Seven-time winner of ‘World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train’, Rocky Mountaineer is Canada’s most luxurious rail journey. And, with included gourmet dining and drinks, impeccable service and a choice of glass-domed carriages, there’s surely no better way to experience the majesty of the Rockies. You’ll also enjoy a range of included off-train excursions, from guided tours of Banff and Yoho national parks to a gondola ride and scenic helicopter flight. In between, you’ll take in Vancouver’s waterfront charm, stay on Lake Louise and end with Calgary’s Wild-West brashness.
Day 1: Vancouver
Begin your trip in style with complimentary airport lounge access before your day flight out to Vancouver. You’ll be equally looked after on arrival, with a private driver bringing you to your central accommodation. Both the Superior and Deluxe options enjoy citywide views from the likes of hot tubs and glamorous lounges respectively. As such, you’ll be perfectly poised to explore. There are pretty waterfront walks, historic cobbled-street districts and even the small matter of the third largest Chinese garden outside of China. Put together and it’s no surprise that Vancouver often tops lists of the world’s most liveable cities.
Stay: Pinnacle Hotel Vancouver Harbourfront (Superior) or Fairmont Hotel Vancouver (Deluxe)
Day 2: Kamloops
Today, following a station transfer, you’ll board the Rocky Mountaineer. Whether you choose the glass-domed carriages and gourmet, in-seat meals of the SilverLeaf service (Superior) or the dining-car indulgences of the split-level GoldLeaf alternative (Deluxe), today’s route is one of the most impressive. With the Coast and Cascade mountains as your backdrop, you’ll wind along river canyons, carve through dense forests and sweep over the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley before striking into the desert-like BC Interior. It’s all taken in with complimentary snacks and drinks – both alcoholic and non-alcoholic – available throughout the journey. You’ll then end by skirting Kamloops Lake to arrive into its eponymous town.
Stay: Kamloops accommodation (Superior/Deluxe)
Day 3: Kamloops to Lake Louise
You’ll continue east today, travelling across wild ranchlands, alongside cragged lakeshores and up over high mountain passes. Be sure to head to the outdoor vestibules for the best photos. And, as you go, you’ll chart the region’s rich locomotive history with the tunnels first built by the original rail pioneers. It’s all brought to life by stories from your onboard hosts, your driver slowing down to take in such highlights as the Kicking Horse Canyon and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Rockies. You’ll end today with a stay right on Lake Louise’s post-card-perfect shimmer.
Stay: Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Fairmont Room) (Superior) or Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (Fairmont Lakeview Room) (Deluxe)
Day 4: Lake Louise to Banff
Given your privileged position, you’ll have all of Lake Louise’s delights on your doorstep. Enjoy pine-fringed walks on its shore, take a kayak out onto the waters or explore the backcountry on everything from mountain bike trips to horseback rides. Then, after lunch, you’ll be treated to a tour of Yoho National Park’s natural treasures. There’s the otherworldly glow of its famed Emerald Lake, the natural rock bridge that shoots over Kicking Horse River and the Spiral Tunnels – a criss-crossing network of road and rail that sweeps through an old-growth forest. You’ll end the day in Banff, settling into the saunas and spa of your lodge-style accommodation.
Stay: Elk + Avenue Hotel (Superior) or Rimrock Resort Hotel (Deluxe)
Day 5: Banff to Calgary
Today, your included touring will showcase the myriad delights of Banff. Often heralded as Canada’s greatest national park, your expert guide will bring you between spindling hoodoo rock formations, the ranging cascades of Bow Falls and Lake Minnewanka’s snow-capped frame. You’ll also take the Banff Gondola up for truly spectacular valley views. However, it’s your included helicopter ride over the Rockies that will really get the heart racing, soaring 2,300 metres above sea level and over glaciers, waterfalls and mountain vistas. You’ll end the day in Calgary, choosing between the designer-chic of the Superior option or the historic grandeur of the landmark Deluxe offering.
Stay: Hotel Arts (Superior) or Fairmont Palliser (Deluxe)
Days 6-7: Depart for UKAfter some time to explore the Wild-West brashness of Calgary, a private transfer will see you to your overnight flight home.
Valid for travel: on selected dates from April to October
This trip has no fixed departures but restrictions may apply - check operator website
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