There are few railway journeys that can boast the scenic views that the Rocky Mountaineer can. Traversing through the dramatic and iconic Rocky Mountains, this is one of the most relaxing ways to get close to one of Mother Nature’s finest creations. This award-winning rail journey offers four itineraries, each contributing a unique perspective to this natural wonder.
All itineraries include an overnight stay in a hotel so passengers are only travelling while the sunlight allows for clear view of the beautiful Canadian landscape. Passengers can also choose to travel in the opposite direction where they’ll disembark in Vancouver. The only decision to be made is which one is the journey of your dreams.
1. First Passage to the West
If you’re a history buff or a rail-enthusiast, take the time to travel along the First Passage to the West, this historic route that connected British Columbia to the rest of Canada over 125 years ago. This is the only passenger rail service to travel along this historic course, and the views from the train are spectacular. Running along the powerful Kicking Horse River, you traverse through the legendary Spiral Tunnels and pass several significant landmarks from the early days of the National Railway.
Package add-ons: A few variations of this itinerary exist, depending on what the passenger is after. The tour can be extended by motorcoach or rental car into Calgary (via the Columbia Icefield). Or an Alaskan cruise onboard the ms Nieuw Amsterdam or ms Voledam can be an additional extra before you embark on your Rocky Mountaineer journey.
Length: This itinerary is a two day journey. However, adding on a cruise or rental car can extend your Canadian dream holiday to 15 nights.
2. Coastal Passage Route
The Coastal Passage Route is the longest of all the itineraries – including a stop off in the USA. Board the Rocky Mountaineer in Seattle before crossing the border along the Pacific coast into Vancouver. You’ll then enjoy an overnight stay in Vancouver, where the next morning you will choose one of three onward routes. Whether it’s Quesnal in northern British Columbia, the natural wonders of Banff and Lake Louise, or the alpine town of Jasper.
Package add-ons: Another option however is to include a relaxing Alaskan cruise. Rocky Mountaineer and Holland America offer a joint package where holiday-makers can sail on the ms Amsterdam or the ms Eurodan from Seattle along the Inside Passage.
Length: Two days if just travelling by train. However some of the packages can take passengers on a 19 day tour of Canada.
3. Journey Through the Clouds
If your Canadian Rockies journey wouldn’t be complete without aweing at the highest peak, then the Journey Through The Clouds itinerary is the perfect choice. Running along the banks of the Fraser River, passengers will be amazed by the selection of wildlife visible from the train’s domed glass roof. Not only that, but the train passes by the Albreda Glacier and magnificent Pyramid Falls.
Package add-ons: This itinerary can also be extended to Lake Louise, Banff and Calgary by motorcoach. If you’re extending your trip to Calgary you can also bolt on a 12-minute Summit Helicopter Tour of Kananaskis. Or if you would prefer to drive, a rental car can be included along with hotel accommodation.
Length: The basic journey is a two-day experience. But with extras it can be extended to 7 or 18 nights.
4. Rainforest to Gold Rush
Explore the northern areas of British Columbia on the Rainforest to Gold Rush itinerary, where you’ll journey through the largest Canadian Rockies national park and spot the famous Mount Robson appearing over the horizon. On this trip you’ll see two sides of Canada: the tranquil Pacific rainforest dotted with serene lakes, plus the desert-like conditions of the Fraser Canyon.
Package add-ons: Similarly to the other itineraries you can also travel to Calgary via motorcoach or rental car. A pre-journey Alaskan cruise from Vancouver can also be incorporated.
Length: The basic train journey takes three days (including overnight stops). With the additional extras, it can last between 8 to 19 nights.