Journey Through the Clouds: My Inaugural IRT Journey Aboard Rocky Mountaineer
If you’d told me last February that by October I’d be riding the Rocky Mountaineer, I would have laughed out loud.
After all, the Rocky Mountaineer has been one of the Society of International Railway Travelers’ longest-running ‘World’s Top 25 Trains®” since the company began almost 35 years ago.
But guess what? I just got back from Canada—on an inspection trip on the Rocky Mountaineer!
And here’s my takeaway: SilverLeaf service is fine if you have to pinch pennies. But hey—you’ve come all this way. Do what our clients do: Go for the Gold(Leaf)!
Let’s start with GoldLeaf’s heated LazyBoy-style seats. I felt like a little kid with all the buttons to play with; the seats have a built-in leg rest and are able to recline and add extra support for your back.
And there’s nothing like breakfast in the diner. As I chatted with my seatmates in the car’s downstairs dining area, we looked for bears, praised the scenery, and enjoyed delicious blueberry pancakes with fresh Canadian maple syrup, among several menu choices.
My fellow diners also worked in the travel industry. None of us had ridden this luxury train. No wonder we were giddy with excitement!
Best of all, I adored the large, open-air observation deck. I loved everything about it: the fresh air, meeting folks, snapping photos. That alone is worth the extra cost.
Compared to Gold, SilverLeaf felt like a bus with a little more leg room. I had fewer menu options and no classy dining car —meals are served at your seat, airline-style.
As for wind-in-the-face viewing, SilverLeaf’s two outdoor platforms run a distant second. There’s barely enough room for two people to look out the tiny window and take pictures.
In short, GoldLeaf is great. And now’s a great time to sign up.
Book a 2018 journey of 8 days or more by Oct. 27, and get up to $600 in added value per couple. Use it for things like extra hotel nights, meals, city sightseeing excursions or outdoor activities. (Restrictions apply.)
For more information, call (800) 478-4881 for US and Canada. For the rest of the world, call (502) 897-1725. Ask for me, Natalie Schuetz, and I’ll be happy to give you the latest details. Click here to send me an email.
Or click here to see the Rocky Mountaineer section of our website.
Next week: Vancouver to Calgary: My Off-Train Adventures
We welcome Natalie Schuetz to Track 25. Ms. Schuetz, IRT’s newest employee, is a graduate of the University of Louisville in Spanish, Communication, and Humanities, and has traveled thousands of miles to Spain, Italy and Central America. This is her second time to Canada — but the first time to the Rockies and the first time to participate in a study tour on a luxury train.