The Rocky Mountaineer has been on our World’s Top 25 Trains list since it started. It was awarded the right to operate routes in the Canadian Rockies and purchase VIA Rail’s equipment in 1990 by the Canadian government. The owner, who ate beans for a while until his fledgling company took hold, started with two-day, all-daylight programs between Vancouver and Banff.
In 1995, the company launched its luxury GoldLeaf Service with its custom-built glass bi-level dome coaches offering fine dining on the lower level. Today, most guests choose GoldLeaf service. The company has added Silverleaf — one-level dome cars. This is an all-daylight train, allowing guests to take in all of the marvelous mountain scenery en-route.
Other routes are Vancouver-Kamloops-Jasper and Vancouver-Whistler-Quesnel-Jasper.
Society of IRT Added Value: Get a free, one-way private sedan transfer (U.S. dollar value +$140) to/from Seattle, Vancouver, or Calgary airports when you book any Rocky Mountaineer trip on our website. Get free private sedan transfers both ways when you book a “Circle” journey tour, such as the Grand Rail Circle or Canadian Rockies Getaway Circle.)
Recommended Extension: Sonora Resort, one of Canada’s premiere wilderness resorts, is the perfect complement to your Rocky Mountaineer journey. Add two pre- or post-nights at this all-inclusive lodge, accessible only by helicopter or float plane 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.
Read “Mountaineering in Luxury,” a review by IRT Marketing & Travel Associate Rachel Hardy.
There are two levels of service offered: GoldLeaf and SilverLeaf. We highly recommend GoldLeaf Service for all departures.
GoldLeaf guests are accommodated in beautiful bi-level dome coaches, which are fully air-conditioned with full-length dome windows, with assigned seating that can accommodate groups of four. The main benefit, from our point of view, is GoldLeaf passengers’ exclusive access to the large open-air observation decks. As this is a daytime-only train, there are no sleeping accommodations. Overnights are spent in upgraded hotels for GoldLeaf passengers.
We also like the on-board, gourmet dining experience in the exclusive lower-level dining room. Another GoldLeaf benefit is the luggage delivery service to your hotel in Kamloops or Quesnel.
For the ultimate in luxury, book GoldLeaf Service with Room Upgrades, and enjoy all the benefits of GoldLeaf with even more luxurious hotel rooms during your tour. And go even a notch further and ask for Gold Floor rooms in the Fairmont hotels.
SilverLeaf service passengers are seated in a single-level dome coach in reclining seats which can rotate to accommodate groups of four. Meals are served at your seat and hotels are moderate. SilverLeaf passengers have access to a small open-air vestibule.
In GoldLeaf Service, walk down a spiral staircase or take the elevator from the dome level to the dining room where the full galley kitchen prepares remarkable multi-course breakfasts and lunches for you. The dining room can seat 36 in tables for four.
SilverLeaf passengers are served hot entree options at their seats.
Attendants serve alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks at your seat during the day. All drinks are included in the price of the journey.
There are so many ways to take this train. For example, combine it with VIA Rail’s Canadian, from Toronto to Jasper, for a Trans-Canada Rail Adventure. Or maybe you’ve already done the Rocky Mountaineer’s regular itinerary. If so, try the three-day Rainforest to Gold Rush route—Vancouver-Whistler-Quesnel-Jasper.
The common theme is: all travel is done by day to maximize views of the spectacular scenery.
Check out this video to get a sense of what life is like on board Rocky Mountaineer.