“We’re on a train, and I’m embracing a romantic style of travel,” Manny Delgado said about his Victorian top hat in an episode of Modern Family, the hat an homage to the romantic past of train travel where strangers meet and fall in love on long rail journeys.
Keeping the romanticism of rail alive is one rail-tour company weaving its way through the lofty mountain range of the Canadian Rockies and the Pacific Northwest – the Rocky Mountaineer.
Named as one of the best rail journeys in the world, the Rocky Mountaineer is the stuff of bucket lists. The multiple-award winning journey through the wilderness to see the famous Canadian Rockies and the Western Canadian region of British Colombia and Alberta passes through glacial lakes, snow-capped mountains and river canyons.
The dramatic landscape is a sight to behold. From the cosmopolitan cityscapes of Vancouver, the scene melts into the untouched wilderness that is a playground for bears, big horn sheep, elks, bald eagles and perhaps the mythical Sasquatch.
The train runs from Spring to Autumn, which means each season brings along a different personality to the terrain. Springtime (April to May) is fresh with lakes, streams and waterfalls swelling with the melting remnants of winter. In Summer (June to August), the days grow longer, the rainforest is at its greenest and the arid canyons wear a rugged beauty. Come Autumn (September to October) red, gold, and auburn tones take over the forests. This is when hibernating bears forage through the wilderness to prepare for the long Winter slumber ahead.
To make sure you don’t miss a single second of the beauty outside, the train runs only in daylight. Each coach has an outdoor vestibule and clear glass dome windows to provide unhindered views from every angle.
Making your journey richer are professional hosts on board the train to share exciting stories of the place and its history. They are no ordinary hosts but experts on Canadian trivia, always ready to tell you in-depth knowledge on the region.
Rocky Mountaineer takes luxury very seriously. As Mother Nature treats your eyes to a feast, the Michelin-starred chefs on board take your taste buds on a different kind of journey. You will be spoilt silly with fresh, locally-sourced food like Alberta beef, salmon, and Fraser Valley chicken. And then there’s free flow of fine wine and gourmet snacks to make sure you never go hungry.
The Canadian Rockies is a massive area and so the folks at Rocky Mountaineer has prepared four carefully curated routes to choose from. Ranging from one to three days, each route passes through the most iconic spots in the Canadian Rockies. At night, the train pulls into small, quaint towns. There’s Lake Louise also known as the crown jewel of the Canadian Rockies, Jasper with its stunning UNESCO-protected national park, Quesnel; the historical Gold Pan City, and many more.
We’re told that some of these towns have been gazetted as protected sites and are not allowed any more new development. Surrounded by the postcard-perfect views, the charm and allure of these towns are forever frozen in their original form.
What’s great about Rocky Mountaineer is they give you time to explore each town and its surrounding areas to your fancy. It’s not just a night-stop. You could choose to enjoy a nice stroll in the city, go on a hike up the mountains, or even sign up for a whale watching excursion. Activities are aplenty and the possibilities for adventures are endless.
For a good night’s rest, you will be put up at equally luxurious hotels with incredible views of the landscape.
As for internet connectivity on the train, prepare for a digital detox. Rocky Mountaineer intentionally excluded WiFi connection as part of its amenities because there’s no reason for you to be on the internet when the view outside is so special.
So hop aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, sink into your seats, and prepare for the best train journey of your life. Who knows? You might even find yourself falling deeply in love.
The Rocky Mountaineer brand has had its services in Malaysia for over two years by partnering with Sedunia Travel Services, the appointed General Sales Agent. More info and promotions can be found here.