Cross the Continental Divide in complete luxury aboard the Rocky Mountaineer’s classic ‘First Passage to the West’ rail excursion. You’ll wind through mountain passes, dramatic steep canyons walls and dense Canadian forests as you make your way between coastal Vancouver and Banff National Park.
Enjoy chef-prepared cuisine, comfortable seating and spectacular Canadian mountain scenery. The Rocky Mountaineer only travels during the day, with hotel stays at night, making this 2-day journey a sightseer’s delight. Voted the world’s best luxury train by the prestigious World Travel Awards, the Rocky Mountaineer is a quintessential Canadian train experience.
The following itinerary can be customized to add on nights in Vancouver, Kamloops and Banff, as well as additional experiences in the Rocky Mountains. The possibilities for customization are endless so please reach out to us with any special requests or for travel inspiration.
Day 1: Vancouver to Kamloops
Wave goodbye to the glistening ocean waters of Vancouver as you head into the picturesque Fraser Valley. Here you’ll have your first taste of the top-notch cuisine with a delicious breakfast, served either at your seat (SilverLeaf service) or in the scenic dining car (GoldLeaf service).
As the train crosses the peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, you’ll witness a dramatic change in scenery. You’ll pass over the famous Hell’s Gate, an abrupt narrowing of the Fraser River that creates some spectacular rushing whitewater rapids. Listen to entertaining stories about the region as you enjoy a three-course lunch freshly prepared by the onboard chefs and watch as the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley give way to the stark landscape of the British Columbia interior.
Your full day on the train ends in Kamloops where you will enjoy an included night of accommodation in a hotel and have time to explore the town.
Day 2: Kamloops to Banff
Board the train and enjoy another gourmet breakfast as the Rocky Mountaineer winds its way out of Kamloops and through the Shuswap region. You’ll have views of beautiful rocky shores, ranchlands and high mountain passes. Keep watch for wildlife as animals such a bears, moose and bighorn sheep can often be spotted.
This is the only passenger train that operates on the original Canadian Pacific trans-continental line built in 1885. This historic rail line is sometimes known as the Kicking Horse route because of the mountain pass it crosses to get over the Rocky Mountains. Climb over Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, and through the famous Spiral Tunnels.
Sit back and enjoy the spectacle as the one-of-a-kind Canadian Rockies come into view. Lunch will be another gourmet three-course affair prepared using local ingredients. After passing through the historic Lake Louise Train Station, you’ll be treated to spectacular views of Castle Mountain. Your journey ends in the evening as you arrive in the lively town of Banff.
The Rocky Mountaineer features three unique rail excursions through the Canadian Rockies. Take a look at our Journey Through The Clouds and Rainforest to Goldrush excursions for more itinerary options. Please note that each itinerary can also be done in reverse.