This website uses cookies

We use cookies to ensure you have an easy, quick and reliable experience whilst using the Virgin Holidays website. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. For more details, see our cookie policy.

Skip to main content Virgin holidays logo
  • 24 May 8:00am - 10:00pm
  • 25 May 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • 26 May 10:00am - 6:00pm
  • 27 May 8:00am - 11:00pm
  • Mon to Fri 9:00am - 9:00pm
  • Saturday 9:00am - 7:00pm
  • Sunday 10:00am - 6:00pm

Rocky Mountaineer - First Passage to the West Classic

4 Days Rail Tours
  • 2-Day Rocky Mountaineer Experience
  • Vancouver
  • Kamloops
  • Banff/Lake Louise

Virgin Holidays' view

If you’re going to do any of Canada’s historic rail journeys, this is the one to start with. It may cover a mere slice of a gargantuan country, but it takes you through some of Canada’s most famous and fabulous landscapes – and important heritage landmarks. Linking Vancouver with Banff or Lake Louise, with an overnight hotel stop in the friendly city of Kamloops on the way, the Rocky Mountaineer’s two day passage through British Columbia and Alberta checks off all the essentials: racing against the raging rivers that run parallel to your carriage, and crossing historic bridges and spots like Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was hammered in to connect the East and West coasts. Comfort goes without saying, but every detail has been carefully crafted to give you a VIP experience and the optimum window to see the shifting scenes of ranch lands, glaciers, lakes, forests, and mountains.

Itinerary

Banff Itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver

Georgian Court Hotel Downtown Vancouver (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Deluxe Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Arriving in Vancouver, the rest of the day is free to enjoy this most enchanting of cities at your leisure. Take a stroll through historic Gastown, enjoy the delights of Stanley Park, or visit the wealth of bustling markets, galleries and eateries on Granville Island. Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 2: Vancouver – Kamloops

Kamloops overnight stay - Hotel confirmed at check-in for the Rocky Mountaineer 

Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. On today’s journey you will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, to the desert-like environment of the BC Interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake into Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops. (B/L)

Day 3: Kamloops – Banff

Banff Caribou Lodge (SilverLeaf) Rimrock Resort, Premium Room (GoldLeaf) Rimrock Resort, Grandview Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today’s highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends this evening in the resort town of Banff. Overnight in Banff. (B/L)

Day 4: Banff Departure

Your adventure ends when you check out of your Banff hotel.


Lake Louise Itinerary

Day 1: Vancouver Arrival

Georgian Court Hotel Downtown Vancouver (SilverLeaf) Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Fairmont Room (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, Deluxe Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Arrive in Vancouver and spend time exploring this scenic city on your own. Overnight in Vancouver.

Day 2: Vancouver – Kamloops

Kamloops overnight stay - Hotel confirmed at check-in for the Rocky Mountaineer 

Travel onboard the Rocky Mountaineer from the coastal city of Vancouver to Kamloops, in the heart of British Columbia’s interior. On today’s journey you will see dramatic changes in scenery, from the lush green fields of the Fraser Valley, through forests and winding river canyons surrounded by the peaks of the Coast and Cascade Mountains, to the desert-like environment of the BC Interior. Highlights include the rushing waters of Hell’s Gate in the Fraser Canyon and the steep slopes and rock sheds along the Thompson River. Your day concludes as the Rocky Mountaineer travels along the shores of Kamloops Lake into Kamloops. Overnight in Kamloops. (B/L)

Day 3: Kamloops – Lake Louise

Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Fairmont Room (SilverLeaf) Post Hotel & Spa, Post Lodge Suite (GoldLeaf) Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, Deluxe Lakeview Room (GoldLeaf Deluxe)

Your journey continues eastwards to the mighty Canadian Rockies and the province of Alberta. Once again you will see a spectacular array of scenery as you travel across ranchlands, along rocky lakeshores, over high mountain passes and through the remarkable tunnels that form part of the rich rail history of the Canadian Rockies. Today’s highlights include Craigellachie, where the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, the climb over Rogers Pass, the Kicking Horse Canyon, the Spiral Tunnels and, of course, the glaciers and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies. Your rail journey ends in the mountain hamlet of Lake Louise. Overnight in Lake Louise. (B/L)

Day 4: Lake Louise Departure

Your vacation ends upon checkout from your Lake Louise hotel.


Choice of ending your tour in Banff or in Lake Louise. 

Both tours also operate in reverse.

Optional Breakfast Supplement: 
Breakfast supplement includes breakfast in tour hotels on all days not on Rocky Mountaineer. If this optional supplement is not taken then tour still includes breakfast on 2 days on the train. Not applicable to any extra pre and post hotels. 

Dates & prices

The table below shows our escorted tour departure dates.

Sort by
Departure dates
Guide price
Call to book
{{telephone.number}}
{{price | dateFormatter}}
{{price.freeText}}

Prices are described as Guide prices on this website and may be higher or lower due to availability and date of departure.

Prices are for departure dates listed, ex-UK and are per adult based on two adults travelling and sharing a standard room and with return economy flights where stated. Single room and flight prices are available at a supplement.

Please note some tours are subject to minimum numbers, please call our travel experts or visit your local retail store for full details as well as our latest prices.

Tour information

Please click here to download a pdf of the 2019 Banff itinerary and additional tour notes

Please click here to download a pdf of the 2019 Lake Louise itinerary and additional tour notes

Visa requirements

Electronic Travel Authorisation (eTA)

Visitors travelling to or transiting through Canada by air are now expected to get an electronic travel authorisation (eTA) to enter Canada. If you’re arriving into Canada by air from either the UK or another destination e.g. the USA, you’ll need an eTA. This costs CA$7 and lasts for 5 years or until your passport expires, whichever is first. If you’re travelling by land or sea, you won’t need an eTA when you enter Canada. However, you must travel with acceptable travel documents and identification, i.e. your passport.

For more information on eTA system, and to apply online, visit the official Canadian government website.