Why This Travel Agent Recommends a Train Ride for Your Next Vacation
Aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, a luxury passenger train that travels through the remote and majestic Canadian Rockies. The train snakes its way through the mountains and national parks during the day, exposing the passengers to places most eyes haven’t seen. At night, the passengers disembark and stay at hotels and inns throughout western Canada. Many packages are available that vary in length of stay, side excursion options, and modes of transportation (add a pre-train cruise or post-train coach tour to round out your trip).
Candace, who caught the train herself in Vancouver (boarding options include Vancouver or Seattle) says the conductors and attendants on the train are knowledgeable and engaging. Throughout the journey, they shared stories and relayed the history of the region, interrupting themselves every so often with calls of “Bears on the left!”
- The Rocky Mountaineer tour includes travels by train and motor coach through Seattle, Vancouver, Banff, Lake Louise, Jasper, and Calgary.
- Candace recommends taking the “circle journey” option, which brings you back to your boarding destination (Seattle or Vancouver).
- The train does not travel through each city, so Candace recommends taking the self-drive option over the motor coach so that you can set your own pace and be in control of your sightseeing.
- Layers. In May the iconic Lake Louise was completely frozen over. Candace said people were out walking on the blue-green lake ice in winter gear.
- Prepare for snow, even in the winter. While some towns will be sunny and 70, the higher elevations might still have snow on the ground.
- Candace says you should take a great carry on bag because while on the train and coach rides, your luggage is in the cargo container and can’t be accessed.
- Helicopter ride between Banff and Calgary
- Stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise
- Hike Jasper and Banff national parks
- Take a gondola ride up Sulfur Mountain in Banff National Park
- Take a Brewster bus over the Icefield Parkway glacier
- Hike or kayak around Lake Louise
- Visit a brewery in Jasper after viewing the northern lights in Jasper National Park
- Depending on your length of stay, silver or gold leaf option, and add-on excursions, the price varies between $5-$10,000 per person, including flight, for an 8-10 day trip.