Reflections on the Rockies

The Rocky Mountaineer, Reflections on the Rockies

It’s hard to imagine a better way to see Western Canada than aboard the world-renowned Rocky Mountaineer. Combine the soothing motion of rail travel with dazzling scenery and you have the perfect formula for vacation bliss. Between the magnificent Rocky Mountains and the beautiful Pacific Coast is a panorama of craggy mountain cliffs and snow-capped peaks, dry desert-like plains and pristine glacial-fed lakes, one more photogenic than the next. And because you travel by day with an overnight hotel stop, you won’t miss a single stunning sight. Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2010, the Rocky Mountaineer traverses unspoiled wilderness, such as the Cariboo Gold Rush region or the Continental Divide toward Mount Robson, the most prominent mountain in the Canadian Rockies. As far as you can see, you are surrounded by towering mountains, abundant wildlife, rich forests and shimmering rivers.

Rocky Mountaineer is the only passenger train that travels on its flagship route: First Passage to the West. Railroad history, including the rich stories of those who worked so hard to build it, comes to life before your eyes as you take in landmarks such as the Spiral Tunnels, an engineering masterpiece, or Craigellachie, the site where the last spike was driven in Canada’s transcontinental rail line.

Sit back, relax and enjoy exceptional service and panoramic views from the glass domes of the famed GoldLeaf Service coaches. These two-story cars allow uninterrupted views and ideal photo opportunities: a black bear and her cub, an eagle diving for salmon in the Fraser River or a blue-green glacier cradled high in the mountains. Onboard Attendants tell fascinating tales of the passing regions, giving highlights of the history and wildlife as they tend to your every need.

With all of the sightseeing and socializing, you’ll work up quite an appetite. Just a few steps take you to the intimate lower-level dining room, complete with crisp white linens, gleaming silverware and fresh cut flowers. Enjoy outstanding three-course, à la carte meals, made with the finest and freshest ingredients from the regions passing by your window. Delicious selections of Wild BC Salmon, Triple “A” Alberta beef and locally sourced vegetables are created by talented onboard chefs. Award-winning wines from British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley complement your gourmet Western Canadian culinary experience.

Rocky Mountaineer also offers dozens of vacations with something for everyone. New for 2010 are the GoldLeaf Themed Experiences. These exclusive eight-day vacations include a Winery Tour or Golf Tour theme and combine an enhanced Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service experience with a multi-day stop-over in the Okanagan region. After disembarking the train in Banff, enjoy a breathtaking helicopter tour or a round of golf on a world-class course before the backdrop of the Canadian Rockies. If you want to spend a little more time in the Rocky Mountains, The Canadian Rockies at Leisure vacation takes you on a two-day rail trip along the Journey Through the Clouds route between Vancouver, BC and Jasper, Alberta. On this vacation and others, you have the opportunity to experience the elegance and charm of the iconic Fairmont Hotels & Resorts.

The Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, in charming Jasper National Park is nestled between rugged mountains, on the bank of Lac Beauvert. Impressive cabins dot the 700-acre property offering views of the stunning scenery and captivating wilderness. Enjoy award-winning, gourmet culinary experiences and explore countless outdoor recreation before embarking on one of Canada’s most scenic drives along the Icefields Parkway.

Departing Jasper, the Icefields Parkway traces a small portion of the Continental Divide to Lake Louise, Alberta in Banff National Park. Some of the most stunning mountain scenery in Canada is seen along this stretch of road. Stay at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, set on the shores of the tranquil lake and surrounded by pure wilderness. During your free time, relax and explore at this year-round resort with a myriad of activities such as canoeing, hiking and mountaineering or take in a calming spa treatment.

After a tour of Yoho National Park, revel in the experience at The Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff, Alberta. Opened in 1888 by the Canadian Pacific Railway, this historic landmark is rich in elegance and a renowned symbol of Canadian hospitality. Spend the day exploring Banff with a soak in the natural hot springs, a relaxing treatment at Willow Stream Spa or play a round of golf on the world-class Stanley Thompson 18-hole course, shared by countless wildlife often grazing on the fairways.

There is no limit to the amazing scenery you will encounter along Rocky Mountaineer’s rail journeys. The memories you create will last a lifetime and the photos you take will capture this amazing experience to share with all. Rocky Mountaineer is truly the best way to see British Columbia and the Canadian Rockies.

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