Rocky Mountaineer launching Southwest US route

Rockies to the Red Rocks journey to commence in 2021

Canadian luxury tourist train company Rocky Mountaineer has confirmed plans to add a new two-day rail journey through the Rockies of Southwest USA, showcasing deserts and rock formations.

Launching in mid-2021, the Rockies to the Red Rocks route will operate from Denver, Colorado to Moab, Utah, with an overnight hotel stay in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

Rocky Mountaineer operates multi-day, daytime train journeys that highlight incredible scenery aboard glass-domed train coaches and regional cuisine. In Canada that includes the top-of-the-line GoldLeaf carriage and the premium SilverLeaf experience.

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The company’s legacy product in Western Canada is a two-day journey between Vancouver, British Columbia (BC) and either Jasper, Lake Louise or Banff, Alberta – right in the heart of the Canadian Rockies – stopping at a halfway point in Kamloops, BC.

The Rockies to Red Rocks route will commence with a preview season of 40 departures across 10 weeks from 15 August to 23 October, 2021. Currently, the service will wholly be operated aboard Rocky Mountaineer’s SilverLeaf carriages.

Rocky Mountaineer President and CEO Steve Sammut had previously hinted that a route in the United States would be the next most logical choice for the business to showcase new destinations.

In 2017, he told LATTE‘s Managing Editor Guy Dundas, “Down the road, what we’d like to do is add something, potentially outside of Canada with a different product.

“We have guests walking away having a great experience and they promote our product to all their friends and family. Trade partners are really happy, which is fantastic, and we are really pleased with that, but it would be really nice to have another product.”

Pressed about the potential of an American route, he said, “We would definitely look at going into the US.”

Earlier this week [20 November 2020], Sammut confirmed the move.

“The work to find a new route has been underway for several years as we needed to find a special location with many of the same features we have in Western Canada – incredibly scenery, iconic destinations, and the option for an all daytime, multi-day journey that is best experienced by train. Rockies to the Red Rocks will have all of this and more, and is an opportunity to bring our award-winning Rocky Mountaineer experience to showcase the epic scenery of the Southwest United States,” Sammut explained.

“The coronavirus pandemic has had a devastating impact on the travel industry, and there is continued uncertainty of when tourism will recover. However, we believe American travellers, and those from around the
world, will be eager to explore this region by rail with us and we look forward to welcoming them in 2021 and beyond.”

Rocky Mountaineer Founder, Peter Armstrong, said the new experience will highlight the region where “train travel history began”.

“This region, with its magnificent scenery, national parks, vast opportunities to explore, will delight millions,” Armstrong said.

Extended packages from Las Vegas and Salt Lake City will be made available utilising the services of local tour operators and hotel partners.

The two-day Rockies to the Red Rocks journey will start from US$1,250 (plus tax) per person, with travellers able to reserve a place on a 2021 departure with a refundable deposit of US$25.

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