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It Must Be Something In The Water
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It Must Be Something In The Water

Porthole Cruise Magazine - July 16, 2020
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See it All: Explore Alaska and the Canadian Rockies in One Easy Trip

The first rays of morning sunshine touch down along the calm waters of Vancouver, British Columbia’s downtown harbor with glimpses of fiery orange, deep crimson, and rich purple. The North Shore Mountains rise up into the clouds, hiding their peaks from the colors of the morning. A harbor seal pops its head, birds fly over the water. In the midst of Canada’s vibrant West Coast city, the call of the wild isn’t far, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience awaits. 

Rocky Mountaineer

An aerial view of downtown Vancouver, and Stanley Park, one of North America’s largest urban parks.

It’s here, in Vancouver, where your land-and-sea adventure will begin or end. From the rocky shores of Alaska to the towering peaks of the Canadian Rockies, you can truly see it all in one journey. The panoramic views on a cruise along the Inside Passage to Alaska pair perfectly with the world-class service, impressive scenery and fine dining on board Rocky Mountaineer’s luxury train that travels between Vancouver and the iconic mountain towns of Banff, Lake Louise or Jasper, Alberta. 

Rocky Mountaineer curates extraordinary packages designed to introduce you to a world of picturesque landscapes and fascinating history found only in the Pacific Northwest. An Alaska Cruise-and-train trip is a delightful blend of comfort and luxury, enticing your inner explorer with mile-high peaks and incredible forests, rivers and waterfalls. Sit back, let out a deep breath and venture beyond the intrusive reach of civilization; your journey is about to begin.

Curated Train and Cruise Packages 

It would take a lifetime to discover the entirety of Alaska and the Canadian Rockies, but you only have a few weeks. What’s the best way to explore this vast and untamed region? Rocky Mountaineer curates packages that combine a train journey with a cruise, creating a world-class experience that’s both relaxing and adventurous. The company partners with Holland America Line, one of the top names in cruising, but you can add a rail journey to any Alaska Cruise you book, as a pre- or post-cruise tour. 

Start your vacation in Vancouver and board your ship destined for the glaciers of Alaska, then, follow it with an experience on one of Rocky Mountaineer’s three outstanding rail routes. Or fly into Calgary, Alberta, and head westbound before embarking on your Alaska adventure. The choice is yours!

Rocky Mountaineer

Rocky Mountaineer passing Vermilion Lakes, in Banff National Park.

These unique adventures give you a chance to see the vast wilderness of Alaska and the Canadian Rockies from two vantage points: by land and by sea. The train, which travels by daylight only, offers overnight stays in well-appointed partner hotels. 

While in Vancouver, take a walk or go biking on the Seawall – the world’s longest uninterrupted path; ramble through Stanley Park; and enjoy urban attractions like the 360-degree views of the city, the Strait of Georgia, and beyond, from the 28-story Vancouver Lookout. There’s also fresh seafood, a massive food market and local artisanal gifts to be found at Granville Island Public Market. Still hungry? Enjoy upscale epicurean and international delights in restaurants across the city. Whether you start or end in Vancouver, the city plays a pivotal part in your journey.

Cruise Alaska 

Cruise season between Vancouver and Alaska typically runs between mid-April and late October (with Rocky Mountaineer operating between mid-April and mid-October). Enjoy views of icy fjords and glaciers of Alaska from the comfort of your stateroom – the ultimate vantage point from which to watch a whale breach or marvel as eagles fly overhead. If you begin your vacation with a cruise, stay in a downtown Vancouver hotel before boarding and exploring the famed Inside Passage to Alaskan towns like Ketchikan and Juneau, the only state capital in America that is unreachable by road. 

Discovering the untamed beauty of the Alaskan coastline from a cruise is an enriching and relaxing experience. Once you disembark, your appetite for knowledge and exploration leaves you aching for even more adventure! 

Capturing the views from the outdoor viewing platform in Rocky Mountaineer’s GoldLeaf Service Coach.

Celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, Rocky Mountaineer has fine-tuned the luxury adventure experience with its elevated approach to train travel. The company offers three rail routes between Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies: First Passage to the West, Journey through the Clouds, and Rainforest to Gold Rush, each with their own highlights and destinations – the first runs between Vancouver and Banff or Lake Louise, while the other two travel to Jasper. Onboard the train, stretch out in spacious coaches, relax with a glass of wine from British Columbia’s Okanagan region, chat with other guests, enjoy locally inspired cuisine, and gaze through the glass-dome windows for breathtaking views of the highest peaks, churning rivers, and diverse wildlife. 

There are two service levels to choose from – GoldLeaf Service and SilverLeaf Service – and friendly and knowledgeable onboard Hosts guide you on a journey that stimulates the mind as much as it does the senses. Learn about Western Canada’s rich rail history and the intrepid pioneers and prospectors who tamed just enough of the land to lay down the tracks Rocky Mountaineer travels on today.

Raising a glass to great adventures in Rocky Mountaineer’s GoldLeaf Service coach.

Is an Alaska Cruise vacation on your bucket list? Adding a Rocky Mountaineer train journey to Canada’s iconic Rocky Mountains to the beginning or end of a cruise vacation offers an unparalleled experience. Combining staggering natural beauty with the luxury and attention to detail that cruisers have come to expect, Rocky Mountaineer is a vacation memory you’ll hold dear for a lifetime.

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