Frequently Asked Questions

The most common questions and answers for planning your trip, booking your trip, and preparing to travel on your Canada Rail Vacation.

Planning Your Canada Rail Vacation:

Common questions we receive at the quoting stage of planning your holiday

All of our tours are independent tours or FIT tours for short. By independent tours, we are referring to non-group, yet guided, holidays. This means that every day is a guided excursion but you are not part of a group doing the same thing for the entire tour. You have your guided half-day or full-day excursion, and you are free afterwards to do what you would like. Our paperwork will tell you where to be the next day.

Yes we do, our group tours are for ten or more people. If you are looking to book a group tour please advise us when requesting your quote. Once we have an idea of the size of your group we can go ahead and find a date that will accommodate you.

All accommodations listed for each tour are included in the tour price. For information in regards to what is included in each of our packages, please click the ‘included’ tab located above the map on each individual tour page.

For more information about our hotel partners click below:

Hotel Accommodations

The prices listed on our website are Per Person and they are all based on “Double Occupancy” which means two people are sharing one hotel room, thus splitting the cost of accommodations each night.

The words “Single”,  “Double”, “Triple”, and “Quad” refer to how many people are sharing hotel rooms. A double occupancy room is two people in a room. Single occupancy is one person in the room. So if you and your partner will be travelling together, look at double pricing and that is what each of you will pay.

Prices for a person travelling alone are higher because the hotel room costs the same regardless if one or two people are occupying it. A person staying in the room by themselves pays for the luxury of not needing to share with anybody.

For Single, Triple, or Quad occupancy rates, please request a quote.

Request A Quote

Our hotels are divided into four levels, Popular, Superior, and Deluxe, and Premium.

For more information on the hotels used in each category click below:

Hotel Accommodations

Specific hotel selection is possible, however, it is subject to availability at the time of booking. Please let us know if you have any particular hotel preferences prior to booking and we will do our best to accommodate your request.

Hotel selections are made with the consideration of rail station transfers as the first priority in towns or cities which include the Rocky Mountaineer train arriving or departing for your convenience. We will always do our best to ensure that you are provided with the best available, and most convenient hotel in order to make your vacation flow smoothly.

We are able to request a king bed or two queen beds in the majority of our hotel categories, in the majority of locations. Bedding requests are not guaranteed, but we do our very best to ensure that your request is fulfilled.

*For those who require two beds during their stay at the Fairmont properties in the Rockies (Jasper, Lake Louise, or Banff), the Deluxe room category will be required in order to guarantee the request.

GoldLeaf & SilverLeaf refer to your time spent onboard the Rocky Mountaineer only.

GoldLeaf Service includes seating upstairs in the bi-level dome car. You will enjoy seats in the full glass dome observation area, with gourmet meals served downstairs in the dining room of the train car. GoldLeaf train service also includes more options for your meals and an outdoor vestibule.

SilverLeaf service offers single-level coach with oversized windows. Breakfast and lunch meals are served on board each day at your seat, including hot entrée options. For more information on both service levels, click below:

GoldLeaf vs SilverLeaf

Of course. We specialize in customizing tours. If you’d like to add a night to any of our locations, please let us know. We must work within the train schedule as we are confined by Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail schedules which only operate a couple of times per week. We are happy to work out a plan to create a tour that best first your desires. It is best to do this early, as Canada does sell out fairly quickly.

Triple occupancies are available for certain hotel categories. Please request a quote for three people in one room to determine the availability and pricing for triple occupancy for your desired tour.

Certainly. Many of our Rockies Tours and Circle Tours offer hotels for each night. You will want to focus on tours that include the Rocky Mountaineer train as it does not operate at night. Please contact us and note that this is your preference when requesting your tour quote so we can accommodate your wishes.

Canadian Rockies ToursRockies Circle Tours

If you are looking to experience sleeping on the train we recommend looking at our Trans-Canada Tours or tours that include VIA Rail trains. These tours involve sleeping on the train between Vancouver and Toronto, Jasper and Toronto or Montreal and Halifax.

Trans Canada Tours

Prestige Cabins are a new addition to the VIA Rail fleet onboard The Canadian train. These cabins are 50% larger and include a full washroom with a shower. A couch transforms into a queen size murphy bed that faces the window which allows you to wake up to some spectacular views. This upgrade also grants you unlimited access to the Prestige Park Car and personalized dedicated service provided by the Prestige Concierge. Please click below for more information:

VIA Prestige Class

Yes, we always book our guests in a cabin when travelling overnight aboard the train. All of the pricing for our Trans-Canada tours include a private cabin. For double occupancies you will have a Private Cabin for Two and for all single occupancy bookings you will have a Private Cabin for One. Single travelers looking for more space can upgrade their cabin for an additional fee. For more information on these cabins please click below:

VIA Sleeper Cabins

Meals are included while you are aboard the trains. When you are not aboard the trains, in hotels and on excursions, meals are not included. This gives you the possibility of sourcing out the best restaurants for each location and not being confined to certain eating establishments with pre booked meals. All of our hotels are centrally located so you will have no trouble finding numerous options for meals.

One month before you travel you will receive a list of the top restaurant recommendations in each location.

Both VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer offer excellent food service. When travelling overnight on board VIA Rail you will choose a dining time and go to the dining car to eat. The menu includes a variety of filling and enjoyable meals. The Rocky Mountaineer’s menu, being more of a luxury experience, contains delicious and enticing items. Both VIA Rail and the Rocky Mountaineer are able to accommodate many dietary restrictions. If you have dietary restrictions please advise us when booking so that we may best accommodate your needs.

No, you will need to bring your bags up to and down from your hotel room for your excursion and train pick-ups, however, luggage handling is included during your time on the Rocky Mountaineer train. Most of our hotel partners also have staff that would be happy to provide this service, all you need to do is ask the front desk.

We always do our utmost to ensure accessibility for our guests with reduced mobility. Accessible hotel rooms with roll-in showers are available with all of our hotel partners. When requesting a quote and booking please advise us of the limited mobility and any accommodations that may be required.

We often find that guests in with reduced mobility are more comfortable with a one way tour rather than a circle or Trans-Canada tour as these require fewer transfers. The simplest tour that we recommend is our Rockies Passage to Banff but we are always happy to plan a more involved tour if that is your preference. We recommend booking well in advance to guarantee availability.

Rockies Passage Tour

Definitely. Many of our guests book cruises in conjunction with our rail tours. We can design our tours to match up as close as possible with your cruise. Nights can be added or removed as necessary to make sure that you are in Vancouver ready for departure.

Wi-Fi is not available on either the Rocky Mountaineer nor the VIA Rail train. The focus of rail trips is to enjoy the scenery and to meet some fellow travelers. Complimentary Wi-Fi is available at each Via Rail Station.

Wifi is available on The Corridor trains as well as The Ocean train (in the lounge car).

Many of our guests are from nations where tipping is not customary. In Canada, tipping plays a very large role in accordance with the wage of many service professionals. Tipping practices in Canada are very similar to the United States.

Tipping guidelines in Canada

This can change from year to year depending on the weather but generally the best time to see the colours change is the third week of September through to early October. If this is something you are looking to experience during your trip please let us know.

Your Kamloops hotel is assigned by Rocky Mountaineer shortly before you board the train. You will receive your room key on board the train and your luggage will be waiting for you in your Kamloops hotel room. As Kamloops is a smaller town, properties in Kamloops are considered moderate and are not changed by your selection of Popular, Superior, Deluxe, or Premium hotels.

It is possible for you to extend your stay in Kamloops in theory, but it is not something that we recommend. If you wanted to stay an extra night each traveler would have to pay for another two-day train ticket so that you could board the next train passing through as the Rocky Mountaineer must be booked as a full two-day rail ticket. Adding nights in other cities can be done much more easily. We customize all of our tours so please contact us directly.

We are able to organize private airport transfer for all of our guests, but these transfers can run for upwards of CAD $300. The easiest and most affordable way to get to your hotel will be via taxi cab.

Airport transfers will be automatically included if you upgrade your tour package to include Private Tours.

Private Tours & Transfers

We can definitely incorporate golf into any our rail tours. Some of Canada’s top golf courses are located in the Rockies so why not take a day or two to experience some of these incredible courses? A few of our vacation planners have previously worked in the golf industry and would love to help you add a round of golf to your trip. Please make a note of this when requesting a quote and booking your tour.

You can also book one of our pre-package golf tours.

Rockies Golf Tours

Yes, you are able to bring sports equipment with you on the train but it must be packed similar to if you were travelling by airplane. If you were to bring a bike on the train it would have to be disassembled completely and pack in a travel bag. Golf clubs would require a travel bag as well. VIA Rail charge an additional baggage fee that will vary depending on the trip. Rocky Mountaineer do not charge an additional fee for most sports equipment.

There is no longer a direct train to Whistler. The Whistler train is now part of a 3-day rail package that we use in our Grand Rockies Circle Tour. We are happy to add a day trip, or multi-day trip to Whistler by motorcoach to any of our tours should you be interested. If you are looking for just a day, please let us know as there are a few companies who offer daily shuttles from Downtown Vancouver.

There are no passenger trains that pass through Calgary. From mid-April to mid-October the Rocky Mountaineer train runs between Vancouver and Banff. A motorcoach transfer to Calgary can be added which can drop you off downtown or directly to the Calgary International Airport.

No, pets are not allowed on board the trains. If you have a registered service animal you are allowed to travel with it but must adhere to guidelines. The trains do not stop for breaks and you must provide food for your animal. The trains will supply water. If you have a service animal and would like to book one of our tours please advise us when requesting a quote so that we may best accommodate your needs.

Visas depend entirely on which country you are a citizen of. We recommend visiting the Government of Canada site to see what you may need: Visit Canada.

It is not possible to ship a motorcycle on the train with you, however, there are options available to arrange for shipping separately so that your bike is waiting for you when you arrive at your destination. Please contact us for additional information or a referral to a company that can assist you. Estimated rates to ship a motorcycle across Canada are in the range of USD $1000.

While we highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect you and your investment from unexpected events and circumstances as once payments are made, they are non-refundable. We do not personally sell travel insurance but you can click below to find some recommendations.

Travel Insurance

We’ve been in business since 1995 and have worked with many companies who have been booking with us for many years, we also have numerous reviews. You’ll find more about us here: About

Not only are we active members with IATA and TIAC (Tourism Industry Association of Canada), we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we are a member of Tourism Calgary and Travel Alberta. We book our hotels directly with Jonview Canada, who are Canada’s largest tour wholesaler, and we book our trains directly with Rocky Mountaineer and VIA Rail, all of which are reputable companies.

A deposit will be due at the time of booking in order to secure your trip with the remaining balance due 70 days prior to departure.

Booking Your Canada Rail Vacation

Common questions we receive at the booking stage of confirming your holiday

As we are a Canadian company we charge for all of our tours in Canadian Dollars and your credit card company will convert the money following payment. Some credit card companies charge a conversion fee. Please contact your credit card company directly for more information.

We accept Visa, Amex, MasterCard, Discover, or Bank Transfer If you would like to pay via credit card we will send you a link to submit payment. Bank transfer details can be provided upon request.

Payment terms will vary depending on the trip. Payment terms are included in all of our quotes. Please contact us for more information on a specific tour.

As soon as we receive your booking form submission and payment your trip will be processed and an invoice will be sent to you within 48 hours.

We strongly recommend that you wait to book flights until you have received confirmation of your trip.

We email you your Travel Documentation, including train tickets, hotel confirmations, and tour vouchers, approximately one month prior to your departure. Please print this document to have with you while you travel.

Of course. Just because you have booked your tour does not mean additional nights or tours cannot be added. Many hotels do sell out months in advance so it is recommended that you contact us as soon as possible regarding any additions so that we can ensure availability. It is recommended that any nights be added in prior to paying the full balance of your trip.

If you have booked additional hotels nights independently to extend your stay in certain cities we can work to link the booking for you so that you will not have to change rooms. Please let us know as soon as possible so that we can contact the hotel. To do this your independent booking must be in the same room category.

If you need to cancel greater than 71 days prior to departure, the rail cancellation fee is equal to your deposit per person. Within 69 days of travel, the tour is non-refundable. As the rail cancellation fee is this large, cancellation insurance is highly recommended. For more information on travel insurance, click below:

Travel Insurance

Preparing for your Canada Rail Vacation

Common questions we receive when you are preparing to leave home for your holiday

Once you have received your travel documents approximately one month prior to your trip, you may wish to schedule a time for one of us to sit with you over the phone and answer any questions you may have. Please send us an email in order to organize a time to meet.

If you wish to meet up in person, we are based out of Calgary and may be available to meet with you here and answer any additional questions should your schedule permit. If you did wish to meet up in person, please schedule a meeting with us prior to travelling.

If you are a visitor to Canada and you are not a citizen of the USA, you may be required to purchase an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). This document can be purchased for CAD $7.00 and most applications are approved within minutes of applying. Please visit the following government site for information and to purchase this eTA: Electronic Travel Authorization.

If you are travelling between May and August you will generally be looking at warmer temperatures during the day but the evenings can be fairly cool. We recommend packing a few layers just be safe. If you are travelling in April, September or October there is a chance that you could see a bit of snow. It would be wise to keep an eye on the forecast as well as things can change quickly. Feel free to contact us directly as we live in the Rockies and can give you an idea of what to expect closer to your departure date.

For all of our tours, the first day is simply your arrival. This gives you the flexibility to book a wide range of flight times. We do ask that you keep us updated so that we can notify the hotel of a late check-in if necessary.

You’ll find our staff-favourite restaurant choices on the city pages that are linked in your travel document email one month prior to departure.

VIA Rail Cabins for One and Two include a chair during the day and a fold-down bed at night (two bunkbed-style murphy beds in the cabin for two). They also include a sink and toilet, the shower is shared by the train car. To learn more about what is included click below:

VIA Rail Cabins

Yes, the train companies do have luggage restrictions. The basic rule is that if you can bring it on the plane you can bring it on the train.

On VIA Rail you are allowed one checked bag, additional checked bags will incur a fee. Bring a smaller carry-on case for the items that you wish to use while aboard the train. We recommend only bringing as much as you need as you will not want to crowd your cabin with belongings.

On the Rocky Mountaineer, your luggage will be checked and taken to your destination separately. As it is a sightseeing train there is no overhead storage so everything you bring on board the train will need to be stored by your feet. Considering this we recommend bringing only the essentials, a handbag and/or camera bag with a few items you will want while travelling. You will want to bring all necessary medication aboard the train with you.

If you are travelling early or late in the season (April, late September/October) you may want a warmer coat as it can cool down significantly. We always recommend bringing a light pair of gloves and a hat so that you can layer up if needed. Check the weather prior to travelling or click below for our recommended packing list:

Packing List