For a rail enthusiast, no trip to Canada is complete without a journey on Rocky Mountaineer; one of the world’s most well-known trains. While many travellers opt for a self-drive holiday, the appeal of sitting back, sipping a coffee (or something a bit stronger!) and being able to take the time to spot the native wildlife and admire the stunning backdrop of the dramatic Rockies is becoming increasingly popular.
Rocky Mountaineer operates four routes – three in Canada and the newly-introduced “Rockies to the Red Rocks” route in the USA.
The flagship routes travel between Vancouver and the pretty mountain resort towns of Banff, Lake Louise, and Jasper, as well as coach transfers to more urban Calgary – home of the famous annual Stampede. As you board the train at its very own train station in Vancouver and take your seats - either in comfortable SilverLeaf carriages with their floor-to-ceiling semi-domed windows, or upscale GoldLeaf seating, with fully glass-domed carriage roof, reclining seats and table service meals - the sense of adventure among the travellers is palpable.
Heading out of the city and following the river towards the foothills of the Rockies to stay overnight at a hotel in Kamloops, you can enjoy drinks served to your seat and a selection of meals, all without taking your eyes off the passing scenery while listening to the onboard commentary to ensure you don’t miss a thing. In GoldLeaf service, there are also small open-air sections between carriages where you can feel the mountain air on your face and get some great photo opportunities. With a bit of luck, you’ll spot a grizzly!
The following day you’ll reach the Rockies proper and the scenery becomes even more dramatic. Depending on which journey you have chosen you will visit Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper (or a combination) and we can find you the perfect accommodation to make the most of your time in this dazzling landscape.
We recommend spending some time in the relaxed and fashionable Vancouver; a friendly and welcoming city with so much variety to offer visitors. The capital of British Columbia is a safe, clean and refreshing place, with wide open green spaces, waterfront culture (including beaches), a vast array of wildlife-spotting opportunities as well as some exhilarating adventures close by; take a walk on the wild side in the treetops at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park or enjoy the “Fly Over Canada” virtual reality experience in the city centre. And if all of that doesn’t pique your interest, there is an extraordinary range of culinary options too, street food galore in the trendy Granville Island public market, to high-end haute cuisine with real a passion for local produce from farm-to-table.
Extend your trip with a stay in Calgary and get involved in a spot of line-dancing with the locals, and take a trip up the Calgary Tower where the Rockies loom on the fringes of the capital of Alberta.
There are many departure dates across all four routes:
“First Passage to the West”: Vancouver – Kamloops - Banff (as described above)
“Journey Through the Clouds” : Vancouver – Kamloops - Jasper
Both the above can be combined with Columbia Icefield, Lake Louise and Calgary
“Rainforest to Gold Rush” : Vancouver – Whistler – Quesnel – Jasper
“Rockies to the Red Rocks” NEW USA ROUTE! : Moab – Glenwood Springs – Denver (coach connections to Las Vegas and Salt Lake City).
At Fred.\ Holidays, we appreciate that everyone is different and has different preferences - our team of specialists can build a rail holiday to your exact requirements, with what is important to you in mind. Call our team of helpful Travel Specialists to build this train into your dream holiday on 0800 038 1664.
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