Five reasons why you must experience a Rocky Mountaineer rail journey
Self-drives, escorted tours…these are great ways to explore the vast landscapes of Western Canada. But how about something truly one-of-a-kind and unbelievably luxurious? Enter Rocky Mountaineer.
With magnificent carriages, first-class, personable service, spectacular views and gourmet cuisine, the Rocky Mountaineer is perfect for those looking to explore Canada’s natural beauty and relax all at the same time. Here are five reasons why you need to experience a Rocky Mountaineer rail journey for the trip of a lifetime.
1. It’s a relaxing way to explore Canada
Sinking back into your deliciously comfortable seat whilst bright green forest, soaring mountains and glistening lakes whizz past your window... It’s so easy to feel incredibly relaxed on board the Rocky Mountaineer.
Once you’ve melted in your seat, your job is done – the next few hours are free for you to sit back, relax, and just enjoy the views and the gourmet cuisine. No driving, no maps, and no struggles with directions – this is perhaps the most laid-back way to explore Canada. Your train hosts will endeavour to meet your every need, and the glass dome ceilings make for amazing backdrops on every part of your trip.
Rocky Mountaineer offers a choice between GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf Service. The SilverLeaf Service is very opulent indeed, offering spacious one-level carriages where regionally inspired cuisine is bought to your seat. However, for the ultimate indulgence we would recommend the GoldLeaf Service. The bi-level carriages are phenomenal, consisting of a glass domed upper level where you can sit in your large, cosy chair, a lower level set out for dining on delicious gourmet dishes, and an open-air vestibule for panoramic views of the wonderful Canadian landscapes.
Check-in is much easier than in a busy airport, and you don’t even have to worry about luggage – your suitcase will be in your hotel room before you! All that’s left is for you to sip Okanagan Wine, meet new friends, and enjoy the ride.
2. You get to share the experience with other like-minded travellers
Imagine venturing along to the open-air vestibule on your GoldLeaf train, camera in hand as you bask in the cool air and watch the world go by. Suddenly, you see a black bear grazing by the forest’s edge, and you giddily grab the stranger next to you gasping “Look, look!”. With moments like these, it’s easy to spark conversations with other travellers and create new friendships.
The carriages lend themselves to making new friends, too. They might be big and spacious, but you’re still in the same place for a good few hours, so it won’t be long before you start nattering to the couple on the opposite side of the aisle, or excitedly cheering with everyone on board when you see your first moose. The Goldleaf’s lower dining deck is sociable too, the four seater tables lending themselves to easy conversation whilst tucking into delicious food.
With travellers from all over the world coming together to enjoy a long, scenic train ride, one of the best parts of a Rocky Mountaineer trip is meeting people you might not necessarily meet on a self-drive.
3. Tuck in to gourmet cuisine created by award winning chefs
Rocky Mountaineer’s 5* service certainly transfers into its cuisine. Featuring a sophisticated and diverse menu created by award-winning chefs, you’ll be dining like royalty on board this luxury train. No more cold or stodgy food, instead you’ll be enjoying fine-dining breakfast and lunch experiences in the comfort of your own seat on the SilverLeaf Service, or sitting at a comfy dining table on the GoldLeaf Service.
The SilverLeaf cuisine is inspired by Western Canada’s varied culinary scene, and the munificent regions you’ll be passing through. Starting with a cinnamon scone, fresh fruit salad and three cheese omelette for breakfast, you’ll then be able to enjoy drinks throughout the whole morning before tucking into a choice of three delicious lunches, including tender braised short ribs and grilled salmon.
The GoldLeaf Service has more choice, all of which are incredibly decadent and sumptuous. Dine on cranberry apple French toast or egg and cheese soufflé for breakfast, before making the difficult choice between seared albacore tuna and slow roasted pork lion for lunch, to name a few. And, of course, these flavoursome gourmet dishes are enjoyed with spectacular views, which will certainly make everything taste even sweeter.
4. Meet the warm and welcoming train hosts
You’ll feel the warm welcome of the train hosts before you’ve even walked through the station door, being wonderfully greeted by a sea of smiling faces and helpful hands. It’s quite obvious from the get-go that Rocky Mountaineer only hire the friendliest of people, greeting you like an old friend and welcoming you into their happy club with open arms.
The train hosts are usually hilarious too, offering funny anecdotes and stories that will cause belly-aching laughter, as well as enthralling stories and historical titbits that showcase their dynamic knowledge and passion for the train route. With three or four hosts and a whole culinary team on each carriage, you’ll be quick to make fierce friends with your personal team, who will endeavour to make sure your glass is never half empty - in both senses of the phrase. You’ll find that every host on board will go the extra mile for you, and their exceedingly lovely personalities will surely rub off on everyone on board.
5. Breath-taking scenery around every corner
On board the Rocky Mountaineer, Canada’s natural beauty is the main focal point. With glass domed ceilings you’ll have unforgettable views everywhere you turn, watching as the diverse landscapes change from towering snow-cap mountains and luscious forest, to glistening lakes and the sweeping Pacific Ocean coastline.
The Rocky Mountaineer has three main routes, all offering a unique insight into Western Canada’s splendour. For something completely one-of-a-kind, the ‘Rainforest to Gold Rush’ route ventures through the luxuriant coastal rainforest, passing by the impressive Fraser Canyon and Cariboo gold rush region, whilst the ‘Journey through the Clouds’ takes you up high in the sky, with unbeatable views of the Canadian Rockies’ highest peaks, including the remarkable Mount Robson. Finally is the ‘First Passage to the West’, journeying across the awe-inspiring Continental Divide and through the Spiral Tunnels.
No matter which route you choose, there’s no doubt these will be some of the most incredible views you’ll ever see.
Rocky Mountaineer Travel Guides
- Experience a trip on board the Rocky Mountaineer
- Five reasons why you must experience a Rocky Mountaineer rail journey
- Discover Rocky Mountaineer’s scenic routes
- A day in the life of a Kamloops Assistant Station Manager
- Captivating Western Canada: My bucket list holiday of a lifetime, by Donna Owen
- Road tripping Canada’s Rocky Mountains – Self-drive Calgary to Vancouver