Looking for an adventure that will take your breath away? The Vancouver to Banff train is a great start.
The Rocky Mountaineer allows you to experience the beauty of the Canadian Rockies and Banff, indulge in delicious food, and travel in luxury and comfort.
It also includes five nights of accommodation, but is this luxury train to Banff worth it?
Let’s break down the train from Vancouver to Banff.
Train from Banff to Vancouver: The Rocky Mountaineer
The Rocky Mountaineer train is far from just another of the multiple ways to get from Vancouver to Banff.
The trip is an attraction itself.
For starters, the tour has been awarded the World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train at the World Travel Awards an amazing seven times.
And if that isn’t enough, the Society of American Travel Writers has dubbed the Rocky Mountaineer the world’s top train ride.
Needless to say, this is much more than a way to get from A to B.
But what makes the trip from Vancouver to Banff by train so special?
The Rocky Mountaineer Experience
First off, the exclusive Rocky Mountaineer package includes a 6-day fully guided tour of BC and Alberta’s most beautiful landscapes.
Your trip will also include 5 nights of accommodation and the opportunity to partake in guided tours of attractions such as the Okanagan Wine Region, Banff National Park, the Hot Springs, Lake Louise and Jasper.
Furthermore, this ultra-luxurious train is designed with large windows that allow you to fully soak in the spectacular views of the mountain scenery throughout your journey.
The glass-domed ceilings in particular will provide you with postcard-perfect views at every turn.
You’ll be surrounded by luxury and comfort, with plush seats, gourmet meals, and attentive service.
And if you opt for the premium Gold Leaf Package, the opulence will be kicked a notch with gourmet a la carte meals, signature cocktails and luxury alpine hotel accommodations.
Seen enough? Head to the 6 Day Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff website for booking info, otherwise stay tuned for a breakdown of the itinerary.
The Rocky Mountaineer Itinerary
Departure Point: Rocky Mountaineer Station | 1755 Cottrell St. | Time: 7:30 am PST*
The train to Banff from Vancouver naturally starts in our beloved Vancity – a vibrant and cosmopolitan city on the west coast of Canada.
And if you’re looking for accommodation before your departure, be sure to check our article on Vancouver’s best hotels.
*Please ensure that you arrive at the station at least an hour in advance for check-in.
Related: Best Things to Do in Vancouver
? Day 1 – Vancouver to Kamloops
Accommodation: Kamloops (Kamloops Hotel) | Meals: Breakfast/Lunch
Once you board the train, you’ll embark on an unforgettable journey through some of the most stunning natural landscapes in the world.
The train ride from Vancouver to Banff takes two days, with an overnight stop in Kamloops.
This provides an opportunity to explore Kamloops, a small city with a big personality.
Kamloops is located in the Thompson River Valley and is surrounded by stunning natural landscapes. You can stroll along the river or visit the Kamloops Wildlife Park.
Along the way, you’ll travel through the lush Coast Mountains to BC’s desert-like interior.
A particular highlight will be the scenic Fraser Canyon, where the train hugs the mighty Fraser River amongst soaring mountain peaks.
? Day 2 – Kamloops to Banff
Hotel: Banff (Banff Caribou Lodge/Aspen Lodge/Ptarmigan Inn or similar) | Meals: Breakfast/Lunch
On the second day of the train to Banff from Vancouver, you’ll pass through the Canadian Rockies, including the famous Spiral Tunnels, which are engineering marvels that allow trains to navigate through the mountains.
As you travel through the Rockies, you can admire the stunning scenery and wildlife in their natural habitat. Keep an eye out for bears, moose, and elk.
Notable highlights include Roger’s Pass and Kicking Horse Canyon.
But of course, the stunning glacial Rocky Mountain peaks,, which begin to make their appearance are the star of the show until you finally reach Banff.
Arrival Point: Banff Train Siding |98 Mount Norquay Rd. | Time: 7:00 pm-8:30 pm MT*
*The remainder of your tour will take place via coach or on foot. Your tour guide will contact you with the exact itinerary for the next four days.
? /??♂️Day 3 – Explore Banff National Park
Hotel: Banff (Banff Caribou Lodge/Aspen Lodge/Ptarmigan Inn or similar) | Meals: Not Included
This is finally what you’re here for.
After nearly two full days spent travelling from Vancouver to Banff aboard the Rocky Mountaineer, you’ll finally have a full day to explore Canada’s most iconic natural landscape – Banff National Park.
You’ll awake refreshed after a night spent in a luxurious alpine lodge hotel, which will be your home base for a few days. From there, it’s off to explore Banff National Park and its countless natural landmarks. The seemingly endless array of glacial lakes and jagged peaks will be awe-inspiring.
You’ll then have the option to grab lunch at the majestic “Castle of the Rockies,” the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (additional fee).
Afterwards, you’ll visit Sulphur Mountain for incredible 360-degree Bow Valley and Banff views. And have the option to hike Hoodoos Trail and Johnston Canyon.
? /??♂️ Day 4 – Lake Louise/Yoho National Park
Hotel: Banff (Banff Caribou Lodge/Aspen Lodge/Ptarmigan Inn or similar) | Meals: Not Included
After an action-packed day, you’ll have another day to explore Banff National Park’s unique natural wonders.
Today the focus will be what is perhaps the area’s most iconic sight, the turquoise glacial-fed marvel that is Lake Louise.
Its vivid light blue colour is rivalled in intensity only by nearby Lake Moraine. This stunning lake is surrounded by waterfalls comprised of the nearby glacial melt.
An optional lunch stop at the Lake Louise ski resort is available for an extra charge.
From there, you’ll move on through Kicking Horse Pass to explore Yoho National Park across the BC border. Then it’s back to Banff for a night exploring the town on your own.
? /??♂️ Day 5 – Columbia Ice Field/Jasper National Park
Hotel: Jasper (Lobstick Lodge/ Marmot Lodge/ Athabasca Hotel or similar) | Meals: Not Included
After three days exploring Banff, you’ll pick up shop and drive to nearby Jasper, where you’ll spend your final night of the tour.
The 230 km trip along the Icefields Parkway is littered with glacial lakes, cascading waterfalls and lush forests at seemingly every turn.
Along the way, you’ll visit the mammoth Crowfoot Glacier and the crystal-clear Bow Lake at its basin.
But the true highlight will come with your visit to the Columbia Ice Field, the largest of its kind in the Rockies. You’ll check out the glass-bottomed skywalk and catch a ride on the ice explorer.
After a quick stop at picturesque Athabasca Falls, you will proceed to your visit for the night in Jasper townsite. This mountain village is at the heart of Jasper National Park, a UNESCO heritage site.
? /??♂️ Day 6 – Jasper National Park/Maligne Lake/Calgary
Hotel: N/A | Meals: Not Included
Unfortunately, all good things must eventually come to an end. The final day of your Canadian Rocky Mountain adventure will involve further exploration of Jasper National Park.
Along the way, you’ll check out Medicine Lake and Maligne Lake, where you’ll be offered the opportunity to go hiking, biking, fishing, canoeing, kayaking, or even grab a boat tour to beautiful Spirit Island.
Afterwards, you’ll proceed back south along the Icefields Parkway where you’ll take a brief rest at Banff National Park’s scenic Saskatchewan River Crossing.
From there, you’ll proceed back to Highway #1, which will take you on to Calgary where your journey will finally come to an end.
Vancouver to Banff Train Prices
The Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver is available in two different packages.
The base option is dubbed the Silver Leaf Package, with an optional upgrade to the Gold Leaf Package available for those seeking an enhanced level of luxury.
You can compare the service levels and prices in the table below:
|Silver Leaf Package||Gold Leaf Package|
|Price||From: $3,316 USD||From: $4,133 USD|
|Coach Style||Single level||Two levels (plus dining room)|
|Window Style||Oversize glass dome||Full glass panoramic dome|
|Dining||Regionally inspired menu||Gourmet a la carte meals|
|# of Hosts||Three||Four + a full culinary team|
|Beverages||Alcoholic & non-alcoholic||Signature cocktails/premium |
alcoholic & non-alcoholic drinks
|Viewing Area||Outdoor viewing area||Large exclusive outdoor viewing |
|Hotels||Comfortable accommodations||Luxurious hotel accommodations |
w/ optional premium upgrades
For full information on what is included you can visit the 6 Day Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff website.
Here you’ll also be able to select your dates and which package is best for you.
You can also get more information clicking the button orange below:
Is the Rocky Mountaineer Train from Vancouver to Banff Worth it?
First off, let’s get the obvious out of the way: this is far from a budget travel experience.
In fact, even the base Silver Leaf Package is positioned at a premium price point that many travellers may find cost prohibitive.
But remember, the Rocky Mountaineer has been awarded the coveted “World’s Leading Travel Experience by Train” designation at the World Travel Awards an amazing seven times.
Whether you’re a Canadian looking to explore your own backyard or a tourist exploring Western Canada for the first time. The Rocky Mountaineer from Vancouver to Banff is simply a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
If you’re planning the experience of a lifetime, it’s well worth it.
Having doubts About the Luxury Train from Vancouver to Banff?
I’ve tried my best to answer any questions you may have concerning the Rocky Mountaineer train from Vancouver to Banff.
But maybe I’ve missed something! Be sure to get at me in the comment section below for answers to of your BC travel queries.
Enjoy the Vancouver Banff train ?