Those cities are also among the ones included in Amtrak vacation packages to Montreal where the adult fares I just quoted would be included in a price that includes two nights at one of nine participating hotels. The per person, double occupancy rate would be $320 for NYC, $325 for Philly and $345 for DC, with additional occupancy fees per child depending, as always, on individual hotel policies.
If you travel by train to Montreal or six other Canadian cities – Quebec City, Toronto, Vancouver, Whistler, Victoria, or Niagara Falls (the Canadian side, of course), Amtrak’s offering $100 off per person ($200 per room discount maximum) if you book a 3-night hotel stay. The “Cash for Canada” deal can also be combined with sweeteners any of the participating hotels are offering – in some cases that may even include free nights. You’ll have to book these deals the old-school way through a human being at 800-268-7252. Before booking any of these packages – or any transportation/hotel bundle, for that matter – price out the hotels individually.
If your brood can’t get enough of the rails once you arrive in Canada, VIA Rail Canada’s running a summer sale from June 24 to September 10: Each economy class fare-paying grownup can take up to five kids aged 2-11 for $10 per child, a good deal if you’re determined to explore the Canadian countryside for a while. Kids’ menus are available on long-distance rides and selected trains offer activities: the Canadian has an organized “kiddies hour” and the overnight Ocean from Montreal to Halifax is staffed by a “learning coordinator” who will lecture the kids about the maritime environs whizzing by outside.
In what’s definitely not a sign of the times, neither Amtrak nor VIA Rail charge baggage fees. Both rail carriers permit two carry-on bags per passenger and most but not all trains permit three checked bags per person, and no one bag can exceed 50 lbs.
For more trip-planning information, see our Canada Travel Guide.