Riding the Rocky Mountaineer train through the Canadian Rockies is an experience many people put on their Bucket List. One of the world’s most iconic train journeys takes you through some of the most stunning mountain scenery anywhere in the world, all in the comfort of your luxury train carriage. Taking various routes and tracks between Vancouver and Calgary the Rocky Mountaineer is a certainly beautiful way to see this spectacular part of the globe.
However, this experience is difficult to justify for those on a budget. With multi-day packages setting you back over $3000 per person it is an expensive way to see the Rockies. Fortunately, there is an alternative. We booked tickets from Prince Rupert all the way to Vancouver for only a few hundred dollars with VIA Rail. VIA Rail is Canada’s national train carrier and runs between all the major Canadian cities.
During the summer Via Rail add on ‘touring carriages’ to their routes through the Rockies, offering dining cars and glass roofs comparable to those on offer with the Mountaineer. A seat in touring class will be cheaper than the Mountaineer, but cheaper still will be a seat in the standard carriage. You don’t get a bed or served a 3 course meal but you are still on the same train, with the same view out of the window as everyone who has paid 5 times as much. You can even take a walk up to the viewing carriages and purchase the food the from the cafe on board.
For many, taking the real Rocky Mountaineer is worth every penny, but for a fraction of the price you can enjoy the same views with a few less luxuries. That is how we did it and we don’t regret it for a minute.
The gallery below takes in our journey from Prince Rupert to Jasper.
Like the photos? You can find out more about our gear below.