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“An amazing and thrilling experience with excellent staff”

The Rocky Mountaineer Train
Ranked #7 of 160 Tours in Vancouver
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
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Attraction details
Owner description: Experience the Rockies by rail! Rocky Mountaineer offers five luxury rail routes to discover the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
Baarn, The Netherlands
Level Contributor
195 reviews
31 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 81 helpful votes
“An amazing and thrilling experience with excellent staff”
Reviewed 8 June 2011

I will be honest to you, I have sold this product more then 8 years for a company in Europa. So, is my review coloured? No way!! I'm always very critical when I did make this kind of trips. I had to look it through the eyes of a consumer. I have travelled 3 three times with a group of agents and all were pleasantly surprised. I have travelled once alone and all the onboard clients where very happy and extremely enthousiastic. During the years I have sold this product (the last time has been 3 years ago, since I left) many times and this company had a 99% positive feedback! Why? It has very enthousiastic staff members onboard, who love their job. Some of them said it's the best horeca environment you can wish for. All is well organised. The documentation (both travel docs and newspapers onboard) is well equipped. If you travel Redleaf or Goldlead, both services has excellent service. The scenery is absolutely breathtaking!! Ofcourse sometimes you travel next to a Highway, but most of the time you pass places where you can't come by car or foot. Sometimes you ask yourself where is the railroad? Then you feel you're in in a Harry Potter movie in a flying train or something like that. Or climb the spiral tunnel, amazing. I would recommand this to people who love train rides and who just want to do something different. Standing on a balcony in Goldeaf and never know what is around the corner, or seeing wild life passing the tracks. I would go again for sure. Well done RMV and all the best!!

Visited July 2010
1 Thank MrCanada
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Maidstone, UK
Level Contributor
64 reviews
10 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 58 helpful votes
“Nothing wrong with Red Leaf!”
Reviewed 7 June 2011

We travelled on the Rocky Mountaineer as part of a Thomas Cook Tour, we were on the Jasper to Whistler Route with an overnight in Quesnel. It was the first train of the year leaving on 18 May - some of the group went Gold Leaf but we figured at an extra £560 each we could have had a whole other holiday for that! We NEVER regretted our decision.

Some correct facts about Red Leaf:
Comfortable seats - you get an assigned seat, with plenty of leg room, pocket space AND unlike in Gold Leaf there is space to put bags etc overhead.
Big enough windows - the windows are HUGE, you can see lots. NO it isn't the Dome Roof but on this route that didn't really matter as we weren't going through the heart of the Rockies.
Good Food - wow they certainly feed you, we were given snack after snack, yes the main meal is in an airline style tray BUT there was loads and it was tasty. My coeliac mother in law had a lovely gluten free meal each time AND with your main meal you do get a beer or glass of wine. Also it was my partners birthday so I was able to arrange a lovely bottle of Canadian Brut to have with our meal - no problem.
Commentary - yes Red Leaf gets commentary too, with two attendants - who were great Leah - who we had throughout was amazing, helpful, insightful and very friendly. They help you on and off the train, are funny and help make the trip.
The Vestibule - okay you want to see some fresh air, you can go in between carriages and look out the train door window. No, it isn't roomy but you can fit 2 people at the window and about another 6 in the space if they want to wait and get a view of a bear or something at key moments. To be honest I spent nearly the entire trip out there - be warned if you do this it does get cold, but to me it felt more like being on a train.

AND that is what I like about Red Leaf, if you're going to do a train journey feel like your on a train and in Red Leaf you do. With the Rocky Mountaineer standard of service I never regretted not being in Gold Leaf. Because it was so quiet some of our group were allowed to venture up to Gold Leaf to compare, we didn't bother and actually lots of people came back saying - yes it was lovely but actually not worth the extra price.

What I would say is pick your route carefully. Day one of this trip was pretty dull - once we left the Rockies it was farm land and logging, not much to look at. BUT day two was stunning. Also if you smoke or hate being in confined spaces this trip is NOT for you. As it was the first train of the year we were lucky in that the carriage next to ours was empty so lots of our group got up and moved around. My partner smokes and found the two days a nightmare.

The train was great for spotting wildlife - I saw 11 bears over the two days, a coyote and loads of eagles and osprey. We didn't see any moose sadly but I know they do spot them.

Shopping on board is also possible - you pick from the catalogue and they deliver it the next day - no pressure to buy if you've ordered something, allows you to try different sizes too!

Finally the overnight stay was comfortable, I felt we were far too far out of town in Quesnel which limited our options. Some people could get a bus in to town, but when you have an older person with you that becomes more difficult. We ended up having to eat in Denny's - NOT my first choice for my partners birthday!

I wouldn't do the Rocky Mountaineer again and I've learnt I'm not a lover of train journeys, BUT I'm very glad we had the opportunity and don't regret being in Red Leaf for one moment!

Visited May 2011
24 Thank JoF-W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
San Antonio, Texas
Level Contributor
17 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Great experience - Gold Leaf!”
Reviewed 7 June 2011

My husband and I took the Gold Leaf train from Vancouver to Banff and we had a blast! We saw tons of wildlife (sheep, eagles, black bears, and a grizzly). The scenery was beautiful. I don't know about the Red Leaf service, but Gold Leaf was completely worth it. The domed seating, dining cart, and outside vestibule added so much to the trip. I'm not going to lie, you get fed a lot on this trip, but the food and alcohol is included in the price of admission so we took full advantage of it. For every breakfast and lunch we sat with a different couple and it was really great getting to know each one. My one regret is not getting their contact information or at least their photo since they were a signficant part of the trip also. Gold Leaf service also takes care of your bags when you stop in Kamloops so that was definitely appreciated also. The staff on our train was funny, informative, and helpful with all our questions. It's a trip of a lifetime, but I hope to do it again!

Visited May 2011
2 Thank LinaO82
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
11 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“worst holiday experience for a long time”
Reviewed 31 May 2011

Two day train trip , in gold leaf, from Banff to Vancouver.
Chaotic organisation.
Extremely tedious - torture. Commentary aimed at primary school level.
I would strongly recommend hiring a car and driving. Points of interest can then be explored on foot , desired. Road follows train track for most of the journey.

Visited May 2011
15 Thank jjillmusic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
VancouverSeatoSky, Manager at The Rocky Mountaineer Train, responded to this review, 2 June 2011
Thank you for your feedback. We take pride in the experience of each and every one of our guests and we are disappointed to hear your trip didn’t live up to your expectations. We’d love to speak to you about your concerns. Please contact our Guest Experience department at guestexperience@rockymountaineer.com at your earliest convenience.
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Bristol, England
Level Contributor
510 reviews
239 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 593 helpful votes
“An outstanding experience”
Reviewed 27 May 2011

We have just completed the two day Rocky Mountaineer journey from Calgary to Vancouver.
After reading various articles and taking advice we decided to splash out on the luxury of Gold Leaf accommodation on the train, rather than the regular Red Leaf.
Basically the difference is in the level of service and food and seating arrangement.

Our comments on differences below are based on a discussion with the train manager during our journey.
Gold leaf passengers have dedicated`seats in an upper observation car, with domed glass windows curving high over your head, giving excellent views of the scenery. Snacks, coffee, sodas and alcoholic drinks are included and served at your seat. An approipriate and informative interactive commentary is provided by the two attendants. Hot meals are served in the lower level dining car with wine at lunch time.
Red Leaf passengers are seated in dedicated seats in a lower level carriage similar to a regular train, with decent picture windows. Cold, airline style meals are served to each seat by the one attendant in each carriage, with a hot roll or scone for each meal.
We assume that attendant also provides some commentary. We believe that alcoholic drinks are available for purchase.

We would recommend to anyone to wait an extra year to save up the money for Gold Leaf rather than Red Leaf service if you can possibly afford it. This is an expensive option, but boy, was it worth it. We realise we are lucky to have been able to do this.

We checked in a 5.30am at the Calgary RM station, our bags were tagged and taken away and we waited in a lounge area with coffee and tea available until being directed to our assigned seats in the upper level of the dome observation car at about 6am - comfortable, spacious seats with space to stow hand luggage.

Our carriage - one of about 6 Gold Leaf carriages on this train - was only half full as we left Calgary. We were welcomed by the crew who would look after us during the 2 day journey - Ivan and Lars in the upper deck area and two lovely ladies (sorry ladies, your names escape my poor memory) who served breakfast and lunch in the lower dining area. In addition there were 3 staff in the dedicated kitchen who turned out the most amazing food for each meal and snacks in between, including bread and scones freshly cooked on board.
As we rode out of Calgary coffee was served by Ivan and Lars whilst they gave us an explanation of what to expecrt during the 2 day journey and we were soon called downstairs for breakfast - a gourmet event (like all the meals) beautifully served and presented.

In Banff, 2½ bhours later, the train stopped to pick up many more passengers and soon after setting off again they were given breakfast whilst we were served coffee and hot scones (just to keep us going until lunch).

The scenery during the journey ranges from great to amazing.
It doesn't really matter which side of the train you are seated because scenic treats appear at intervals on both sides.

At the end of day one, we stopped in Kamloops and were bussed to our hotel. Gold Leaf passengers stay in a different hotel to Red Leaf passengers. Our experience was slightly disappointing - if our hotel was the best that Kamloops can provide. It was a basic motel style room with plain decor and simple furnishing. Clean and with a comfortable bed. Our luggage was waiting in the room for us (another difference between Gold and Red Leaf service - in Red Leaf there is no access to luggage for the overnight stop, so you need to take everything you may require in your carry-on bag. We had no inclination to eat anything else after the food which had been provided all day, so took na stroll around town before bed.

We were bussed back to the train at 7.30 the next morning, breakfast and lunch were served as on the previous day and the scenic journey continued.

We were unlucky with weather - overcast, rain and gloom. But the clouds did lift for some of the trip and we had good viewings of the Rockies and the river gorges.
With hindsight, it might be better to avoid the early Spring season - but every year is different.

We were impressed with the organisation and efficiency of the Rocky Mountaineer operation - check-in, seating, service, baggage handling, hotel room allocation and transfers were all totally smooth. The staff in our carriage were exceptional.

Visited May 2011
22 Thank Chris H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
MaLi610, Manager at The Rocky Mountaineer Train, responded to this review, 31 May 2011
We are delighted to hear that you enjoyed your experience onboard our Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Service and have been able to give a very educated review on what we offer. We certainly value receiving both positive and negative comments as this helps us to better improve our products for our guests. We do hope you are able to return and travel on another Rocky Mountaineer route as we feel each one offers something special. Thank you again!
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