Canada. From the fast groomers in the Canadian Rockies to the champagne powder of the Okanagan, and even the sticky slopes of the Pacific Coast mountains, Michael found a new home in the west and never looked back. Now living in Calgary full-time, he plans to take advantage of the central location to explore even more of what Western Canadian resorts and destinations have to offer. He cherishes every aspect of Canadian culture and can usually be found spending time with friends and family.

From the best après ski spots to perfect summer soiree venues, Michael has done it all and can’t wait to share his local knowledge to make your time with us the very best it can be.

Michael’s favorite tour is the Rockies Circle Train Adventurer as it passes through various Canadian world class winter destinations.

Brianne Byiers

Vacation Planner

Ontario-born and Alberta-raised, Brianne is an avid traveler who has had the opportunity to visit the majority of Canada, as well as the United States and Mexico.

She spent five years in Wolfville, Nova Scotia, where she completed a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Bachelor of Music at Acadia University. Before heading to Nova Scotia, however, she was able to travel throughout Europe, where she experienced her first train trip, visiting England, Spain, France, Belgium, and the Netherlands, as well as a few cities in Germany.

She then headed to Guangzhou China, where she taught English for three years. While there, she explored Southeast Asia, visiting Cambodia, Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Taiwan, Japan, and the Philippines.

Brianne currently resides in Calgary where she can be found exploring the city and surrounding area, at the gym, spending time with friends and family, or at home writing her novel. Although in October almost everything is put on hold for Halloween and horror-related events.

Brianne’s favourite tour is the Canadian Trip of a Lifetime as it allows you to see the highlights across the country and experience both the Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail.

Vladyslav Bazenkov

Logistics Coordinator & Vacation Planner

Vlad joins us from Ukraine and is passionate about exploring the world – scoping out the best-hidden gems. With over 8 years of experience in the travel industry, he has developed expertise in creating unforgettable trips that cater to every individual’s needs and preferences. Although his heart belongs to the Caribbean, he has fallen in love with the beauty of Canada since moving here in 2022.

Vlad is multilingual, speaking Ukrainian, English, and some Spanish, making him an excellent communicator with clients worldwide. His enthusiasm for travel and desire to help others discover unique places make him greatly suited for our team at Canada Rail.

His favorite tour is the Rockies Adventurer which combines Canada’s history, natural beauty, and the luxurious service of Rocky Mountaineer. He has personally experienced the breathtaking scenery of Banff National Park and loves hiking with his dog in his free time.

Mara Dumonceaux

Vacation Planner

Born and raised in Calgary, Mara has enjoyed countless adventures in the Canadian Rockies and loves to spend her free time hiking in the mountains! Her most memorable experience is a sunrise hike at East End of Rundle, just outside of Banff National park. She has road-tripped all over Western Canada, and her favorite travel destinations include BC or anywhere on Vancouver Island.

Being half-Filipino, she has been to her mother’s hometown in the Philippines many times and used to go every summer for almost 10 years! Besides that, internationally she has traveled to many tropical places in the Caribbean and has many trips in the works, such as visiting Iceland and Japan.

Mara’s favorite tour is the Rockies Glaciers and Gardens because it includes Victoria, one of her favorite places on Vancouver Island, and Jasper, an incredibly scenic place to be with lots of hiking and dark skies for stargazing.

Sarah Bell

Administrative Coordinator

Sarah grew up in small-town Alberta and has called Calgary home since 2013. She has road-tripped all over Western Canada, and her favourite travel destinations include exploring beautiful southern BC, camping in Northern Alberta, and tasting local brews at every small-town craft brewery she comes across! Internationally she has spent time in Italy and the Caribbean and has a mile-long bucket list of future travel dreams.

Studying Hospitality and Tourism Management and Marketing in school, Sarah has found a love for helping guests have the best experience possible, anything from recommending top-notch dishes at unique restaurants or local attractions off the beaten path that are sure to make a trip extra memorable.

Sarah’s favorite tour is the Rockies Essentials as the highlights of the tour include a ride on the luxurious Rocky Mountaineer and an overnight stay at the iconic Chateau Lake Louise.

In her free time, you will most likely find Sarah behind her pottery wheel, camping, or checking out new restaurants and live music in the city.

Jake Pawis

Tour Guide

Originally from Toronto, Jake has been living in the Canadian Rockies for the past few years. Now calling Canmore home, just 20 minutes from Banff, he spends his time skiing, rafting, biking, and hiking in the outdoor playground that is the Rockies. Having always been an outdoor person, Jake left a career in the automotive business and jumped full-on into the guiding and tourism world. He hopes to share his passion and enjoyment of the outdoors with others.

Building on skills developed from years of leading personal trips, he attended a guiding and naturalist course near Ontario’s beautiful Algonquin Park and has been lucky enough to lead trips over land, water, and snow. After trading the endless lakes of Ontario for the lofty heights of Alberta he has had the opportunity to work closely with the Parks Services in the province and has become very familiar with the best highlights of the area for people from all different walks of life.

His favorite trip is the Lake Louise Explorer, as it highlights the very best of the magnificent Bow Valley.

Kaitlyn Cheeseman

Photographer & Tour Guide

Meet Kat, your friendly neighbourhood tour guide! Kaitlyn was born on Earth Day, which is super fitting because she loves travelling the world and enjoying Mother Earth’s beauty. She is a born and raised Alberta girl, a lover of the sea, a photographer at Owl Eye Photography, and a mountain explorer. She has always loved being a part of people’s experiences in life and sharing the places she explores with her family and friends, as well as her clients. Kaitlyn is excited to be a part of the team here at Canada Rail Vacations and Alberta Blue Sky Tours, and when she is not guiding you can find her enjoying time out golfing, canoeing, hiking, surfing, as well as backcountry camping and star gazing with her husband Cam and their mountain cat Mathiya. In the down days, she is chilling, reading, listening to music, and enjoying some yoga or writing.

Her favourite tour is the Icefields Parkway with Ice Explorer, a highlight for guests, and an amazing experience for anyone interested in spending time on a glacier.

Duncan Rodway

Tour Guide

Born and raised in North Vancouver, BC, on the west coast of Canada, Duncan has been living in Calgary on and off since 2014.  He first arrived in the area for University, but due to the high quality of life and natural scenery, he decided to make the move full-time.  One of his favourite aspects of guiding in the Rockies is meeting people from all over the world and getting to share the Rockies experience with them. In addition to guiding, I previously worked as a flight instructor, and regional airline pilot, and have been fortunate to live and travel around the world. He is looking forward to seeing you in the mountains!

His favourite tour is the Mountain, Lakes, and Waterfalls, as there is always an opportunity for some excellent sightseeing along the way.

Neil Zeller

Photographer & Tour Guide

Neil grew up in Saskatchewan but claims Western Canada as his own. Working in a corporate setting for 15 years, he had a mid-life creative and chose to build a photography business 10 years ago. Now a decade later and he is regarded as one of Alberta’s best photographers and guides. He enjoys showing people his backyard, with the Alberta Prairies, the Foothills, and the Rocky Mountains as his greatest inspirations.

Traveling all the backroads and main highways with his wife and son, Neil has honed his appreciation of this part of the world and counts ‘showing off’ this area as his absolute favorite thing to do professionally. Neil loves to help folks make the best of their time here by giving them positive memories for a lifetime!

His favorite tour is the Rockies Relaxer. As he is well travelled and an experienced guide, this tour captures his imagination and offers plenty of time to explore.

Julián Pérez de Camino

Tour Guide

After travelling the world for years, Julian met his wife Jen and decided to settle near Banff National Park in the heart of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. There, he worked as lead guide and sales manager with a leading travel company showcasing Canada, to the Spanish market. Julián started his journey with Canada Rail Vacations as our guide in 2013. He is one of the most knowledgeable guides in Canada and his “on the ground” experience helps make our clients’ trips even smoother.

Originally from Spain, he was raised between Madrid and the little ski town of Jaca in the Pyrenees. In his personal time, he is skiing every possible powder run he can find.

Julian has travelled to every region in Canada and our country never gets boring but his favourite part of our trips is the Victoria Add On because it can be included on any one of our tours that include Vancouver and offers everyone the opportunity to explore Vancouver Island, which is where he currently calls home.

The Office Dogs

You may also, on occasion, end up speaking to one of our office dogs over the phone!






28 Years of Excellence


Year Canada Rail Vacations was incorporated in Calgary, Alberta


Guests have travelled with Canada Rail Vacations

Located in Canada

Our staff are located in Calgary, Canmore, and Banff. We love meeting our clients while they are getting to know Canada.

Community Oriented

Each year we fundraise towards medical research in North America - specifically MS and cancer.

Love Outdoors

Our staff love mountain life, whether exploring by foot, bike, car, or train

Experienced Personal Guides

Our three guides have a combined 39 years of guiding experience - so we know how to tailor a tour to your interests