By Plane

Western Canada is linked with the United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia by frequent nonstop flights. Calgary (YYC) and Vancouver (YRV) are the major air hubs; regional airlines connect to smaller centers.

Air Canada (tel. 888/247-2262;, Canada's dominant airline, has by far the most flights between the United States and Canada, and also offers service to the U.K. out of Calgary and Vancouver. Air Canada also has a number of partner airlines, such as Air Canada Jazz, that fly to secondary cities. Flights on these airlines can be booked from the main Air Canada website.

Most major U.S. carriers also fly daily between cities in Canada and the States -- these include American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300;, Continental (tel. 800/525-0280;, Delta (tel. 800/221-1212;, Northwest (tel. 800/447-4747;, United (tel. 800/241-6522;, and US Airways (tel. 800/428-4322;

International airlines with nonstop service to Vancouver include British Air (tel. 800/247-9297 in the U.S. and Canada, 0845/773-3377 in the U.K.;, KLM (tel. 800/447-7747 in the U.S. and Canada for KLM partner Northwest Airlines), Lufthansa (tel. 800/581-6400 in Canada, 800/563-5954 in the U.S., or 0803/803-803 in Germany;, and SAS (tel. 800/221-2350 in the U.S. or Canada; Asian airlines that fly into Vancouver include China Airlines (tel. 800/227-5118 or 604/682-6777 in Vancouver;, Cathay Pacific (tel. 800/233-2742;, Japan Air Lines (tel. 800/525-3663;, and Korean Air (tel. 800/438-5000; Additionally, Air Canada offers international flights from Mexico, most cities in northern Europe, and many centers in Asia. Canada's Air Transat (tel. 866/847-1112; offers still more options from Europe and Latin America. From the southern hemisphere, both Qantas (tel. 800/227-4500 in the U.S. and Canada; and Air New Zealand (tel. 800/663-5494;, offer flights into Vancouver.

Calgary offers nonstop flights to a number of European cities, including London on Air Canada and British Air; Amsterdam on KLM and Air Transat; and Paris on Air Transat.

Another option is to fly into Seattle, Washington. Airfares are frequently less expensive to Seattle, and the difference in distance to destinations such as the Okanagan Valley, the Canadian Rockies, and Vancouver Island is negligible (driving from Seattle to Vancouver, for instance, takes about 2 1/2 hr.). Seattle's Sea-Tac Airport has nonstop flights from London, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Seoul, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, among other cities.

By Car

Because Canada and the U.S. share the longest open border on earth, it makes sense that many U.S.-based travelers will consider taking their own car to Canada as a road-trip destination. There are scores of border crossings between Canada and the U.S. (The U.S. freeway system enters at 13 different locations.) However, not all border crossings keep the same hours, and many are closed at night. Before you set off to cross the border at a remote location, ascertain if it will be open when you arrive there.

In addition to having the proper ID to cross into Canada, drivers may also be asked to provide proof of car insurance and show the car registration. If you're driving a rental car, you may be asked to show the rental agreement. It's always a good idea to clean your car of perishable foodstuff before crossing the border; fruit, vegetables, and meat products may be confiscated and may lead to a full search of the car. Remember that firearms are allowed across the border only in special circumstances; handguns are almost completely outlawed.

Once in Canada, you'll find that roads are generally in good condition. There are two major highway routes that cross Canada east to west. Hwy. 1, which is largely four lanes, travels from Victoria on the Pacific to St. John's in Newfoundland, a total of 8,000km (4,971 miles) -- with some ferries along the way. The Yellowhead Highway (Hwy. 16) links Winnipeg to Prince Rupert in B.C. along a more northerly route.

Rental Cars -- Canada has scores of rental-car companies, including Hertz (tel. 800/654-3001;, Avis (tel. 800/331-1084;, Dollar (tel. 800/800-3665;, Thrifty (tel. 800/847-4389;, Budget (tel. 800/527-0700 in the U.S., or 800/268-8900 in Canada;, Enterprise (tel. 800/261-7331;, and National Car Rental (tel. 877/222-9058; Nevertheless, rental vehicles tend to get tight during the tourist season, from around mid-May through August. It's a good idea to reserve a car as soon as you decide on your vacation.

Members of the American Automobile Association (AAA) should remember to take their membership cards since the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) (tel. 800/222-4357; extends privileges to them in Canada.

By Train

Amtrak (tel. 800/USA-RAIL [872-7245]; can get you into Canada at a few border points, where you can connect up with Canada's VIA Rail (tel. 888/VIA-RAIL [842-7245]; system. On the West Coast, the Cascades runs from Eugene, Oregon, to Vancouver, British Columbia, with stops in Portland and Seattle. Amtrak-operated buses may also connect segments of these routes.

Amtrak and VIA Rail both offer a North American Railpass, which gives you 30 days of unlimited economy-class travel in the U.S. and Canada. Remember that the Railpass doesn't include meals; you can buy meals on the train or carry your own food.

The problem with traveling on VIA Rail, particularly in western Canada, is that the train runs only 3 days a week. If you want to link your visit between destinations in Alberta and B.C. with a train journey, you may be out of luck unless your schedule is very flexible. Also, if sightseeing, and not just transport, is part of your vacation agenda, then you may also find that your train journey takes place overnight. Because of the way the train is scheduled in many parts of rural Canada, there's just one schedule per train, so the leg between Winnipeg and Edmonton, for instance, will always be overnight, no matter which train you take.

By Bus

Greyhound (tel. 800/661-8747 in Canada,; in the U.S. tel. 800/231-2222, operates the major intercity bus system in Canada. In recent years, several of the Greyhound routes between the U.S. and Canada have been terminated. The only international route still in operation in the West is the crossing between Seattle and Vancouver.

International visitors intending to travel across Canada (and/or the U.S.) should consider the Greyhound North American Discovery Pass. The pass, which offers unlimited travel and stopovers in the U.S. and Canada, can be obtained from foreign travel agents or through

By Boat

Ocean ferries operate from Seattle, Anacortes, and Port Angeles, Washington, to Victoria, British Columbia.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.