Our In-Depth Guide To Rocky Mountaineer Train Journeys In Canada

Our In-Depth Guide To Rocky Mountaineer Train Journeys In Canada

Cruising the coastline of North America is an incredible experience, but combine it with a Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train journey, and it will become exceptional. The Rocky Mountaineer train takes you on a discovery of Canada’s spectacular landscape and remarkable wildlife.

Starting in Vancouver, you can add the Rocky Mountaineer train journey to an Alaskan cruise to make a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. Discover all you need to know about the Rocky Mountaineer experience in our in-depth guide below where we answer questions such as:

Where does the Rocky Mountaineer train go?

How long is the Rocky Mountaineer train trip?

What can you expect on the Rocky Mountaineer train?

Are meals included on Rocky Mountaineer? 

Discover the beauty of Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer trains

Canada is home to some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world, rich with wildlife and fascinating history. A Rocky Mountains train trip allows you to experience this beauty close-up, with a multi-day journey meandering around the iconic Canadian Rockies and American Southwest.

Sit back and take in extraordinary views of rugged mountains, waterfalls and lakes, all while travelling in style in luxury carriages of the Rocky Mountaineer trains.

In Canada, the Rocky Mountaineer train first set off in 1990. Since then, it has become one of the country’s most infamous tourist attractions, named among the World’s 20 Best Rail Experiences in 1991 and welcoming its one-millionth visitor in 2008. 

Where does the Rocky Mountaineer train go?

Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer train journeys today offer four distinct and equally stunning routes. 

The First Passage to the West

The most popular Rocky Mountaineer route is ‘The First Passage to the West’. This Rocky Mountains train journey travels from the vibrant, coastal city of Vancouver in the west via the picturesque town of Kamloops to Canada’s national park of Banff.

The Rocky Mountaineer train offers a unique insight into these regions as the only passenger rail service on this route. Your start point, the metropolitan city of Vancouver, is located on the west coast of British Columbia.

Known for its mild climate, picturesque scenery, and warm welcome, Vancouver is a popular place to visit. In fact, for many, it is so alluring that they choose to make it their home.

Leaving its snowy mountains, the Rocky Mountaineer brings you past the magnificent Fraser River and its ferocious white waters of Hell’s Gate, onto the contrastingly serene lakes of the Shuswap region and the imposing Castle Mountain before reaching the verdant parks and majestic mountainous scenery of Banff.  

If you have time, it’s worth spending a few extra days in Banff, exploring the national park, its natural thermal springs, underground caves, towering mountains, and, perhaps, encountering some of its wide variety of wildlife, including caribou, elk and sometimes even bears!

Journey Through the Clouds

Alternatively, you may opt for the ‘Journey Through the Clouds’. This Rocky Mountaineer route also begins in Vancouver and navigates via Kamloops but then concludes in Jasper National Park.

As part of a UNESCO World Heritage site and Canada’s largest national park, this vast and beautiful wilderness offers an abundance of nature, attracting visitors from around the world.

Rainforest to Gold Rush

The Rainforest to Gold Rush rail route also journeys from Vancouver to Jasper National Park. However, this experience takes in the fjords of Howe Sound, the ski resort of Whistler and the edge of the Cariboo region at Quesnel.  

Rockies to the Red Rocks

Rockies to the Red Rocks is the only Rocky Mountaineer route that doesn’t have a start/end point in Vancouver. Instead, this train journey begins in Moab. 

Travelling from Moab’s striking red sandstone landscape, you’ll venture into Colorado and stay in Glenwood Springs, where you can relax in its natural hot springs. The final part of the journey then takes you through majestic canyons before reaching the southwestern city of Denver.

Circle Journeys

If you’re finding it difficult to choose just one of these extraordinary routes, then the Circle Journeys are an excellent option. These packages combine two Rocky Mountaineer routes to create round trips that allow you to experience more of Canada’s splendour. 

Is there food on the Rocky Mountaineer?

When considering this epic Canadian rail trip, many people ask if there is food on the Rocky Mountaineer and whether drinks are included. And the simple answer is yes. 

On board the Rocky Mountaineer, it is not just about the awe-inspiring views; you can also enjoy exceptional service, with fine dining-style cuisine and drinks included. As well as multiple course meals and afternoon tea, you’ll have an excellent selection of drinks, including alcoholic and non-alcoholic options, all delivered via a first-class service.

The difference between the Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf Service

When travelling on the Canadian Rocky Mountaineer train, you’ll have two options for onboard service level: GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf.

Of course, travelling on a luxury train, you can expect an exceptional experience no matter which level you choose, with fantastic views, gourmet meals and attentive service. However, the GoldLeaf Service has a few extra special touches.

GoldLeaf has a separate dining room for you to have your meals instead of having them in your seat. You’ll also have access to a more extensive outdoor viewing platform on the lower level, full-dome overhead windows on the upper level and reclining seats. 

The Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf dress code is smart casual. While there’s no need for evening wear, you may wish to look smart as it is a luxury experience. However, comfort is also essential as you will be travelling for several hours at a time.

Which side is best to sit on the Rocky Mountaineer train?

There is no single answer to this question, as there are stunning views all around. As the train weaves its way through the landscape, you’ll get to see incredible sights no matter where you’re sitting. 

What months of the year does Rocky Mountaineer run? 

The Rocky Mountaineer train journeys operate between April and October when daylight hours are at their longest and the scenery looks its best. 

Spring is a lovely time to travel through Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer train. There are typically fewer crowds, and the wildlife is all waking up after a long winter. 

Summer offers longer days and warmer weather but can get busier. Meanwhile, in September and October, the landscape begins to change colour with beautiful red, yellow and orange hues across the forests.

How long is the Rocky Mountaineer train trip and does it make stops?

Taking various routes across Canada, the Rocky Mountaineer train journeys last two days or more. Unlike standard trains, the Rocky Mountaineer train does not make stops to admire the scenery.

However, it will slow down, and the onboard hosts will let you know about notable sights in plenty of time, so you can experience them fully as you travel. The Rocky Mountaineer train only travels in daylight, meaning you get to see everything on the route. Overnight, the train stops, and you’ll stay in hotel accommodation. 

Alaska and Rocky Mountaineer cruise deals

If you’d like to combine a trip on the Rocky Mountaineer and an Alaska cruise holiday, many leading cruise lines offer Alaska and Rocky Mountaineer cruise deals.

Popular cruise line Cunard is now offering passengers the opportunity to add on a Rocky Mountaineer train journey experience before or after some of their upcoming Alaska voyages, departing in the summer of 2023.

About The Author

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *