An Incredible Train Journey Across the Canadian Rockies
Few places on earth rival the pristine natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and Canadian Rockies, where wintry scenes of majestic snow-covered mountains transform into rushing streams, fertile forests and vast fields of alpine wildflowers upon the arrival of spring and summer. Clear skies, glacial fields, waterfalls and deep-blue lakes – these are the images of a wilderness that offers complete escape from the hectic modern world. Experience this scenic beauty aboard a luxury train and you have all the makings of an unforgettable journey.
Rocky Mountaineer’s unique deluxe glass-dome railcars traverse this region of North America while indulging guests with unparalled sevice and amenities – whether you choose GoldLeaf Service or SilverLeaf Service. En route to your destinations, enjoy gourmet meals served from a fully stocked kitchen, regional wines and beers, stories and historical tidbits provided by knowledgeable onboard hosts, as well as plenty of beverages and snacks.
Rocky Mountaineer railcars feature large picture windows on the lower dining level, while the domed upper-level provides 360-degree views that wrap around the seemingly endless wilderness. This viewing area is equipped with large, comfortable seats that allow you to stand while snapping photos of the picturesque scenery.
Keep your camera ready as you might see wildlife including elk, bighorn sheep, bear, osprey and eagles.
Another interesting feature of Rocky Mountaineer railcars is that they do not have sleeper cars. In the evenings, guests disembark and spend the night in luxurious hotels along the way. Guests also have opportunities to experience more at almost every destination – from trekking through glaciers to helicopter touring.
FOUR UNIQUE ROUTES
Rocky Mountaineer features four distinct rail routes, with various length-of-journey options and packages.
These packages also can be conveniently combined with ocean cruises.
The Coastal Passage route connects Seattle with Vancouver, British Columbia, and the Canadian Rockies, meandering along the Pacific Ocean coastline through the Rockies. Rocky Mountaineer describes this route as serving up the “la crème de la crème of Western Canada with a little bit of Americana on top.” This route features three days of all-daylight rail travel, Seattle, Banff and one to three nights in Vancouver. Highlights include a tour of Yoho National Park, the Banff Gondola and panoramic helicopter flightseeing.
Along the popular First Passage to the West route through the Canadian Rockies, the train traverses the Continental Divide. Passengers travel through the legendary Spiral Tunnels and pass by Craigellachie, the spot where the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. This is the only passenger rail service on this historic route, celebrated for connecting Canada from East to West. Destinations along this route are Vancouver, Kamloops, Lake Louise and Banff.
Experience Canada’s most remote and stunning vistas on the Journey through the Clouds, which follows the route of the Fraser River with its white-water rapids and dramatic landscape, passing by the Albreda Glacier and magnificent Pyramid Falls. The highlight is the majestic Mount Robson, the highest peak in the Canadian Rockies. Through the Clouds packages feature several options for outdoor adventure, such as sightseeing and hiking tours in Jasper, rafting on the Bow River, and canoeing on Lake Louise.
Venture through British Columbia’s coastal rainforest, region on the train line’s Rainforest to Gold Rush route, departing from either Vancouver or Jasper. Destinations include Whistler and Quesnel.
For the ultimate Pacific Northwest and Canada experience, consider taking one of Rocky Mountaineer’s Circle Journeys, which are lengthier in duration and provide more opportunities to explore the region – by land and sea. There are 25 different packages to choose from, some of which include a post-tour cruise with Holland America Line.
The 21-day Grand Rail Circle, for example, starts with a rail journey from Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies, visiting Kamloops, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, Quesnel and Whistler. After disembarking the train in Vancouver, enjoy a six-hour sightseeing tour of the city’s North Shore and an overnight stay. The following day, board the ms Nieuw Amsterdam for a cruise through Alaska’s Inside Passage to the ports of Juneau, Skagway and Ketchikan, with scenic cruising in Glacier Bay.
The 10-day Rockies and Vancouver Island Circle tour takes a round-trip Calgary route that ventures past beautiful lakes, jagged mountain peaks and raging rivers while traveling toward the lush Fraser Valley and Vancouver’s magnificent coastline. From Vancouver, travel by ferry to the island city of Victoria for an overnight excursion in British Columbia’s capital city.
EXPLORING SEATTLE AND VANCOUVER
Rocky Mountaineer’s rail service provides the perfect opportunity to expand your sightseeing experiences in the vibrant cities of Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Considered by many to be one of the most beautiful and interesting cities in North America, cosmopolitan Vancouver is a wonderful tourist destination, known especially for its colorful neighborhoods, energetic nightlife and Pacific Northwest outdoor lifestyle.
Located on the mainland of British Columbia, amid towering mountains, rainforests, and the sparkling Pacific Ocean, this attractive city exudes beauty and a sense of excitement. There is much to see and experience here – outdoor adventure, cultural attractions, entertainment venues, exceptional cuisine, theater and shopping.
A bit artsy, yet also the site of great innovation, Seattle’s allure comprises different offerings that have shaped the cool atmosphere of this northwestern city.
Known as the site of the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle and the birth of the ‘90s-era grunge movement, Seattle’s allure has also attracted technology giants, such as Amazon and Microsoft.
For a true tourist experience, head to the 605-foot-tall Space Needle and enjoy 360-degree views of the city, expanding over the town to include natural wonders Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. Be sure also to visit Pike Place Market, one of the city’s most recognizable attractions.
Since 1907, the market has been a focal point of Seattle commerce and today is so popular that tours of the space are offered through Public Market Tours, Friends of the Market and Seattle Free Walking Tours.