Travelling Canada on the Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer offers an all-daylight luxury train journey that showcases some of the most spectacular scenery Canada has to offer, connecting Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies towns of Banff, Lake Louise and Jasper in Western Canada

Rocky Mountaineer travels through the Canadian Rockies in British Columbia and Alberta, with three different routes or our Grand Circle route, with stops in Vancouver, Kamloops, Whistler, Quesnell, Jasper, Lake Louise and Banff. 

It is a must-do travel experience in spacious glass-domed train coaches thanks to the incredible scenery, delicious cuisine, friendly service, and social atmosphere. Since it was founded in 1990, Rocky Mountaineer has welcomed more than two million guests and become the largest privately-owned premium tourist train in the world.

The Rocky Mountaineer rail journeys are perfectly suited for couples, solo travellers, mature-aged guests, cruise passengers, and wildlife and adventure lovers. Tack a rail journey onto an existing itinerary or make it a journey in itself.

On Board in GoldLeaf

The full dome GoldLeaf carriage. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

The height of luxury where five-star comfort meets five-star views, GoldLeaf service is the way to go when travelling on the Rocky Mountaineer. With GoldLeaf Service, indulge your senses with gourmet meals prepared by Executive Chefs, and expansive views through the panoramic windows of a bi-level glass dome coach to the Canadian Rockies. 

Located on the upper level, the comfortable leather seats are spacious, recline and are even heated. Don’t worry if you still get cold as blankets are provided for that extra cosy comfort.

When you don’t want to just sit and take in the view, step out onto your exclusive outdoor viewing platform to get closer to the action. It is the perfect spot to get a photo and spot wildlife up close.  

As you sit back and enjoy the scenery, the Rocky Mountaineer hosts attend to your every need. From entertaining you with stories about passing landmarks to topping up your glass of wine and calling out wildlife sightings, everything is taken care of.

The dining

Enjoy fine dining on the tracks. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

On the lower level is the dining car and where you will have your meals – breakfast, lunch and dinner. Savour every second as you enjoy elegantly plated meals prepared with local ingredients from the comfort of a dedicated dining room – all the while, sprawling views of the Rocky Mountains will be unfolding right outside your window.

The journey

Rocky Mountaineer – Vancouver to Kamloops. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

The First Passage to the West route is a legendary rail route that travels through the Spiral Tunnels, traverses the Continental Divide, and winds through mountain passes and dramatic canyons. The only passenger rail service on this historic rail route by Rocky Mountaineer, it is celebrated for connecting Canada from East to West.

The itinerary starts in Vancouver and as it leaves the coastline, the ever-changing views change from the fertile greenery of the Fraser Valley, to the mighty Fraser River and raging whitewater of the historic Hells Gate. After a full day, disembark in Kamloops for the overnight stay before heading off the following morning for the journey to Banff. Ascended further into the Rockies, the scenery changes to majestic mountains that stretched to the sky. Around each bend was a new discovery, with wildlife starting to show up more frequently the closer you travel to Banff.

Top tours to take on Rocky Mountaineer

Book a tour to go with your journey. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Each Rocky Mountaineer train journey can be combined with extended hotel stays and sightseeing transfers to explore even more of the destinations. The top activities Rocky Mountaineer guests add on to their Canadian Rocky Mountaineer journeys include:

  • The Mountain Lakes and Waterfalls tour really shows the natural history of the Canadian Rockies.
  • When travelling from Calgary to Banff, tours and transfers include the Banff Gondola and Lake Minnewanka.
  • In Jasper, the Highlights Tour is the one to add. It’s an excellent way to see the area. Stops include Maligne Lake – the lake famed for its azure colour – and Spirit Island.

You can read about Canadian Route add-ons here.

Top Tips for guests booking Rocky Mountaineer

Splash out on GoldLeaf. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

Rocky Mountaineer offers group discounts, a past-passenger discount of $500 per person, an Earlybird All Aboard 2023 Travel Promotion (finishing 30 September 2022), and a 2022 Flightseeing Promotion offering $250 off per person. To stay updated on all current promotions, visit

Definitely book a few night’s pre and post-rail journeys to have time to explore the towns where the rail journey starts and ends.

If you are going to splurge on anything, make it the upgrade to GoldLeaf class. It includes unlimited alcoholic beverages, an amazing GoldLeaf carriage and just that added touch or service.

The COVID-19 and cancellations policies for Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer in Vancouver. Photo Credit – Kate Webster

The health and safety of Rocky Mountaineer guests are the highest priority. Rocky Mountaineer trains are equipped with high-end air filtration systems, and they have screening and disinfecting protocols, so guests can be confident and comfortable during their journey. Rocky Mountaineer follows guidelines provided by the government and health authorities where they operate that are in place at the time of travel.

You can find all of the Rocky Mountaineer General (new booking) Terms and Conditions on the website at and the Covid Rebook policy at ALL APAC credit holders are eligible to rebook into 2023.

Transfer of Covid credits:

Name change: One-time free name change, up to 30 days ahead of travel. Multiple names can be changed, provided there is at least one person from the original booking remaining. Covid credits can only be transferred providing one guest is still travelling. 

For more on the Rocky Mountaineer and to book, visit

Disclosure: The writer travelled as a guest of Rocky Mountaineer

Kate Webster

Kate Webster is the founder and owner of Captured Travel Media. She is a world traveller, ocean lover and conservation warrior who is determined to make every moment count for not only herself, but the world around her. An editor and travel journalist, Kate travels the globe in search of vivid imagery and compelling stories that capture the essence of the people and places she visits. She is a passionate conservation advocate, sustainable traveller and always travels with reason and cause.