Ottawa Tulip Festival (Train Tour)

Public Tours (Canada) / by Train
  • Itinerary

    Canadian Tulip Festival (70th Anniversary)
    Each year, the Canadian Tulip Festival celebrates the return of spring by showcasing over a million tulips across Canada’s capital region. The festival is the largest of its kind in the world and attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe.
    Tour's duration: 3 days / 2 nights
    Date: 21-23 May 2022 (Victoria Day long weekend)
    Group size: Maximum 52 participants
    Meeting point:  Toronto Union Station train station - Via Rail  
    NOTE: There will not be any physical distancing on the train and local bus.
    DAY 1, SAT 21 MAY 2022: Toronto >> Ottawa
    Between 7:30-7.45 AM: Meet your tour director at the Toronto Union Station - VIA Rail (right beside the Information Desk). He/she holds a sign written "Fun Tours" on it.
    TRAIN from Toronto Union Station to Ottawa: Departure 8:32 AM - Arrival 1:25 PM.
    ViaRail Vaccine requirement: All passengers must have the two vaccines and be accepted by the Government of Canada. The proof is required.
    1.30-2.00 PM: You will be picked up at Ottawa Train station by bus and transferred to your hotel.
    2:30 PM: Check in to your hotel "Ottawa Marriott Hotel-4 star" and have a short rest.
    Beautifully designed rooms include free Wi-Fi and in-room Keurig™ coffee makers. Begin or end your day with a meal at "Spin" Kitchen & Bar, our hotel restaurant, or visit the on-site Starbucks® for a coffee. Enjoy a swim in the indoor pool, or a workout in the fitness centre.
    4:30 - 7:00 PM: Enjoy the annual Tulip Festival at the Commissioners Park.
    With over 100 varieties of bulbs, Commissioners Park is a showstopper and our major tulip display site. It hosts 30 tulip beds, including the Queen Juliana Gift Bed, which features the bulbs donated by the Netherlands. It also hosts a testbed, where our landscape architects test new tulips before mass planting them.
    Evening free to enjoy optional activities such as dining out //Enjoying a swim in the indoor pool, or a workout in the fitness centre at the hotel.

    DAY 2, SUN 22 MAY 2022: Ottawa  
    7:30 - 9:00 AM: Enjoy a hot breakfast at the hotel
    9:00 AM - 1:00 PM: enjoy a 4-hour guided city tour of Ottawa with a professional Local Guide to see the highlights of Ottawa (including Parliament Hill, the Supreme Court of Canada, the Residence of the Prime Minister, the National Gallery of Canada (outside) the Canadian Museum of History (outside), the Residence of the Governor-General (inside). This tour includes 2-3 photo stops. A portion of this tour includes walking (weather permitting).
    Afternoon/Evening is free to enjoy "optional" visits/activities on your own //OR// alternatively, you can join your tour director to walk and discover some of the attractions in downtown Ottawa (walking distance from our hotel)
    Optional FREE Activities (led by your tour director)
    • * The historical ByWard Market, where we can also have a bite to eat.
    • * Notre-Dame Cathedral
    • * Visiting the amazing tulip beds in Major's Hill Park in downtown Ottawa. Major's Hill Park stands above the Rideau Canal at the point where it enters the Ottawa River. With a spectacular view of Parliament Hill as your backdrop, the tulip gardens throughout Major's Hill Park are not to be missed. Major’s Hill Park is located behind the Fairmont Château Laurier, and is home to several impressive flower beds with scenic views of the Ottawa River. This is a great spot to take photos of tulips with landmarks in the background like Parliament Hill, the National Gallery of Canada or the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica.
    Optional Activities (with admission fee/cost)
    • * Boat cruise in Ottawa, operated by Paul's Boat Lines (reservation required). Offers two types of cruises: Rideau Canal Cruise, and Ottawa River cruise
    • * Fireworks on Victoria Day Sunday starting at 10:00 PM over Dow’s Lake (Commissioners Park) - your own transfer arrangements required
    • * Visiting the Casino du Lac-Leamy in Gatineau - your own transfer arrangements required
    • * Ottawa’s seven national museums (some of which are located within walking distance from your hotel): Home to seven of Canada’s nine national museums, Ottawa is the mecca for culture vultures, historical enthusiasts, and Canadiana buffs. National Gallery of Canada, National War Museum, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada's Cold War Museum... *Seven of Canada's nine national museums in one city!
    DAY 3, MON 23 MAY 2022: Ottawa >> Toronto
    7:30 - 9:00 AM: Enjoy a hot breakfast at the hotel
    Check-out at or before 11.00 AM. Please put your luggage in the storage room of the hotel and enjoy your free time until 2.00 PM to discover Ottawa's numerous attractions/museums on your own.
    2.00 PM: The bus will pick you up from the hotel’s lobby.
    2.00 - 5.00 PM: Visit dazzling displays of colorful tulips in Gatineau: The Quebec side also boasts beautiful tulip displays. Areas planted near the Alexandra Bridge, and Jacques-Cartier Park are worth a visit. Besides the tulips, these destinations offer magnificent scenes of the river and Parliament Hill.
    5.00 PM: The bus will drop off the group at Ottawa Train Station.
    TRAIN from Ottawa to Toronto Union Station: Departure 5:49 PM - Arrival 10:33 PM

    Price & Inclusions

    · Per person, Double occupancy: $599 + 13% HST = $676.87
    · Per person, Single occupancy: $799 + 13% HST = $902.87
    **The prices are per person, in Canadian dollars.
    **The prices are subject to change at any time without notice.
    **Children 8+ are welcome on this tour, the same price as adults.
    **The standard rooms in the hotels have a maximum of 2 double beds, and the hotel does NOT provide any extra bed/cot.

    ** If you need a roommate, please ask. Not guaranteed.
    • Round trip Train by VIA Rail (Toronto - Ottawa - Toronto) - Standard category. 

    • 2-night accommodation at Ottawa Marriott Hotel-4 star (High-speed Internet and the use of the pool and fitness center are included)
    • 2 hot breakfasts at the hotel
    • Visit the unique Tulip beds at the "Commissioner's Park", and "Major's Hill Park"
    • Guided tour of Ottawa (a combination of walk and bus) 
    • A guided visit to Rideau Hall, the official residence of the governor-general of Canada.
    • Visit dazzling displays of colorful tulips in Jacques-Cartier Park, Gatineau 
    • City tour and transfers in Ottawa by private bus
    • Free time to discover Ottawa's numerous attractions and Canada's most visited museums 
    • Tour is conducted by a professional the tour director
    • All Gratuities 
    • Admission to some optional activities
    • Lunch and Dinner
    • Water and snacks
    End Plastic Pollution: we will no longer offer single-use plastic water bottles on our tours since many of them end up in our landfills, lakes, oceans, and rivers. We encourage you to bring a refillable water bottle. 
    Cancellations & Refunds
    • * Full refund if you cancel at least 30 days before the trip departure date.
    • * 29-15 days prior to departure - pay a penalty equal to 50% of the total purchase amount.
    • * 14-8 days prior to departure - pay a penalty equal to 70% of the total purchase amount.
    • * Within 7 days of departure - fully non-refundable - pay a penalty equal to 100% of the total purchase amount.
    • * In the event that a tour is canceled, the liability of will be limited to providing a full refund of the original trip price. 
    **All seats are in standard class. No individual arrangement/upgrade/change is available. VIA Rail does not provide the seat number, but the group is assigned seats together within the same car (train wagon).


    Meeting point:  Toronto Union Station train station - VIA Rail  
    7.30 - 7:45 AM: Meet your tour director at Toronto Union Station train station - VIA Rail (right beside the Information Desk). He/she holds a sign written "Fun Tours" on it.

    Toronto Train Station | Nick Thompson | Flickr

    Tour Attractions

    Ottawa is Canada’s capital, a dynamic showcase city of more than one million people. Located in Ontario at the Quebec border, it’s a place where you’ll hear English and French spoken in the streets; where you can discover Canada’s proud heritage at impressive national sites and famous landmarks, including the Rideau Canal (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). It’s a city steeped in culture, with world-class museums and galleries displaying stunning national collections and special exhibitions from Canada and around the world.

    Tulip Festival
    The Godmother of all Ottawa Festivals, since 1953 the Canadian Tulip Festival has been the iconic Canadian brand synonymous with the arrival of spring in the nation's Capital. Drawing over 600,000 Canadian and International visitors to the outdoor festival of the warm weather season and one of Ottawa’s largest and longest-running signature celebrations. Millions of Tulips set the stage for a celebration of authentic art, cultural, historic, culinary, and family tulip experiences.

    Commissioners Park
    In summer, the tulips are replaced by thousands of annual flowers, which create beautiful scenic views with Dows Lake in the background. Located at the corner of Preston Street and the Queen Elizabeth Driveway, Commissioners Park extends over 8.95 hectares. It was built from the 1920s to the 1950s on the site of a former lumberyard owned by J.R. Booth.

    Major's Hill Park
    Major’s Hill Park is the Capital’s first park, used as such since 1826, when the building of the Rideau Canal began. In 1867, fireworks and bonfires in the park marked the Capital’s first Canada Day celebrations. It was formally established as a park in 1875. Major’s Hill Park is an exceptional site to see tulips blooming in the spring. 
    Parliament Hill
    Parliament Hill, colloquially known as The Hill, is an area of Crown land on the southern banks of the Ottawa River in downtown Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Its Gothic revival suite of buildings, and their architectural elements of national symbolic importance, is the home of the Parliament of Canada.
    Rideau Hall
    Rideau Hall (officially Government House) is the official residence in Ottawa of both the Canadian monarch and his or her representative, the governor-general of Canada. It stands in Canada's capital on a 36-hectare (88-acre) estate at 1 Sussex Drive, with the main building consisting of approximately 175 rooms across 9,500 square meters (102,000 sq ft), and 27 outbuildings around the grounds. Rideau Hall's site lies outside the centre of Ottawa. It is one of two official royal residences maintained by the federal Crown, the other being the Citadelle of Quebec.
    The grounds of Rideau Hall represent one of the finest historic landscapes in Canada. In 1998, they were designated as a cultural landscape of national historic significance by the Minister of Canadian Heritage. This park is at the governor general's home, with 10,000 trees, a seasonal ice skating rink & a totem pole.

    Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica
    Welcome to Notre-Dame Cathedral, the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishop of Ottawa and the mother church of the archdiocese of Ottawa. This historic building, begun in 1841, is the largest and oldest standing church in the nation's capital. NOTE: currently, Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica is only open for mass (religious services). The doors are open 30 minutes before each mass to let people in. It is during the 30-minute period before masses that you would have time to light a candle and pray. It is no longer required to wear a mask in the cathedral. We are also at full capacity. So approximately 1500 people can be in the church. SATURDAY MASS: 5:00 PM: (BILINGUAL) ---- SUNDAY MASSES: 10:00 AM (FRENCH), 12:00 PM (ENGLISH), 5:00 PM (BILINGUAL)

    ByWard Market
    Since 1846, when nearby farmers traded their produce here, this has been the popular centre of town. Only one of the stalls dates back to 1867, but the market retains much of its 19th-century atmosphere. With its colorful stalls of fruit and vegetables, along with artsy shops, trendy restaurants and nightclubs, it’s a lively spot to visit – day and night.

    Rideau Canal
    The Rideau Canal is a long and historically significant waterway that twists through the downtown core of Ottawa. The canal connects the city to major nearby bodies of water, including the Ottawa River and Lake Ontario. The canal itself dates back to 1832 when it was used as a military defense system, but today the canal serves as a year-round recreational attraction. In warmer months, people walk, bike, or ride on the walkways that line the canal, or boat and paddle through the water itself. In the colder seasons, the river freezes over and transforms into an expansive public ice-skating rink that weaves through the city.

    Jacques-Cartier Park
    As one of the Capital’s major parks, it is located on Laurier Street in Gatineau, extends over 22.68 hectares, and offers breathtaking views of the Ottawa River and Parliament Hill.
    It is at the base of the Alexandra Bridge, facing the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. It is named for French explorer Jacques Cartier, who arrived at the mouth of the Ottawa River while he was looking for the Northwest Passage.

    Ottawa Marriott Hotel-4 star
    Experience modern style and sincere service at Ottawa Marriott Hotel, set in the lively downtown district of Ottawa. Our hotel is two stops away from the Rideau Shopping Centre, Shaw Centre and ByWard Market. Explore Parliament Hill, the Rideau Canal and the National Gallery of Canada, all within walking distance from our hotel. Begin your day with a coffee at our on-site Starbucks® and end it with delicious American fare and a cocktail at "Spin" Kitchen & Bar. Additional hotel perks include our health club with an indoor pool and gym. Make yourself at home in our smartly designed rooms and suites, featuring complimentary Wi-Fi, plush bedding, a Keurig™ coffee maker, and downtown Ottawa views. 
    Ottawa’s seven national museums
    Home to seven of Canada’s nine national museums, Ottawa is the mecca for culture vultures, historical enthusiasts, and Canadiana buffs. National Gallery of Canada, National War Museum, Canadian Museum of History, Canadian Museum of Nature, Canada's Cold War Museum... *Seven of Canada's nine national museums in one city!
    Boat cruise in Ottawa, operated by Paul's Boat Lines (reservation required). 
    Offers two types of cruises: "Rideau Canal Cruise", and "Ottawa River Tour"
    PAUL'S BOAT LINES (Ottawa) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go - Updated  2022 (Ottawa, Ontario) - Tripadvisor


    • ** Our tours are in the ENGLISH language only.
    • ** We STILL require all passengers 12 & older to be fully vaccinated. Because still, many suppliers require proof of vaccination (minimum of 2 shots) to let us enter their facility. Please bring your proof of vaccination (print or digital) + a valid Photo ID (e.g., health card, driver’s license). Please make sure you study this page before making any booking: Traveling during COVID-19 page
    • ** Please dress based on the weather. Comfortable walking shoes are always recommended. If it's rainy, please bring your umbrella/rain jacket.
    • ** This tour is considered an easy-medium activity
    • ** Itinerary Changes: We reserve the right to make time or itinerary changes, if necessary.
    ************* NOTIFICATIONS ABOUT GROUP TRAVEL *************
    Reasonable Level of Fitness: In order to get the most from your travels and keep up with the group, a reasonable level of fitness is required. You will need to be able to walk for 1-2 hours at an Easy to Medium-pace (on an even/uneven surface), get on and off coaches, trains and boats unassisted. Therefore, we ask that anyone wanting to travel with us carefully consider whether any PHYSICAL LIMITATIONS prevent you from fully enjoying our trips.
    Embrace the nature of Group Travel: To get the most out of your tour, pack a positive attitude and an open mind. These are most certainly valuable when traveling in a group. Our tours are packed with adventure, new experiences, and feel-good moments. However, despite the very best intentions and planning, things can and do go wrong and occasionally we encounter problems beyond our control, such as adverse weather conditions, unexpected delays caused by traffic jams. In such situations, we ask for your patience and we will endeavor to keep as close to our scheduled itinerary as possible.
    Traveling with children: Due to the activity level of our group tours, all children require adult supervision. Some of our more active excursions may not be suitable for children under the age of 8.
    If you have any questions, please email to  - or call: 416-897-3020