Rocky Mountaineer: First Passage to the West Culinary Exploration

10-day Independent Tour


The Tour

Our Gift to You:  Book with IRT and enjoy a free, one-way private limo airport transfer (U.S. dollar value +$140)  when you book any Rocky Mountaineer trip on our website. Get free limo transfers both ways when you book the Grand Rail Circle tour.)

Latest News: Book a 2018 Rocky Mountaineer journey of 5 days or more and you’ll receive a complimentary hotel night in Vancouver, Seattle, or Calgary. Offer ends June 29, 2018. Blackout dates apply.

New for 2017: Sonora Resort, Canada’s premiere wilderness resort, is the perfect complement to your train journey. Add two (or more) pre- or post-nights at this all-inclusive lodge, accessible only by float plane or boat from Vancouver. Enjoy hiking and biking trails, experience a guided salmon-fishing outing, or go on a grizzly bear viewing tour. Call / e-mail us for details.

Take your taste buds on a culinary adventure with Rocky Mountaineer — on and off the train! This tour — new for 2018 — encompasses casual fare, farm-to-table experiences, and internationally-renowned restaurants. Fine dining enthusiasts will love the chef’s tasting menus with wine pairings in Banff and Lake Louise. And in Vancouver and Calgary, guests will enjoy culinary walking tours that combine each city’s unique culture with delicious food.

And of course, guests will also get to experience the beautiful Rocky Mountaineer itself: the sharp climb over Roger’s Pass, the engineering feat of the Spiral Tunnels, and more. Visit the stunning glacial-fed aquamarine lakes of Lake Louise and the majesty of the natural bridge over Kicking Horse River.

Other highlights include the Banff Gondola and a Panoramic Helicopter Tour over the Rockies.

Overnight in fabulous hotels like the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the Fairmont Palliser in Calgary, and the Fairmont Vancouver. Add an additional night in either Calgary or Vancouver to extend your vacation.

Latest News: Click here for Track 25, our blog, for IRT’s latest reviews and journeys.

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“Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer lavished me with cozy nights at historic four-star hotels, gourmet meals and, most important, two days’ worth of panoramic views of the Canadian Rockies from the comfort of my double-decked Gold Leaf dome car.”

— Rachel M. Hardy, October, 2015

The Itinerary

Note: itinerary also offered Eastbound Vancouver-Calgary

Day 1: Calgary Arrival
Arrive in Calgary and spend the rest of the day sightseeing in “The Heart of the New West” independently. Overnight in Calgary.

Day 2: Calgary Culinary Neighborhood Tour
Today, enjoy a culinary tour of one of Calgary’s neighborhoods. Professional guides lead three hour small group walking/tasting tours, where you’ll meet local chefs, restaurant owners, and food artisans while enjoying a delicious progressive meal filled with Alberta’s best food, drink, fun and adventure. Along the way, the tour leader shares entertaining stories of the area’s history, art and culture. Lunch is definitely included! The rest of the day is yours at leisure. Overnight in Calgary. (L)

Day 3: Calgary to Banff with Panoramic Helicopter Tour
Depart Calgary this morning for a full-day tour concluding in Banff. Journey to Kananaskis where you will enjoy the highlight of today, a 12-minute Panoramic Helicopter Tour over the remarkable landscape of the Rockies. Continue on to Banff for a sightseeing tour including Bow Falls, Lake Minnewanka, Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos. Banff Gondola included. Your tour ends on arrival in Banff late this afternoon. Overnight in Banff.

Day 4: Free Day in Banff; Chef’s Tasting Menu at Eden
Today you will have an entire day to spend exploring Banff National Park on your own. Optional activities include soaking in the mineral pools at Upper Hot Springs, enjoying a nature walk on nearby mountain trails, visiting Banff’s historic museums, cruising on Lake Minnewanka or playing a round of golf at The Fairmont Banff Springs.

Tonight, you will relax in the luxurious atmosphere and take in incredible mountain views while enjoying Banff’s finest dining experience at Eden, renowned for its delicately crafted French cuisine, influenced by fresh local ingredients. Located in The Rimrock Resort Hotel, Eden has been honored since 2003 with AAA/CAA 5-Diamond and “Best of Award of Excellence” Wine Spectator awards. You will enjoy the diverse and imaginative flavours of a six-course chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings for each item that compliments and enhances each course. Overnight in Banff. (D)

Day 5: Banff to Lake Louise
A half-day tour takes you into Yoho National Park to view some of its natural wonders. Among the attractions are the Spiral Tunnels, Emerald Lake and a natural rock bridge spanning the Kicking Horse River. The tour ends in Lake Louise where the remainder of the afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy this magnificent location. Overnight in Lake Louise.

Please note: While arrival at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise will be approximately 1:00 p.m., scheduled check-in time is not until 4:00 p.m. In the event that your room is not ready, your luggage will be stored and you are free to enjoy the amenities of the hotel.

Day 6: Icefields and Glaciers Experience; Gourmet Dinner at The Post
Today, enjoy a full day tour along one of the most scenic highways in the world as you travel to Jasper National Park on the Icefields Parkway. The Columbia Icefield is one of the largest accumulations of ice south of the Arctic Circle and one of the most accessible icefields in North America. At the Columbia Icefield Centre, time is provided for lunch (not included) after you have had a chance to experience the Columbia Icefield Glacier Adventure (admission included). Here you will ride on an Ice Explorer to the middle of the Athabasca Glacier to learn more about its geological features. Afterwards, brief stops will be made at Bow and Peyto Lakes before arriving back in Lake Louise this afternoon.

Tonight, surrounded by Canadian pine, fresh flowers, sparkling crystal, and the warm glow of the grand fireplace, the marriage of food and wine thrives. Savor the exquisite talents of the Post’s international cooking team led by European-trained Executive Chef Hans Sauter. The “Grand Award” winning wine cellar with more than 25,500 bottles and over 2,300 selections offers the perfect complement to the tastes of Chef Sauter’s six course gourmet menu… bon appétit. Overnight in Lake Louise. (D)

Day 7: Lake Louise to Kamloops
Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the mountain hamlet of Lake Louise to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. Your journey takes you through a spectacular array of scenery as you travel between the glacier and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies, over mountain passes and through remarkable tunnels, along rocky lakeshores and across the ranchlands of the interior. Today’s highlights include the Continental Divide, the Spiral Tunnels, the Kicking Horse Canyon, Rogers Pass and Craigellachie – where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven. Overnight in Kamloops. (B, L)

Day 8: Kamloops to Vancouver
Your journey continues west towards the Pacific Ocean and the coastal city of Vancouver. On today’s journey you will again see dramatic changes in scenery, from the desert-like environment of the Interior, through winding river canyons and pristine forests, to the Coast and Cascade Mountains and the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley. Highlights include the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River and the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon. Your rail journey ends on arrival in Vancouver this evening. Overnight in Vancouver. (B, L)

Day 9: Vancouver Culinary Activities
Today, select your choice of one of two culinary activity options:
British Columbia’s mild climate and unique geographic location, tucked between mountains and sea, provide the province with an abundance of amazing culinary bounty which guests will explore on this in-depth “Made in BC” Vancouver food tour on Granville Island. In the company of an experienced local chef or food writer (maximum six guests/docent), this 2.5 hour walk will get under the skin (or peel) of this fascinating and delicious world as intellectually curious guests tour the market, meet some of the local producers and taste their delicious wares. Please note: Include any dietary restrictions or allergies, and the docent will adapt accordingly, as there are several tastings of fish or seafood, and guests will need to make their own way to/from 126 Davie St. for the tour.


It’s no secret that off-duty chefs love to shop for themselves and choose from the freshest local and exotic fruits, vegetables, seafood, and meats. Get to know this colorful district from a culinary and cultural perspective with “A Wok Around Chinatown”. The adventure will begin at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Gardens, and will meander through the diverse specialty shops and vendors, featuring products from barbequed crispy ducks and teas, to herbal medicines and cookware supplies. A viewing of historical landmarks, a visit to a symbolic merchant, and a well-deserved dim sum lunch will be part of the tour! Please note: guests will need to make their own way to Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Gardens (578 Carrall St.) for the tour. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure to explore Vancouver. Overnight in Vancouver. (L)

Day 10: Vancouver Departure
Your vacation ends upon checkout from your Vancouver hotel.

The Prices


Latest News: Book a 2018 Rocky Mountaineer journey of 8 days or more and you’ll receive $500 per couple in added value to use towards enhancing your rail adventure. Offer ends March 2, 2018. Blackout dates apply.

Prices are per person in US Dollars and do not include Canadian Goods & Services tax (5%).

Deposit Required:  20%

A price reduction will apply for the Panoramic Helicopter Tour in the event of inclement weather or if a guest chooses not to fly.

Please click here for an explanation of the accommodation levels.

Latest News: Click here for Track 25, our blog, for the latest review of this and other tours on our World’s Top 25 Trains™.

Legend for Meals: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner

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The Highlights

  • Outstanding scenery of the Rockies of Canada enjoyed all by daylight from the train
  • 2 full days on Rocky Mountaineer
  • Six-course wine-paired chef’s tastings menu at Eden Restaurant in the Rimrock Hotel and at the Post Hotel Dining Room
  • Culinary tour in Calgary
  • Overnight stays in beautiful Lake Louise and Banff, as well as the cosmopolitan cities of Calgary and Vancouver
  • Delicious meals on board the train
  • Panoramic Helicopter Tour
  • Full day tour from Calgary to Banff (or vice versa) including Bow Falls, Lake Minnewanka, Surprise Corner and the Hoodoos
  • Spiral Tunnels, Yoho Park Tour, more
Locally sourced salmon features on Rocky Mountaineer menus.
Locally sourced salmon features on Rocky Mountaineer menus.
Delicious local wines and regional cuisine are featured on board Rocky Mountaineer.
Delicious local wines and regional cuisine are featured on board Rocky Mountaineer.
IRT's Rachel Hardy aboard the Rocky Mountaineer on the observation platform, Gold Leaf dome service. IRT Photo courtesy of Rachel Hardy
IRT's Rachel Hardy aboard the Rocky Mountaineer on the observation platform, Gold Leaf dome service. IRT Photo courtesy of Rachel Hardy
The Rocky Mountaineer rounds a bend in the Coastal Mountains, heading to Vancouver. IRT Photo by Rachel Hardy
The Rocky Mountaineer rounds a bend in the Coastal Mountains, heading to Vancouver. IRT Photo by Rachel Hardy