Top Five Reasons to Choose GoldLeaf Service on Rocky Mountaineer, Prestige Class on the Canadian

2 Mar
Rocky Mountaineer_River with train

Rocky Mountaineer. IRT Photo by Nora B. Elzy.

Considering Canada this year?

Go for the gold. Or, rather, the GoldLeaf.

Once you’ve experienced the Rocky Mountaineer’s double-decked GoldLeaf Dome service — as I did — you won’t settle for anything less.

Rocky Mountaineer_GoldLeaf Attendant 1

Youthful, energetic, and dedicated to their passengers: Rocky Mountaineer hosts serve drinks and snacks as they provide expert info about the passing scene. IRT Photo by Nora Elzy

Here are IRT’s top five reasons to book GoldLeaf on Rocky Mountaineer:

  1. The curved panoramic windows allow for 180-degree viewing and are unbeatable for spotting wildlife like bears & eagles.
  2. The lower-level dining area is like a swanky restaurant on wheels, with food to match. All meals and drinks on the train are included — and the chef bends over backwards to accommodate dietary preferences.
  3. The seats are utterly relaxing. I wish I could have brought mine home! They boast several seat-back positions and heating functions. You can even rotate your seat 180 degrees to make a miniature seating area for four.
  4. The wind-in-the-face, outdoor viewing platform at the end of the train is perfect for drinking in the fresh Canadian air — and maybe even spotting a moose.
  5. The friendly & energetic attendants, who point out landmarks along the way, offer snacks and beverages and are always on the lookout for wildlife. (Staff-to-guest ratio is higher than in the single-level cars.)
Rocky Mountaineer_GoldLeaf observation deck

Rocky Mountaineer Gold Class includes wind-in-the-face viewing from an open-air platform. IRT photo by Nora Elzy

(And for those extra-discerning travelers, kick your Rocky Mountaineer adventure up another notch and book our exclusive Ultra-Luxe Canadian Rockies Adventure, with all-private touring, transfers, & upgraded hotels.)

*******

I began my Canadian rail adventure with a totally different, yet no less luxurious, train: VIA Rail’s retro-styled, silver overnight classic, the Canadian.

Again, your most important decision will be to select great accommodations. In this case, that means booking VIA’s Prestige Class.

The list of Prestige Class perks is almost as long as the Canadian itself. Here are my top five:

  1. The large double bed and en-suite bathroom with shower;
  2. Unlimited free drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic);
  3. Reserved seating in the Park Car during peak viewing hours;
  4. 24-hour butler service;
  5. First choice for meal sittings.

For a full list of Prestige Class perks, click here.

RS398_VIA_Travellers_Long_Haul_Canadian_71_sRGB

The Canadian’s classic diner sports such touches as charming Canadian birds etched in glass. Photo provided by VIA Rail Canada

The most important Prestige Class amenity for me was the exclusive access I had to the Park Car at the end of the train.

The lower rear half of the car boasts a well-appointed lounge with plenty of windows. The lower front half includes the Prestige bar with dedicated Prestige-only staff and ever-present snacks and beverages.

The upper level is almost entirely glass with — most important of all during high season — reserved seating for Prestige passengers. Watch the stars with an after-dinner drink and revel in the relaxation.

Sunrise on the Canadian - 1/11/11

VIA Rail Canada’s Prestige Class includes reserved seats in the Canadian’s classic dome cars. IRT Photo by Bruce Anderson

Finally, I can’t talk about the Canadian without praising the staff. Many are “lifers,” having worked for VIA for years. From their quirky Canadian humor to their quick assistance, I wanted for nothing during my journey.

My last suggestion might be most important: these trains book up fast, especially in peak months. So don’t delay.

For more info, click here for our journeys on Rocky Mountaineer; click here for our expertly-designed Trans-Canada Adventure that pairs the Canadian with the Rocky Mountaineer.

Email us, or call us at (800) 478-4881 (+1 502-897-1725 if you’re outside of the US/Canada).

Nora Elzy is a Luxury Travel Associate with The Society of International Railway Travelers. She joined our team in December, 2016. She is a graduate of Centre College. Nora most recently traveled with IRT to Italy and the UK for a memorable trip on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express. Among her other notable international travels was her study abroad in Japan.

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