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FAQs

Planning Your Trip

All of our tours are independent tours. 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.  

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 twice per week Rocky Mountaineer schedules and three times per week VIA Rail schedule. 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.  

Yes, very much so. The Canadian dollar has been hovering at a 12 year low against the US Dollar. If you are from the US, it is the best time to visit us. In fact, you may even wish to pay early if you foresee a USD upswing coming. The CAD has been relatively on par with the AUD over the past ten years. With recent changes in the UK, the GBP is not faring well.

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.  

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. Please click on the following link for our tipping guidelines: Tipping Procedures in Canada

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.

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 are active members with IATA, we have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau and we are a member of Tourism Calgary. 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.

All accommodations listed for each tour are included in the tour price. For more information about our hotel partners see here: Hotel Accommodations. 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.

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 the following links:
Private Cabin for 1 Private Cabin for 2

Prestige Cabins are a new addition to the VIA Rail fleet. 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 the following link for more information: VIA Rail Prestige Class

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.

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, please select the following link: GoldLeaf vs SilverLeaf

Our hotels are divided into three levels, Popular, Superior and Deluxe. The hotels we use within each category can be found through the following link: Hotel Accommodations.

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 moderate.

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.

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. If this is something you are looking to experience during your trip please let us know.

Certainly. Many of our One-Way Tours and Circle Tours offer hotels for each night. Please contact us and note that this is your preference when requesting your tour quote so we can accommodate your wishes.

If you are looking to experience sleeping on the train we recommend looking at out Trans-Canada Tours. These tours involve sleeping on the train between Vancouver and Toronto, or Jasper and Toronto.

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 tours that we recommend are our Classic Rail To Banff or our Rockies Excursion tours, 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.

It is possible to book the Rocky Mountaineer train with one night's accommodation in Kamloops between Vancouver and Banff or Vancouver and Jasper. Please contact us for current pricing.

There is no direct train between Vancouver and Calgary. From mid-April to mid-October the Rocky Mountaineer train runs between Vancouver and Banff. A 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.

No, you will need to bring your bags up to and down from your hotel room for your excursion and train pick-ups. However, most of our hotel partners do have staff that would be happy to provide this service, all you need to do is ask.

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.

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 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 shuttle from Downtown Vancouver.

While we highly recommend that you purchase travel insurance to protect you and your investment from unexpected events and circumstances we do not personally sell travel insurance. We recommend using Sanderson Travel Insurance , but please feel free to use the insurance provider of your choice.

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.

The words “Single” and “Double” refer to how many people in the 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. All of our pricing is per person. 

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. 

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.

It is possible for you to extend your stay in Kamloops 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. Adding nights in other cities can be done much more easily. We customize all of our tours so please contact us directly.

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.

We can definitely incorporate golf into 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.

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

Booking Your Trip

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, Bank Transfer and PayPal. If you would like to pay via credit card we will send you a credit card authorization form. PayPal deposits can be completed by using the Reservations link on our website. 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 form of payment your trip will be processed and an invoice will be sent to you within 48 hours.

We email you your Final Documentation, including train tickets and tour vouchers, approximately 30 days prior to your departure. Please print this documentation to have with you while you travel.

If you need to cancel greater than 61 days prior to departure, the rail cancellation fee is equal to your deposit per person. Within 59 days of travel, the tour is non-refundable. As the rail cancellation fee is this large, cancellation insurance is highly recommended. We recommend purchasing travel insurance through Sanderson Travel Insurance.

If you would like to stay at particular hotels listed on our hotel accommodations page we will do our very best to meet all requests. All requests are subject to availability.

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 as soon as possible regarding any additions so that we can ensure availability.

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.

Preparing For Your Trip

We’re a Calgary based company and any of our staff are available to meet with you to review your itinerary and to answer any additional questions. We can meet up with you in Calgary or in Banff. After receiving your guest travel documentation one month prior to travel, please read through it thoroughly. You will receive an email from us three weeks prior to departure offering further assistance or to organize a time to meet. 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. 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 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.

We can definitely recommend some restaurants for you. Whether you are looking for a fine dining or casual pub experience we can help point you in the right direction.

VIA Rail Cabins for One and Two include a chair during the day and a murphy bed at night (two 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 follow the links: Cabin for 1 Cabin for 2. If you would like a larger cabin, your own private shower, or other additional amenities you may be interested in a Prestige Class Cabin aboard VIA Rail.

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 hat so that you can layer up if needed. Check the weather prior to travelling with us and contact us directly if you would like more information

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