Travel has become much more about the destination rather than
the entire journey. In an era of non-stop flights, the Chunnel and
the Autobahn, it would seem that the days of leisurely clacking
along train tracks are long gone. Not so says Rocky Mountaineer
Vacations. If your clients are the least bit interested in seeing
Canada while being pampered on a first-class train, sign them up
for this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
I glance at my watch and note the time: It’s 12:30. I
want to remember this moment. This is the quintessential Rocky
Mountaineer moment. I’m in the dining car on my way from Whistler
to Quesnel. I’ve got a plate of salmon eggs Benedict in front of
me, breathtaking lake-and-canyon filled panoramas rolling along
outside the window, and just for a moment, I am completely at
It’s moments like that that bring to mind words like serene and
gorgeous all good descriptors for the newest train route unveiled
by Rocky Mountaineer Vacations this May. Adding to their menu of
services that already includes the Kicking Horse Route
(Vancouver-Kamloops-Banff/Calgary) and the Yellowhead Route
(Vancouver-Kamloops-Jasper) their latest the Fraser Discovery Route
winds through traditionally hard-to-get-to areas from Whistler to
Quesnel to Jasper each stop more spectacular than the last.
Offering two levels of service, GoldLeaf and RedLeaf, the Rocky
Mountaineer aims to please. The Gold Leaf service for the Fraser
Discovery Route includes seating in the greenhouse-esq dome coach
with glass stretching from the seat all the way over head offering
unparalleled views of the beautiful Canadian scenery, breakfast and
lunch in a formal dining car and access to the open-air viewing
area at the back of the train.
The GoldLeaf service also includes dinner and one night moderate
accommodations in Quesnel.
The RedLeaf service includes reclined seating, large picture
windows, in-seat meal service and one night moderate accommodations
Besides the romance of just simply traveling by train, Rocky
Mountaineer Vacations allows guests to choose their own adventure
with a completely customizable schedule. If they like, your clients
can spend a few days in Vancouver before boarding the train or take
two or three days to ski down the renowned runs in Whistler. And on
the backend of the trip lazy days in Jasper are a must.
To kick off your clients’ trip, send them to the laidback
metropolis that is Vancouver. A big city with a small-town feel,
Vancouver will likely be the perfect introduction to Canada. And
since the city host the 2010 Olympics Vancouver is opening its arms
and bursting with pride for the upcoming festivities.
A must-see (or rather, must-do) is the infamous Stanley Park.
Travelers can rent bikes and roll around the Seawall, taking in the
greenery. If you’ve got some foodies on your hands, book them for
the Taste of Vancouver Tour, which takes clients on a tasting tour
of the local fare at the Granville Island Public Market. Weak
stomachs be warned: Fish innards are just one of the items to
Next stop, Whistler. Jaded travelers will likely find themselves
leaning out of the back of the Whistler Mountaineer snapping photos
of the snow-capped mountains as the train jogs along from Northern
Vancouver to the picturesque resort town that is home to the
Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. The short three-hour ride leaves
the rest of the day open for skiing, snowboarding, zip-treking or
golfing. If your clients are interested in seeing history in the
making, have them stop by the burgeoning bobsled run, all in
preparation for the Olympics.
From Whistler, the Fraser Discovery Route runs to Quesnel an
unspoiled, small town with a friendly vibe. As the train heads
closer to Quesnel, the wildlife increases exponentially: Caribou,
deer and Black Bears are in abundance. If your clients want to
experience being famous, make sure they are looking out the window
as the train pulls into the stations the townspeople like to greet
travelers with waves, smiles and much fanfare.
Last stop, Jasper. If your clients haven’t been won over by the
majestic beauty of Whistler or the charm of Quesnel, Jasper will
likely reel them in. Bordered by the Rockies and dotted with
emerald lakes, Jasper is the perfect spot for canoeing, hiking,
river rafting, dog sledding and skiing not to mention just
relaxing. In addition, Jasper is home to the Icefields Parkway,
touted as the most beautiful drive in the world complete with
mountains, waterfalls, lakes and the famous Columbia Icefield.
Commission: 10 percent