As a luxury travel blogger, I have the privilege of being a Rocky Mountaineer brand ambassador which means that I am compensated for my partnership. For those who know me as “Travel Esquire, you know that the views I share are always my own!
1. It’s a luxury train ride with life experiences!
We’ve all dreamed of going on a luxury train ride. Who hasn’t longed for the allure of a train expedition? Some many imaginings lingering in our mind from so many movies. Add in the Canadian Rockies! It’ll come as no surprise that National Geographic has named Rocky Mountaineer one of the world’s “Top 10” best train trips, along with the legendary Orient Express! It is a travel bucket list dream. You’ll be thrilled when you visit Canada!
2. You get to customize the sort of trip you’ll have
Rocky Mountaineer lets you choose the sort of trip you’ll take through the Canadian Rockies. There are options for the duration of the trip, the route you take and some of the hotels you can stay at — it’s all about you! (And, yes, you can even add a cruise!)
My trip began with a flight from US East Coast, Newark, New Jersey (next to New York City), to Calgary, where I took a waiting charter bus (big windows, nice seats, friendly driver who pointed out sites along the way — and a bathroom on board) to the beautiful mountainside village of Banff, in Canada’s Alberta.
3. You’ll be pampered by your caring crew
I have never seen a crew more caring, attentive and professional than Rocky Mountaineer’s! Clearly, they love what they do and they share that love by making sure everyone on board feels special and has a wonderful time. They’ll know you by name and been keen to find out what you like — or don’t. And they will pamper you throughout your travels!
4. Amazing views!
You’ll have ample opportunities to soak in the Rocky Mountains. It’s recommended that you arrive before the day before your train departure and that’s when you’ll get your first views of the majestic Rocky Mountains. You’ll be glad to know that Rocky Mountaineer will bring you deeper into the Canadian Rockies and let you enjoy them the amazing views from the comfort of a luxurious captain’s chair (a super comfy chair that has individualized, adjustable heating and positions — I stand at 6'5", always have a laptop and electronics with me — and always had plenty of room on the trip!)
5. Scones before breakfast!
Like being on a cruise, your day will be filled with delicious food! The train car I rode was two stories high, with the first floor being a dedicated dining car. For breakfast, which is served very shortly after your departure, there are two seatings. If you happen to be called for the second seating — smile — because you’ll get an added treat before your breakfast. Freshly made scones with a choice of tea or coffee and fresh juice was the delight that was carted out to my section of the train as we were waiting — making me almost wish to be called for the second seating the next day as well!
6. Breakfast with a view
Wherever you go on the train you’ll have full views of the changing landscapes through the Rockies. Breakfast is no exception. You’ll want to keep your camera with you at all times and be ready to shout should you see a grizzly bear or some other wildlife as you travel. Everyone is asked to give a shout should they spot something special, apart from the always special landscapes you’ll see.
7. Rocky Mountaineer strikes the perfect balance between relaxation and entertainment
Your time will fly by on luxury train. As you ride, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the scenery as it passes by and your hosts will share insights about what you’re about to see or seeing. They’ll add a historical or humorous detail which enriches the experience while also giving you time to enjoy some rest and relaxation on your own. They strike a perfect balance.
8. Did I mention you’ll be pampered?
Okay, I’m pretty sure I did, but, please allow me to elaborate. Luxury is all about being pampered and Rocky Mountaineer understands this. The little things are the big things. Like the red carpet that greets you or the scones or the hot, freshly-made cookies that surprise you from your picture-taking. Yum!
You’ll also get spoiled by Rocky Mountaineer’s VIP hotel check-in process. You ride the train during hours of light, then stop for evening where you’ll be shuttled to your hotel. No need for check in as you be given a key to your room before you arrive at your hotel and your bags will be waiting in your room when you get there! As I said, you’ll be pampered. As in, Old World “luxury travel”.
9. You’ll have access to an outdoor viewing platform
If you want to stretch a bit, you can enjoy more amazing views from an outdoor viewing platform in a Gold Leaf Service dome. It’s tempting to stay put in your captain’s chair and watch the beautiful scenery and wildlife roll by as you are treated to tasty snacks, drinks and entertaining insights. I also loved, though, being able to step outside for the unique experience of seeing the sights and sounds of the Rockies in the raw. Either way, your Rocky Mountaineer train expedition will treat you to a life-changing experience. All aboard!
10. You just may get to see a grizzly bear!
Yes, I really got to see a grizzly bear! When you visit the Canadian Rockies, you naturally think how great it would be to add such a moment to your travel bucket list. Well, as I mentioned, you’ll be asked to arrive the day before your train trip and Rocky Mountaineer will offer some excellent suggestions on what you should do. Take their suggestions!
The day before my train departure, I did some exploring from the village of Banff. Rocky Mountaineer had suggested a charter bus experience to see some of the incredible beauty immediately around Banff (I’ll blog about that later). On the way to one of the sites, our bus driver unexpectedly pulled to the side of the road. Cautioning us to stay near the bus, he pointed out a grizzly rummaging for food along a stream. We kept our distance. The grizzly continued about his business. (The wire fence you’ll notice is found all along the highways in the Rockies to discourage wildlife from wandering onto the road. Don’t think they’ll keep out a grizzly bear!) We all left our bucket-list experience with memories of amazing views, lovely company, luxury travel, and incredible photos — compliments of Rocky Mountaineer and Canada travel!