Picture a scene where glacier-capped mountain peaks soar above as you twist your way between old-growth pine forests onboard a luxurious train coach.
A glass of champagne in one hand, you push a button to electronically recline your leather heated seat as the gentle rocking of the tracks below relaxes you even further.
Minute after minute passes by as you cross the Canadian Rockies at 50km/h, but time seems to stand still as you find yourself hypnotised by the landscape around you.
The gentle chatter of the other guests stirs you back to the present moment, and a smiling host announces that lunch is now ready.
You take another look at the tips of the mountain ranges rising above you through the glass dome window, and head downstairs to feast on fresh salmon.
This is Rocky Mountaineer – Canada’s epic rail experience.
The story of Canada’s railways is an important part of the nation’s identity and good fortune that was created as the tracks eventually connected east with west.
The most difficult, and visually spectacular, part of the railways is the mountainous section between Vancouver and Banff, and it is here that a family-run company is bringing the country’s history and beauty to the masses.
Rocky Mountaineer was born in 1990 as a luxurious train experience connecting the two popular tourist destinations over a two-day journey.
Carefully curating the best elements of romance that train travel’s reputation is built on, this trip is what travel dreams are made of.
Over the years it has risen in popularity to become the most sought-after experience for many visitors to Canada, and despite the fame, it doesn’t disappoint.
Recently we had the privilege of taking the legendary Rocky Mountaineer on its most iconic journey – First Passage to the West – from Vancouver to Banff.
We went in with high expectations, and Rocky Mountaineer and its hosts managed to surpass them in every way imaginable.
The quality of service was only matched by the high standard of food that was presented to us, and the level of comfort was the best we’ve ever come across during our dozens of times travelling by rail.
And of course there were the mountains, peering at us through the glass dome window that Rocky Mountaineer’s GoldLeaf Service is famous for.