The Canadian Rockies are hands-down one of the most spectacular places on earth and should be on everyone’s travel bucket list. If you’re dreaming of exploring the towering mountains and dazzling lakes of the Rockies, one of the best ways to do it is on the Rocky Mountaineer train ride. This luxury experience will take you on an unforgettable journey through Western Canada’s extraordinary landscapes.
What is the Rocky Mountaineer?
The Rocky Mountaineer is a family-owned luxury rail company, based in British Columbia. It has welcomed nearly two million guests onboard since it was founded in 1990.
It’s won countless awards, having been named as one of the “World’s Greatest Trips” by National Geographic, one of the “Top 5 trains in the world” by Conde Nast Traveler, and one of the “One of the World’s Ultimate Experiences” by Lonely Planet. It’s even a seven-time winner of the “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” award by World Travel Awards, the travel industry’s most prestigious awards program.
Convinced that this is sure to be the train journey of a lifetime? We definitely are!
Where do you go on the Rocky Mountaineer?
The Canadian Rockies are just a train ride away with the Rocky Mountaineer. The company has three rail routes through British Columbia and Alberta, connecting Vancouver to the iconic towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper.
This world-famous train travels by daylight and you’ll get to see the epic scenery of the Rockies, including some parts that can’t even be reached or seen by car!
Our favourite Rocky Mountaineer rail route is the incredible two-day journey that starts in Banff. The train winds its way west through the Shuswap region, with gorgeous lake views all the way. You’ll spend a night in the charming town of Kamloops, before arriving in Vancouver, the exciting city of Canada’s west.
What do you see on the Rocky Mountaineer?
When you ride the Rocky Mountaineer, it really is the journey, not the destination that matters. Each morning, the locomotive engines begin to hum and a bubbling excitement fills the carriages as the guests wait to see what adventures the day will bring.
On the 2-day Banff to Vancouver rail route, you’ll travel through spectacular landscapes, from pristine glaciers and snow-capped mountains to rugged lakeshores, plunging canyons and sweeping ranchlands. The first day alone, you’ll journey through the legendary Spiral Tunnels, the great Continental Divide, Roger’s Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon and Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was planted into the ground.
After rolling into Kamloops in the evening, you can explore the gorgeous town or relax in your hotel room. Rise bright and early the next morning to reboard the train and journey west.
You’ll marvel at the changing scenery as you travel from winding river canyons and lush forests, to the Coast and Cascade Mountain. Gaze out at the desert-like landscapes along the Thompson River. Go gaga over the green fields and rushing waters of Hell’s Gate of the Fraser Valley.
This is Canada at its finest and you’ll soak up every stunning inch, as the train slows down to “roll by” speed to make sure every guest snaps that perfect picture. There really is nothing like a train journey to take you to the true heart of a country.
What are the luxury features on the Rocky Mountaineer?
You’ll get up close and personal with the spectacular wilderness of the Rockies, all from the comfort of a spacious coach. Five-star comfort and style are the top priorities and the seats are wide enough so you’ll have all the room you’ll need for an enjoyable trip.
The coach is surrounded by panoramic bi-level glass-domed windows so you’ll always have an eye on the outdoors. When you travel in GoldLeaf, you’ll also have exclusive access to a large outdoor viewing platform where you can get even closer to the action.
You’ll be blown away as you float past some of the most incredible wildlife and landscapes on the planet. The train’s onboard Hosts will even call out if they spot a bear, elk or eagle roaming outside.
The Hosts are warm and welcoming and one of the best parts of the journey. You’ll quickly bond with your designated Host and they’re always on-hand to share stories and tell jokes. They’ll even answer all your burning questions about the landscapes you’re rolling through. The Hosts are really what transforms the journey from a scenic train ride to a moving, life-changing experience.
The fantastic service doesn’t stop when the train pulls into the station at the end of the day either. You’ll be quickly transferred to your hotel, with your luggage portered directly to your room. The whole experience is designed to be completely seamless so all you have to focus on is those amazing landscapes!
What are mealtimes like on the Rocky Mountaineer?
The Rocky Mountaineer train is famed for its impeccable service and gourmet meals. Award-winning, internationally trained chefs Jean Pierre Guerin and Frédéric Couton have created incredible menus. When you travel in GoldLeaf, you’ll enjoy elegant gourmet meals prepared with local ingredients. You’ll dine in a dedicated lower-level dining room with panoramic views of the Rockies.
Some of the most enticing dishes centre around B.C. steelhead salmon fillets, Alberta beef short ribs, Yukon Gold potatoes, Fraser Valley chicken, and local market fruit and vegetables. You’ll wash it all down with local beer and wine like a bold Okanagan Valley Merlot.
Complimentary beverages and snacks are never far away between mealtimes. You can always count on your Host to offer a plate of oven-fresh cookies or top up your glass of wine.
How can I ride the Rocky Mountaineer?
You can have your own incredible journey on the Rocky Mountaineer with Trafalgar’s Canada’s Rockies with Rocky Mountaineer trip. You’ll start the trip in Calgary with your Trafalgar Travel Director, then travel through the Rockies’ icons like Lake Louise, Jasper National Park, Athabasca Glacier and Banff.
You’ll then board the Rocky Mountaineer in Banff – in GoldLeaf class of course! – then ride the two-day journey through Kamloops to Vancouver, where the trip ends.
Have you ever journeyed on the Rocky Mountaineer? Or are you dreaming of a Rocky Mountaineer train ride? Let us know in the comments below!
Banner image credit: Rocky Mountaineer – Roderick Eime / Flickr