We will be open at 10:00 am. Call 020 7590 0610
Castle Mountain views from Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer - North America's Greatest Rail Journey

Article content

5 February 2018 by Alison Nicolle

An insider's guide to Rocky Mountaineer's Canadian Rockies Highlights

Seven-time winner of the ‘World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train’, Rocky Mountaineer offers Canada’s most luxurious rail journeys. Here, Wexas specialist Alison Nicolle reports back from the Rocky Mountaineer's signature journey - a weeklong itinerary that winds up through the Rockies from Vancouver to Calgary.

We seem to be enjoying something of a second golden age of rail travel. Indeed, it’s impossible to match the heritage of the Orient Express, the Trans-Siberian’s epic journey or the unique exoticism of India’s luxury trains. And, Rocky Mountaineer doesn’t even try. Instead, it offers some of the world’s most dramatic mountain scenery, much of which – from hidden waterfalls to snow-capped peaks – simply isn’t otherwise accessible. It’s a vital differentiation. After all, it’s not competing against North America’s rail journeys, but those around the globe. 

Winding through the Rockies

My trip began in the crisp autumn sunshine of Vancouver. I’ve been before but there’s something intangibly attractive about this most of Canadian cities. Perhaps it’s something in the craft beer, but there’s a reason it’s often found topping lists of the world’s most liveable places. 

But, I was here for the train journey. After a night in a hotel catching up on sleep, we were brought to Rocky Mountaineer’s exclusive station, its private lounge buzzing with anticipation. Then, boarding to a bagpipe fanfare, I was quickly settled in with a glass of fizz as the train pulled off. The city limits faded quickly and we were soon among the Canadian wilds, with dense forests and river canyons providing the backdrop. Although it’s a long day on the train, between the delectable meals and, yes, free-pour drinks, it truly sped by and soon we were rolling into Kamloops. I even managed to spot a pair of mountain goats as we skirted its lake.

Discover our Rocky Mountaineer holidays

View from GoldLeaf

Rejoining the train the next day, I got a taste of the SilverLeaf Service. To be candid, if I hadn’t experienced GoldLeaf Service the day before, I’d have been sure that these were the premium carriages. The service and standard of dining were just as good, but I did miss the open-air observation car and split-level restaurant carriage, which added to the occasion. However, if anything, the scenery was even more impressive today, as we climbed higher into the Rockies.

Disembarking for a night on Lake Louise, we were then treated to two days of off-train touring. Highlights included a spectacular cable-car ride over Banff National Park, an off-road expedition onto the mighty Athabasca Glacier and stays in timber-lodge hotels, complete with rooftop Jacuzzis and hot-tub views of roaming elk. However, it was a stop at Peyto Lake that really took my breath away, its waters turned an impossible shade of blue by the glacial melt.   

Discover our Rocky Mountaineer holidays

Ice Explorer - Athabasca Glacier

Finally, ending in Calgary, I had some time to reflect on the journey behind me. I could only conclude that Rocky Mountaineer really does deserve its place in the canon of the world’s greatest rail journeys.

For a full, day-by-day itinerary, visit our Canadian Rockies Highlights itinerary or, to book Alison's journey, call our specialists today. 

Discover our Rocky Mountaineer holidays

Related offers

Rocky Mountaineer travelling along the water on Journey through the Clouds

Rocky Mountaineer & Alaska on Seven Seas Explorer 2025

15-day luxury rail & cruise holiday from £8,345 pp incl. flights

Pair a luxury journey on board Canada's famous Rocky Mountaineer with an all-inclusive Alaska cruise with Regent Seven Seas, enjoying all-inclusive, gourmet dining and a programme of immersive excursions.

New York State

Montréal to New York with Oceania

15-day luxury cruise holiday

Please enquire for the latest prices

This in-depth appreciation of North America's eastern seaboard will see you explore everything from the hidden gems of Atlantic Canada to the icons of Boston and New York, in style, with Oceania cruises.

VIA Rail Saskatchewan Prairies

The Canadian: Prairies & Rockies by rail

16-day tailor-made rail journey from £0 pp incl. flights

This spectacular journey brings you from Winnipeg, Manitoba, through the prairies of Saskatchewan to Edmonton, Jasper and the mighty peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Along the way, enjoy the renowned hospitality and superb amenities of The Canadian, VIA Rail's flagship service.


Best of British Columbia

15-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,670 pp incl. flights

Explore the mountains in depth, drive into the British Columbia Kootenay Rockies. Cross mountain passes, explore lesser-visited national parks and relax in hot spring towns.

Road to Banff, Canada

Alberta’s Rockies, Lakes & National Parks

11-day tailor-made self-drive from £2,385 pp incl. flights

Explore everything from Calgary's wild west to the spectacular scenery of the Rocky Mountains on this scenic self-drive journey. Visit Lake Louise, Banff, glaciers and Jasper, all at your own pace.

Sonora Resort

Rocky Mountaineer & Sonora Resort

11-day tailor-made rail journey from £5,130 pp incl. flights

Starting with a stay on the wildlife-rich coast of Vancouver Island, this epic journey brings you from the west coast of Canada through some of the world’s most exciting terrain. Enjoy national park tours and glacier expeditions along the way.

Why book with Wexas Travel?

At Wexas, we specialise in bespoke travel experiences. Our itineraries are just samples of what we can arrange, and can be changed depending on your precise needs, finances and ideas by our experienced destination specialists.

Contact one of our consultants on 020 7590 0610 to discuss how we can tailor your holiday.

Learn why Wexas is the leader in creating luxury holidays. What is tailor-made travel?

Expert advice & support

Visit us in our London office

Let our travel specialists curate the perfect holiday:

  • Inspirational ideas based on experience
  • Established for over 50 years
  • Tailor a holiday to your precise requirements
  • Personalised quotes and documentation

Every step of the way

Every step of the way

Our services are with you from start to finish:

  • Dedicated personal consultants
  • Free airport lounges on qualifying bookings
  • Care and guidance pre, post and during holiday
  • Full financial security: ABTA & ATOL protected