As I traverse the Icefields Parkway – the 141-mile road, lying between picturesque Lake Louise in Alberta and the northern outpost of Jasper – I contemplate my upcoming rail adventure. The scenery outside my SUV is magnificent. It’s September and the first flakes of snow drift....

Colonial history, rugged coastline, seaside villages and opulent mansions are just some of the highlights on a Canada and New England cruise for Jane Archer. In 1535, according to legend, French explorer Jacques Cartier saw a mountain (actually more of a hill) in what’s now Montreal...