Holiday Gift Giving Ideas and Suggestions from VIA Rail



    Avoid the last minute shopping rush and frenzy

    MONTREAL, Dec. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Just in time for the Holidays - VIA Rail
Canada would like to make your holiday gift decision-making easier this year.
Don't know what to get the person who has everything or is just too hard to
buy for? With the gift of travel you'll have them singing "I'll Be Home for
Christmas", no matter what the season.

    VIA Gift Cards are truly the ideal gift. Available at all VIA stations in
$25, $50 and $100 denominations, as well as a flex value card, which is also
re-loadable. The convenience and flexibility of gift cards make them a
welcomed gift. Give them to family or friends and introduce them to a Canadian
travel experience that could include pristine alpine forests, a luxurious trip
to the ocean, a romantic getaway or simply an opportunity for that university
student to come home for the weekend - laundry in tow of course! Gift cards
can be used at any time and are subject to the same discounts applicable to
cash purchases

    VIA's Snow Train to Jasper - Just in time for the winter outdoor/ski
season, gift cards can also be used to purchase tickets on this seasonal
departure between Edmonton and Jasper. Featuring VIA's renowned Panorama
(fully domed) viewing cars, the Snow Train to Jasper includes a VIA on-board
attendant providing information on what to see and do in Jasper and a Marmot
Ambassador to arrange for the purchase of lift tickets, lessons and rental
equipment. Hot and cold beverages, light meals and snacks are also available
for sale on board. Visit via.rail.ca/snowtrain for more information.
    According to Steve Del Bosco, VIA's chief Customer Officer, "there are as
many reasons for buying VIA gift cards as there are for travelling by train.
For example, many students do not have a credit card. When they are studying
in another city, their parents can encourage them to come home more often by
giving them a card. And for businesses they make a perfect gift for employees
as an incentive bonus for meritorious service during the year." For more
details about VIA's Gift Card, visit viarail.ca/giftcard

    The gift that keeps on giving - VIA has also partnered with the AIR MILES
Reward Program to enable their collectors to redeem reward miles for VIA gift
cards. Collectors simply contact AIR MILES to exchange their reward miles for
a VIA gift card.

    Something for the rail fan in your family
    -----------------------------------------

    VIA Rail is also pleased to offer a selection of souvenirs. From the
popular train whistle that appeals to children both young and old, a travel
mug for the frequent traveller that reflects VIA's commitment to the
environment and Fair Trade coffee, clothing, books, even a Canadian geography
lesson as told by a young boy as he travels across the country in the video
production of "The Big Train Trip". Orders received for Canadian delivery by
December 12, should arrive just in time for Santa. For more information please
go to viarail.ca/giftshop.
    Your E-mail address book is undoubtedly full of personal and professional
contacts. Many of those people would surely be happy to receive a virtual
greeting card from you - a reminder that in this fast-changing world, you
haven't forgotten them. The recipients can easily print your card out and put
it up in a special place. Simply click on viarail.ca to make someone instantly
happy!

    Something for the holiday table - Railway plum pudding and Vanilla Fudge
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Served aboard VIA's world-renowned Canadian for decades, now you can
savour this traditional dessert with family and friends this holiday season.
Visit viarail.ca/plumpudding to get our famous and hard to get recipe as well
as viarail.ca/vanillafudge for those with a real sweet tooth and make everyone
happy during the holidays!

    Thinking of travelling this holiday season
    ------------------------------------------

    Christmas is coming, and seats are going fast! For those planning on
travelling over the holiday period who have yet to book their trip, VIA
suggests that you purchase your tickets as soon as possible to take advantage
of the best fares available. Discount fares are still available on many
departures during the holiday period, which runs from December 15th to
January 5th. "Traditionally, this is our busiest time of the year," adds VIA's
Steve Del Bosco. "During this holiday period, everybody at VIA will work
together to ensure our customers' holiday travel plans run smoothly."
    With its reservation lines already very busy and winter weather beginning
to make itself felt in earnest, VIA expects some popular train departures will
be sold out quickly: VIA will be monitoring ticket sales carefully so it can
assign and cycle passenger cars to meet demand. Customers should leave plenty
of time prior to their train departure, as ticket line-ups are longer than
normal. Customers can also use the ticket kiosks to avoid the lengthy line-ups
or the driving and parking stresses associated with inclement weather. Ticket
kiosks are located in the following Corridor locations: Québec, Ste-Foy,
Montréal, Dorval, Ottawa, Fallowfield, Kingston, Belleville, Cobourg, Oshawa,
Toronto, Oakville, Aldershot, Brantford, Guelph, Kitchener, London and
Windsor.
    Customers can visit VIA's secure Web site at viarail.ca to book a trip
anywhere in the VIA system. Train tickets are also available at VIA stations
across Canada, including self-service ticketing kiosks located at major
stations in central Canada. Passengers can also book their tickets by calling
1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245), TTY 1800 268-9503 (hearing impaired), visit
VIA's website viarail.ca or contact their travel agent.




For further information:

For further information: VIA contacts: Catherine Kaloutsky, (416)
956-7683


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