The Canada Rail Vacations Advantage

Discover why you should book your trip to Canada with our team

Since 1995, we have been welcoming guests from all over the world to Canada. Company Founder Martin Flanagan first started out operating as a one-man show focused on the full customer experience; from the planning stages of creating your dream vacation, right through to the execution of the trip by personally guiding the tours all across Canada. Canada Rail Vacations has since grown into a small team, but we continue to operate based on the same principles of customer service today. Whether you opt for one of our pre-planned tour packages or want to plan a custom holiday with the help of one of our Vacation Planners, we’ll use our own personal experiences of traveling across Canada to plan your perfect holiday down to the fine details, as well as have one of our in-house guides show you around the Rockies whenever possible.

To this day, it may even be Martin as he still plays an active role in all aspects of the business. From picking up phone calls on a busy day or providing support to guests in transit to utilizing his absolutely incomparable expertise and experience to provide personalized customizations or guiding our clients on their trips.

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

Our Prices

We have better prices. We have some of the best rates available with competitive booking incentives.

Our Team

We’ll hand-make your holiday with quick response times, meticulous attention to detail, and world-class service.

Our Experience

All of our Vacation Planners have experienced every aspect of the tours that they’re recommending to you.

What Sets Us Apart

Our Prices

Occasionally, a customer will ask, “Why should I book through you and not through one of your competitors?” The same customer will also usually ask, “You’re a lot less expensive than your competitors, what’s the catch?” Well, there is no catch and there are no hidden costs, what you see is what you get as we pride ourselves on being transparent. We understand that a train trip in Canada is a “bucket list trip” for most people due to the generally high cost, but we’ll always do our best to provide better rates than you’ll find anywhere else. On average, our prices are 10% lower than our competitors’. Many Americans are even surprised to learn we’re less expensive than they thought as our prices are in Canadian Dollars which are worth approximately 25% less than the US Dollar after conversions.

At time of writing, $1 Canadian Dollar is equal to 75 cents US, so when you see one of our tours for $10,000 CAD, that’s actually $7500 USD.

Our Team

Canada Rail Vacations is family-owned and operated, and the entire team is local to the Canadian Rockies. We are a small, tight-knit group, and we plan to always keep it that way. If you contact one of us today and that person isn’t in when you contact us the next time, another one of us will step in where that person left off. We all work together, cooperate together, and there’s no competition between us. Our goal is to focus on you and your trip. Being a team is very important to us, after all, this is to our customers’ advantage when you have more people looking out for you. None of our staff have a sales background. We aren’t salespeople and we don’t believe in pressure sales. We are Vacation Planners. Our backgrounds are all from customer service and travel. We’ll help you plan the best vacation ever without making you feel like we’re pressuring you into something you might not need or want.

In addition to our in-office Vacation Planning team, we also have our own tour guides to show you around the Rockies. Whenever possible, we always try to pass along our small, family operation feel to our guests by providing exclusive small-group tours while you’re in Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper. When booking with one of our competitors, you’ll likely find yourself on a large bus doing big group sightseeing tours. We prefer to avoid this type of touring as much as possible, opting for a more intimate setting, with the majority of our guests receiving our upgraded tour experiences each year.

Something different about our company is that our staff don’t receive commissions. We have no motivation to upsell you on something more expensive in order for us to make more money on it. For guests wanting something more luxurious, we have many great extras we can recommend. Our difference is we’re recommending the extras to help make your trip better, not for us to profit from it. Some guest favorite extras include private day tours instead of bus tours; or Fairmont Gold Floor upgrades at the hotels. Please feel free to ask us about what other hidden gems we can provide you with and we will be happy to help you decide if they’re the right choice for you, or not!

Our Experience

We are a very well-travelled team with extreme attention to detail as our team have experienced our tours firsthand. In our industry, very few companies can say that all of their staff have experienced all of the products they promote and I feel this is one of our greatest advantages. We try to take our entire team on at least one of our advertised trips each year, the most recent being our Train Lover’s Dream.

Another advantage of our company is that we all live in Canada so we know this country very well. Our office is in Calgary where we all work together as a team. During the peak travel season, our office is open at 7 am and closes at 9 pm. Outside of those hours, our management team always have their phones on in case you have any urgent matters that need attention while travelling with us. While most of our guests don’t need to take us up on this service, we take pride in making sure that everyone feels cared for and doesn’t feel stranded without assistance during times where help might not otherwise be available. We find this to be particularly helpful for guests who opt to book with us who are travelling from overseas locations such as the UK or Australia because when you are here in Canada, trying to call someone back home for assistance often means you’ll be reaching them in the middle of the night due to the time changes.

  • 100% of our staff have travelled to the major destinations that we sell throughout Canada.
  • 100% of our staff have experienced at least one full day and night on the overnight VIA Rail “Canadian” train.
  • 100% of our staff have travelled on the Rocky Mountaineer at least once.

See What Our Guests are Saying

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Overall, I feel what makes us great is because we all love what we do, we all love each other, and we all love to help our guests. Please remember, every trip we offer is fully customizable. Please let us know what you’re looking for and we can help suggest ways to make it better. Whether you choose to book through us or through another company, we hope you have a lovely time visiting Canada.

Martin Flanagan

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.

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Canada Rail Vacations Inc. BBB Business Review