Category Archives: early-bird-discount

Rocky Mountaineer release 2015 Rail Schedule & Rates

Rocky Mountain Holidays posted Rocky Mountaineer’s anticipated rail schedule and rates for 2015 today. We have highlighted the main changes below.

Rocky Mountaineer's Coastal Passage Route
The Rocky Mountaineer train travelling north from Seattle to Vancouver  [Coastal Passage Route]
After Rocky Mountaineer’s launch of their successful Coastal Passage Route in 2013, which connects Seattle to Vancouver and the Canadian Rockies, they have introduced a planned 18 northbound and southbound departures, up from 12 departures this year (2014). The Coastal Passage Route can still only be booked in conjunction with 2-day rail, it cannot be booked as a standalone product.

The Rocky Mountaineer 2-day rail departures for 2015 remain the same, however, there will be no break in 2015 during the first week of August as per previous years. This break was due to annual maintenance of the trains but they have now changed this schedule to ensure a continuous service.

Rates have increased significantly for 2-day rail over their 2014 rates and at time of press, Rocky Mountain Holidays were still offering 2014 Rocky Mountaineer vacation package pricing for 2015.

In 2015, there are no longer two price bands of April through to May, and June through to October. In the past, April and May departures for 2-day rail were reduced to encourage guests to travel earlier in the season. As a result of this change, there have been some significant price hikes, especially for travel in April and May:

2-day Rail – Vancouver to the Canadian Rockies [Jasper, Lake Louise or Banff]

For April and May train departures in 2015:

  • RedLeaf = +26% rate increase over 2014
  • SilverLeaf = +12% rate increase over 2014
  • GoldLeaf = +10.5% rate increase over 2014

For June through to October train departures in 2015:

  • RedLeaf = +14.6% rate increase over 2014
  • SilverLeaf = +5% rate increase over 2014
  • GoldLeaf =  +5% rate increase over 2014
Rocky Mountaineer Train, Morant's Curve
The Rocky Mountaineer train in Banff National Park, travelling eastwards between Lake Louise and Banff [Morant’s Curve]

2-day Rail – Vancouver through the Canadian Rockies to Calgary

For April and May train departures in 2015:

  • RedLeaf = +23.4% rate increase over 2014
  • SilverLeaf = +11% rate increase over 2014
  • GoldLeaf = +9.8% rate increase over 2014

For June through to October train departures in 2015:

  • RedLeaf = +13.2% rate increase over 2014
  • SilverLeaf = +4.6% rate increase over 2014
  • GoldLeaf =  +4.7% rate increase over 2014

Vancouver to Whistler 3.5 hour train [Sea-to-Sky Climb]

For May through to September train departures in 2015:

  • Classic Service – One Way = Almost 18% rate increase over 2014
  • Classic Service – Return =  Over 11% rate increase over 2014

Seattle to Vancouver train [Coastal Passage Route]

  • SilverLeaf = +10% rate increase over 2014 ($50 increase per person)
  • GoldLeaf = +7.1% rate increase over 2014 ($50 increase per person)

Why such dramatic rate increases in 2015?

Our assumption is that rising operating costs, updates to their GoldLeaf dome coaches, along with expansion into the United States are all reasons for increased rates. The weakening of the Canadian dollar against the U.S. dollar has also contributed to potential increased costs in 2015.

The upgrade margins between RedLeaf, SilverLeaf and GoldLeaf service have been narrowed to entice guests to indulge in the ultimate luxury of GoldLeaf service onboard.

From November 1st, 2013, Rocky Mountaineer imposed rail fuel surcharges on all of their routes in 2014 due to rising oil prices, so taking that into consideration, the actual percentage rate increases from 2014 are less (as long as more fuel surcharges aren’t imposed for 2015). Rocky Mountain Holidays are still currently offering “rail and cruise fuel surcharge protection” on all of their Rocky Mountaineer bookings, so they will pay any fuel surcharges imposed on your behalf when you book through them.

The Canadian Dollar ["Loonie"]
The Canadian dollar has weakened significantly over the past year, most dramatically over the past few months.

How do these rate increases affect you?

The good news for most international guests is that the Canadian dollar has weakened significantly over the past year, most dramatically over the past few months.

For example:

  • The U.K. pound has increased in value against the Canadian dollar by 17% over the past year
  • The U.S. dollar has increased in value against the Canadian dollar by 10% over the past year

Unfortunately, Australians have seen a 5% decline in the Australian dollar against the Canadian dollar over the past year and most guests who live in Canada will not see any benefit in a weakened Canadian dollar.

That being said, the early-bird booking deals set to be offered for 2015 will be very attractive to encourage guests to book far in advance.

What do you think about these changes? Feel free to comment below.

Source: Rocky Mountain Holidays

Rocky Mountaineer 2-day Rail Sale – 2013

Seattle to Canadian Rockies by Rocky Mountaineer train

This is a promotional Rocky Mountaineer video of the new Coastal Passage route, set to debut in August 2013. Please read our last post for more information. The 3-day route connects Seattle (via Vancouver) with Banff and Jasper in the Canadian Rockies as well as Calgary. Any questions, please drop us a line.

Rocky Mountaineer Vacations 2013

Rocky Mountaineer 2013 packages are now available to book with Rocky Mountain Holidays.

For 2013, there are less vacation package options due to the fact that a lot of packages can easily be customised making some of the current 2012 packages redundant.

The new Rocky Mountaineer Coastal Passage Route – 2013:

Rocky Mountaineer Coastal Passage Route - 2013

The most exciting addition is the new Coastal Passage Route from Seattle which connects to Vancouver then onto Banff or Jasper in the Canadian Rockies. There is currently only one departure date set in August 2013 which means that this debut route will likely book up quite early.

The Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise

Another addition for 2013 is the option to board and disembark the Rocky Mountaineer train in Lake Louise (as well as Banff as before) in Banff National Park. This provides us with more customisation options based on guest preferences.  The station is located just southwest of the Lake Louise Village, and less than 5 km northeast of the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise. The address is: 200 Sentinel Road Lake Louise, Alberta T0L 1E0. View Map

Motorcoach transfers will be available to and from the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and are included on all packages except 2 day rail-only. For guests departing from Lake Louise, please note that all check-ins will be at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, and NOT on the station platform or at the station itself.

Rocky Mountaineer SilverLeaf Service - 2013

After the successful introduction of the onboard SilverLeaf service in 2012, the Rocky Mountaineer will also be offering this service on the Vancouver to Jasper two (2) day “Journey through the Clouds” route. SilverLeaf service will not be available onboard the Rocky Mountaineer route between Whistler and Jasper in 2013 and could potentially be introduced in 2014.

Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf Deluxe Service - 2013

For the most luxurious accommodation option, this has been rebranded as “GoldLeaf Deluxe Service”. This allows us to book more than just Fairmont properties, such as the Four Seasons brand in this deluxe accommodation category, without conflicting with the Fairmont branding.

Cruise terminal transfers will be included with all Rocky Mountaineer rail and cruise packages in 2013.

Other than on packages connecting to Coastal Passage route, Holland America’s Oosterdam cruise from Seattle up to Alaska has been removed in 2013.

The Rocky Mountaineer city stops will not be available in 2013.

Rocky Mountain Holidays now have all of the 2013 Canada rail vacation packages for download along with early-bird pricing and promotions.

Thanks for reading and don’t hesitate to message us direct with any questions you may have. For reservations, we recommend you book direct with Rocky Mountain Holidays, an A+ rated business with the Better Business Bureau (their highest rating) and licensed with Consumer Protection BC for financial protection.

Safe travels 🙂

 

 

Rocky Mountaineer Train Discounts and Deals 2012

Rocky Mountain Holidays™ have just announced their latest deal offerings on Rocky Mountaineer Train® packages; applicable on select 3 night packages on select travel dates in April 2012 and May 2012. These savings amount to almost  the equivalent of 20% and are subject to availability. These are exclusive Rocky Mountaineer deals.

In addition to these deals, which were just announced a few hours ago, they will also continue to offer the Rocky Mountaineer ® Stay and Play promotion through March and April 2012 which includes a FREE night in Vancouver as well as a FREE dinner in the Canadian Rockies or a Vancouver sightseeing tour. I have also listed more information below:
Rocky Mountaineer Stay and Play Promotion with Rocky Mountain Holidays
2012 Deals on 6+ night 2012 packages*
Book any qualifying six (6) or more night 2012 Rocky Mountaineer holiday through us and receive a FREE additional night in Vancouver, a FREE Vancouver sightseeing tour OR a dinner in the Canadian Rockies at your Banff, Jasper or Lake Louise hotel.

2012 Deal – FREE night in Vancouver*
Book any six (6) or more night 2012 Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf, SilverLeaf or RedLeaf package and receive a FREE additional night in Vancouver. Must be taken at the start or end of the package. Accommodation matches the accommodation grade of the package.

2012 Deal – FREE dinner or sightseeing tour* 
Book any six (6) or more night 2012 Rocky Mountaineer GoldLeaf, SilverLeaf or RedLeaf package and receive a FREE dinner in the Canadian Rockies at your Banff, Jasper or Lake Louise hotel OR a Vancouver sightseeing city tour. Guests travelling in GoldLeaf service will have additional tour options. The dinner or sightseeing tour must be taken at the start, the end or during your package.

FREE Rail and Cruise Fuel Surcharge Protection*
This early-bird promotion offers peace of mind. Your holiday price will not increase after you book even if oil prices do. Any rail and cruise surcharges imposed between now and packages booked up to October 2013 will be absorbed by us.

FREE Calgary Airport YYC to Calgary Hotel Transfer*
Get off to the right start when you arrive at Calgary Airport YYC. You will be met by a representative and transported to your Calgary hotel.

* Visit Rocky Mountain Holidays for details of these offers.

2011 Summer Holiday Packages – Canada

What a great start we have had to 2011 with about a metre of snow received by the ski resorts across Western Canada over the past week! Now that we are into 2011, the busy summer season does not seem so far away. With the early-bird deals starting to “fizzle” out or become less attractive for the summer, especially with the Rocky Mountaineer train packages, now is a good time to get a good deal on a 2011 spring, summer or autumn/fall package. Rocky Mountain Holidays have brochure downloads in PDF (Portable Document Format) and as always, we have provided the links below for easy reference. These packages can be easily customised based on your preferences (as long as the changes fit in with the rail or cruise schedule). Be sure to take advantage of specials such as free nights and activities in Vancouver – value added rather than discounts are the way to go.

Self-drive holidays are becoming increasingly popular in the Canadian Rockies as it gives you the independence but you also have full support when you are out here and the peace of mind that you won’t struggle to find accommodation during the peak season months in the Canadian Rockies. When booking a self-drive package, check to see if you have Loss Damage Waiver insurance coverage with your credit card provider as this can save you about $30 per day. Also, check out what the one way drop-off fees are from Vancouver to Calgary for example. When you book independently they can be as much as several hundred dollars whereas through a tour operator, typically the rates are about $75-$100.

Other things to look out for if you are shopping around are hidden fees such as “credit card surcharges”. This is a common technique used by some companies to squeeze some extra cash out of you after you have already agreed to the booking. It is also good to ask the straight question – “what extra costs will I have to pay in additional to the package price?”. Any good tour operator will be able to list these for you immediately so you know where you stand with the total of your holiday cost.

Here are the holiday brochures for 2011 – available for download through RockyMountainHolidays.com.

Wishing you all a healthy and happy 2011.

Good Bye Summer, Hello Autumn

The summer seems to have flown by this year.

It’s September 30 2010 and less than 2 weeks ago, the ski resorts in the Canadian Rockies received 20cm of fresh snow and we experienced way below average temperatures. The Canada Ski Blog posted some photos of this September snow. This last week, we have experienced above average temperatures (in the 20s°C) with sunny skies giving us another opportunity to take advantage of the many summer activities in the Canadian Rockies. This is typical of the Canadian Rockies as we are in the mountains at higher elevations.

Just check out the colours in the recent pictures taken in the Canadian Rockies. This is what we love about the autumn.

Autumn in Canmore

Cascade Mountain, Bow River, in the Autumn

The Rocky Mountaineer train departing tomorrow from Vancouver, October 1st 2010, is the company’s largest departure in their history, and will set a record for largest passenger rail train in North American history – a total of 1331 guests! This is one of the last Rocky Mountaineer train departures for 2010, but we already have 2011 packages in place with early-bird savings of up to $1,400 per couple.

50%OFF Panorama Lodging early-bird deal ended today but we have many early-bird deals for the 2010-2011 winter season, some of which are soon to expire. We are seeing some of the best ski accommodation deals in Banff this year with free nights accommodation and free ski deals for stays of 7 or more nights.

The early-birds will definitely be getting the best deals on ski packages and summer packages.

We hope you had a great summer and we thank you for reading our blog. We always love to hear from our readers so please feel free to post any relevant comments you may have.  Wishing you safe and happy travels.

Rocky Mountaineer Train Holidays 2011

We are not even into August 2010 yet and the rates have been released for all Rocky Mountaineer Train and Cruise Holiday packages for 2011. They have kept most of the packages the same as 2010 but have added an Alaska cruise from Seattle onboard Holland America’s ms Oosterdam to seven of their existing popular 2010 train holiday packages. Alaska cruises from Vancouver for 2011 are still onboard the Holland America’s ms Zuiderdam, which, in our opinion, has to be one of, if not, the best cruise ship sailing up to Alaska from Vancouver, Canada.

Below are the new 2011 Rocky Mountaineer train holiday packages with the Seattle cruise add-on. The links are to PDF documents on RockyMountainHolidays.com.

Rocky Mountaineer with Cruise to Alaska from Seattle

New Rocky Mountaineer Holiday Products for 2011

There have not been any major changes to the 2010 Rocky Mountaineer packages for 2011. Any changes are “tweaks” to already very popular and exciting train holiday packages.

Changes to Existing 2010 Products for 2011

  • All tours that overnight in Vancouver now include admission to the Vancouver Lookout
  • All tours that overnight in Calgary now include admission to the Calgary Tower
  • RedLeaf Service pre- or post-cruise tour packages now utilize Ocean- View Staterooms (Category D).
  • GoldLeaf Service pre- or post-cruise tour packages continue to use Deluxe Verandah Ocean-View Staterooms (Category VC).
  • Classic Rail Circle now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore.
  • Grand Rail Circle now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights now has an additional pre-night in Vancouver plus a six hour sightseeing tour of Vancouver’s spectacular North Shore.
  • Canadian Rockies Highlights – 5 nights is also available; this is the same as the 2010 Canadian Rockies Highlights.
  • Canadian Rockies Circle is now 9 nights in duration instead of 12 nights.
  • The westbound itineraries of Trans-Canada Rail Adventure, Canada’s Coast to Coast by Rail, and the post-tour cruise options of these packages now include 2 nights in Jasper plus a Jasper highlights motorcoach tour, but only one night in Lake Louise.
  • City Stop add-on products are able to be sold independently, with rail-only, or in conjunction with any Rocky Mountaineer packages. Please note that transportation to/from the station or airport is not included in any City Stop packages.
  • Taxi transfers to/from cruise terminals in Vancouver are no longer included.
  • Travel documentation will advise of estimated taxi transfer rates, and limousine transfers available for purchase.

Discontinued 2010 Rocky Mountaineer Holiday Products

New for 2011 – Child and Youth Rates

New for 2011, Rocky Mountaineer holiday packages now include rates for youths (ages 12-18) and children (ages 2-11) when travelling with at least one single adult guest.

The published child and youth prices will apply for a maximum of 1 child or youth sharing with 1 adult. Parties of 1 adult and 2 or more children/youths will have to be booked with a minimum of 2 adults. It is not possible to book a single room with more than 2 persons sharing.


These are all the changes to the Rocky Mountaineer Holiday packages for 2011. Rocky Mountaineer package information which include cruises up to Alaska from Vancouver or Seattle can be all found at RockyMountainHolidays.com. You can view all the latest Rocky Mountaineer early-bird deals there too.

Rocky Mountaineer Tax Increase 2010

Rocky Mountaineer Logo

With the introduction of the new Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) in British Columbia, Rocky Mountaineer Holiday packages will increase by up to 7%.

For those of you who are planning to book your holiday in Canada, or are about to book your holiday, be sure to read the following as you could save up to 7%. If you book and pay in full by the end of this month (April 2010), then you will only have to pay the standard Federal goods and services tax (GST) of 5%.


IMPORTANT ADVISORY – CHANGE IN CANADIAN SALES TAXES

The Province of British Columbia, Canada, has tabled legislation to introduce a Harmonized Sales Tax (HST) on goods and services, effective July 1, 2010. This tax will merge federal (GST) and provincial taxes (PST) into one single amount, the HST and will, unfortunately, increase the cost of your Rocky Mountaineer® Holiday by up to 7%.

The HST applies to all Rocky Mountaineer bookings with travel dates beginning in Canada after July 1, 2010.

Below summarises three options for consideration in the implementation of HST:

1. Bookings received prior to May 1, 2010 with a payment due date by April 30, 2010

Transitional rules allow bookings made prior to May 1, 2010 to be taxed under the old GST rules if the payment is due and paid for by April 30, 2010.

2. Bookings made after April 30th, for travel before July 1, 2010

Transitional rules allow bookings made prior as of May 1, 2010, for travel before July 1, 2010 to be taxed under the old GST rules.

3. Tax rate increases for bookings made after April 30th, for travel after July 1, 2010

The changes required to comply with the new HST will result in tax increases to an effective rate of 8% – 11% for Rocky Mountaineer bookings. Please note the following exceptions: Whistler Sea to Sky bookings all have a 12% tax rate, bookings with a cruise or VIA Rail component will have a tax rate determined by the originating province of the trip.


Please visit RockyMountainHolidays.com for more Rocky Mountaineer Tax Information.

Banff Douglas Fir Temporary Waterslide Closure

Please note that the Banff Douglas Fir‘s in-house waterslides will be shut down for one week due to regular maintenance. In order to minimise the disruption they have chosen the shutdown to occur Sunday April 25th at 9:30 PM after their regular closing time. The slides will re-open on Friday April 30th at 4 PM, just in time for the weekend!

Banff Douglas Fir Resort Playzone

While the waterslides are closed for maintenance, the Douglas Fir Resort will have the playzone, amenities, pool, saunas, jacuzzi, tennis/basketball courts, fitness room and barbeques all open for your convenience.

The Banff Douglas Fir Resort is perfect for families and we are currently offering an early-booking discount of up 30% OFF for summer 2010 bookings. Some restrictions (but not many) apply!