Tour the Pacific Northwest and discover British Columbia's spectacular vistas and awesome wilderness aboard VIA Rail's Skeena



    VANCOUVER, June 21 /CNW/ - Embarking on a two-day adventure through the
majestic mountains and untouched countryside, VIA Rail Canada's Skeena service
takes passengers from the heart of the Rockies to the shores of the Pacific in
Prince Rupert, British Columbia. Ideal for leaf peepers or travellers looking
to explore a new frontier, VIA's Skeena service allows riders to enjoy the
changing landscape and picturesque vistas without sacrificing amenities or
service.
    The Skeena departs three times per week year round, in each direction.
From mid-May through September, travellers can choose between Comfort class or
VIA's premium Totem Class services. When travelling in Totem Class, featured
from May 13 to September 30, passengers enjoy regional cuisine served at their
spacious, reclining seats and exclusive access to the Park Car with its
360-degree scenic dome, Mural and Bullet Lounges. For optimum viewing pleasure
and at a small additional fee, passengers can upgrade to Totem Deluxe Class,
which allows passengers to reserve a seat in the panoramic domed car.
    Travellers will be awed by the magnificent scenery along the route
including Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies; British
Columbia's lush Skeena River Valley and the giant cedars and hemlocks that
line the western slope of the Pacific Coastal mountain range. As for the
wildlife - from deer and moose to bears and birds - you'll want to have your
camera in hand at all times. And, since the train covers the entirety of its
725-mile journey during daylight hours - the train stops in Prince George
overnight to break up the trip - passengers won't miss a single glimpse of
northern British Columbia's spectacular landscape.

    
    Other highlights along the Skeena's route include:

    -   Jasper, Alberta attracts visitors from around the globe and is one of
        Canada's most picturesque places. Summer activities include hiking
        and mountain biking opportunities, and winter brings top-notch skiing
        and outdoor snow sports. With awe-inspiring natural wonders like
        Maligne Canyon, Sunwapta Falls, Mount Edith Cavell and Miette Hot
        Springs, Jasper National Park contains some of the most remarkable
        landscapes in the world. The largest park in the Canadian Rocky
        Mountains, Jasper National Park is also a wildlife sanctuary perfect
        for viewing all kinds of animals in their natural habitats.

    -   Prince George, where the Skeena stops overnight, is a beautiful city
        located in some of Canada's densest forests. Not surprisingly, the
        city is one with nature, as over 100 parks can be found within city
        limits! Prince George also offers several fascinating museums, such
        as the Fraser Fort George Regional Museum, a hands-on natural history
        and science center featuring "Adventure Theatre", an in-depth history
        of the region's human culture, and various other activities.

    -   As the train arrives at its final stop: the coastal city of
        Prince Rupert, travellers will be struck by the numbers of bald
        eagles resting in the harbour and surrounding area. Built in 1889,
        the North Pacific Historic Fishing Village features tours and live
        performances that provide an entertaining look at life in a cannery
        village. The Museum of Northern B.C. house magnificent architecture
        of a Northwest Coast longhouse and exhibits that portray the history
        and culture dating back to the end of the last ice age. Visitors to
        Prince Rupert also have the option of taking a day trip to the
        Khutzeymateen Valley, Canada's only grizzly bear sanctuary.
    

    VIA's Skeena departs Jasper every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday and
provides same-day connection with VIA's eastbound Canadian enroute to Toronto.
An overnight stay in Jasper is required for travellers connecting from VIA's
westbound Canadian.
    It's not too late to explore the supernatural beauty of British Columbia
by planning for an August or September getaway. For tour programs that
showcase Totem Class aboard VIA Rail's Skeena train, please visit the package
section of VIA Rail's website at viarail.ca/packages, and select "The Skeena"
from the drop-down menu in the "VIA Rail Trains Featured" section. To find
activities in the regions visited by the Skeena, please visit VIA's website at
viarail.ca/events for details.
    Customers can visit VIA's secure website at viarail.ca to book a trip
anywhere in the VIA system, or by calling 888-VIA RAIL (842-7245) or
TTY 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired) or through their travel agent.

    As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail connects the entire
world to the West's vibrant tourism industry. With more than 700 employees in
Western Canada, VIA is dedicated to improving the quality of passenger
service. From Northern Manitoba, across Saskatchewan and Alberta, to British
Columbia's Pacific Rim, VIA serves more than 100 communities. VIA continues to
develop, market and deliver services to meet the needs of Western Canadians,
in partnership with the people, communities and businesses served by passenger
rail.





For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Catherine Kaloutsky, Corporate
Communications, (416) 956-7683, catherine_kaloutsky@viarail.ca; Aurelio
Macaraeg, Sales, (604) 640-3746, aurelio_macaraeg@viarail.ca


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