VIA Rail's Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience Celebrates Achievements and Events in its Fourth Year of Service

    Learning Coordinators earn national certification

    MONTREAL, June 25 /CNW/ - In this its fourth season, VIA's Maritime
Learning Experience is well positioned to deliver an exciting and informative
program to customers from around the world. From June 15th to October 18th,
Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience invites travellers to become
immersed in the romance of Canada's Maritime Provinces with its learning
component available to passengers in premier-class sleeper service. Still
educational and engaging, The Easterly Class: A Maritime Learning Experience
celebrates this history-rich region by spoiling travellers with delightfully
relished amenities.
    Celebrating is what this fourth season is all about, from brand new menus
featuring mouth-watering entrees such as Irish Whiskey Atlantic Salmon,
Alexander Keith's Beer Braised Short Ribs and Rum Marinated Chicken Breast,
the introduction of wine pairing during meals, to a brand new newsletter that
keeps customers informed along the way. Of course some of the old favourites
like fish chowder and the lobster-trapping vignette complete with "Larry" the
Lobster and his lobster crate still delight customers. For the region, it's a
time to celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Anne of Green Gables and the
250th Anniversary of Democracy and VIA's Learning Coordinators are happy to
provide customers with more details.
    "Since its introduction, VIA's seasonal Maritime Learning Experience has
been about creating a unique learning experience on rails," said Susan
Williams, VIA's Director of Customer Experience in the East. "Our Learning
Coordinators are a major contributor to that experience. We are extremely
proud to announce that a number of coordinators have earned their TCP (Tourism
Certified Professional) designation and are sharing their newfound knowledge
with all learning coordinators in the region."
    The certification, through the Nova Scotia Tourism Human Resource Council
(NSTHRC), involves an intensive course on heritage interpretation. The
requirements are rigorous: a lengthy exam, a performance evaluation and
900 hours of work experience. And the result for VIA customers: a better
product that uses the latest methods and best practices of the tourism
industry. All Easterly Class learning coordinators are schooled in the history
of the Maritimes and are familiar with everything from regional wines to
lobster trapping.
    Easterly Class is a seasonal upgrade to the Ocean's already existing
Comfort Sleeper class. The Ocean operates year-round, six times per week in
each direction between Montréal and Halifax while the learning component
upgrade is featured throughout the summer season.
    All meals on board - three in total from Montréal to Halifax - are
included in the ticket price for Easterly Class passengers. Menus also include
information about the century-long history of the Ocean service and a
thought-provoking Maritime puzzle is served along with the morning's cup of
coffee. The Ocean's cozy sleeping accommodations include amenities such as
comfortable duvet bedding, plump pillows, towels and a shower kit, bottled
water, and chocolates.
    A little something extra for couples or families, the sleeping
accommodations in VIA's domed-observation Park Car, which include a triple and
quadruple bedroom, can be booked for an additional surcharge. With its Art
Deco design, Mural Lounge and all-day service of coffee and tea, the Park
Car's warm atmosphere is the perfect setting for travellers seeking to
rekindle their romantic travel experiences from the past.
    For more information on train schedules or to book a trip anywhere in the
VIA system, customers can visit VIA's secure Web site at
Passengers also can book their tickets at self-ticketing kiosks in most Québec
City-Windsor Corridor stations, by calling 1 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245),
TTY 1 800 268-9503 (hearing impaired), or through their travel agent.

    As Canada's national passenger rail service, VIA Rail Canada's mandate is
to provide efficient, environmentally sustainable and cost effective passenger
transportation services, both in Canada's busiest corridor and in remote and
rural regions of the country. VIA serves more than 450 communities with a
network of inter-city, transcontinental and regional trains. Increasingly
travellers are turning to train travel as a hassle-free and cost-efficient
alternative to congested roads and airports as well as a more environmentally
responsible way to travel.

For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Catherine Kaloutsky, (416)
956-7683,; Ashley Doyle, (416) 956-7613,

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