Grayline Tours, VIA Railroad and Niagra Helicopter in Toronto & Montreal, Canada (8/08)

 Toronto-   Our #1 attraction recommendation is to take a day trip to Niagara Falls.  There are many tour companies that offer excursions but the one to go with is Grayline tours (www.grayline.ca) or 800-594-3310.  This luxury bus (as opposed to the other smaller, less comfortable shuttle buses) offers a full day tour either leaving at 9am or 1pm.   This approximate 9.5 hour adventure picks you up at your hotel and provides a smooth ride in very comfortable big seats that recline.   The first stop is at a winery where you sample some wines and get a short presentation about the vineyards and drinking certain wines.  After about thirty minutes, it is back on the bus to Niagara Lake town, which was very quaint.  Guests can roam around on their own, take a cable car with a view of the falls or take a quick yet exciting 9 minute ride Helicopter ride on Niagara Helicopter Tours (www.niagrahelicoptertours.com) over the falls and around the area.  Then it is time for the main attraction (Niagara Falls). Our most entertaining bus driver and tour guide, Don, made our trip very informative and comedic. Each excursion can come with a meal (9am departure you get lunch or the preferred 1pm departure for a buffet dinner at the top of the Sheraton Hotel, which had a spectacular view of the falls.  The Maid of the Mist boat ride was next which is included in the price of the tour.  Everyone wears a poncho, as the mist from the Canadian Falls is incredible.  The boat passes the American Falls, circles close to the Canadian Falls while you get drenched unless you duck or go inside, and then returns to the dock.  This 20-minute ride is fabulous.  You then have a little more than 2 hours of free time to check out one of the other attractions, take a walk close to the falls while you take photos, and visit the exciting city of lights.  There are many places to stop including the waxed museum, Ripley’s believe it or not, Guinness Book of World’s Record store, Haunted House, and shops for gifts.  A nice quiet ride back finishes this great trip.

The way to get around Canada is VIA Railroad.  This train offers all types of seating from economy to first class.  We took the train from Montreal to Toronto and the nice view, comfortable seating, and great service made the trip very relaxing and go by quickly.  VIA offers railroad transportation all over Canada so check their website for destinations, pricing and good deals.  If you book in advance, special fares are available.  Prices depend on where you are going and what class you choose.  Certain classes offer food and drinks for pay while first class provides lunch or dinner plus an open bar if you want to go that route.  The servers and attendants were hospitable and helpful and tickets are easy to purchase online or over the phone.  Other options include refundable/changeable tickets if you pay a bit more or non-refundable/non-changeable at the lowest price fare.  Don’t miss the best way to travel and see Canada with VIA Rail on your next visit to Canada. VIA Rail offers luxury transportation at affordable pricing.  More information at www.viarail.com/ca or call 888 VIA-RAIL (1 888 842-7245).

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