Rocky Mountaineers FAQ

General Information

  • How long has rocky mountaineer been in business?
    • We’ve welcomed aboard nearly 2 million guests since our inaugural journey in 1990.
  • What is the difference between SilverLeaf Service and GoldLeaf Service?
    • Guests opting for GoldLeaf Service travel in a bi-level dome coach. In the upper-level, panoramic views are enjoyed through fully domed windows while gourmet meals from regional cuisine are served in the exclusive dining room lined with large picture windows on the lower level.
    • Guests opting for SilverLeaf Service while onboard Rocky Mountaineer travel in a custom-designed single-level dome coach with oversized domed windows. Guests enjoy delicious hot entrées served to them in the comfort of their seats.
    • Both GoldLeaf Service and SilverLeaf Service guests enjoy gourmet meals and story-telling by our onboard host team. No matter which class of service is chosen, all guests will get to experience the jaw-dropping scenery and so much more.
  • What is the monthly average temperature range?
    • See the chart below for monthly average temperature range:
  • How far do we travel on the Rocky Mountaineer?
    • About 450 kilometres (280 miles) each day, all in daylight. Look forward to spending two or more full relaxing days onboard the Rocky Mountaineer.
Vancouver-Kamloops 460km/285 miles
Kamloops-Jasper 441 km/274 miles
Kamloops-Banff 497 km/309 miles
Vancouver-Whistler 119 km/74 miles
Whistler-Quesnel 500 km/311 miles
Quesnel -Jasper 534 km/332 miles
Vancouver-Seattle 252 km/156 miles
  • What are the advantages to travelling these routes by rail?
    • There are many unique features to rail travel. You will enjoy an extremely comfortable seat with ample legroom and have the freedom to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air while in the vestibules. Combined with attentive service and outstanding storytelling, this type of leisurely paced travel will ensure that you know you are on vacation.One of the greatest advantages, however, is the ability to travel through areas simply not accessible by foot, car or motorcoach. The routes we travel on are described as engineering marvels and as we follow rushing rivers, pass beside towering waterfalls and ride through spectacular river canyons, you will understand why. To truly appreciate the nature and scenery in this part of the world, the Rocky Mountaineer offers the very best vantage point.
  • Why does the Rocky Mountaineer only operate between April and October?
    • We offer all daylight tours meaning you stay overnight in comfortable accommodation in Kamloops and Quesnel, the halfway points of the rail journeys. Travelling during this time of the year ensures that we take full advantage of the daylight hours and the spectacular scenery during the time of year when the regions show their full colours.
  • What are the train station addresses?
    • Please visit our Preparing to Go Section for a complete list of Train Station Locations & Train Station Transfers.
  • Is Rocky Mountaineer merchandise available for purchase onboard the train?
    • We are proud of our selection of high-quality merchandise items for purchase onboard Rocky Mountaineer. Our merchandise catalogue is available online and a physical copy will also be available onboard Rocky Mountaineer at your seat.
  • Does the Rocky Mountaineer have sleeper cars?
    • Our daylight rail tours through the Canadian Rockies are scheduled to show guests all of the scenery. After a day onboard the train through the Rockies, guests overnight in comfortable hotel accommodation in Kamloops, Quesnel or Whistler, British Columbia.
  • What hotel properties do you partner with?
    • We partner with a number of hotel properties ranging from comfortable accommodations with restaurants on the property or within walking distance, to luxurious hotels and resorts with premium room categories.
  • Is smoking permitted on the train and in the hotel rooms?
    • To ensure the preservation of the fragile environment of the areas in which we travel and for the comfort of all guests, there is no smoking or vaping policy including cigarettes, cannabis, cigars, and e-cigarettes onboard Rocky Mountaineer, including vestibules, restrooms, inside the station, on the platforms or near the tracks. Each station has a designated smoking area, with the exception of the Kamloops Station. And there is no smoking in hotel rooms. We recommend that you prepare for the journey accordingly.
  • What type of hotels can guests expect in Kamloops and Quesnel, British Columbia?
    • In Kamloops and Quesnel, guests will stay in moderate, clean and comfortable accommodation with essential amenities and great service. The accommodation is assigned to guests a few days before their departure and will be shown on their boarding pass when they check-in to board the Rocky Mountaineer train.
  • What is the recommended activity in and around Victoria?
    • The recommended activities in and around Victoria are Butchart Gardens. See all recommended tours and excursions.
  • What are the recommended tours and excursions in and around Vancouver?
    • A few of the recommended activities in and around Vancouver are Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Lookout and Grouse Mountain. See all recommended tours and excursions.
  • What is the recommended activity in and around Jasper?
    • The recommended activities in and around Jasper are Motorcoach Icefields Parkway Tour. It’s a “monster-truck-meets-glacier” adventure where guests can learn new things! See all recommended tours and excursions.
  • What is the recommended activity in and around Seattle?
    • The recommended activity in and around Seattle is the Show Me Seattle City Tour. See all recommended tours and excursions.
  • Does the Panoramic Helicopter fly in inclement weather?
    • The Panoramic Helicopter tour may be cancelled due to poor weather. A price reduction will apply if this activity is cancelled or if a guest chooses not to fly.
  • How can my friends and family contact me in case of an emergency?
    • Friends and family who need to get in contact with you in case of an emergency, should call our Guest Experience Centre at guestexperience@rockymountaineer.comor at the following phone numbers:
      • North America: 1-800-653-4105
      • Australia: 0011-800-195-01950
      • Austria, France, Germany, Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland & United Kingdom: 00-800-195-01950
      • Ireland: 00 and/or 014-800-195-01950
  • Can I change or cancel parts of my itinerary if I change my mind?
    • Changes are permitted, however they are subject to change fees depending on when the change request is received in relation to the start of your itinerary. Cancellation of any or all services are fully non-refundable. And no changes are permitted less than 15 days prior to the start of your Rocky Mountaineer itinerary. For a complete guide to change fees and cancellation policies, please refer to our Terms & Conditions.
  • What happens if my journey is affected by wildfires?
    • As the safety of our guests and crews is our top priority, we constantly monitor the wildfire situation in British Columbia and Alberta to evaluate any potential impact on our operations.

Before You Travel

  • What should I pack for the Canadian Rockies and Pacific Northwest?
    • In Alberta, British Columbia, and Washington State, temperatures vary significantly depending on location, time of day, and season. Summer temperatures range from a low of 10°C (50°F) to a high of 40°C (104°F). Kamloops, in particular, may be very warm in the summer, while in the alpine regions, weather can change dramatically in a short time.
    • We recommend that all guests be prepared for different weather conditions. Plan to bring a sweater, pants/trousers, and a light topcoat or raincoat, as well as lightweight summer wear to make your time onboard and in the Rockies the most comfortable. Spring and fall weather conditions can often include cool temperatures and even snowfall, so warmer layers are encouraged during these times.  Visit weather.gc.cafor up-to-date weather information.
    • Our team will make every effort to keep you comfortable throughout your journey with us.
  • Do your facilities accommodate people with special needs and/or disabilities?
    • Rocky Mountaineer will make every effort to meet any special needs, including the requirements of our disabled guests. Some of the Rocky Mountaineer coaches are wheelchair accessible. GoldLeaf Service Dome Coaches have elevators for guests who have problems using the spiral staircase. Please inform us at the time of booking if any assistance is required.
  • Can you provide boarding assistance or accommodate guests with restricted mobility?
    • Pre-boarding and detraining for guests requiring special assistance is provided at all stations. Please advise Rocky Mountaineer at the time of booking if guests require this service and additional assistance while onboard the train, and also notify the Station Team at check-in.
    • Please note that all pets or animals (excluding qualified service animals for guests with disabilities) are prohibited from travelling onboard the train.
  • What currency is used in Canada?
    • The currency used in Canada is the Canadian dollar. Onboard purchases including our merchandise items may be paid with VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Diners Club or Discover Card. We are unable to accept pre-paid credit cards, pre-paid travel cards, gift cards, debit cards, cash or cheques. Exchange rates and transaction fees are determined by your credit card provider. Cash is however accepted for gratuities.
  • Should I plan connecting transportation on the day of Rocky Mountaineer’s arrival?
    • Passenger rail travel in Canada is subject to unforeseen delays. While the Rocky Mountaineer is treated as a priority by the railways it uses, occasional delays do occur. For that reason, we ask that you please DO NOT arrange connecting transportation on the day of your scheduled arrival in any destination.
  • Which airport should I fly to?
    • Vancouver International Airport (YVR) 
    • The Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is your best choice when your vacation starts or ends in Vancouver or Whistler. Located in Richmond, British Columbia, YVR is the second busiest airport in Canada and provides easy access to Vancouver and its surrounding areas. YVR is located approximately 30 minutes south of Vancouver.
    • Calgary International Airport (YYC) 
    • If your vacation starts or ends in either Calgary or Banff, the Calgary International Airport (YYC) is the most accessible airport for you. The Calgary International Airport is located in Calgary, Alberta and is the gateway to Banff and Lake Louise. Banff town site is located 120km (or 75 miles) west of Calgary city limits and is easily accessible from the all-weather, four-lane Trans Canada Highway 1. Lake Louise is located 58km (or 35 miles) west of Banff.
    • Edmonton International Airport (YEG) 
    • The Edmonton International Airport is the closest airport for vacations that start or end in Jasper. The Edmonton International Airport in Edmonton, Alberta is located 362km (or 220 miles) east of Jasper, approximately 3 ½ hours driving time. There are several rental car counters for pick-up and drop off at the Edmonton International Airport if you choose to rent a car for this drive.
  • What are the luggage allowances?
    • Guests travelling onboard Rocky Mountaineer are limited to two suitcases per person (total luggage weight not to exceed 30 kg or 66 lbs). No one piece of luggage may weigh more than 23 kg (50 lbs). All baggage or articles are accepted and transported subject to Rocky Mountaineer’s luggage policy. Oversized items, i.e. sports equipment may be subject to a surcharge.
    • Guests are prohibited from carrying firearms, flammable, hazardous, illegal, or radioactive materials, and some food items. Rocky Mountaineer will not be liable for any luggage containing such materials. If you have any questions on specific items please refer to US Customs and Border Protection and the Canadian Border Services Agency.
  • Luggage Handling
    • Your checked luggage will not be available onboard the train. All medications, valuables and personal items must be carried with you. Once you check into the station and while travelling onboard, our destinations team and onboard hosts will be sure to explain the process surrounding luggage handling between the train and hotels.
  • Are you able to handle special group requests?
    • Absolutely! If you are looking for a customized itinerary for a group of 15 or more, our Group Travel Consultants will provide you with an opportunity to offer your group a unique and memorable experience. In addition, our spectacular meetings and incentives program lets you discover a unique venue for your business or incentive function.
  • Can I add an Alaska Cruise to my rail vacation?
    • Thousands of our guests take advantage of the rail and cruise seasons which are very similar. Rocky Mountaineer offers a selection of Rail & Cruise Vacation Packages in partnership with Holland America Cruise Lines. Speak with your travel agent, contact a Rocky Mountaineer Vacation Consultant or call the toll free number in your area to inquire about pricing and availability:
      • Toll free USA & Canada:  1-877-460-3200
      • Toll Free USA & Canada (French):1-800-425-9126
      • Toll free Australia:  1-800-821-531
      • Toll free UK:  0-800-088-5541
      • Toll free Germany:  0-800-189-9311
      • Toll free New Zealand:  0-800-451-247
      • International:  1-604-606-7245
  • How do guests booked on a Holland America Alaska Cruise receive their final documentation?
    • Holland America Line final documentation is not included with Rocky Mountaineer documentation. Holland America requires guests to complete an online registration process 10 – 50 days prior to cruise departure.
  • Am I able to bring my pet along?
    • All pets or animals (excluding qualified service dogs) are prohibited from travelling onboard the Rocky Mountaineer. Service dogs travelling onboard the Rocky Mountaineer must have been trained by a government-licensed service dog trainer or trainer that meets with the qualifications and standards of Assistance Dogs International or Guide Dog Federation and trained to perform (a) specific task(s) to assist a person with a disability. A copy of government recognized Service Dog ID or ID from a trainer that meets with the qualifications and standards of one of these organizations is required.
    • To ensure that both you and your Service Dog are as safe and comfortable as possible, please complete the form below, and email it along with a copy of your Service Dog certification to your Vacation Consultant no later than 30 days prior to your travel.
  • Where do I start and end on Coastal Passage route?
    • For Guests Travelling on One-way Journeys:
      • Your rail journey will start in Seattle and hug the shoreline between Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC before travelling east to the Canadian Rockies. You can also start in the Rockies and end in Seattle.
    • For Guests Travelling on Circle Journeys:
      • Your rail journey will notstart and end in Seattle, but rather include this rail leg on just one end of the journey. Your rail journey will either start in Seattle and end in Vancouver, or start in Vancouver and end in Seattle depending on which direction you choose to travel.

Onboard Experience

  • What speed does the train travel?
    • The advantage of our train is that we are able to slow down at the most scenic areas to offer guests the best viewing and camera opportunities. We call it “picture-perfect speed” and the best camera photographic opportunities! While there are areas the train reaches up to 90 kph (60 mph), our average speed is approximately 50 kph (30 mph).
  • What meals do I receive?
    • Breakfasts and lunches are included onboard Rocky Mountaineer. If breakfast, lunch and/or dinner are included, it will be indicated in the itinerary of your package. Additional breakfasts and dinner for the entire vacation are available for pre-purchase through a meal plan.
  • I’m travelling in GoldLeaf Service and I know the dining room can only hold 36 of the 72 guests at a time. How does meal seating work?
    • In the morning when you board your GoldLeaf Service carriage, your onboard Host team will separate all guests into two groups. On day 1 of the rail journey, the first group will go down to breakfast and lunch first while the second group enjoys beverage service along with fresh baked pastries or canapes until it is their turn. On day 2 of the rail journey, the groups will switch and the second group will go down first for breakfast and lunch.
    • Note: If you are taking medication or on a dietary regime that requires you take meals at a particular time of day, please advise your booking agent or Rocky Mountaineer, Vacation Consultant at the time of booking so it can be noted on your reservation. 
  • Are both the SilverLeaf Service and GoldLeaf Service coaches accessible by wheelchair?
    • We do have wheelchair facilities for all services. Wheelchair lifters are available at all stations and the GoldLeaf Service dome coaches are equipped with interior ADA-style elevators.
    • In order to ensure we’re able to accommodate all of your guest’s mobility requirements, we ask that you advise us of these concerns at time of booking. Please note that reservations for guests using wheelchairs cannot be completed online.
  • Can you provide boarding assistance or accommodate guests with restricted mobility?
    • Pre-boarding and detraining for guests requiring special assistance is provided at all stations. Please advise Rocky Mountaineer at the time of booking if you require this service and additional assistance while onboard the train, and also notify the Station Team at check-in.
    • Please note that all pets or animals (excluding qualified service animals for guests with disabilities) are prohibited from travelling onboard the train.
  • Does Rocky Mountaineer stop for photographs along the route?
    • No, the train only stops in Whistler, or Kamloops or Quesnel for an overnight stay; however, the train slows to a very slow speed at particularly scenic locations.

Arrival Schedule

  • Depending on the route and direction in which you travel, arrival in your destination ranges from late afternoon to early evening. Passenger rail travel in Canada is subject to unforeseen delays. While Rocky Mountaineer is treated as a priority by the railways it uses, occasional delays do occur.
  • For that reason, we recommend that you book a night’s accommodation in the arrival destination, and ask that you please do not arrange connecting transportation, including flights, on this day. Rocky Mountaineer can arrange for airport transfers and additional hotel nights and tour options at the start or end of your rail journey with advance notice.

Transportation

  • For all guests in Vancouver, Jasper, Banff, and Seattle:Transfers between train stations and hotels need to be pre-booked. Please refer to your travel documents to see if train station transfers and luggage delivery to your hotel are included in your Rocky Mountaineer package.
  • For all First Passage to the West guests in Lake Louise:For guests travelling on the First Passage to the West route, we are pleased to offer complimentary motorcoach transfers between the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Lake Louise Inn, Post Hotel and Spa, and the Lake Louise train station. Guest check-in is not available at the station.
  • For Rainforest to Gold Rush guests:
    North Vancouver — Complimentary motorcoach transfers for Rainforest to Gold Rush guests are provided between select downtown Vancouver hotels and the North Vancouver Station. A specific pick-up time has been assigned based on your pick-up location. Please refer to your travel documents. Guest check-in is not available at the station.
  • Jasper— For guests travelling on the Rainforest to Gold Rush route, we are pleased to offer complimentary motorcoach transfers between the Jasper Station and select Jasper hotels for all of our guests.
  • For all guests in Kamloops, Whistler and Quesnel while travelling onboard the train:All Rocky Mountaineer guests have a complimentary motorcoach transfer booked between the train station and hotel in Kamloops and/or Whistler and Quesnel. A Rocky Mountaineer representative will provide details on pick-up times for the next morning on the way to your overnight hotel.

At the End of your Rail Journey

  • Depending on the route and direction in which you travel, arrival in your destination ranges from late afternoon to evening. Passenger rail travel in Canada is occasionally subject to unforeseen delays. While Rocky Mountaineer is treated as a priority on the train tracks it uses, occasional delays do occur. For that reason, please book accommodation in your arrival destination, and do not arrange connecting transportation, including flights, on this day. Rocky Mountaineer can arrange for airport transfers and additional hotel nights and tour options at the start or end of your rail journey with advance notice.
  • At the conclusion of your rail journey there can be long waits for taxi service. There are motorcoach transfers available for select Rocky Mountaineer partner hotels and we strongly recommend pre-purchasing your transfers at the time of booking, or 30 days prior to travel.
  • What languages are spoken onboard the train?
    • All onboard services and written materials will be presented in English. While some of our onboard Hosts may speak additional languages, we cannot guarantee that any language other than English will be available.
    • Rocky Mountaineer does offer predetermined departure dates where select onboard services are available in either French or German.
  • Is one side of the train better than the other in terms of views?
    • Each direction will offer its own opportunities for unique views and vistas. On many of our routes where the train follows a river, the tracks will cross over a bridge to give all guests the opportunity to be water-side. Socialization is a huge part of the Rocky Mountaineer experience and we always encourage our guests to get up from their seats and move about the railcar to meet their fellow guests and to experience the views from various vantage points. Don’t forget to spend some time outdoors in the fresh mountain air on the open air vestibule.
  • How is seating assigned onboard the train?
    • At check-in, you will receive a boarding pass with your pre-assigned seat and overnight accommodation for Kamloops, or Whistler and Quesnel. If you have special seating requests, such as sitting near a friend who has booked separately, please advise Rocky Mountaineer at least 30 days in advance. We are unable to accommodate specific seats, train coach location or first or second meal seating requests. Please note, guests travelling on the Coastal Passage route between Seattle and Vancouver will be assigned a different coach, seat, and Host than on their two or three-day Canadian Rockies rail journey.
  • How are couples or families who travel together assigned seating?
    • Each row of seats onboard the train contains four seats divided by a central aisle. Multiple couples and families are typically seated across the aisle from each other in pairs of two seats. If you would prefer to be on the same side of the aisle, please let your booking agent or Rocky Mountaineer, Vacation Consultant know at the time of booking.
  • Can the seats be rotated to have 2 couples or a family facing one another?
    • The seats onboard are able to turn to face each other in a pod of four. While this can be convenient when travelling with small children, it does have a substantial impact on the amount of leg room available to share, and it inhibits you from using the seat back table trays. If you would like to know more about this, please enquire with your Guest Service Manager while travelling with us.
  • Are we able to pass between railcoaches?
    • One of the advantages of train travel is the spacious room afforded to all guests. GoldLeaf Service and SilverLeaf Service guests can enjoy fresh air outside their coaches. Access to the GoldLeaf Dome coach and adjacent vestibule is limited to guests reserving this service. Likewise for guests who reserve SilverLeaf Service.
  • What is the protocol concerning gratuities for Onboard Hosts?
    • In North America, gratuities are often given in recognition of service excellence. Gratuities are not included in prices for Rocky Mountaineer Hosts, driver guides, tour escorts or hotel porters. If you are travelling on an escorted tour, we recommend checking with your Tour Director to confirm the amount of gratuity that may have been included in your tour package.
    • The following is provided to assist our guests, but we leave the decision to provide a gratuity for Rocky Mountaineer Hosts entirely at their discretion.  All gratuities are in Canadian dollars.GoldLeaf Service: Our past guests have left gratuities based on their overall service experience ranging from $80 to $100 per couple ($40 to $50 per guest) for a two day onboard experience, which is shared between the Hosts and Culinary Team in your coach.
    • SilverLeaf Service: Our past guests have left gratuities based on their overall service experience ranging from $70 to $90 per couple ($35 to $45 per guest) for a two day onboard experience, which is shared between the Hosts in your coach.
    • SilverLeaf Service on Coastal Passage route: Our past guests have left gratuities based on their overall service experience ranging from $20 to $24 per couple ($10 to $12 per guest), which is shared between the Hosts in your coach.
    • GoldLeaf Service on Coastal Passage route: Our past guests have left gratuities based on their overall service experience ranging from $30 to $40 per couple ($15 to $20 per guest), which is shared between the Hosts in your coach.
    • SilverLeaf Service on Rainforest to Gold Rush route: Our past guests have left gratuities based on their overall service experience ranging from $80 to $110 per couple ($40 to $55 per guest) for a three day onboard experience, which is shared between the Hosts in your coach.
    • GoldLeaf Service on Rainforest to Gold Rush route: Our past guests have left gratuities based on their overall service experience ranging from $100 to $130 per couple ($50 to $65 per guest) for a three day onboard experience, which is shared between the Hosts and Culinary Team in your coach.
    • Gratuities may be paid by cash or credit card.Gratuities are not a requirement and are completely at your discretion.
  • Can guests use Wi-Fi onboard Rocky Mountaineer?
    • There is no Wi-Fi internet access onboard and much of the train route is out of cell phone range due to the train travelling through remote parts of Canada. There is cell service in major urban centers such as Kamloops, Quesnel and Whistler. We recommend guests use the outdoor viewing area for phone calls.
    • It is strongly recommended that guests disable data roaming or switch their device into airplane mode. Rocky Mountaineer will not be liable for any roaming charges incurred.
  • What wildlife will I see?
    • There are wonderful opportunities for viewing wildlife from the train and during your stay in Canada’s West, including bear, elk, deer, moose, bald eagles, osprey, salmon, mountain goats and bighorn sheep. However, “wildlife are wild” and as such, sightings are never guaranteed. If you do come into contact with animals please act responsibly, maintain a safe distance and never feed any wild animals.