Arguably the most iconic experience in North America; The Rocky Mountaineer has been introducing its passengers to the Canadian wilderness for 25 years. Just as the development of the railways united the Canadian provinces over a century ago, these railroads now unite their passengers with the raw beauty of such a vast and enchanting destination.
It’s a bucket-list worthy trip that enables people to travel long distances without having to miss the natural wonders that lie in-between. By all but eliminating the need for internal air travel, The Rocky Mountaineer opens up parts of the country that would otherwise go unseen. And nothing in Canada should go unseen.
So, what’ll it be? 30,000 feet above the clouds or a seat on a luxury train with panoramic views out to mountains, wildlife and rivers? We know which we’d go for…
From one day trips to Whistler to week long adventures into the wilds of Alberta; here’s just a few of our favourite Mountaineer routes…
First Passage to the West
This is probably the Rocky Mountaineer’s most famous route. A trip that will take you from Vancouver to Kamloops to Lake Louise to Banff to Calgary; First Passage to the West is yet another ideal introduction to Canada and a great choice if you’ve got a little less time to see the sights. Depending on which package you choose, you could even enjoy a helicopter tour over the Canadian Rockies (word of advice: choose the helicopter package). With all of the famous stop offs covered, you’ll be able to uncover the mystery of Canada’s only semi-arid desert, witness the cerulean beauty of Alberta’s alpine lakes, ride Banff’s famous gondola and absorb the cosmopolitan vibes of two major cities.
The Rocky Mountaineer’s Coastal Passage is similar to their First Passage to the West route, but with an added bonus – Seattle. That’s right; you’ll be crossing borders with this one. Starting in Seattle, explore this famed Emerald City – it’s nightlife, it’s coffee shops, it’s epic scenery – before boarding the train that will transport you past views of the Cascade Mountains and the San Juan islands. Moving steadily up into Canada, the train will stick to the Pacific coastline as it comes into Vancouver to begin the next and most classic leg of your journey into the Rockies and beyond. It’s a unique addition will make your Rocky Mountaineer experience that much more exciting – something we were convinced wasn’t possible.
Whistler Sea to Sky Climb
Perhaps you’re about to fly home and want to go out with a bang or maybe you’ve just landed in Vancouver and only have enough time for a taster of the Rocky Mountaineer experience; either way, the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb is the perfect choice for the curious but time poor traveller. It’s only a day long trip, so no matter what your itinerary looks like, we’re pretty sure you’ll be able to squeeze this one in. And oh won’t you be thankful that you did. The trip from Vancouver is astoundingly scenic and you’ll follow a railroad that passes through some of the most picturesque landscapes in BC. From your carriage you’ll see mountains, forests and ocean sparkling before you. Leave the hire car at the airport and embark on an idyllic adventure.