6 Luxurious Train Upgrades You Didn’t Realize You Needed

From complimentary baggage delivery to world-class dining, the perks of riding the rails through the Canadian Rockies can go far beyond spectacular scenery.

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Rocky Mountaineer bagpipe sendoffPhoto: Rocky Mountaineer

A Swanky Send-Off

Ever dreamt of walking the red carpet? You’ll get your chance when you board Rocky Mountaineer from the legendary train’s Vancouver Station. Among the other fancy flourishes that set the tone for the journey ahead are a moving (pardon the pun) bagpipe performance, and a wave-off from the station’s crew as the train pulls away.

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Story time on Rocky MountaineerPhoto: Rocky Mountaineer

Story Time

On any normal train, it’s up to you to flip through the pages of your guide book simply to find out the name of the rushing river you’ve just crossed. At the other extreme, you’ve got the non-stop nattering of tour guides on those hop-on/hop-off buses. Rocky Mountaineer, however, has found the perfect medium by providing onboard Hosts who engage guests with fascinating facts and folklore that add another layer to the sightseeing experience without ever being intrusive. What’s more, Hosts will share live updates on wildlife sightings from the engineers or the passengers on other coaches, giving you ample notice to aim your camera for that frame-worthy shot.

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Open bar on Rocky MountaineerPhoto: Rocky Mountaineer

An Open Bar

Given the wealth of options presented by British Columbia’s wine country, it would be a shame not to take advantage of an open bar. With complimentary drinks included in any Rocky Mountaineer journey, the Hosts onboard are always happy to recommend a tasty locally produced tipple, whether it be an Okanagan Valley cab sauv or a refreshingly tart B.C. dry cider.

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Five star cuisine on Rocky MountaineerPhoto: Rocky Mountaineer

Five-Star Cuisine

From street meat to airplane food, meals on the move are rarely the highlight of a holiday. Imagine, however, a journey that incorporates fine dining into its DNA, with a menu as memorable as the picture-postcard scenery flashing by the window. That’s what Executive Chef Jean Pierre Guerin has achieved onboard Rocky Mountaineer, with mouth-watering breakfasts and three-course lunches inspired by the finest ingredients in the Pacific Northwest. If you’re travelling in or out of Jasper on the GoldLeaf Service, keep your eye out for the vegetarian burger. The vegetable and tofu patty, topped with Portobello mushrooms, smoked cheddar and onion pepper relish is one of the finest we’ve ever encountered on our travels.

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Outdoor viewing platform on Rocky MountaineerPhoto: ShutterStock

An Outdoor Viewing Platform

Seeing the wonders of the Canadian Rockies from the comfort of a cosy seat is one thing; actually feeling the icy spray from a glacier-fed waterfall takes the experience to another level entirely. Onboard Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll have the option to do both thanks to the outdoor viewing platform located at the rear of each GoldLeaf Service coach. Here, where there’s nothing between you and the great outdoors but a railing, you’ll have the opportunity to take long draughts of invigorating mountain air, and snap picture after picture of the Rocky Mountain wilderness unfettered by the glare of shooting from behind glass.

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Complimentary baggage delivery on Rocky MountaineerPhoto: Rocky Mountaineer

Complimentary Baggage Delivery

What’s the point of a bellboy if you’ve already had to lug your bags to the front door of the hotel? (The elevator, after all, is the easy part!) Travelling on Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll enjoy complimentary baggage delivery to and from your overnight accommodations during your journey. The process is as easy as it sounds: You simply leave your luggage behind at the hotel when you check out in the morning, board the train, and then disembark at night to find your bags waiting in your new hotel room. It’s a seemingly minor detail that makes all the difference after a full day of taking in the spectacular sights—and the sumptuous service—onboard.