Western Canada is known for its dramatic, big country scenery – the majestic peaks of Rocky Mountains, mirror-still lakes, deep-blue glaciers and black bears that still roam the wilds. And what better way to soak up the overwhelming beauty of the region than by train?
This was a vision first spotted by Sir William Cornelius Van Horne, the general manager of Canadian Pacific Railway, who spearheaded construction of a transcontinental route through the Rockies.
Despite huge financial setbacks and the formidable obstacles of nature, Van Horne oversaw the completion of a rail route from coast to coast through British Columbia in 1885. And it rapidly proved a tourist winner, bringing people to the likes of the historic Banff Springs Hotel.
Visitors today can share his vision by taking a breathtaking rail adventure on Rocky Mountaineer through the heart of Western Canada.
This world-renowned company offers four different routes through British Columbia and Alberta, allowing travellers a first-hand view of the brilliant landscapes, while offering all the comforts of five-star hospitality.
From craggy mountain cliffs and snow-capped peaks to dry desert-like plains and crystal glacial-fed lakes, the backdrop for this train trip is constantly changing and incredibly breathtaking, no matter which route you travel on.
Each route is exceptional with its own charm and highlights, but they all offer the vast natural beauty of Canada’s western provinces. And because you travel by day with an overnight hotel stop-over, none of the stunning sights are missed.
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010, Rocky Mountaineer passes through the pristine and rarely seen wilderness of areas such as the Cariboo Gold Rush or the Continental Divide toward Mount Robson, the most prominent mountain in the Canadian Rockies.
For the entire two-day journey, you are surrounded as far as you can see by towering mountains, abundant wildlife, rich forests and shimmering rivers.
Simply sit back and relax while you enjoy exceptional service and panoramic views from the glass domes of the famed two-story GoldLeaf coaches.
Onboard attendants tend to your every need making this seamless travel experience most enjoyable. In the private dining room, guests enjoy outstanding three-course, à la carte meals, made with the finest and freshest ingredients indigenous to the regions passing by your window.
Delicious selections of Wild BC salmon, Triple ‘A’ Alberta beef and locally sourced vegetables are created by talented, world-renowned onboard chefs.
Award-winning wines from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley complement the gourmet Western Canadian culinary experience.
Rocky Mountaineer’s GoldLeaf Service
Rocky Mountaineer also takes pride in its GoldLeaf service, offering passengers an unforgettable opportunity to descend a spiral staircase to a luxurious private dining room, complete with white linen tablecloths, gleaming silverware and fresh flowers.
The service is the epitome of style, with reserved seating in the upper-level of a glass-domed coach, which allows for perfect photo opportunities to catch a moose, black bear or any number of wildlife you may encounter.
The unrivalled quality of the GoldLeaf service has been attracting plaudits from both the travel industry and the travel consumer alike.
Last year, Rocky Mountaineer’s efforts were rewarded when it was voted “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” at the prestigious World Travel Awards, known to many as Oscars of the travel industry.
It is hoping to follow up last year’s victory by being nominated for “World’s Leading Luxury Travel Product of the Year” in the 2010 World Travel Awards, led by its superlative GoldLeaf service, which gives guests an opportunity to see stunning mountain scenery while indulging their senses with culinary delights and sumptuous surroundings.
Holiday ideas in Canada
New this year, Rocky Mountaineer is offering a Western Explorer Rail & Cruise vacation experience. A 16 night/17 day vacation that combines Rocky Mountaineer’s most popular rail journey by daylight between Vancouver, BC and Jasper, Alberta with an Alaskan cruise on Holland America’s ms Oosterdam is the most memorable way to capture the sights and attractions of the Canadian Rockies and Alaska from both land and sea.
Rocky Mountaineer also offers more than 45 vacation packages highlighting the best of Western Canada and the Canadian Rockies.
Many of the packages include stays at the iconic Fairmont Properties in BC and Alberta such as The Fairmont Chateau Whistler, The Fairmont Banff Springs and The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, just to name a few.
There is no limit to the amazing scenery and wildlife you will encounter along Rocky Mountaineer’s rail journeys and vacation packages.
The memories you create while in Western Canada will last a lifetime and the photos you take will capture this amazing experience to share with all.
Rocky Mountaineer is truly the best way to see British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies.