Grand Canadian Rockies vs Vancouver & the Rockies by Rocky Mountaineer

I am considering one of these two trips, Grand Canadian Rockies or Vancouver & the Rockies by Rocky Mountaineer. I traveling as a single (recently widowed) 70yr old. Any suggestions on which to choose or what the major differences are between the two trips?


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    We selected Grand Canadien Rockies because it goes to Butchardt gardens and Victoria.

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    I forget which tour it was, but we did the one that visits the gardens and then you get a float plane from there that flies you into Vancouver, my husband loved it.

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    edited April 2022

    Did the Grand Canadian Rockies in 2019. The 2nd pic was the view from my room.

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    Beautiful photos. We loved everything about that trip and tea at the Empress Hotel was so much fun. That was years ago. I don't know if Tauck still stays there.

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    Breathtaking beautiful! It certainly whets our appetite for our Grand Canadian Rockies Tauck tour in July 2023! Thx for sharing!

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    The Grand Canadian Rockies trip we did was spectacular except for sleeping (or lack of) on the train.

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    Yes, the Grand Canadian Rockies tour was fabulous. The Fairmont Hotels and adjoining scenery were extraordinary. The one night we slept on the train was interesting...a Fairmont it was not. But it was all part of the adventure; we just laughed at the cramped accommodations and settled in our bunk beds where we were lulled to sleep by the gentle swaying.

    To avoid the rush to the shower(s) (located down the hall) in the morning, we opted to take our showers before retiring.
    We were also pleasantly surprised how good the food was on the train. Again, the scenery from the train's viewing area was breathtaking.


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    2023 any smoke issues near Jaspar or Banf Parks?

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    Wondering the same about smoke in the area. We are doing the Canadian Rockies at the end of July

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    Just returned from Grand Canadian Rockies and based on that experience and based on descriptions of similar trips on Tauck's website, I cannot recommend Grand Candian Rockies. Reasons - the ride on the Via Rail Canada is not what one would expect from Tauck - despite some thinking it is nostaligic - reality: Old train, poor accomodations, poor food and wine, and a cranky dining matron. It is not the top tier offered by the company but I do not think based on the company's website, that experience is much better. Either way it is a costly portion of the trip. Limited scenic viewing - only the last 2 hours have decent scenery. The train's schedule is secondary to commercial traffic so there is no real set TOA. Great possiblity of missing planned activities. I suggest that it is better to go to Vancouver and Victoria on your own or on another trip. You won't waste time traveling and generally you get to stay at a Fairmont an additional night.

    Also the trip has fewer included events than similar trips. Despite the website itinerary title for day 5: "Rafting and More in Jasper National Park," there is no rafting offered. Late September as a date means some resort activities are not available even if you pay. On this last trip of 2023, the Tour Director never mentioned why we did not visit Maligne Canyon. Our float trip in Jasper was cancelled - cold out and lack of water in the Bow River. No substitute activities were offered.

    The Fairmonts are excellent (apart from the food at some locations.) All were different. Your room view at Lake Louise is just as depicted - sublime. (During the day, that part of the resort gets very crowded with day trippers as it is public along the shore, unlike Jasper) We loved Jasper the best - the elk and foxes were everywhere and there are nice trails around the lake for a walk. I highly recommend the apple ravioli in 'Orso' as well as the entrees.

    We had a good time with fellow passengers. Many were first timers and expressed several concerns amongst themselves. We told them this was not a typical Tauck trip and that our loyalty was based on our other experiences with company.

    We started with 22 guests, 2 left within days due to Covid. One of the couple tested positive, both isolated and tested. They wore their masks from the beginning, so must have suspected something was up. . The Director told us they had left and why. She also explained the protocal which was also clearly explained in the travel documents. No quibbles there. One person tested positive for Covid at the end of the trip. We saw many sniffling, watery eyed people at the airport - we wore our masks.

    I recommend taking Covid tests with you on your travels. The last sick traveler was able to get her diagnosis thanks to a kit from a fellow traveler (She evidenced symptoms the day we were leaving.)

    Overall our 2nd least favorite Tauck trip out of 17.

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    It's unfortunate some aspects of your trip fell short of your expectations. We did this tour twelve years ago and about ten years prior to that (both being the Grand Canadian Rockies). For us the overnight train portion was aboard Rocky Mountaineer (if my memory is correct.) We were quite surprised by the bunk bed accommodations and tiny cabin, but we considered it just part of the adventure and had a marvelous time. We thoroughly enjoyed the train's viewing section and food.

    The Fairmont brand of hotels in North America is our favorite. Canada is such a beautiful, pristine country.

    I am dismayed to hear about the rise of COVID cases once again. All we can do is stay vigilant in protecting ourselves and others.

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