We are back from our trip for a couple of weeks now. I wanted to make sure we thanked you and your team for an AWESOME fun trip.
We were so impressed with the high standard of service and how everything ran like clockwork. We are so glad we went with the Gold Leaf level. The staff were well trained, knowledgeable, courteous, engaging, helpful and made the trip fun too. The food was delicious and so elegantly served. A special thanks to Alex, Brendan, Ashley, Caitlin & Craig (in Car CB 06). The scenery was stunning and we even got to see a couple of bears. We enjoyed the commentary (never intrusive) about the sites we were seeing along the way.
The Fairmont hotels and tour drivers provided excellent service and again the staff were friendly, knowledgeable and helpful.
Thank-you again for taking the time to stop by the hotel with the gifts for us, the welcome letter with recommendations of restaurants. We enjoyed Hapa Izakaya especially the Ika and seafood at Cardero's. We would recommend the Top of Vancouver as the views from there are stunning and the food was also very good.
Pat Plumb(CTA Travel Consultant at Danville Travel, California) did a phenomenal job coordinating with you this trip ....a truly memorable one!
We have already recommended this trip to many of our friends.
Thank-you!Derryck & Yvette D, California, USA ( Rockies Escapade )
Hi Canada Rail Vacations,
I have not mention a specific name as I have over the months of booking and organizing corresponded with may people from Canada Rail and this goes to all of them. Don and I would just like to thank you for an absolutely marvelous holiday. Everything went like clockwork, the hotels were excellent, all staff we encountered friendly and helpful, I know its not your doing but the scenery was magnificent and the weather (iced lakes and snow covered mountains) was fantastic for visiting Australians. We hope to come again and see some more – in a couple of years.Madeleine and Don J, Tasmania, Australia ( Rockies Highlights (westbound) )
We had a wonderful time on our vacation...The Museum of Northern BC was a wonderful spot and we enjoyed our time there while in Prince Rupert. The Skeena train was a delightful journey with Bruce, the conductor, being a highlight - he was a delightful fellow wearing many "hats" as he dealt with all of our needs. We met many interesting folks while on that journey. We saw a lot of animals along the way - elk, many bears and a juvenile moose. The Rocky Mountaineer was also a delightful experience although very different from the Skeena - obviously! Again we saw many animals, sheep, elk and black bears, and even a grizzly! All the hotels you set up for us were perfect and we really appreciate your thoughtful planning on our behalf. Thank you for the note and gift that was waiting for us in Vancouver.Kathy H & Deanna R, Oregon, USA ( Totem Rail Explorer (counter-clockwise) )
Annie & I would just like to thank You, Martin & the rest of your team for organizing our trip.
We had a great time & really enjoyed the train rides. Hopefully we can do some more in the future.
Maybe we can meet on our next visit to Canada.
Trust you are enjoying the fine weather we brought to Vancouver. Ha!!!
We are off to Alaska tomorrow to continue our adventure.
CheersAnnie and Johno G, Perth, Australia ( Trans Canada Train Adventure (westbound) )
Corin and Bobbity M, Christchurch, New Zealand ( Rockies Excursion (eastbound) )
May I congratulate you on your exceptional service on our recent train trip from Vancouver to Banff. The hospitality and food was second to none. It equalled the scenery.
Right from the time of booking until our farewell, your attention to detail and help was outstanding. Your choice of hotels was wonderful.
Thank you so much,
Michael and Christine F, Victoria, Australia ( Rockies Explorer (eastbound) )
Good afternoon, Ryan and Team at Canada Rail,
Mike and I have now returned to Australia after a wonderful few weeks in your beautiful country! We enjoyed every minute of our journey & the wonderful friendliness from everyone we met on the way.
A big thankyou to all the team for putting together the travel arrangements for the Rocky Mountaineer to Jasper & then the onward travel arrangements. All went perfectly, the hotels were great & day-tours very good indeed.
A very special thankyou to Ryan for coming into our hotel on Victoria Day holiday to meet us & share his suggestions for a great time in Vancouver which we did have! We do appreciate your time, Ryan, so thank you very much. Incidentally, we went to The Sardine Can restaurant, one of your suggestions, & had a great night with my nephew. Food was superb - wine too! Highly recommend this place - thanks for suggesting it.
When we next return to Canada, which I am sure we will, will definitely book any tours through Canada Rail Vacations as your service was flawless, as were all arrangements.
Shona F, Aberdeenshire, Scotland (Trans Canada Train Adventure Eastbound)
Just wanted to say we had the best time with Joe Urie on our Jasper tour this morning. He is such a knowledgeable guy and so personable. It was also great to sit at lunch and hear a bit into Joe’s life and family life. He is truly an inspiration. We loved it.
David R, Surrey, UK ( Canadian Rockies Circle )
We have now arrived home after our very enjoyable holiday in the USA and Canada together with the cruise.
First I must thank you for your very kind attention especially in being able to meet me on a different date and time, it was very kind of you to do this. Your attention that you gave to the booking of our holiday on the Rocky Mountaineer and the manner in which you explained everything when we met at the hotel was excellent. You could not have done more to make sure that we would have a good experience on the pre tour preparation.
The booking that you made for Ann and myself was exactly as described in your emails to me. The hotels were wonderful particularly the Fairmont Lake Louise, we had a wonderful room overlooking the Lake and what with the mountains in the background and being on the Gold floor made for a magical two days.
You did say that the hotel at Kamloops was moderate, I have to disagree with you on that point, we stayed at the Sandman Signature Hotel, wonderful, a large clean room with a most comfortable bed and overlooking the river and park. Could not have been much better.
The Rocky Mountaineer train was another magical experience, we had great seats both out and back and Gold Leaf travel is the only way as far as we are concerned, the food was exceptionally good and well organised and the staff were most helpful at all times. We were well looked after.
Finally I must add that we were delighted that we booked direct with your company, not only was it much less expensive that by booking here with a UK company but the service we received at all stages was first class. I will recommend anyone I know who propose to take this trip to use your company.
Again Ryan thank you for your care and attention.
Tom and Cecile T, New South Wales, Australia ( TransCanada Rail Express (eastbound) )
Hi. We are safely back in Australia and would like to express gratitude for the service provided by the team. All went smoothly with all are bookings and train trips. The itinerary provided was excellent and the Fairmont Hotels selected were above our expectations. Thanks to all involved in organisation. Would use your service again when next in Canada.
Mike and Gayle C, Houston, TX ( Absolute Rockies Rail (eastbound) )
My wife Gayle and I just got home from our Canadian Rail vacation. There aren’t enough words to express how great our trip was. It was everything we had hoped for and more. The tours were great and every hotel had a special anniversary gift and note waiting in our room. Thank you for all you guys did for us.
Hilary S, Leabrook, Australia ( Rockies Excursion (eastbound) )
Many thanks for your suggestions – we enjoyed a great meal at Cardero’s. Our time in Vancouver and trip on the Rocky Mountaineer were fantastic, and we really appreciated the assistance provided throughout the leadup by Canada Rail Vacations.
Keith M, Leicestershire, UK ( Trans Canada Train Adventure (eastbound) )
We have thoroughly enjoyed the time shared with you in your beautiful country. We have seen fabulous sights, experienced wonderful scents and colours. Your love and passion for the landscape and wildlife have shone through every moment.
Thank you so much for your patience and your kindness and for sharing your knowledge with us. You have made our holiday very special.
With our warmest regards,
Jenny and Rodney H, After their third Custom Rail Tour (2014, 2015, 2016)
Good morning Martin
Another great adventure; thank you. From the first moment when we were met with our “welcome back” notice until we flew off from Victoria Canada Rail got it just right! Our driver Greg was a tour guide as well as he drove us to Lake Louise; what a great start. No need to go overboard about Lake Louise, you know what it is like! Then you gave us Julian for our trip in the National Park. Like Joe he has so much knowledge and just the right touch with his passengers. Yes, we saw wildlife; his favourite osprey performed right in front of us!!
Our trip up the Icefields Parkway was only marred by a hitch at the glacier on Brewster’s behalf; we would have liked to take longer on the Skywalk. Our driver was fun and we met Julian in passing as well.
The Rocky Mountaineer does it well and we were in the new coach, so could compare the facilities. They had a little trouble adjusting the temperature to suit everyone, but the new seats are even better than the original ones and they were comfortable enough.
Vancouver again and then across to Vancouver Island; the Empress was lovely and we got to Buchart Gardens again and the Art Gallery as well.
Lots of BC wine consumed; good fish (of course) local beer for Rodney and Albertan beef in burgers. The burgers over here are a very pale imitation, (often American influenced) and I think if I told people back here I often chose burgers, they would look at me in disbelief – ours are thin, tasteless, greasy and with an awful lot of non-meat content!. But we love the food, the drink, the scenery, the art and Canada!
Thank you for working with me to produce such a good itinerary.
Here’s to the next time
Virginia H, Rhode Island, USA ( Totem Rail Explorer (counter-clockwise) )
Good afternoon Ryan,
We had a phenomenal time, and we really appreciate all the time and effort you put into arranging things for us. Meeting you in person was truly an added plus. Nearly every part of the trip was a golden memory, although we could have done with less rain and more mountain vistas in the Rockies (but even that wasn’t a total washout), and we look forward to using your services on future trips to the Pacific Northwest. What a gorgeous country!
Thank you so much, and I hope you’ve had a very pleasant Fall and Winter.
Dorothy and Dan B, Ohio, USA ( Rockies Leisure (eastbound) )
We would like to thank you and your staff for helping us plan our Canadian Rockies Vacation. It was a wonderful experience. The attention to every detail was a luxury that we so appreciated and that you had been able to accommodate all out requests. Ryan meeting us that first night in Vancouver was delightful and helpful. The tours with Joe C and Julian were outstanding. They were both knowledgeable and passionate about the areas. We came away educated and in awe of the beautiful Rockies. There was no doubt that both of these men love their jobs of sharing the wonders of the Rockies and all the surrounding lakes, waterfalls, glaciers, trees, plants and of course wildlife.
William S, Oxfordshire, UK ( Rockies Explorer (eastbound) )
Thank you for your messages. We have greatly enjoyed our Canada Rail vacation. All your arrangements went like clockwork.
The tours with both Brewster and Sundog were good with knowledgeable guide/drivers, especially Matt Rodgers. However the star performer was Joe from The Jasper Tour Company who whilst knowledgeable and helpful was also most amusing. Very good value.
The Rocky Mountaineer trip was absolutely first class with a high standard of staff service which made the journey memorable.
Finally, the Canada Rail communications and procedures were flawless and you are to be commended for getting all the details right-no mean feat given all the stopping points. Your recommendation for sightseeing in Vancouver have been helpful. We would be very happy to recommend the tour to our friends.
Thank you again,
David and Helen P, New South Wales, Australia ( Rockies Highlights (eastbound) )
Hello Ryan and Canada Rail team,
Just to say thanks for all your effort.
The trip was faultless and well worth it, we thoroughly enjoyed it.
Absolutely nothing went wrong on the entire trip.Thanks again
Wanda R & Anam G, Connecticut, USA ( Trans Canada Train Adventure (eastbound) )
Couldn't let another day go by without writing to thank you for the terrific job you (and everyone at Canada Rail) did on our vacation itinerary. Everything was perfect from our hotel rooms, to our luggage handling, to the train accommodations. The weather even cooperated being a little colder than usual, but supplying us with terrific vistas of the Rockies in all their snow-capped splendor. Both Anam and I were thrilled with every aspect of the trip. Nothing went wrong and every aspect of the trip was perfectly orchestrated. We especially enjoyed the Vancouver sightseeing excursions Ryan suggested as well as the room upgrades we had along the way. I can't thank you enough for the time you spent with us and the vacation you planned for us. I'm not ready for another train trip, but I have not hesitated to recommend the Canadian Rockies by rail to everyone I've talked to since our return. It was truly a delightful experience and I thank you very much.
Ellen G, Massachusetts, USA ( Rockies Leisure (eastbound) )
Elinor and I had a wonderful time. The highlight for me was the train and our two days at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The view from our Chateau lakefront room was breathtaking.
And, we had twelve days of great weather. It only rained for 10 minutes in Jasper and 5 minutes at Peyto Lake. How did you arrange such good weather?
We took your advice and dined at Sandbar, Cardero's, Joe Forte's, and Maple Leaf. Regardless of where we ate, the food was great.
All the hotels were fine. But, we really got spoiled at Chateau Lake Louise.
Joe with Jasper Tour Company was a character telling wonderful local stories. Dave was our Sun Dog guide and proved to be a geology and glacier expert. The drivers and hostesses on the Brewster tour buses were professional, informational, and always helpful.
We were very glad we chose to stay two nights in Jasper, Lake Louise, and Banff. We took in the scenery and sights without being rushed from place to place. Also glad we chose mid-June for the trip. Banff and the Glacier Discovery Center were really, really packed with people. It must be wall-to-wall people later in the summer.
Thanks again for all your help and extend our thanks to all at Canada Rail Vacations who worked on our trip.
Dear Martin, Ryan and all who helped with planning our Rocky Mountaineer excursion,
THANK YOU! We have wonderful memories of our vacation, Canada is beautiful and the people we met were kind and welcoming. The train was wonderful and the tours you arranged for us were fantastic. Joe Urie (The Jasper Tour Company) was a delight. We also had a great private tour in Banff; thank you for arranging it for us.
We appreciate all your assistance providing recommendations for dining, packing, hotels. Every day the four of us would wonder what would come next and we all said, Martin hasn’t failed us yet, this has to be good. You all are truly expert and professional with vacation planning!Maryelyn G, Michigan, USA ( Grand Rockies Circle )
Hi Ryan and Jenny,
Just arrived in Lake Louise after a really great day on the Glacier and Skywalk; absolutely incredible. Every day so far has been fabulous and the organisation faultless.
Thank you for contacting the hotels, we've been upgraded to a lake view room in Lake Louise, which is absolutely breath taking. Thank you so much, it feels very special.
Thank you again,Gill S, Yarm, UK ( Rockies Explorer (eastbound) )
Hey Martin and gang,
Aline and I have finally returned home after what has to be the most incredible vacation ever undertaken. The part of the journey made possible by Canada Rail was just incredible and I want to thank you all. We witnessed so many beautiful gifts of nature, most impossible to describe. Just know that after Vancouver, we took 2 amazing sea plane rides to Victoria and then to Seattle, where we rented a car and drove back to the DC area, stopping at the Grand Tetons, Mount Rushmore, The Field of Dreams in Iowa, and Chicago. Again, thank you for your guidance and making the arrangements for our journey.
Peace and luv
Bobby M, Virginia, USA, Custom Rail Tour
A heartfelt "Thank you" to you and your team that have assisted for me over the last few months.
Our experience and journey has only been but a memorable one. The dedication you have all always shown with our queries and questions have truly amazed me at times I made myself annoyed with all the queries I had but for you and the team it was never an effort but assistance we received without a grumble.
My husband and myself sincerely appreciated all the help we received.
I was a great pleasure to have been in contact with you and your team.
Thank you once again for all the help.
I am sure I will have the pleasure of being in contact with you all in the near future.Natasha G, Pretoria, South Africa ( Classic Rail to Banff )
Penny and I want to thank you for a fantastic vacation. We are waiting for our shuttle to Calgary airport now. Sorry to leave the beautiful mountains. Thanks for such a wonderful vacation.
Carol P, Ohio, USA, Custom Rail Tour
A HUGE thank you to you the Best Tour Organiser Ever and the team for making our holiday in Canada so perfect. Anne will certainly not forget this birthday! It was so perfect we still think we’re dreaming and that soon someone will pinch us to wake us up.
All the guides were great and we could not believe the lengths a couple of them went to, such as Joe’s mountain goat impression when he could not find the real thing and particularly Julian’s practical demonstration of how not to fall down a mountain (hope he’s feeling better now!). The meeting with Ryan in Vancouver was particularly helpful with various recommendations of places to eat (and thanks for the gifts).
Our only regret was not meeting you in person in Calgary to say thank you for all your hard work in putting such a wonderful tour together.
Of course we have now fallen in love with Canada and its people, so are plotting ways to come back and see more. The Canadian tourism board and holiday companies really do not fully promote the depth and breadth of Canada here in the UK, though of course that may be a deliberate ploy to keep us Brits at arm’s length!
Thank you so much once again for arranging such an amazing holiday that we will both remember forever and we hope to revisit Canada again very soon. You deserve every success with the Business.
Mark & Anne W, Essex, UK Custom Rail Tour
The journey so far has been awesome. The trip yesterday from Jasper to Lake Louise was just out of this world. Wherever you looked was awe inspiring. Definitely the defined moment of our tour thus far. Even managed to capture a good shit of a black bear with her cub chasing after her just off the road.
The Rocky Mountaineer was also great. From the on board personnel, to the food, to the organization of your bags from train to hotel rooms was something wonderful. The accommodation at Kamloops, Whistlers Inn at Jasper to the Fairmount Chateau here in Lake Louise has been great. We were slightly upgraded at the the Fairmount as the receptionist was an Aussie from around our area. We got a beautiful room overlooking the lake and glacier, a couple of free drink vouchers plus complimentary breakfast which was very much appreciated. - us Aussies know how to look after their own ha ha.
Lastly Your tour guides thus far have been great
Joe - who did the gig around Jasper was one of a kind. He was a walking Google. His humor, his knowledge, his professionalism was 150 per cent. Keep him on board and don't let him go.
Sun Dog tour - driver David from Jasper to Lake Louise was also excellent. He had good knowledge, explained a lot and was a like able character. Definitely would recommend him as well
Just about to leave The Fairmount Lodge for today's tour with one of your tour guides so will keep you informed
Once again, all the best to you and Trevor
Hans K, New South Wales, Australia ( Rockies Explorer (eastbound) )
Hello Mandi, Celene and Jenny
Lyle and I just want you to know that our Rocky Mountain Trip was a great success. All of our connections worked out and except for VIA being late at times to reach their destination [freights], it was a great trip and thank you for organizing it for us. The staff on VIA Rail were great, very helpful and professional.
Thank you again,
Margaret M, Ontario, Canada, Custom Rail Tour
I spoke with my clients for feedback about their trip - they loved it! All of it! My lead client did not realize that Rocky Mountaineer could be booked as a sole excursion but learned the value in booking the entire tour with one supplier. I look forward to sending more clients your way since many are deciding not to travel to Europe.
Debra Harris, Life's Journey Travel, Minnesota, USA ( Calgary Stampede Train (eastbound) )
To the Sales and Reservations Dept at Canada Rail
We dealt with many of your sales and reservations representatives, so I am addressing this email to all.
We recently experienced the trip of a lifetime with Canada Rail, which consisted of one night in Vancouver, and two nights one the Rocky Mountaineer (Rockies Explorer Eastbound, Gold Leaf) from Vancouver to Jasper. We then joined the coach tour to Lake Louise and Banff.
The trip on the Rocky Mountaineer was unforgettable! The staff were friendly, helpful and efficient throughout and their service was outstanding. The train itself was incredibly well- appointed with very comfortable seating – it had an amazing design with glass windows and ceiling which allowed for excellent viewing of the scenery throughout the day. The seating area was very spacious. The restaurant car was lovely- well designed for a relaxed, elegant meal. The cuisine was superb and we could hardly decide which of the many courses to choose, as they were all delicious. Fortunately, we had the opportunity to try the courses we had not tasted, on the second day. We never felt rushed or hurried during the meals, and it was a wonderful experience to be able to watch the spectacular Canadian scenery go by while enjoying a gourmet meal and fine wines.
The staff on the train, both in the dining area and in the seating area upstairs, were never anything but helpful, friendly and knowledgeable. They always went the extra mile. We so enjoyed the commentary about the various viewsites we were seeing at particular intervals – it made the journey so interesting and worthwhile. The staff were always extremely efficient, but never intrusive.
We loved the amazing welcome we received when arriving at the station to board the train. Both the grand piano pianist and the Piper were a wonderful touch. We also liked the way the Rocky Mountaineer staff stood in line to wave us goodbye. All in all, it was an incredible experience!
The rest of our journey on the coach tours from Jasper to Lake Louise were unforgettable! The scenery was amazing and the hotel accommodation in each place was superb, particularly the Fairmont on Lake Louise and the Rimrock in Banff. The coaches arrived to fetch us each morning on schedule and the coach drivers were always very helpful and informative. There was never a hitch at all in transferring to the various hotels and transferring to the various coaches each morning, as well as our final coach transfer to Calgary Airport. I really must commend your company for their excellent service and efficiency – we have never experienced this level of service and efficiency anywhere in the world.
I must commend you all, and we can’t thank you enough for the incredible efficiency with which you arranged our reservations, and the incredible speed with which you answered every single email that we sent you. We were also most appreciative of the interest you showed in our trip and the helpful way in which your answered all of our queries at various stages. Your company and its staff are to be highly commended – in the way you deal with customers and in your efficiency.
Many, many thanks again.Mr & Mrs Alan and Marguerite H, Johannesburg, South Africa ( Rockies Explorer (eastbound) )
Nice to have had the time to meet you on Monday.
Just a note to,let you know we arrived back in Scotland safe and sound with all our memories of the fabulous holiday we had in Canada being transferred to the computer as I write.
Both Anne and I would like to thank yourself and team for helping to organise such a wonderful time, without your help we could never have managed to capture so much of your great country in the limited time we had.
The hard part for us now is to try and get back to normal after such an undertaking over the last three weeks. (Including the washing) Also trying to describe the views and memories we have to our family and friends.Scott H, Fife, Scotland ( Rockies Explorer (eastbound) )
We had a wonderful time and appreciated the planing and execution by CanadaRail staff. You and the other team members at Canada Rail were all terrific to work with, Ryan, and we had a memorably wonderful anniversary trip. You all truly worked as a team and everyone was always very responsive and friendly to work with whenever I called or emailed. We both hope you share this email with your boss. We will certainly be open to working with the firm for future Canada travels, as we mentioned to you at our meeting. Any questions for us? We'll be happy to help in any way we can. Thanks again.Tom and Anita W, Kansas, USA ( Coast to Coast Rail Adventure (eastbound) )
Just a short note to say how much we enjoyed our fantastic holiday in Canada. It was a well organised trip with super memories and the scenery, food and trips were excellent.
Elizabeth and Michael E, Malaga, Spain ( Rockies Leisure (westbound) )
Just got home from our vacation and wanted to thank you all for a great time on the Rocky Mountaineer trip/ I wanted to thank Ryan for taking the time to come and meet us after it was very kind of him and he gave us some good information on Vancouver.
Once again thankyou all for making our time in Canada a super one and will not hesitate to recommend you to our friends
Clive & Joyce P, North Yorkshire, UK ( Classic Rail from Banff )
Merrill and I wish to thank you for creating a wonderful experience for us in Vancouver and the Canadian Rocky Mountains. This was a trip we have wanted to take for a very long time and our expectations were very high. Wow...you knocked it out of the park! We are very happy we upgraded to the Goldleaf Train Service and the Deluxe Hotel Category. The service and accommodations were exceptional in everyway.
Let me begin by saying your salesmanship is first rate. You truly take care of your customers. We felt so at ease on our trip because you gave us written information, phone information, internet information and personal handling. Meeting us for coffee and giving that extra hands-on service is priceless. The complete package from Vancouver, to Jasper, Lake Louise, Banff and return to Vancouver was the perfect trip for us. It maximized our time and gave us exactly the experience we wanted.
We truly thank you for all you did to make our vacation very special and one we will cherish always.
With warmest regards and best wishes,Monnie and Merrill S, Florida, USA ( Canadian Rockies Circle )
Just wanted to say a big thank you to yourself and colleagues at Canada Rail for the excellent organisation of our recent vacation.
We were very impressed with the amount of information we received before and during our visit. Once again, thanks for all your assistance. We wouldn't hesitate to use your company again, and would certainly recommend to others.
Paul and Sally C, West Sussex, UK ( Best of the West (eastbound) )
Apologies for not writing to you sooner, it is hard to believe that it is 3 weeks since returning home. First of all many thanks for arranging an absolutely fantastic holiday. From superb scenery to excellent service the whole trip went really well. I am very sorry that we didn't get to meet you in Vancouver but we probably needed a few more days there, it was a very rapid visit to a beautiful area.
Starting at the finish the Rocky Mountaineer experience was out of this world, service and food on board was exceptional and the process from first meeting them until we were passed on to the next phase was very slick and well managed. The scenery was wonderful and full of kodak moments, so many that I got to the stage of how many more views can I photograph.
The Icefield Parkway trip was excellent with the driver being full of information and taking care of all on board.
The via rail trip across Canada again very interesting with lots of information being given. Food again was excellent - 3 square meals a day and no where to work it off.
Thanks again for helping to arrange a very memorable trip
Best wishesAlan, G, Bedfordshire, UK ( Across Canada Adventure (eastbound) )
I have been unsuccessfully trying to thank you for organising our wonderful holiday. Everything went so smoothly, very important for inexperience older travellers. We could not have wished for more.
Thank you.Phil & Heather E, Devon, UK ( Trans Canada Train Adventure (eastbound) )
Elizabeth and Torben, Western Australia, Australia (Trans Canada Express Eastbound)
Dear Ryan et al at Canada Rail Vacations,
We are safely in Toronto and about to set off on our next flights to England and Australia!
We have had a tremendous train journey across Canada and stayed in some amazing historical hotels! Thank you so much for your organisation and friendly professionalism and we look forward to our next trip one day! Perhaps the Ocean trip or up to Hudson Bay.
Inge W, London, UK (Rockies Explorer Westbound)
We arrived in Calgary and met a relative on Monday evening. I am sorry I never got around to taking your kind offer of meeting for a coffee. We were incredibly busy in London prior to departure and were very jet lagged.
The Rimrock Hotel is wonderful and we have landed on our feet here. We love Banff and the mountains. Our room has a wonderful view over the valley and a bit of river. In spite of being jet lagged we walked into Banff through the forest, so stunning. The Bow Falls are impressive.
We are looking forward to the rest and will let you know if we need help with anything. So far you have done us proud.
With best wishes,
Cathy and Ed M, Pennsylvania, USA (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
We thank you for providing us with an excellent private tour from Jasper to Banff. Your knowledge of the area – mountains, lakes, icefields and glaciers – certainly added much to the tour. We appreciated your concern for our comfort during the trip and much enjoyed hearing your own personal stories. Our travel agent will ask us about our trip and we definitely will recommend Canada Rail and you as our tour guide.
Best wishes and many thanks.
Janis and Jim S, Pennsylvania, USA (Grand Rockies Circle)
We finally returned from our fantastic vacation--it was truly all we expected and more! Thank you for booking us so many beautiful and interesting tours. It occurred without a hitch. Based upon what we told you we wanted to do, it was a perfect trip. We were fortunate to be able to hike to Lake Louise teahouse while staying at the fabulous Chateau.
Thank you so much,
Glen and Regina D, Victoria, Australia ( Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Thanks go first to Canada Rail Vacations and Martin Flanagan in Calgary for the prompt and friendly planning of our itinerary. It really was a holiday which suited us very well. The whole free day in Vancouver 22 June was genius for sorting out the worst of Pacific eastbound jetlag. The Fairmont Waterfront suited us very well, with easy walking into Gastown and lovely harbour outlook and proximity to the Rocky Mountaineer platform. Ryan Cowie met us early to plan our day 22 June and to fill in some blanks for the trip. He was very generous and knowledgeable. Thanks Martin for the link showing Ryan’s video. We recognised him instantly. We had a lot of questions and got all the right answers.
The Rockies Mountaineer is a highly awarded, highly polished product. We booked SilverLeaf and never regretted our choice. Sufficient comfort, dedicated seating, meals in our seats, abundant food and drinks, big windows and very rarely do views suffer from the aspect which is lower than the second-storey GoldLeaf perspective. We soon learned our carriage had three full time staff and roaming visits from Wendy, the train manager. Angelina was the senior full-timer on our carriage (J02), and Chelsea was our chef. The bathrooms in the carriage were more than adequate in number and design and put airlines to shame.
The Rocky Mountaineer is a very leisurely train. Carriages are quiet and windows large. The overhead windows in SilverLeaf are less extensive than in GoldLeaf but we never felt them inadequate. Views pass by slowly with plenty of opportunity for pics and game spotting. We saw a few eagles, a few white-tailed deer and a few bighorn sheep. The train slows for pics of waterfalls and major scenic attractions. The snow-capped Rockies are a constant background.
Jasper is all about the National Park. We had arranged a tour with Joe Urie. Joe’s promo video is an understatement of the real Joe, a card-carrying First Nations, wildlife, history and environment enthusiast. Joe’s little 12-seater bus is a good platform to explore the park, lakes, waterfalls and critters. We saw 5 black bear including a cub up close, elk and deer, enjoyed wonderful scenery. But it was Joe’s stories that shone out. Joe is quick to spot a “Bear-jam” and manouvres his little bus so his clients get great views. Thanks Joe! He also sends greetings to Martin in Calgary. And told the busload a story about how Martin had rescued his clients with his own bus in the face of a disruptive threatened transport strike a couple of years ago.
Laura B, California, USA (Trans Canada Express Eastbound)
Good morning Ryan,
It was so nice for Peggy and I to meet you during our brief stop in Vancouver. Thank you for our gifts and all your help and suggestions.
I must say, the food on the train was excellent and I had no problems. Our first hostess, Meghan, was delightful and very knowledgeable. The trip on the whole was spectacular and I thank you for your advice and arrangements.
We very much enjoyed the hotel in Victoria and High Tea was a terrific bonus for me! They served me a complete selection that I could enjoy without difficulty. I hadn't had a scone for thirty years! Next time, we'll have to just focus on Toronto.
Sincere thanks to you for arranging our lovely trip and my best wishes for your continued success. You're very good at what you do.
Paul and Jean B, Idaho, USA (Classic Rail to Jasper)
Just a short note to let you know we finished our vacation through Canada. It was great, as you can imagine.
Our train ride was fun. The scenery was just as we had imagined. The accommodations were great, even in Kamloops (but it helped to know that the accommodations in Kamloops would be moderate). The Pacific Rim Jasper in Vancouver exceeded our expectations. We loved the Jasper Fairmont, but were surprised that they didn’t have air conditioning.
It was nice meeting you. Thank you again for the coffee and scone. Good luck with your upcoming wedding. (Martin’s note: Ryan got married at the end of September and we congratulate him also!)
Ken and Cathy E, New South Wales, Australia (Coast to Coast Rail Adventure Eastbound)
Hi Martin and team,
It is hard to know where to start to thank your team for helping us plan and book out trip of a lifetime!!! We have been home for a few weeks now after tripping (very apt description) through so many time zones!!!
Our trip was perfect:
Accommodation top notch and very well located close to train stations which we really appreciated as we like to walk and not have to catch taxis.
All tours went like clockwork eg pickup & collection and covered the most impressive sights.
Rocky Mountaineer was ten out of ten.you could not fault the staff, food or the spectacular scenery.
The Via rail trip trans Canada we enjoyed as much as the Mountaineer. It was also excellent. We made many friends on that trip
To sum up, you provided the perfect package for us as we like to travel independently most of the time.It could not have been better. Canadian people are very friendly and welcoming and tourism there is very slick and efficient wherever you go.
We can't thank you enough and your company's customer service was fantastic every step of the way. Extremely prompt & efficient .We will certainly recommend you to our friends & family. Worth every cent!!! (Martin's Note: That's a lot of exclamation points! Thanks!!!)
Bruce and Kathy A, Connecticut, USA ( Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Our enthusiasm for the way you and the Canada Rail team arranged and handled our 50th Anniversary trip cannot be over stated. This was one of THE BEST trips of our lives, and it is in very good company.
The trip coordination your team did, the details you planners incorporate into the itinerary, and the personal attention given to our specific wants and needs was outstanding and made for worry free arrangements and trip execution. Being able to select GoldLeaf Service separate from deluxe hotel booking helped contain overall spending. Yet we were able to enjoy the dome car experience, not to mention the wonderful cuisine.
Prior to departure, I envisioned the Rocky Mountaineer to be the trip highlight. And it was spectacular. But I hadn’t anticipated that the train’s destination was as important as the rail portion itself. WHAT a surprise and pleasure to realize that the bus tour down through the Rockies would be equally as enthralling as the Rocky Mountaineer experience. Each curve and each stop provided another postcard vista. We’ve culled our 1500 pictures down to 700 “keepers” and a 300 picture (and video) slide show. Can’t wait to show them off to friends and family (the slide show is only 35 minutes so we won’t be boring them to death! LOL). And what wonderful memories they will be for us.
Finally, we have to thank you, Ryan, for the personal touch your visit with us provided. What a great start to our adventure. Your tips via email prior to leaving home, and then the added suggestions and insights when we met in Vancouver, were much more than icing on the cake – they are integral to the countless endorsements we have given to all who will listen to put this itinerary on their “bucket lists”, and to be sure to use your company to book it.
By the way, Joe Urie of Jasper Tour Company lived up to your endorsement in every way. What an informative, enthusiastic and personable guide. Thank you for selecting his company for us – his small company and van yielded the biggest benefits in service and enjoyment.
It was super meeting you, Ryan. If we can ever swing a do-over, we’ll do it all the same again and hope we get to see you too. Please thank your team for us again, as well as the Rocky Mountaineer crew, the Brewster folks, and especially Joe in Jasper. And please pass on our thanks to Martin and Heather too, for the fine job your company does.
Janet G and Jim O, Lancashire, UK (Totem Rail Explorer)
Our tour went very well. All connections were good and hotels of a great quality. I would like you to pass on our sincere thanks to Celene Harder and team who did so much work for us after our initial enquiry. They constructed a bespoke journey for us that made us feel we were on our own personal tour without being accompanied by a cast of thousands. This made it feel very special. Also Leif of Vancouver Island Expeditions provided a great personal tour from Port Hardy down to Victoria.
-Great food and great hotels (some fantastic views from our hotel bedroom windows)
- Fantastic rail journey
- Great gondola rides
- The day tour from to Victoria
- Whale watching at Victoria.
I thank you and everyone involved for the holiday of a lifetime.
Gordon and Isabel A, California, USA (Coast to Coast Rail Adventure Eastbound)
Isabel and I returned home yesterday after a really wonderful train trip across Canada, from the meet and greet with Ryan in Vancouver to fantastic days with Max (an amazing guide) to the Prestige cabin trip to Toronto where the 12 hour delay was a bonus!! to our arrival in Halifax on the Ocean train everything went well. The weather cooperated with sunny days at every location and no rain. I thank you and your team for such smooth arrangements all the way.
Malcolm and Patricia C, West Sussex, UK (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Thank you! We also send our best wishes to all at Canada Rail and our thanks for arranging the itinerary for our fantastic holiday. We're already saving up to visit Canada again in the future!
Scott and Patty H, Missouri, USA ( Calgary Stampede Eastbound)
Martin and Ryan,
Thank you both for an enjoyable and memorable trip. From our first contact everything was first class and professional. We truly enjoyed every aspect from our time in Vancouver, our two days on the Rocky Mountaineer, our three days in Banff, and our time at the Calgary Stampede.
Ryan, Patty and I appreciated your meeting with us in Vancouver and your suggestions of restaurants and other activities. Martin, thank you for the added touch of meeting us in Calgary and carrying our luggage to our hotel.
We plan to recommend Canada Rail to everyone and join you again for another trip.
Duarte M., Illinois, USA (Rockies Explorer Westbound)
Overall, the trip was a great experience. The Gold Leaf Service of the Rocky Mountaineer measured up to my expectations. The views and the food service were fantastic, and so were the hotels in Calgary, Lake Louise, Jasper, Kamloops and Vancouver.
Susan and Iris H., Stratfordshire, UK (Classic Rail to Banff)
Mum and I want to say a big thank you for taking time to meet with us and to treat us to a lovely glass of wine.
We cannot believe that we are now home, back in the UK. Our 17 days flew by so quickly. We had a fabulous time on the Rocky Mountaineer, what a superb 2 days, the food, organisation, crew, everything was wonderful. A real trip of a lifetime.
Thank you for all your organisation, we were very impressed with CanadaRail and hope to use your services again in the future.
Marianne and Manfred J., Hanseatic Calgary Travel, Calgary, Canada (Classic Rail from Banff)
Wade Bush was indeed our Train Manager. I think he has sent you a picture of all of us. It was an outstanding tour. And then the surprise at the hotel, the special touch on the Gold floor and the surprise package from your company.
Thank you again for looking after us soooo nicely.
Paul and Jeffrey W., New Jersey, USA (Trans Canada Express Eastbound)
WOW!! What a great trip !! My son Jeffrey and I thoroughly enjoys the trip they the beautiful Canadian rockies and thru the Canadian countryside to Toronto. The train accommodations are very nice, the food excellent and the service great.
The trip exceeded our expectations without question.
Thanks to all of you at Canada Rail Vacations.
Cheryl and John C, Pennsylvania, USA (Rockies Leisure Westbound)
I wanted to thank you for the wonderful vacation you helped plan for us. We really had a great time! Also thanks for the gifts!! I have a friend who saw my pictures I posted on facebook and she is interested in taking this trip. I gave her your name, phone number and extension.
Again, thanks again for all you help! (My favorite was Lake Louise!!)
Mabel P, Kent, UK (Rockies Excursion Westbound)
Dear Ryan and all the team that helped to organise my Canadian Rail holiday.
Just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed that part of the holiday even though I had to do it by myself. We were all looked after very well during the rail journey with the beautiful food and drink, etc as well as the accommodation in Banff, Kamloops and Vancouver, which was sooo... Comfortable. Made me feel quite important!
But thank you Ryan and the team for this wonderful holiday. Will surely not hesitate recommending it to others.
LuAnn A & Sarah M, Oregon, USA (Trans Canada Train Adventure Eastbound)
Sarah and I had a fabulous trip last month on our Canada Rail Vacation. We enjoyed so many majestic and awesome sights in Canada!
The Rocky Mountaineer part of our trip was fantastic. The food, the service, the seats, the accommodations were all very nice. We also had a couple of really nice bus/ tour drivers. Joe Urie, who owns and operates Jasper Tour Company was especially entertaining and knowledgeable. We really enjoyed the tour around Jasper and the boat ride on Maligne Lake. And Lake Louise could not be more amazing and beautiful.
Our hotel accommodations on the entire trip were upgraded to superior and it showed! All first class and very nice. The food on the "Canadian" was excellent. The selections and portions were just right. We enjoyed some delicious meals on our cross Canada ride.
The Niagara Falls tour was wonderful. We had a great day seeing the falls, taking the Hornblower boat ride, enjoying lunch at the Sheraton and touring around the area. Again, we had a very enjoyable bus/ tour driver. The train from Toronto to Montreal was very nice. First class seats and service. Was an enjoyable ride. And Montreal was such a beautiful city to see. We were able to enjoy the Sightseeing tour and the Basilique Notre Dame Cathedral. We ended our tour in Montreal.
Finally, I want to reiterate how much we appreciated meeting with you in Vancouver prior to beginning our train tour. You had some very helpful information and answers to our questions. Plus, the wine was good. Overall we really did have a great trip. We met some wonderful people from all around the world and will have some everlasting memories of good times, good friends and amazing scenery.
Bob & Kay F, Texas, USA ( Best of the West Westbound)
Kamloops Couplets – a sonnet by one of our guests
Cross rivers Kicking Horse, Fraser or Bow, Kamloops Thompson and Columbia go.
Pacific, National are all now Canada's Rail. Add Great Eastern too it's no mere snail.
Prime Minister Sir John MacDonald pins, His dream the spike completes, and nation wins.
Surveyors, Engineers their projects bring. Onderdonk, and Rogers tracks will fling.
Robert Service writes and Fraser names, While Chipmunks, Ground Squirrels, Otters play their games.
Where Grizzlies, Black Bears then their families raised. Now glaciers, rocky cliffs and peaks be praised.
As Ospreys, Eagles ever make their dance, Now Bighorn Sheep and Mountain Goats still prance.
Now Switch Backs, Spiral Tunnels travelers awe. What First Nations early never saw.
These new thoughts our days with wonders bless. In Canada, our northern land of hopefulness.
Nancy B, Virginia, USA ( Rockies Highlights Westbound)
Expressing gratitude to Martin Flanagan, Ryan Cowie and the rest of your staff for a VERY smooth and wonderful vacation! Our 'upgrades' & welcome packet in Vancouver, added to the special care we received everywhere! We will recommend you!
Susan M, Mancino Travel, New Jersey, USA (Absolute Rockies Eastbound)
I really must comment; all aspects of working with Canada Rail Vacations has been top notch. Professional and attentive. Really a pleasure. I was somewhat "green" in this destination and through the guidance of your booking agents, I was able to provide, with confidence, a great trip/product for these highly regarded clients.
Your team made me look good and that speaks volumes in the travel industry.
I’m looking forward to working with Canada Rail Vacations again in the near future.
Deepak P, Sandipan D and families, India (Custom Pre Conference Tour)
My Dear Martin,
We had wonderful time in Rockies thanks to u. We enjoyed every moment. Vehicle and Drivers were one of the best. Our driver/ guide Mr Dave needs special mention. Very humble and friendly. Your choice of hotel was very good,
We could see many animals including Bears. River rafting was a great fun and life time experience. Yes I will come back in year or two, to spend more time in Rockies.
Give regards to your wife and we look forward to your visit to India.
Chad and Jeanne C, Nevada, USA (Trans Canada Train Adventure Westbound)
I just wanted to thank you and the team for the great trip you put together. We ate at Cardero’s as you suggested, the food and atmosphere were great.
We really enjoyed the complete trip you put together. It seemed like we got the best of everything there was to see or do in the time we had at each destination.
I must say that the view from our hotel window at Lake Louise is perhaps the best we've ever had.
Thanks again and good job!
Marsha & Jim D, Arkansas, USA (Rockies Escapade)
Just a quick note to you to let you know how very much we enjoyed our Canadian adventure. You guys did an excellent job for us.
Linda & Robert D, Mississippi, USA (Classic Rail to Banff)
Just want to thank you for the part you played in our Canadian vacation. It was wonderful. We especially appreciated Ryan meeting with us in Vancouver and giving us hints for our visit there as well as help beyond our train experience. He was most helpful in helping us make the most of our time as well as answering all our questions.
Thank you for a special trip.
Elizabeth & Rodney H, Hertfordshire, UK (Classic Rail to Banff)
Good evening Ryan,
We are now back from the Great Canadian Adventure and what a fortnight it was!!
Thank you for the welcome to Vancouver; we didn’t contact you as everything was great! The Fairmount Waterfront was splendid; we enjoyed our stay there and the breakfasts. We went to Vancouver Island (Butchart Gardens was wonderful and fish in Victoria superb).
And the The Rocky Mountaineer; well it is hard to praise the whole organisation and care enough. A splendid experience. Hotels good (loved the warm cookie in Kamloops!)
So we had a great time and here comes a question………………..WE WANT TO COME AGAIN!! (Martin's Note: Elizabeth and Rodney booked again for June 2015 and another tour in June 2016)
Dorothy M, Maine, USA (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
First let me thank you and your colleagues for planning such a wonderful trip. Joyce and I especially appreciated your meeting with us upon our arrival in Vancouver and your suggestions of excursions and restaurants. Our experience throughout was exceptional, with every detail well planned and communicated to us. I have already completed the Rocky Mountaineer survey I received by e-mail, and gave a glowing report of that portion of the trip. All other excursions and arrangements were fabulous.
John & Lorraine B, New South Wales, Australia (Trans Canada Train Adventure Eastbound)
I'm sitting here early in morning still recovering a week after our return to Australia. This note however is to thank you for the most enjoyable tour we enjoyed through your company. I wish to commend you and all your planners on the thorough communication processes that occurred prior to the tour. I left Australia very confident about our travel plans (well at least your part in them!). The meet and greet by Ryan in Vancouver only further cemented this confidence! We enjoyed all aspects of the tour. It was complemented by the great weather you assured us we would have! We enjoyed the VIA Rail train & the Rocky Mountaineer! I am happy to be included in any comments/reviews you wish to include on your website and am happy to be contacted by any potential customer on this side of the world ! (Invitation is now open for all Ozzies to contact John. MF)
Ryan in Vancouver! It was great to have that pre-tour info, as well as ask other questions - and get a lift to a laundry!!! Thanks again for your personal touch to our travel plans, but to each and every consultant associated with our booking.
Jane H, Alabama, USA (Trans Canada Express Westbound)
Just a quick e-mail to say thanks again for the tips you gave us about touring Vancouver. Despite some rainy days we thoroughly enjoyed the city! We spent time in Stanley Park, visited the Granville Island Public Market and had some delicious food from several of the vendors there, found the Icebreaker store with no trouble as well as the Fluevog store in Gastown, and loved our meals at The Flying Pig in Gastown and Cardero's at Coal Harbour. Sunset views of the harbor and the mountains beyond were fantastic and the seafood was delicious, too. It was also fun to look out our window and see the crowds pouring in for the soccer game (which we understand Vancouver won)! And a trip to the Vancouver Art Museum to see the Emily Carr exhibit they were running, as well as an exploration of the Vancouver Public Library, were also delights.
Kudos to CanadaRail for all the help -- not too much, not too little, just right -- and please pass along my thanks to the rest of the team. Y'all rock!
Janice & Martin E, New York, USA (Trans Canada Train Adventure Eastbound)
Martin Flanagan, Ryan Cowie, and others at CanadaRail,
Thank you so much for arranging a spectacular trip for us across Canada. You were right to book us into Gold Leaf Service on the Rocky Mountaineer.
Our accommodations at hotels were more than comfortable; we loved the sights we saw; and enjoyed riding and sleeping on the VIA Rail trains. Brewster Bus Service was very well organized.
Ryan, went out of your way for us. We went to the restauarant you recommended, Tapas, for dinner which was quite good and convenient.
We loved the whole trip, and we've already started recommending your company to friends and family.
Kathy, Marylou, Stacy & Mark, Minnesota, USA (Rockies Highlights Eastbound)
Hello Martin and Ryan,
We just wanted to send you a note and let you know how much we enjoyed our trip from Vancouver to Lake Louise. 1st of all, we loved meeting Ryan and really appreciated the information we got from him about Vancouver, as well as the gifts he gave us!! Vancouver is a great city with lots to do, and I don't think we covered 1/2 of it, but we saw a lot and did a lot. The Sheraton Wall Centre is a very nice hotel, and Marylou and I appreciated the extra space we got with the Family Suite ... thank you for that upgrade.
As for the Rocky Mountaineer, we were treated like royalty and our Dome Car and Gold Leaf Service was wonderful. The food was unbelievable and the staff on the car we had were outstanding. I don't know if you arranged what car we would be in, but if so, thank you so much for that as it could not have been nicer.
Once we woke up Wednesday morning and looked out our window ... wow ... what a beautiful view of the mountains we had. Again, thank you for getting us that room and the Rimrock is a beautiful hotel overall, so thank you for that suggestion. Having the bus passes from the hotel was great, as we then explored the downtown and riverfront and had a great day there. When we left on Thursday for the tour and ending up in Lake Louise, that Lakes and Waterfalls tour was outstanding as well. My 10 for the entire trip was seeing Takakkaw Falls, it was amazing. I'm also so glad we got to go to the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise for our lunch that day, as the weather was perfect and we ate by the lake. We hiked around a bit and were so glad to know we were coming back there later in the day and staying. Also, again .... talk about WOW .... the lake view rooms we had took our breath away. Definitely a plus to book extra days at both locations.
Again, thank you so much for setting up this trip for us .... it was fantastic and we will have a lifetime of memories of all the beauty that we were blessed to experience.
Linda & Paul D, Maryland, USA (Rockies Leisure Eastbound plus Calgary Stampede add on)
What an enthusiastic vacation planner you were in helping organize every aspect of our itinerary! You worked diligently to get us into the best hotels, handled the complicated logistics involved in our many stops, and even sent us a detailed list of sights to visit while we were in Vancouver. In addition, and with little notice, you were able to reserve us a room at The Delta Bow Valley hotel in Calgary and provide us with amazing seats for two days at the wonderful Calgary Stampede! Canada Rail Vacations is lucky to have you representing their great company. Thank you our friendly Vancouverite!!
It was a pleasure to meet you in Calgary and indeed a pleasant surprise when you delivered the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and Grandstand tickets to us in person during such a busy time. When you realized that I had injured my leg you went to great lengths to ensure that the hotel provided a wheelchair for our entire stay even if you had to drive us to the nearest Red Cross office to get it! The logistics of getting around Calgary were a concern for us but you stepped right in and arranged taxis so that we could enjoy our trip in spite of my inability to walk very far. You and your company, Canada Rail Vacations, rate 5 out of 5 in customer service and we thank you for showing us your beautiful country in superb style!!
Bob V & Iris F, Nevada, USA (Calgary Stampede Train)
Bob and I send thanks for our wonderful Canada trip.
Everything went on time and as scheduled. The hotels were great, as were the tours, and the Calgary Stampede Rodeo and Grandstand shows.
We especially enjoyed our experiences on the Rocky Mountaineer. We have happy memories of our time in Canada.
Iris & Gerard G, Blaru, France (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Dear Heather, Martin and Ryan,
We had a WONDERFUL TIME!!!! We absolutely loved it. Thank you so much for organizing everything so brilliantly. Everything went like clockwork, never missed a beat. We met all kinds of interesting people from all over.
Our number one overall special mention was the Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Jasper – a truly memorable experience.
The next three highlights were the Glacier Skywalk, walking on the glacier at the Columbia Icefields and the Banff Gondola. Joe Urie of the Jasper Tour Company is an excellent guide - very knowledgeable and very good at communicating his own enthusiasm while picking up on the special concerns or questions of each member of the tour group.
The most exciting moment of our trip was seeing bears on our second last day – a grizzly and two black bears. Also thank you for Ryan’s kindness in coming to see us the day before the trip started. He recommended The Noble Pig restaurant in Kamloops and we loved it!
Janice T, Johannesburg, South Africa (Classic Rail from Calgary)
We have just returned from our wonderful trip! Thank you so much for the great recommendations on where and what to do in Vancouver. It is these little things that make such a big difference.
The Rocky Mountaineer was certainly a trip of a life time. Everything was so well organised and slick and we can't find fault with anything. We met super people on the way and the food and service was superb.
Vancouver was fantastic and the Canadian people in particular so very warm and welcoming. We have already recommended the trip to our family and I'm sure you will hear from them in the not too distant future.
Once again a big thank you for making everything come together so easily.
Diane & Michael A and Kimberly K, South Carolina, USA (Rockies Leisure Westbound)
Dear Martin,Heather, and staff at CanadaRail.Ca
Thank you for a wonderful vacation. Kim and I returned last Friday from the vacation we booked with you in Alberta and BC. Our experience exceeded even our rather high expectations.
We were so impressed with how smoothly the trip went. It seemed that every detail was attended to. I had to chuckle when the staff at every hotel somehow knew we were on a honeymoon and had some nice surprises waiting for us in our room. We both wanted to thank you for going that extra mile to make our vacation so special.
Thanks also to Ryan for sending a few suggestions for our stay in Vancouver and for the nice welcome surprise he had waiting for us at the Fairmont Waterfront.
Thanks again to all of you for making our trip a vacation to fondly remember.
Diane & Denis L, Ottawa, Canada (Rockies Explorer Eastbound and Calgary Stampede Add On)
We had a wonderful evening at the Calgary Stampede last night. These chuckwagon races are very uplifting and we will want to get the final driver performances to see who will win on the final night.
The show after the chuckwagon races was absolutely fabulous. We had never seen anything like this. Calgary and Western Canada appear to be at the forefront of technological developments. We greatly appreciate the tickets; good seats right up front.
The parade in the morning was absolutely impressive. We had never seen such organization and passionate atmosphere, spirit and energy about western culture. We have some tremendous photos of this event. I was impressed by the respect of people along the sidewalks.
Overall, we have enjoyed our travels in BC, Alberta and especially the Rocky Mountaineer. We have enjoyed our six additional nights in Calgary. We are returning home with excellent memories and fabulous photos. We will have to come back.
Again, we greatly appreciate the help from you and your colleagues, James and Ryan, in making this a very memorable holiday in Western Canada. We will transmit some very positive recommendations to our friends and relatives who have been asking about our trip and the arrangements made by Canada Rail Vacations.
Please convey our warmest regards to your charming wife Heather. We appreciate having met her and yourself.
Kathy & Russell M, Brisbane, Australia (Totem Rail Explorer)
Kathy and I have arrived back in Brisbane after a great adventure. Your team’s assistance in planning the trip was impeccable and all our travel through Canada was seamless. What impressed us the most was our desire to travel “independently”, but with “local” knowledge, and your organisation of the 1 to 2 day tours and accommodation met our goals perfectly. It was so easy and comfortable to organise this by email from Australia, and your prompt, detailed and easily understood responses were exemplary.
All tours were exceptional. Perhaps the highlight of our visit was the Skeena train trip from Prince Rupert to Prince George to Jasper. This was closely followed by the Grizzly Bear viewing in the Khutzeymateen, the Jasper Tour Company with Joe Urie, and the Niagara Falls tour. All accommodation was excellent with the standout being the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise with our room overlooking the lake.
We will certainly use your services again when we head across the Pacific to North America. Many thanks Martin, and also it was great to meet Ryan in Vancouver for that additional “local” knowledge.
Therese & David R, North Carolina, USA (Across Canada Adventure)
Wow! The scenery we saw, the people we met, the beginning of our retirement, the service and the perfectly orchestrated itinerary by Val, made this cross-Canadian train trip fruit for our minds and imaginations and memories when we no longer are able to travel.
George & Venitia E, Hertfordshire, UK (Absolute Rockies Eastbound)
We really enjoyed the Rockies trip & want to say thanks for your efforts to upgrade our accommodation wherever possible. I must say that the unexpected upgrade to the Gold Floor at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise was a real treat!!! Thanks to all who were involved to make this happen.
We will certainly recommend your company to everyone we know who may be taking that long trek to your part of the world in future. Once again thanks for your professional efforts.
All the best,
Robyn and Brian N, Victoria, Australia (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Thank you and Canada Rail Vacations for such an awesome trip. The train was fantastic and we were so glad that we went GoldLeaf as the service was fantastic. All of the hotels were good and to arrive with our luggage already in our rooms was much appreciated. Joe Urie, our tour guide from the Jasper Tour Company, was great and very knowledgeable. Maligne Lake had just melted and it was one of the first days for boats on the lake.
Everything went smoothly with all pick ups on time. We would highly recommend using CanadaRail.ca to anyone who asks.
Once again many thanks for all that you did to help make our trip memorable,
Joann & Duane B, Victoria, Australia (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
We are back in Australia. We want to say that we thoroughly enjoyed our trip with Canada Rail Vacations!
It was a pleasure to meet you in Vancouver, thank you for doing this. All the tours, bus pick ups went without a hitch, it was great. The train was beautiful, the staff superb and the food outstanding. We loved Jasper, nice town to get around, the hotel was very nice and we had a great tour to Maligne Lake with Joe, he was very funny and knowledgeable, we saw a wolf, very exciting. Trip to Lake Louise was terrific, good driver, side trips great. The Rimrock Hotel in Banff was lovely we really enjoyed it. So thank you for putting together a great trip.
Vyv. & Wal. D, Queensland, Australia (Canadian Rockies Circle)
I wanted to write after our CanadaRail.ca vacation that you organised for us. It was brilliant, and greatly appreciated how you fitted everything into the non flexible time frame we provided. The detailed trip planner with the necessary information we received was fail proof.
The whole rail journey was so perfectly organised, no stress, and all the Canada Rail people were very polite and helpful. If we ever make it to Calgary, and you are still with Canada Rail Vacations we hope that we may thank once again face to face.
Julie & Jim B, Florida, USA ( Rockies Escapade )
We are home after fantastic train tour that you and Canada Rail Vacations arranged. All activities and accommodations were well coordinated and great. We had cool sunny weather and snowy sights. Met informed guides and interesting fellow travelers. Thanks for your personal support and suggestions. We will certainly share your contact with friends.
Joyce & Robert G,Queensland, Australia ( Rockies Leisure (eastbound) )
Hello Ryan & Martin,
We have finally returned home to Australia arriving on June 13. After completing the delightful scenic Rocky Mountain tour we flew home. Overall we have had a wonderful holiday and would like to thank you both for a well organised and professionally arranged tour. We found the itinerary for train travel, land excursions and selection of accommodation, in particular the Rimrock and Edmonton Fantasyland Hotel, excellent and would highly recommend your agency to other potential travellers.
As we met numerous Aussies on the train there is a potential to promote your agency in Australia. Perhaps Ryan could do a PR tour to promote your agency. Again thank you both for a great experience and holiday.
Chris & Lane W, California,USA ( Classic Rail from Banff )
We just wanted to let you know that we thought our trip was amazing. Can't say enough about the Rocky Mountaineer and especially the staff aboard the train.
Accommodations, food and service were all first class (Lane and I got upgraded to a SUITE at the Fairmont in Banff -- don't know how THAT happened, but it was definitely cool!) All transfers, etc. went off without a hitch. Couldn't have asked for anything more. Even the weather was glorious. A most excellent and luxurious adventure.
Thanks to you and all of those at your end for making it easy.
Mesa, AZ, USA (Canadian Rockies Circle Tour)
I also must pass along that I just received a note from our guests who were RAVING about their wonderful trip ... They LOVED every minute of it and can't wait to do it all again ! Many thanks to you and your wonderful reservations people (James Brindley and Ryan Cowie in particular) who helped make me look so good! I look forward to working with you again and perhaps enjoying your services myself someday!
Shirley McGlone - Travel Consultant - A World of Travel/ Travel Leaders"
Georgina D, Hong Kong (Coast to Coast Rail Adventure)
I have just returned home from almost a month in Canada of which I spent 16 days on the coast to coast adventure. I have to say that it was one of the best holidays I have had in a long time- and I travel several times a year! Everything booked was of a high quality and I especially loved the day tour in Jasper with tour guide Joe- he really is great fun. I am definitely planning on doing another of the train trips -just got to figure out when. I will definitely be recommending your company and already, friends on facebook who have seen photos, have wanted to know more details.
Thanks again for organising such a great trip- it really was brilliant.
Chuck & Nancy F, Maryland, USA (Grand Rockies Circle)
Heather, Martin and James,
My wife and I returned home last night from our vacation and we wanted to thank you all for a great trip. Every connection and side trip went off perfectly.
We will always remember one side trip out of Jasper. Our guide, Joe Urie, was fantastic. We all said we wanted to see a bear on the journey. We were on our way back and giving up hope when Joe played a First Nations song on tape that he said was guaranteed to get us a sighting. Within 10 minutes, we saw two separate groups totaling 6 black bears! It was great fun! ( Video link by Joe Urie)
I especially wanted to thank you for the room upgrades at each Fairmont location! We felt very special.
I plan to recommend CanadaRail.ca to everyone who we talk to about our adventure.
Sarah S, England (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
I am on my last day here in Canada and I just have to say a huge thank you for organising my trip...it truly was just amazing...not one hitch, everything went like clockwork!! I have SO enjoyed Canada...and will be back, coming in from Calgary next time...I adored Lake Louise and a BIG thank you for booking me in to stay at The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise... it was fantastic!!..the poshest hotel I will ever stay in I think... So thanks again James....I stayed with my friend in Vancouver and we went to Whistler and also did the Alaskan Cruise...so all in all this has been a holiday of a lifetime for me.
With Best and Kind Wishes,
Sara Jane, Garry, Barclay & Graham S., New Jersey, USA (Canada Rockies Circle Tour)
Oh, the places we went! Our family went to the Canadian Rockies with CanadaRail.ca and learned why grizzly bears eat gravel, felt the wind in our hair on the open platform of the Rocky Mountaineer, drank icy (well, of course it was icy!) water from a rivulet on the Athabasca Glacier, saw bears, discovered that the Noble Pig Brewhouse Restaurant in Kamloops serves fantastic mac and cheese, now know the difference between a terminal moraine and a lateral moraine, ate feasts fit for royalty on the Rocky Mountaineer, almost fell over elk at Jasper Lake Lodge just steps from the concierge desk, learned why glacier lakes and rivers are blue, loved Vancouver and its go-green projects, went through 100 degree temps in the Fraser Valley and saw our breath in the air when we boarded the train in Banff, stood on a platform right in the middle of thundering water falls, in awe watched our train snake around curves and creep through Hell’s Gate, could have stayed forever at the Chateau Lake Louise, wanted to sneak some of the darling Columbian ground squirrels home, saw the Spiral Tunnels from the road below then went through them on our train the next day, saw a bald eagle swoop down and catch its brunch in the Thompson River, and so much, much more! Oh, the things that we saw!
Burton & Marcia M, Virginia, USA (Calgary Stampede Train Westbound)
Marcia and I have returned home safely and have already begun the process (with the help of much film and photos) to remember our wonderful trip.
We consider ourselves experienced travelers having visited almost 70 countries, many of them more than once. Based on past experiences, we had very high expectations for this trip and in every way these expectations were exceeded. From our perspective, planning this trip could have been complicated ie selection of super hotels, movement of luggage, seating at the Calgary Stampede rodeo, the train etc. etc. and it was apparent to us that the effort made by you and your company really paid off. As good as things were, they got even better as the degree of personal attention that we received from you, Val, and Ryan were unique and unparalleled in our experience. We are certain that others in your organization contributed to the success of our trip; please pass on our thanks to all.
Miriam & David I, Israel (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Dear Martin, Ryan & Crew,
We have never been on such an amazing tour. Everything was so organized, beautiful, punctual, & full of the best surprises. Never came across other tour companies who gave so much of themselves as you did. There are a lot of different companies who organize tours, but yours is outstanding. I will be your P.R.O. in Israel. I have already told everyone (family, friends etc) about the way you combined the tour & made it a wonderful experience, from the beginning till the end. When we were in Jasper, we met other people who spoke very highly of you, they said you are special, caring, & your attention is to the point. This touched us deeply. Carry on your wonderful ways, have lots of strength, & courage to be the company you are.
Sandy H, California, USA (Absolute Rockies Eastbound)
Hi Heather, Martin & Val,
All ten of us are back home safe and sound. We all had a good time in Canada, especially during our three nights at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise (due to floods, we couldn't make it to Banff). I want to thank you all again for spending so much extra effort with us during the natural disaster. You showed your professionalism and we will definitely refer our friends to you if they ever want to come to Canada.
Hector & Maria A, Uruguay (Trans Canada Train Adventure)
Dear James & Martin,
Last Saturday we returned from our trip after a full month of joyous travelling. A sizeable part of the success of our journey is due to the impeccable planning and timing of your services. It was remarkable how easily things fell together and how much everyone involved played his/her part to the letter.
Thank you for a most enjoyable experience which we will highly recommend to anyone willing to follow our steps. While Canada is a big country, we feel were able to appreciate a fair example of its landscape and most beautiful scenery. The Rockies are really unforgettable.
Best regards and congratulations to you all!
Malka & Avi K, Arizona, USA (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
We got back from our Canadian vacation last night, and wanted to write and thank you for a most wonderful vacation. From the itinerary, to the accommodations, all were great. All the people at the hotels, train, and guides were friendly, outgoing, polite, and willing to help.
All the people in your organization including yourself, were polite, and helpful as well. We saw amazing places thanks to you, and we are so grateful. I will most definitely recommend your company to all my friends.
A million thanks again,
Paula and Joe H, Alabama, USA (Rockies Highlights Westbound)
We soooo enjoyed our recent vacation! Thank you to James, Martin and Ryan for everything! All details were taken care of, all we had to do was enjoy! This was our most enjoyable trip to date!
We are home now, just finished unpacking. Can't believe the week is over! It really was our best trip so far! Don't be surprised if you hear from us again for another great trip! You all were so friendly and helpful! We have been telling everyone here what a great trip it was and highly recommend CanadaRail.ca.
C Brian B, Barbados (Trans Canada Train Adventure)
CanadaRail.ca must be complimented for doing exemplary work in caring for their clients. I would never hesitate to recommend them to anyone considering doing a trip to Western Canada.
Fay and Robert B., Louisiana, USA (Rockies Leisure Eastbound)
We returned home at midnight last night after a marvelous 10-day experience with Canada Rail Vacations.
I have never had more enthusiastic hosts! Loved the kids on the train - excellent service! Loved the mounted welcome at Kamloops, too! Scenery was unprecedented - and we've been almost all over the world. To be concise, viva la Canada! Viva la Canada Rail Vacations. To quote a famous American general, "We shall return".
A personal thanks to Martin who spent extra hours trying to set just the right schedule and locations.
Keith and Linda B., Omaha USA (Rockies Explorer Westbound)
Heather & Martin,
Just thought I'd fire off an e-mail to you guys 'mid-trip' and give you some feedback on how things are going. Suffice it to say, you have hit it out of the park and we are having a great time. This trip so far is beyond memorable. Banff Springs Hotel was fabulous (although a maze to get around!), the sites have been breathtaking... Lake Louise and all sites around there have been equally breathtaking and memorable - we could not have been more moved by the sights. The accommodations are tremendous - we are just about to go to the Gold Level area for cocktails and canapés. This just doesn't get any better. Thanks again for all your work in putting this together for us. We couldn't be happier.
Barbara and John T., Australia (Trans Canada Train Adventure Eastbound)
We have completed the wonderful tour you organized for us and we have had a marvelous time. The hotel accommodation was exceptional as was all other aspects of the tour. Congratulations on a job well done, we appreciated it very much. We will be very happy to recommend your team to family and friends.
Lorene and Gordan, Hawaii, USA (Canadian Rockies Circle)
Returned home safely last night from our fabulous vacation to the Canadian Rockies. The mountains and scenery were unbelievably beautiful and the weather just perfect. We want to thank you so much for the arranging and planning our unforgettable train holiday. Everything unfolded like clockwork - no missed connections, delays, cancellations or problems. The Rocky Mountaineer hosts, bus drivers, hotel and restaurant staff and all who served us at every stop were courteous, professional and very helpful. They played a major role in making our train adventure a memorable and pleasant one.
Thank you too for the upgrades especially at the Gold Floor, Fairmont Waterfront. We were treated like Royalty there. The lounge was exceptional - a very quiet place to relax and unwind after a busy day. Loved it!
We received the CanadaRail.ca souvenirs from Ryan. Please extend our appreciation to him for coming to the hotel to look after us.
Again Martin, thank you for your service excellence in making our train experience so special and one that we always dreamed about. Should the occasion arise we will definitely recommend you and Canadarail.ca for travel to the Rockies and Canada.
David and Denise P., Australia (custom Canadian Rockies Self Drive)
Just a note to thank you so much for your excellent assistance in arranging our wonderful holiday in Canada.
The Rocky Mountaineer experience was just fabulous and your accommodation arrangements in support of our drive through the Rockies were perfect. Everything worked fine! We will be passing on our recommendations to friends, so be prepared for other Aussies coming your way!
Jim H, New York, USA (Rockies Escapade)
Here's a link to my blog. It's honest and enthusiastic: Blog (Martin's note: Jim provides an unedited description on our Rockies Escapade tour with photos throughout the journey. Thank you Jim!)
Jim and Maxine H., Texas, USA (Coast to Coast Westbound)
Our rail trip went off like clockwork. The trains were comfortable and generally served excellent food. We were met as described, the tours were well arranged and informative. It was altogether a wonderful experience. We thank you for your attention to details and clear instructions.
Greg and Claire D., Australia (Classic Rail to Banff)
Thanks for everything in regards our Rocky Mountaineer trip. You and your company were wonderful to deal with. The trust and integrity of yourself and organisation is unmatched. The detail and follow up, the arrangements prior, the rapid answers and advice to questions was superb.
Barry and Margaret S., South Africa (Coast to Coast Westbound)
I would just like to thank you for organizing our holiday across Canada. Everything went off very smoothly and we had a most enjoyable time. My wife rated the holiday as 10 out of possible 10!
Jim J. and Jill C., Alberta, Canada (Classic First Passage to the West from Calgary)
Val, the trip was more than fantastic. The general comment we had heard about the trip prior to going was …”ohhh it’s too expensive”. I’ll tell you now - it’s a deal at twice the price. Everyone deserves an “atta boy” for the excellent quality of service they give the customers...to all of you we thank immensely for taking 2 days of your lives to make a 1000 wonderful memories in our lives!
Mary C. , Jack Fry Travel, California, USA (Across Canada Adventure Westbound)
Barbara has just returned from her trip with Canada Rail - She could not say enough good things about this trip… it exceeded all her expectations !! A great big thank you for all your help and your expertise in planning this trip for her. I will definitely keep you in mind for future travel for my clients.
Herman & Carole F, Pennsylvania, USA (Rockies Excursion Eastbound)
Dear Martin, We want to thank you for organizing a train trip through the Canadian Rockies for us. It was very enjoyable--lovely scenery and interesting places. We appreciate your taking care of all the details; all went very smoothly
Geraldine M. and Shirley S., New York, USA (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
Shirley and I would like to thank you for helping us plan our vacation. We had an amazing time exploring Canada's amazing sights. With your help we hardly had to think. We just showed up at the appointed times and lo and behold the buses were there ready to whisk us off to an amazing site. The drivers were all extremely helpful, courteous and extremely knowledgeable. The train was exceptional and our host made it one of the most enjoyable train ride we have ever been on.
Johann M. and Santie C., South Africa (Trans Canada Train Adventure Westbound)
Both Santie and I had an AWESOME time in Canada. I am sure in the future we would like to do a similar trip. Thanks for the very efficient arrangements it was a pleasure to have been on the tour.
Dorothy M, Maine, USA (Rockies Explorer Eastbound)
First let me thank you and your colleagues for planning such a wonderful trip. Joyce and I especially appreciated your meeting with us upon our arrival in Vancouver and your suggestions of excursions and restaurants. Our experience throughout was exceptional, with every detail well planned and communicated to us. I have already completed the Rocky Mountaineer survey I received by e-mail, and gave a glowing report of that portion of the trip. All other excursions and arrangements were fabulous.
Robert & Theresia B, Basel, Switzerland (Rockies Highlights Westbound)
Ich schreibe dir in Deutsch zu deiner Uebung und meiner Vereinfachung. Zuerst möchten Therry und ich dir nochmals ganz herzlich danken fuer die herrliche Fahrt mit dir von Calgary nach Lake Louise. Du bist wunderbar gefahren und hast viele Eindruecke erklaert. Wirklich toll!!! Die Fahrt nach Banff durch den Nationalpark war auch sehr schoen, auch wenn wir leider keinerlei Tiere gesehen haben. Die Fahrt dann mit dem Rocky Mounaineer war absolute spitze. Alles war schlicht perfekt, auch hatten wir grosses glueck mit dem Wetter. Dieses wechselte dann leider etwas in Vancouver aber fuer unseren Vancouver Island Ausflug hatten wir wieder etwas mehr glueck. Nun sind wir seit letzten Freitag hier in Kelowna bei Freunden untergebracht, welche uns schon viel gezeigt haben und uns auch kulinarisch verwoehnen.
Nochmals herzlichen dank fuer deine Bemuehungen und wir wuenschen dir weiterhin alles gute und viel Erfolg.
Trevor M., Australia (Classic Rail to Calgary)
Thank you again for all of your assistance with the the groups bookings from Vancouver to Calgary, we have discussed and mentioned to a number of people on our travels what an excellent experience it was for us, from our arrival into Vancouver to our departure from Calgary, everything was so well organised and so well planned the travellers didn't have to want for anything. Of course, this was all due to your first class arranging and care for your clients well being, care, comfort and new experiences.
Louise B., New Zealand (Absolute Rockies Westbound)
Dear Val, Martin and James,
I have to say I am SO impressed with the service we have received from you/your company and in particular the tone of all your emails: friendly, respectful, naturally helpful, sometimes amusing and overall making it a pleasure to deal with you. I heard a fellow NZer recently saying that their impression of Canadians also was that you were 'almost too nice'!!! NOT A PROBLEM for me - nice is good and I feel a real connection between us. Many thanks for everything.
Clara S. and Pablo V., Germany (Coast to Coast Westbound)
The trip was amazing! Perfect! We enjoyed a lot and are looking forward to go back, mainly to the Rockies and PEI. Thanks a lot for your help!!! Really, was wonderful!
Richard and Bonnie M., Ontario Canada (Rockies Excursion Westbound)
Hello Ryan, We wanted to thank you and everyone at Canada Rail for arranging such an excellent trip. We did have a wonderful time with no hitches experienced.
Mara S. (Across Canada Adventure (Westbound))
Many, many thanks for your help and advice as we planned the Canada Rail vacation. It was marvelous. We met Ryan in Vancouver, which was very nice--you have a wonderfully organized and friendly team! The ViaRail and the Rocky Mountaineer trains were both amazing--and I'm glad we did the Gold Leaf service, too. First-class treatment. They were an amazing crew, and made us all feel very much part of a family.