June 20, 2012 | By Doreen Lopez
I’ve ridden several trains in my day and usually they have been close to nature. I love the landscape, the vast wilderness, rivers, endless waterfalls and small towns going by as the locals wave hello. I can’t think of a finer place for train travel than the Canadian Rockies!
I recently had the opportunity to board the Rocky Mountaineer for two amazing days going from Vancouver to Banff on their “First Passage to the West” itinerary. The Rocky Mountaineer features fully domed windows with panoramic views, a private dining room on the lower level (with gourmet dining included), a covered vestibule for optimal viewing, friendly onboard attendants, and full commentary.
We began our first day bright and early to go from Vancouver to Kamloops, arriving at the Canadian Pacific railroad station where everyone was ready and waiting for the “all aboard” call. The First Passage to the West route retraces the historic Canadian Pacific Railway, famous for uniting the country and connecting British Columbia to Canada. It is the flagship route and understandably continues to be the most popular, since you will see glacier-fed rivers and lakes and take in the spectacular scenery of the coast, plus the Columbia and Rocky Mountains.
The experience on board is relaxing and very comfortable. We met and mingled with fellow passengers from all around the world as we enjoyed stunning views. The train’s hosts are committed to providing service excellence and ensured an enjoyable journey. Because they travel the routes regularly, the train staff are very knowledgeable about the surrounding areas and know the best spots to look for wildlife. The scenery is gorgeous – great for photographers, artists and nature lovers.
Rocky Mountain Rail Journeys offers many “Best of Canada” packages that range from 3- 25 days. You can combine rail travel with an Alaskan cruise, helicopter tour, sightseeing, and/or a city stay, based on your timing and specific interests.
Since the Rocky Mountaineer is a Virtuoso travel supplier, and Andavo is a Virtuoso agency, we can offer you a complimentary airport transfer by limousine at the start or end of your rail journey. (Offer is available when you book a tour of 4 nights or more, for travel by October 2012.)
I’d love to help you plan your memorable rail journey. The Rocky Mountaineer is offering some great promotions, but you must book by the end of June 2012 to take advantage.
To experience what it’s like to travel onboard this award-winning train, watch their Rocky Mountaineer Experience Video. You’ll enjoy brilliant aerial footage of the train snaking through mountain tunnels and along glacial fed lakes, as well as the onboard experience and social atmosphere of the glass-domed coaches.