In September 2016 I was lucky enough to travel on the Rocky Mountaineer train to taste first-hand this classic of North American travel experiences. Although I have been to Vancouver and Canada’s eastern seaboard previously, the dramatic countryside of Canada has always been something I’ve wanted to see, but nothing could prepare me for the wonder of seeing it in person, especially from the sublime comfort of a Rocky Mountaineer carriage.
Any route of the train winds through magnificent scenery and ‘Journey through the Clouds’ which I experienced was no different, departing Vancouver and going from verdant forests through arid canyon before entering the Rockies and breaking through clouds hanging low over craggy peaks and vibrant blue glacial lakes.
The drinks flow from a well-stocked bar of local and international choices, while the cuisine is second-to-none.
Dining in GoldLeaf Service was a sophisticated affair, taking place downstairs in the double-decker cars at tables laid in full linen with silver cutlery, so needless to say I was impressed before even picking up the menu.
Breakfast options range from blueberry pancakes smothered in that most Canadian of condiments, maple syrup, to egg soufflé with local sausages and bacon; lunch is a full three-course meal with several mouth-watering choices always prepared in your particular car’s kitchen using fresh local ingredients.
The Rocky Mountaineer train is the best way to see all the marvels along the way, with the glass-domed cars of GoldLeaf Service allowing light to flood in and every view to be unobstructed, as well as the open-air vestibule areas giving you the option to breathe in that fresh Rocky Mountain air and get those all-important photographs. The staff onboard the trains make it extra-special – their famous hospitable and welcoming demeanour was unending and infectious; as well as providing impeccable service, the excellent team will also tell stories, anecdotes and fascinating historical titbits along the way; I would divulge some here but perhaps you should just take the plunge and travel on Rocky Mountaineer to find out for yourself! It’s truly one the world’s most-famous, and now, I can say with utmost confidence, one of the very best. An experience to last a lifetime for any traveller!