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Exploring Canada by train is definitely one of life’s memorable experiences. Since the building of the rail network in the 1800’s, experiencing the rugged beauty of Western Canada by train has been a ‘must-do’ on discerning travellers’ bucket lists.
While the sights may be rugged, the holiday destinations couldn’t be more luxurious. Developed by the Canadian Pacific Railway, a series of majestic hotels were built in the most iconic locations throughout Canada’s west. Fairmont Banff Springs, Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, and Fairmont Chateau Whistler can all now be easily accessed by car, but you can still experience the magic of exploring the west by rail with the Rocky Mountaineer.
After a year cooped up at home, many of us are overdue for a bit of pampering, adventure and new wide-open spaces. Why not make this the year you explore the majesty of western Canada by rail? If you’re already considering a visit to Fairmont Chateau Whistler this is a great way to see even more of our beautiful province. We are here to help get you started with some inspiration. Read on for some of our favourite highlights and tips for planning a train journey into Canada’s west.
All Daylight Travel
There’s nothing worse than hearing that you’ve slept through the most scenic sections of a road trip. With a seat on the Rocky Mountaineer, you won’t miss a single spectacular sight because they operate as an “all daylight train”. That means that you will see endless sights from the train each day, and then sleep in luxurious comfort at night. It really is the best of both worlds.
As an added bonus you also get time to truly explore the destination. You could paddle the aquamarine waters of Lake Louise, or spend the day soaring between mountains on the world record PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola in Whistler. With this trip, you truly get to enjoy both the journey and the destination.
Nobody Has To Drive
On a normal road trip, someone always needs to be on duty, keeping their eyes and attention fixed on the road. With the conductor as your designated driver, you will be free to enjoy bevvies with your travelling companion (or new friends onboard) and stare in wonder at mountain peaks, glacier-fed rivers and wildlife en route.
Stay In Iconic Hotels
We may be more than a little biased in this department, but it’s hard to deny that our historic mountain properties are the pinnacle of luxury in their respective locations. You could stay in Banff’s “Castle in the Rockies”, on the otherworldly shores of Lake Louise, slope-side in Whistler, or at the choice of actual royalty at Jasper Park Lodge.
TIPCan’t decide on just one? Don’t worry Rocky Mountaineer has routes that stop at some or all of these iconic locations.
The views aren’t the only thing you will savour on this adventure. While onboard you will dine on delicious, regionally inspired cuisine that features local ingredients and flavours. Rocky Mountaineer’s world-class hospitality team is always on hand for a nibble, fresh glass of wine or to share insight into the scenery outside. The best part? There’s no need to stop for drive-through or gas station food on this trip, your stomach will thank you.
Travel by train will take you deep into mountain passes, winding along rivers, traversing through tunnels, and revealing views that you can’t see any other way. On top of that, a train travels at the perfect speed to take in the views. You will be snapping endless drool-worthy shots from your window to remember your trip by, and maybe even a few to print to hang in your home.
Choose Your Adventure
When planning a train trip through Western Canada it can be hard to decide which route is best. With each offering unique and varied experiences, the short answer is – it depends. Each route has its own special features that will make your journey unforgettable. They have a wide range of routes to suit your interests and time. From Short Journeys where you can get a taste of the destinations in just 2-3 days, to Circle Journeys for adventures of a lifetime, you can customize your trip to fit you. Here are some of our favourite tours:
Rainforest to Gold Rush
Vancouver, Whistler, Quesnel, Jasper | 3 Days
From the sea to the sky, journey from Vancouver to remote and majestic Jasper. Featuring a stop in our favourite place Whistler B.C., this tour has a little something for sightseers, shoppers and adventure seekers!
The first leg of your journey from Vancouver to Whistler will take you up the Howe Sound on the world-famous Sea to Sky route. While the highway often travels high above the water, the train tracks hug the shoreline right beside the water giving you unpatrolled views. Join us for the night as our guest at the Fairmont Chateau Whistler to explore before continuing on your journey.
First Passage to the West
Vancouver, Kamloops, Banff/Lake Louise | 2 DAYS
From coastal rainforests to dramatic canyons, spiralling tunnels, and soaring snowcapped peaks. Experience the only passenger service on this historic rail route.
Journey Through the Clouds
Vancouver, Kamloops, Jasper | 2 DAYS
This route is only accessible by train giving you an exclusive look into wild and rugged sections of Canada’s West. Highlights include the Fraser River, Hells Gate, Pyramid Falls and Mount Robson.
To make your experience even sweeter, we have partnered with Rocky Mountaineer for a special Match Made in Western Canada offer. You can save up to $2,900 per couple on your next adventure. To learn more and start planning visit here.