I travelled to Canada and joined an APT tour of the Canadian Rockies including travel on the Rocky Mountaineer. APT are an amazing, organised professional company I was so incredibly impressed with everything and the tour directors and drivers are there to help, and all go above and beyond to make your holiday a memorable experience. APT also offer great freedom of choice tours which really do make a difference to your tour experience, they also have stops along the way, on longer travelling days, which helps break up the journey.
Rocky mountaineer – it was amazing to see the changing scenery on this journey.
I was able to see both the Gold Leaf and the Silver carriages and honestly there is no comparison. Silver carriages are like being on the XPT (except for the view), for this once in a lifetime experience you must do Gold Leaf- and you will not be disappointed the view from the glass domed carriages is stunning! When you travel in Gold Leaf your bags are actually delivered to your hotel room in Kamloops before you even walk in the door! If you are in red or silver you must pack an overnight bag as you will not see you luggage until you arrive into Vancouver.
In Banff we went up the gondola which offers beautiful views of the area. Heli flightseeing over Banff National Park is another must do from the freedom of choice tours on offer.
At Chateau Lake Louise- APT enlists a local guide to provide guests a fascinating and informative talk while walking around the beautiful Lake. This was a great experience and the guides are incredibly passionate and knowledgeable on this area.
Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge is made up of individual log cabins. It is very quaint and relaxing, all set around a beautiful Beauvert Lake.
TIPS: The road to Moraine Lake, which is the amazing lake near Lake Louise, is closed over the winter period the road doesn’t reopen until the beginning of June. Many lakes do not “unfreeze” until late May/June so you need to carefully chose the dates you travel if want to see the beautiful blue lakes!
Rocky Mountaineer: My preference would be to depart from Vancouver and travel through to Jasper or Banff just because the end of the journey in the Rockies is the most spectacular.