Travelling aboard the privately owned Rocky Mountaineer is an unforgettable experience, the trip of a lifetime for my wife and me. The train journey took place during daylight hours to ensure we enjoyed every minute of the breathtaking scenery, retracing train routes constructed over 100 years ago through the Canadian Rockies and Canada West. Ferocious rivers, majestic mountain ranges, glacier-fed lakes, all from the comfort of a roomy carriage (Red Leaf) or from the Observation Dome carriage (Gold Leaf – a proper dining car area is provided on the lower deck of the same car). Rocky Mountaineer standards are extremely high throughout.

Several 2-day journeys, or longer, are available to choose from. We travelled on the Kicking Horse (First Passage to the West) Route between Banff and Vancouver, although you can start the journey at Calgary. Rather than sleeping on the train overnight, all passengers spend the night at Kamloops. Other routes include the Yellow Head Route (Journey through the Clouds) starting at Jasper to Vancouver, or the newer Fraser Discovery Route (Rainforest to Gold Rush Route) – Jasper to Vancouver via Quesnel and Whistler which takes one day longer. I can give advice on all the best options from first-hand experience. If you only have a day, a return trip is available on the Vancouver – Whistler – Vancouver sector.

Red Leaf

This is a comfortable and relaxing option without over spending. Breakfast and lunch trays are served to you on the train on both days and your main luggage is out in the baggage car for the whole trip. Remember to take an overnight bag on board. Red Leaf provides a dedicated steward, with occasional commentary throughout the journey.

Gold Leaf

The most luxurious option, Gold Leaf clients have a separate dining area with superior meals and their own observation deck accommodation. Luggage can be delivered to your overnight hotel en route if required. A slightly superior hotel is normally used if possible.

Silver Leaf

Rocky Mountaineer is introducing a new SilverLeaf Class on selected services. This new grade is priced between the present RedLeaf and GoldLeaf grades travelling in a one level Dome Car.

New Lake Louise Stop and Trains out of Seattle in 2013

Rocky Mountaineer’s 2013 programme will include a new stop in Lake Louise which will mean a much shorter transfer for clients staying in that area. The company will also be offering a new service out of Seattle on selected dates to cater for the much increased cruise traffic which is now using the city as their home port – Goldleaf service only is being offered initially – ask for further details.

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Photo: Rocky Mountaineer at Exshaw, Bow River Valley (RM trains) 88

 

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