High-End Train Travel: Experiences of a Lifetime

High-end train travel is a fantastic way to experience a country, and few places offer so much varied landscape to view as Canada and Alaska. The rail routes in our corner of North America provide access to terrain that would be impassable by any other mode of transport. These lines showcase the best views the continent has to offer, all from the luxurious comfort of a cozy chair and often with a gourmet food service. This is how Entrée Destinations’ does train travel, in style and opulence. Hop aboard and read on to find out more.

Rocky Mountaineer:

The Canadian Rockies are known for their grandeur, featuring soaring peaks, turquoise lakes, and untouched beauty. This range is so expansive that it’s impossible to view it all, but if you were going to try, you’d start by riding the Rocky Mountaineer. This quintessentially Canadian stretch of railroad journeys through some must-see locations across the country’s most famous mountain range. Route stop-offs include; Banff, Lake Louise, Kamloops, Jasper, and Vancouver. We recommend the Gold Leaf option for a lavish experience featuring panoramic views from the glass-domed second floor! On the train, you can expect first-class service and informative and entertaining commentary along the way. You’ll be served gourmet food and delightful BC wines, along with extra helpings of breathtaking alpine scenery. For those looking for some fresh air or additional photo opportunites (not that you’ll need any), head to the viewing deck for an all-out experience. Traveling on the Rocky Mountaineer is truly effortless, at the end of each day there’s no need to worry about your baggage, it’s already waiting for you in your hotel room. The Rockies are yours to explore as you please, care-free.

High-end train travel: Train host explaining the Rocky's while guests listen.
Expect a thrilling and entertaining commentary! Credit: Rocky Mountaineer and Noel Hendrickson

Our guests love combining the Rocky Mountaineer with bucket list activities, and one of our most popular high-end train travel journeys is Ultimate Rockies by Rail. This journey begins with a private SUV transfer from Calgary to Banff, a short and scenic drive that will set an epic tone for the rest of your trip. After a night at the blissful Fairmont Banff Springs, it’s time to explore Banff. You can enjoy a full private sightseeing tour featuring Yoho National Park and the Lake Louise area, including optional stops at Bow Falls, Tunnel Mountain and of course, Lake Louise. The benefit of having a private tour is that you can make the most of your day however you see fit, and there’s plenty to see and do. After a few days, it’s time to head to Jasper. This alpine town is located amongst glacier-fed waterfalls, ancient forests and the Victoria Cross Ranges. Top things to do in the area include an eco-tour, visits to national parks, and more. After several days exploring Jasper, it’s finally time to board the Rocky Mountaineer! When you get to your seats you won’t believe your luck, the arching windows offer a stunning view, and with chairs this comfy, you can just sit back and relax! The knowledgeable hosts will point out all the sights, and on your first day, you’ll enjoy seeing the river valleys of the Monashee, Mount Robson and Pyramid Falls. Your train will follow the North Thompson River and arrive at Kamloops, your destination for the evening where you can expect mountain air and heavenly wine. As your journey continues west towards the Pacific Ocean, you can enjoy all the sights that the temperate rainforests of BC have to offer. Look out for the thundering water of Hell’s Gate, a natural bottleneck of Fraser River that’s just 35 meters wide. Upon arrival in Vancouver, you have one amazing trip to look back on! Now, you have a few days to enjoy the ocean, beach, and mountains of Canada’s green city. If you’re looking to pack in huge terrain and impressive Western Canada, this journey is for you! Check out our full itinerary for more detailed inspiration.

High-end train travel: Train going through mountains and forests.
Jagged peaks galore. Credit: Destination BC & nomadasaurus

Via Rail Quebec:

Quebec is known for its French Colonial architecture and quaint cities. This ancient region of Canada is undeniably picturesque with a distinctly romantic feel. High-end train travel, therefore, goes hand in hand with journeys in this beautiful province! It might be the European-style cities or the rich culture that comes with its diverse heritage, but “All aboard!” has never sounded so fitting.

High-end train travel: Train going past a lake in Canada.
Go past stunning lakes and enjoy the ride! Credit: VIA Rail.

La Belle Province by Rail is one of our most popular rail journeys, and it’s simply stunning. The literal translation of La Belle Province is “the beautiful province” after all. This high-end train travel experience begins in the city of Montreal. This city’s residents seem to live the good life; food, art, and wine are all held dearly here. There’s no end of authentic delicacies, including; Kamouraska lamb, smoked meat sandwiches, and of course, poutine. For dessert, why not visit our favorite sugar shack? This curious timber-framed building is filled to the brim with candy made of maple sap – sweet doesn’t get much more Canadian than this! Other highlights of our Belle Province journey include marveling at Notre Dame Basilica, visiting the old port and bustling Rue St-Paul. After several days, it’s time for your train to Quebec City. The views are spectacular, and there’s nothing to do but sit back, sip a coffee and enjoy the view. High-end train travel is truly effortless. After soaking in the sights via rail, you’ll arrive in Quebec City, North America’s oldest French-speaking city. Here, you can explore cobbled backstreets and ancient architecture. The Old Town of Quebec is a Unesco World Heritage site, and you’ll stay within the castle walls at the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac. This luxury hotel is one of the most stunning in the world, a picturesque castle laden with turrets and allure. Featured heavily in Conde Nast, you’ll understand why as you look out over St Lawrence River. With several days in one of the most picture-perfect cities in the world, who knows what else you could get up to… Read the complete itinerary to find out more.

High-end train travel: dinner laid out for two.
Journeys like these have all you need! Credit: VIA Rail

Alaska Rail:

Alaska has a rugged landscape waiting to be explored, but the last frontier doesn’t make it easy. The Alaskan road system is not as expansive as many places in North America, but fortunately, its high-end train travel routes are nothing short of magnificent. The least densely populated state in America has some big mammals – blue whale and Kodiak bear kind of big – and even bigger views. With so many open stretches of pristine landscape, this gem is an idyllic place for a railroad adventure.

High-end train travel: train going past ice, mountains and a micro-lite.
Some stunning Alaskan ice fields – you never know what you might see! Credit: Nicole Geils

Our Explore Denali National Park journey features one of the most unique stretches of train track in the world. Spanning 350 miles from Anchorage to Fairbanks, the Alaska Railroad Gold Star line offers pristine views that you may enjoy from expansive windows or an open-air platform. Your journey from Anchorage to the entrance of the monumental Denali National Park offers views including jagged peaks, abyssal canyons and wide-open stretches of water and tundra. There’s no better way to see this region of Alaska at sea level – you’ve got in the best seats in the house! As you near the famous Denali National Park, on a clear day you may see the tallest mountain in North America towering into the atmosphere. It’s quite a sight, so don’t forget your camera. Other highlights waiting for you include a visit to Happy Trails Kennel, famous for its championship sled dogs, an aerial tram to the summit of Mt. Alyeska, and more! Alaska takes the great outdoors to a whole other level, view the whole journey to learn why.

High-end train travel: Alaskan train going past lakes and mountains.
Pristine wilderness via Alaskan rail. Credit: Nicole Geils.

High-end train travel across Canada & Alaska:

Railroad journeys are perfect for travelers looking to see the big landscapes that Canada & Alaska are known for while experiencing authentic culture along the way. High-end train travel allows you to tour our corner of North America at your own pace, and it’s effortlessly enjoyable. To view more breathtaking train journeys, check out our complete collection. If you’d like to find out more about any of the travels above, fill out our short Plan Your Trip Form, or give us a call toll-free on 1-888-999-6556.

High-end train travel: Rocky Mountaineer train crossing a bridge.
The Rocky Mountaineer in all its glory! Credit: Rocky Mountaineer and Noel Hendrickson