A ski vacation deep in the heart of Francophone Quebec is an adventure in its own right. But at Le Massif de Charlevoix, a year-round resort about 90 miles northeast of Quebec City, getting to the slopes by rail adds to the experience.
Not content to open a resort amid spectacular scenery overlooking the broad and beautiful St. Lawrence Seaway, the owners created their own railway to ferry passengers between Quebec City, the provincial capital, and the 350-year-old village of Baie-Saint-Paul. Through much of the 87-mile journey, the train hugs the shoreline. The modern railcars feature large windows to maximize the views.
During the 3 1/2-hour journey, passengers can sample regional cuisine from menus created by Executive Chef Patrick Turcot. A gourmet breakfast is offered on morning trips from the capital. In the evening, return passengers can choose tapas or a four-course dinner.
Various winter packages catering to sightseers and skiers will be offered beginning in mid-December. A weekend rail-and-hotel package with a Saturday-night stay at the new Hôtel La Ferme in Baie-Saint-Paul costs about $400 for two people. It’s only steps from the train station to hotel check-in, since the depot is part of the purpose-built complex.