With all eyes on Canada this year during its sesquicentennial, Rocky Mountaineer is expected get an extra boost. Known for being Canada’s iconic rail-tour company and highlighting the country’s most jaw-dropping natural wonders, Rocky Mountaineer has long since become synonymous with Canadian travel. In this week’s edition of Friday Five, we sit down with Graham Cove, Senior Director, Global Sales Operations, who tells us how Canada 150 is impacting sales and what’s in store for travellers in 2017/2018.
1. How has Canada’s 150th anniversary impacted bookings this year? Are they up?
Canada has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and with 2017 marking the 150th anniversary, we are seeing an upward trend of bookings, including more and more Canadians coming onboard.
2. Is Rocky Mountaineer commemorating the sesquicentennial in any way?
The Rocky Mountaineer experience is already quintessentially Canadian and the best way to see the Canadian Rockies – perfect to celebrate our country’s 150th anniversary. We are very proud of our Canadian hospitality, which drives world-leading guest experience scores. Onboard on Canada Day, we’ll be treating guests with extra Canadian highlights, including red velvet cake with vanilla ice cream, strawberry compote and a red brandy snap and a special wave-off with Canadian flags.
3. For first-time clients who’ve never visited the Rockies before, which rail journey would you suggest, and why?
Rocky Mountaineer offers four distinct routes, each with different highlights. Being that it is Canada’s 150th anniversary, our First Passage to the West route, which travels through the legendary Spiral Tunnels and passes by Craigellachie, the spot where the last spike on the Canadian Pacific Railway was driven, is more popular than ever. This is the only passenger rail service on this historic route, celebrated for connecting Canada from East to West. You journey between my incredible hometown of Vancouver and the quaint mountain town of Banff offering wilderness, history and majestic mountains at every angle.
4. What’s new for Rocky in 2017/2018?
Our 2017 season is already in full swing, with exciting new menus, new hotels and the inclusion of Sonora Resort, a luxury, secluded resort located off the coast of Vancouver Island. In 2018, we’re introducing two new packages that highlight different aspects of the Canadian Rockies and Western Canada. Guests can opt for a culinary package or soft adventure, enhancing the days spent exploring destinations when guests are off the train.
5. Finally, aside from the fact it highlights the Canadian Rockies, what makes Rocky Mountaineer a quintessential Canadian experience?
The Canadian Rockies are a part of the awe-inspiring scenery, but beyond that, the onboard experience offers world-class dining on meals inspired by the passing regions and high-end service with engaging storytelling by our onboard team. The experience is humbling, relaxing and unique, making it truly Canadian.