Labrador in the Fall

Corridor Route in the Fall - © VIA Rail Canada
Corridor Route - © VIA Rail Canada
Light Train between Quebec City and La Melba
Moosonee - © Nick Marvell
Polar Bear Sanctuary - © Nick Marvell
Quebec City - © Alan Heywood
Sault Ste Marie Colour - © Nick Marvell
Toronto - © Alan Heywood
Train de Charlevoix - © Nick Marvell.

Holiday Highlights

  • Spectacular fall colours
  • Travel on the First Nations Owned Tshiuetin
  • Explore Montreal, Quebec and the St. Lawrence River
  • Train to La Malbaie
  • Forest and lake wilderness scenery
  • Train to Moosonee, a remote outpost on James Bay
  • 14 days from £3,585pp
BOOK NOWTailor this tour for independent travel

Tour Dates:
Monday 4 October to Sunday 17 October 2021

If remote wilderness areas take your fancy, this holiday is for you. Northern Quebec and Ontario are as far away from mainstream destinations as it is possible to get by rail. Meet the locals as they board the train for the journey north and marvel at the Fall colours as the region prepares for the long winter ahead.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Flight to Montreal

Our adventure begins with a flight from London to Montreal.

Day 2 – By Train to Quebec City

We take a leisurely VIA-Rail train journey along the St. Lawrence River to Quebec City where there is time to explore the historic quarter on its cliff-top position overlooking the river.

Day 3 – Fly to Sept Iles

Enjoy a free morning before transferring to the airport for our flight to Sept Iles, a port at the mouth of the St Lawrence River.

Day 4 – Journey into the Wilderness

Our train today is operated by the Tshiuetin Rail Transportation (formerly the Quebec, North Shore and Labrador Railway). This railway has no passenger connection with the rest of Canada, having been built to transport iron ore from the mines in Labrador and Quebec to the port at Sept Iles. It is a true “wilderness” railway, some 367 miles in length and takes 12 hours to reach Schefferville. We transfer to our hotel for a 1 night stay.

Day 5 – Return to Sept Iles

The only other way out of town is a small plane from a nearby landing strip – no roads hereabouts. So we take the train back to Sept Iles. One concession to modernity is that refreshments on the train are obtained from a vending machine and do-it-yourself microwave. The first part of today’s journey is across barren tundra. Later, forests, lakes and waterfalls become more abundant with no villages or even houses in sight!

Day 6 – Fly to Quebec

We fly to Quebec for a 2 night stay.

Day 7 – Along the St. Lawrence to La Malbaie

The riverside rail line beyond Quebec City was closed to passengers for many years and so today’s full day journey is something rather special. We have a coach transfer to Montmorency Falls Station just outside the city from where the train departs for La Malbaie and return.

Day 8 – Return to Montreal

The afternoon train back to Montreal takes just three hours and we will arrive in this cosmopolitan city in time for a leisurely evening.

Day 9 – Explore Montreal

Montreal is a charming city – very French in atmosphere – and we have a free day here. A good public transport system, including a metro modelled on the Paris style, makes getting around easy and there is an excellent value day ticket for these services. The hill behind the city (Mont Royal) is now a large public park from which there are superb views of the city and river beyond. This is easily accessed by public transport.

Day 10 – The “Abitibi” Train to Senneterre

We now head north through remote forest and lake scenery to Senneterre. The Fall colours should be at their best. The train is a lifeline to the local communities and many of the passengers will be taking supplies home for the winter following their half yearly shopping trip to Montreal.

Day 11 – By Coach to Cochrane

A private coach will take us on the next leg of our journey to Cochrane in Northern Ontario. Although a small town, Cochrane is an important distribution centre for the region. Our hotel here is attached to the railway station.

Day 12 – North to Moosonee

We continue north on the “Polar Bear Express” to Moosonee. This is not a tourist route except for a few short weeks in the high summer and the railway is an essential part of life as Moosonee is 150 miles north of the nearest main road. The town is situated on James Bay (part of Hudson Bay) and has a population of just 1360, mostly First Nation Cree. We have three hours here before returning to Cochrane. There is catering on the train in both directions.

Day 13 – Polar Bears

This morning we visit the Polar Bear sanctuary which is close to our hotel followed by an afternoon coach transfer to Timmins Airport for our flight home via Toronto.

Day 14 – Home Again

We arrive into London this morning.

Click here to view our blog of the research trip for this holiday.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Fairfield by Marriott Montréal Downtown, Montréal

Hotel Centre Ville, Quebec City

Gouveneur Hotel, Sept Iles

Rodeway Inn, Schefferville

Senabi Motel, Senneterre

Station Inn, Cochrane

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • All rail journeys as specified
  • Accommodation in good quality hotels on a room only basis
  • Visit to the Polar Bear Sanctuary
  • Airport and other transfers specified
  • Coach travel where indicated in the itinerary
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £3,585
Single room supplement: £775
Deposit for this holiday: £200

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