All Aboard The Rocky Mountaineer49.2827° N, 123.1207° W
"A trip on the Rocky Mountaineer is a must on anyone’s bucket list and we are glad that we were able to experience it"
Canada is a vast and beautiful country that is home to many amazing cities and breathtaking landscapes. Whenever we have visited others parts of Canada from our hometown of Montreal, it has always been by air. As a frequent flyer, you get used to the long waits through security lines, delayed flights and missed connections.
It’s just part of the game but when the invitation came in, we were thrilled at the opportunity to spend a few days aboard the Rocky Mountaineer train to experience Western Canada and its jaw-dropping beauty. The journey went from the province of British Colombia to Alberta. The route we took was aptly named “THE FIRST PASSAGE TO THE WEST” and it took us from Vancouver to Kamloops to Banff. We began our journey in the beautiful city of Vancouver. Our first day before our grand departure the following morning was hosted at The Fairmont hotel Vancouver. This early stay afforded us the opportunity to visit some of Vancouver’s main attractions. Such as the Capilano suspension bridge, which is 15 minute bus ride from downtown, Grouse Mountain, and of course the Vancouver lookout. The view from the lookout is mesmerizing at night, The beauty of Vancouver was setting the stage for all we were about to experience aboard the Rocky Mountaineer
At 6:00 am, we arrived at the Rocky Mountaineer train terminal where we were graciously greeted by the railway employees who offered us morning refreshments with a smile. At this early hour, the place was alive and vibrant, filled with all passengers who were all awaiting the ceremonial blowing of the train whistle to signal all aboard. The sound of bag pipes would be our soundtrack as we are ushered off to our respective coaches. We were giddy with anticipation and could not wait to get onboard. From the looks of things, we were in for a treat.
ALL ABOARD! We boarded our double-decker “GOLD LEAF SERVICE” coach and we were surprised at the ample space and beautiful glass dome that would enable us to experience the anticipated views. Our only worry at this moment was that we packed enough memory cards to be able to record every moment.
The stretch from Vancouver to Kamloops was simply breathtaking, especially if you are into desert like landscapes and rugged terrain. We were excited to see more of what this ride had to offer.
The only thing that we anticipated as much as the views and what lies behind the next bend was the meals that were carefully prepared for us in the dining deck below. The meals on the trip were meticulously created by Michelin Star Chefs. They were made with ingredients that were native to the area and served to us well-plated. This is not something you often expect from train service, which was a delightful experience. The hosts on our coach were extremely hospitable and very informative on any and all questions we had about the views, area, and history.
The train ride to our final destination in Banff lasted two days but felt much longer due to all what we experienced and saw. The train would stop at various partner hotels for the night before we all get back on board the following morning. The hotel in Banff called, The Buffalo Mountain Lodge, was a great stay and surprise. It was more of a log cabin than a hotel with a really cozy feel – we wish we could have stayed there a little while longer.
A trip on the Rocky Mountaineer is a must on anyone’s bucket list and we are glad that we were able to experience it. We would strongly recommend the Gold leaf service to ensure you get the full experience as we had! The food was tasty, the accommodations were comfortable, and the staff gave A1 customer service. We give them a 5 star rating!
Words & Photography: Naskademini