The scenery of the Canadian Rocky Mountains is spectacular with mountains, rivers, waterfalls, forests, glaciers, lakes as well as wildlife ranging from larger animals like bears and elk through to smaller ones such as squirrels and birds. A holiday in this beautiful area is definitely worth the trip but do you really want to be driving a car through the mountains and miss all of the spectacular views? Wouldn’t you rather sit back and relax and watch the beautiful scenery from the comfort of your seat on the Rocky Mountaineer train (surprisingly comfortable and with much more leg room than you would expect on a British train).
For a Gold Leaf customer on the train the experience is wonderful. The train hosts look after their clients very well and also provide entertainment giving lots of information about the area and telling stories (sometimes tall ones!) The carriages for Gold Leaf passengers consist of a lower level where the gourmet breakfast and lunch are cooked by the chef and served in the restaurant and an upper glass-domed level where the passengers are able to experience unparalleled panoramic views from their seats. Some of the train hosts attend to the passengers as waiters and waitresses in the restaurant level while others serve complimentary drinks – alcoholic or non-alcoholic on the upper level. The passengers remain within their carriage throughout the day but it is possible to go to the vestibule to enjoy some fresh air and take more photos. The train hosts give plenty of warning when a particular site is approaching and the train goes slowly so that it is possible for everybody to get their photographs. The food on the train is delicious. Breakfast includes fruit and pastries and then a choice e.g. variations on omelettes, French toast or eggs benedict. Lunch includes soup or salad, then a choice of meat, fish or vegetarian dishes followed by the chef’s dessert. There are a number of different routes through the Rockies with most providing two days on the train.
The night in between is spent at a hotel with all luggage transfers dealt with by the train company so that when you arrive at your hotel your luggage is already in the room and is taken for you direct to the train the next morning. After all the food and drink on the train it is good to get off and go for a walk before dinner (if you can manage it!) The routes go through/to places synonymous with the Rockies – Jasper, Banff, Lake Louise, Whistler.
After the two days on the train it is possible to continue your journey with the Rocky Mountaineer on luxury coaches visiting some of the main sites of the Rockies such as the Columbian Icefield and with very informative and attentive guides. As a Gold Leaf customer accommodation is in good hotels e.g. the Fairmont at Lake Louise and this adds to the wonderful experience.