Traveling on the Canadian Rockies train is like experiencing a sliver of heaven here on earth. You will be viewing phenomenal mountain peaks, glaciers, luxuriant rainforests and fertile river valleys from domed, clear glass coaches. For magnificent photo-ops, just step outside on the rear platform.
There is a comfort level when traveling by rail that cannot be attained in an automobile or on a plane. Seats are plush, with lots of leg room.
In Banff National Park, the Banff Gondola ascends to the pinnacle of Sulphur Mountain. Sweeping scenes from the mountaintop include: Columbia Ice Field, Lake Louise with its renowned turquoise waters, quaint Alpine villages and Canada's biggest National Park, Jasper National Park.
Of course, all this picturesque beauty doesn't come cheap when viewed from this Rockies train. Your best bet is to book your trip early, even 12 months in advance is not too soon. There are discounted fares, but when these tickets are sold out, the price escalates around $300 apiece.
Seniors, age 60 and over should watch for special discounts. If you are an AARP member, you'll save 5% on tours by rail in Canada.
If you plan on spending six nights on "land", you might qualify for a free nights lodging in Vancouver or Alberta (Edmonton / Calgary).
Discounts may depend upon the level of service you select from: RedLeaf, SilverLeaf, or GoldLeaf. While offers may vary, here is an example as below:
RedLeaf: You'll have comfortable, reserved seats in the passenger car. Scenery is easily viewable from picture windows. Depending on your destination, we found couples discounts for $75 - $150.
SilverLeaf: You'll ride in a custom made car that offers 67 percent additional field of viewing compared to RedLeaf accommodations. Couples "booking bonus" from $100 - $250.
Goldleafers: are in a plush, raised - dome car, with lots of perks like an outside viewing platform. Couples save $150 - $300.
If you travel in April, May or October, you can take advantage of economy fares.
Watch the Express Deals on VIA Rail and you might just save 50 percent of your fare!
And when you bid a fond farewell to your train for the Canadian Rockies adventure, you must decide – was it heaven or magic?