VIA Rail Canada Introduces Enhancements to its Hudson Bay Service



    Aurora Viewing Car and Meal-Inclusive Services added to Two-Night Journey
    from Winnipeg to Churchill, The Polar Bear Capital of the World

    WINNIPEG, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - Today marks the first departure of VIA's
enhanced service to Churchill for this year's Polar Bear season. Inviting
adventurous travellers to get up close and personal with arctic wildlife in
its natural habitat, VIA Rail Canada has introduced enhancements to its Hudson
Bay service from October 2-31. The two-night, well off the beaten path journey
ushers outdoor enthusiasts from Winnipeg to the remote northern tundra of
Churchill, Manitoba, a town of 800 inhabitants that, despite offering premier
snowshoeing, snow-mobiling and dog-sledding excursions, is known primarily for
one thing: the majestic polar bear.
    Recognized as one of the world's largest known polar bear maternity
denning areas and the polar bear capital of the world, high-season for viewing
these immense, impressive creatures in Churchill is the month of October.
Enhancing this amazing sightseeing adventure with the addition of an aurora
viewing car for this popular season, VIA's Hudson Bay travellers will have a
bird's eye view of this enchanting sub-artic region.
    First class sleeping car passengers will enjoy the 360-degree views from
VIA's famed dome "Park" car, to take in the endless vistas by day and dazzling
"Northern Lights" (Aurora Borealis) by night. With the addition of a
meal-inclusive fare, sleeper class passengers can savour delectable regional
cuisine in the train's dining car (including the popular Arctic Char), as well
as enjoy exclusive access to the Park car where complimentary coffee and tea
are available throughout the day.
    VIA's Hudson Bay service departs three times per week, year-round, in
each direction. Travellers can choose from sleeper and comfort class (economy)
accommodations. Sleeping car passengers can choose from a variety of
accommodations, from the economical lower and/or upper berth to the enclosed
single, double and triple bedrooms. All sleeping car accommodations include
convenient amenities such as shower access and shower kits.
    As there are no highways connecting Churchill to southern Manitoba, VIA's
Hudson Bay service provides optimum opportunity to experience the tundra and
arctic terrain. Along with the fall Polar Bear season, from September to April
(peaking from January to March) travellers will be mesmerized by the magical,
colourful and rhythmical "Northern Lights" (Aurora Borealis). And if Beluga
whales and birds are your inspiration, you'll want to plan for a June thru
July departure.

    Anchoring the Hudson Bay route are Winnipeg and Churchill:

    Winnipeg, Manitoba is the province's largest city and cultural centre.
Once a centre for fur trading, visitors to Winnipeg can enjoy world-renowned
ballet, a stroll around the city's French Quarter, or a trip to the historical
crossroads "The Forks," the site of many of the city's largest festivals where
the Red and Assiniboine rivers meet. Assiniboine Park is a favourite amongst
Winnipeg's residents, featuring the city's zoo, English and French gardens and
various outdoor activities.

    Churchill is located on the banks of Hudson Bay in northern Manitoba, and
is known as the polar bear capital of the world. Churchill also offers a
variety of outdoor activities such as ecological hikes, fishing, dog-sledding
and snow-mobiling. Visitors to Churchill should bring their cameras and make
sure to capture the endless luminosity of the tundra during the day and
magnificent northern lights at night.

    Travellers can connect with the Hudson Bay in Winnipeg by using VIA's
Canadian thrice-weekly service from Toronto or Vancouver. Winnipeg also has an
international airport with direct or one-switch access to cities across
Canada.
    Customers can visit VIA's secure Web site at viarail.ca or call 888 VIA
RAIL (842-7254) for additional information or to book their trip. For a
complete listing of tour programs that showcase VIA's Hudson Bay, visit VIA
Rail's travel packages website, viarail.ca/packages, which allows travellers
to choose from a variety of tour operators that offer packages that include
rail and lodging. Select "Hudson Bay" from the drop-down menu in the "VIA Rail
Trains Featured". Customers can also book their tickets by visiting a VIA
station 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, (647) 228-1127; Chris Hanus, Sales, (604) 640-3764


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