As part of my June Canada East to West trip with Just You, I chose the Rocky Mountaineer option. This occurred mid -trip on Days 15 and 16. I opted to upgrade to ‘Gold Leaf’ from ‘Silver Leaf’ having read several reviews and with the expectation that this would be my sole Rocky Mountaineer trip. I must admit I was very pleased with my decision.
Day 1 had been eagerly anticipated. We had a brief and small breakfast snack at the hotel to tide us over before our short drive to the station. We got the all clear to board and received a very warm and friendly welcome from the four-strong team that would be looking after us for the duration.
We found our perfectly positioned seats at the rear of our carriage and immediately appreciated the exceptional view from the domed upper floor. I sat with fellow traveller, Doreen amongst the 13 of us ‘going Gold’. All seats faced forward in twos with plenty of legroom.
Everyone was welcomed aboard and offered an orange juice to toast our departure. Soon after we were handed cinnamon rolls with mixed fruit jam and coffee.
There were 10 carriages making up the train, 7 silver and 3 gold at the rear. Silver has a one level carriage with food and drinks served at your seat. Gold has 2 levels. The lower is where you dine in two sittings and the higher is where you relax and take in the amazing scenery.
At the rear in Gold is an open standing platform allowing great photo opportunities. I spent quite a lot of time there!
We enjoyed early sightings of bears before breakfast was served. We enjoyed breakfast in the company of Michael and his wife who were from Munich. I ordered the eggs benedict having seen Michael Portillo tuck into it on his Rocky Mountaineer trip and remembered how good it looked. I wasn’t disappointed!
After breakfast it was back upstairs to enjoy the views as we ran alongside the Thompson River. An early highlight was the outstanding views of the Rockies tallest mountain, Mount Robson. The perfect blue sky allowed views of the summit, which is apparently a bit of a rarity.
Meanwhile, the offer of drinks was a constant. A bit early for the strong stuff, so a coke was good enough. At about 12:00 lunch sitting one was called. Those of us on sitting two were offered cheese, biscuits, dried fruit and wine to keep us going. Soon it was our turn and we were off downstairs again as the hunger pains set in. A very good menu choice served with quality wines and afterwards a bit of R&R was needed!
On Day 2 we were treated to more stunning countryside. Bald eagles appeared at regular intervals riverside and one even flew alongside for about half a minute. Bighorn sheep, Marmot, Deer and Ospreys were also seen. We were in sitting one for meals today and an executive decision had to be made at breakfast. Was it to be eggs benedict again? Yes it was. So good.
I spent a lot of time at the back photographing, videoing and plain enjoying the amazing scenery as it passed by. Some time later it was back to the seat for drinks and then lunch. The same menu, but plenty of choice.
The landscape was starting to change to more farming and fields. I decided a rest in the very comfy recliner was in order. This day was spent mostly in the company of Liz and was good fun. We even managed to win a quiz!
We finally reached Vancouver at 6:15 to be met by Yvette, our Tour Manager and Nell our driver. We were then off to our hotel and met up with those who went ‘silver leaf’. It was great to hear that they had had a thoroughly enjoyable time too.
These had been two luxurious and memorable days on the Rocky Mountaineer. Definitely one for the bucket list! We enjoyed luxury, comfort, great food, abundant drinks mixed with stunning views and scenery and were wonderfully looked after by dedicated, hardworking and friendly staff. They did the Rocky Mountaineer proud.
I would certainly recommend including the Rocky Mountaineer in your plans if you can. It doesn’t disappoint!