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Labrador in the Fall
Labrador in the Fall OverviewIf 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.
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.
- 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