Wending its ways through Western Canada’s awe-inspiring landscape, the Rocky Mountaineer is a travel experience which takes guests on a journey into the very heart of the Canadian Rockies. Regularly voted in the world’s top five train experiences, this iconic engine transports passengers along the edge of steep canyons, over vast gorges, through gold rush country and coastal rainforest, and past tumbling waterfalls and snow-capped peaks.
The two/three-day itineraries are split across four different routes: First Passage to The West, Journey Through the Clouds, Rainforest to Gold Rush and Coastal Passage. The first three can begin or end in Vancouver; but choose to start in the city and you’ll discover the scenery becomes increasingly dramatic as the Rocky Mountaineer heads east. The Coastal Passage itinerary boards or disembarks at the ‘Emerald City’ of Seattle in the USA; a seaport where you can step on board a cruise ship to continue your adventure with a voyage to Alaska.
Either before or after your Rocky Mountaineer experience, a cruise from Vancouver or Seattle is an eye-opening way to discover western Canada, and further north Alaska, from the deck of a ship. Sail through the Inside Passage and along the British Columbia and Alaskan coastlines; watch as whales play in the water around your boat; see for yourself the native American totem poles in Ketchikan; and dock in Juneau, Alaska’s remote capital.
The experience on board the train enhances the spectacular views from the window, with two levels to choose from: SilverLeaf Service or GoldLeaf Service. The entry-level SilverLeaf Service has glass-domed coaches and meals served at your seat. For a superior view and added luxury the GoldLeaf Service carriages are spread over two levels, with comfortable seating and enhanced viewing upstairs and exclusive dining rooms downstairs.
Views seen on chosen routes include Mount Robson, Pyramid Falls, Seton Lake, Howe Sound, Castle Mountain and the awesome Sea-to-Sky Corridor. Keen-eyed passengers might be lucky enough to spot bear or elk from their window, and the train will slow alongside highlights on your itinerary to ensure you capture those most remarkable of scenes on camera. Inspiring excursions at the end of your journey can include close encounters with rescued wolfdogs or heli-flightseeing over the Spray Valley and Goat Range.
Rocky Mountaineer has several extended packages which allow guests to venture further into the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and National Parks of this glorious corner of Canada. The Icefields Parkway is a highlight, where you can take the Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier. Or those with a head for heights can ride the gondola to the top of Banff’s Sulphur Mountain in a record-breaking eight minutes. New for 2018 will be the Journey Through the Clouds Outdoor Adventures itinerary, which includes river rafting and lake canoeing experiences.
Speak to our Destination Experts about this amazing Canadian holiday experience.
This feature is one of the many inspiring travel articles in Other Shores; the ITC Travel Group magazine. Order your free copy today on our brochure request page.