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5 Things to do in Seattle

30th April 2018

Seattle is famous for many things, from Starbucks, to Frasier, and Microsoft, and it unsurprisingly offers a huge range of things to do and see. If your North America cruise includes a stop here, it can seem daunting to decide what to choose – particularly if you only have a day or so. For a little help and guidance, find out what our Marketing Manager Nicole recommends are the 5 top things to do in Seattle.

 

 

Seattle is so much more than Starbucks coffee and music. During my 4 days there I experienced a variety of activities and adventures giving me a good overview of the city. Here are my top recommendations.

1. See the Chihuly Garden and Glass

This is a must when visiting the city of Seattle. It showcases the artwork of Dale Chihuly - an internationally acclaimed artist. His collection contains 8 exhibition galleries and 3 Drawing Walls. Be prepared to be gobsmacked by the creations of blown-glass in various colours and shapes hanging from the roof, suspended in mid-air and growing out of the ground.

2. Dine at the Edgewater Hotel

Please, please order their King Crab platter, truly suited for a king. The restaurant is situated on the water and overlooking the marine, so diners can enjoy beautiful sunsets while indulging their palette. This is the same hotel The Beatles were infamously photographed fishing from their hotel window!

 

 

3. A Ride the Ducks Tour

This is a great one-of-a-kind experience, giving tourists an hour or two of great laughs and sightseeing through the city. After a land tour the bus-come-boat then heads for the water on which you’ll be treated to a gentle cruise, before riding back out on to dry land.

4. A Whale-Watching Tour

One of the most memorable experiences was the Puget Sound Express whale watching tour. We were fortunate enough to see an Orca, humpback whale, minke and sperm whale. The crew onboard is very quick to respond, and they do their utmost to get you as close to the whales as possible. It’s an experience I will truly never forget.

 

 

5. The Savour Seattle Food Tour

This tour introduced us to the history of Pike Place Market; a spot where people come from all over the world to experience the ambience and taste of fresh produce. Pike Place market is also home to the first Starbucks Coffee - where they still use the original logo. On an average day people queue for up to four hours to buy a cup of coffee and their souvenir mug from the first ever Starbucks coffee shop.

Many cruise lines include a stop in Seattle on itineraries in the northwest corner of North America. Discover more about cruising in Alaska and Canada, and combining your cruise with the fantastic Rocky Mountaineer train ride. This exhilarating experience links Canada to the United States – from Seattle to Vancouver – a journey which Nicole was lucky enough to take. Discover her helpful hints and tips for things to do in Vancouver next.


5 Things to do in Vancouver

26th April 2018

The northwest corner of the North American continent boasts a fabulous array of things to see and do in each city, so much so that visitors might feel a little overwhelmed with their choices. If your cruise includes a stop in Vancouver, why not get some inspiration from someone who has been there to explore? Our Marketing Manager Nicole is here to tell you her top 5 things to do in Vancouver.

1. Capilano Supsension Park Bridge

This was one of my absolute favourite sites. Suspended 70 meters above the ground and 137 meters across the Capilano River, it’s one of the oldest attractions in Vancouver. Once you get across the bridge there is a network of platforms enabling you to walk about amongst the tree tops, with some of the trees being over 100 years old. Or you can opt for a cliff side walk and see the river in all its glory.

 

 

2. The FlyOver Canada Simulator

I would recommend this to every tourist in the city, as it gives you a clear impression of everything the country has to offer. Once strapped into your rollercoaster-like seat, you are elevated towards a 180 degree screen, before a unique film begins. All your senses are awakened by smells, wind, and mist as you soar over Canada’s incredible landscapes.

3. The Vancouver Foodie Tour

As a self-proclaimed foodie, I also thoroughly enjoyed this experience. It was held in the Granville Island Public Market, where we had the opportunity to taste artisan breads, cured meats, Canadian Maple syrup, and the freshest doughnuts I’ve ever had! And this is only to mention but a few of the amazing palette-tantalising wares. This tour is rated TripAdvisor’s number 1 tour to do in Vancouver.

 

 

4. Dine at the Four Seasons

After a long day touring and exploring Vancouver, we were hosted for dinner at the Luxurious Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver for an extravagant meal at their seafood restaurant, YEW, which is said to serve the freshest flavour in the city.

5. Take a Vancouver Brewery Tour

Craft beer is a big deal in Vancouver – and rightly so. With some incredible varieties all over the city, one of the best ways to sample a few is on a brewery tour. The guides are extremely helpful and informative, taking the time to answer all the questions asked as thoroughly as possible.

 

 

Vancouver is a popular segue port for Seattle, in fact both are often included on a number of Alaska and Canada cruises. As well as this, they are conveniently linked by the mighty Rocky Mountaineer – an historic train which transports passengers through some incredible scenery in this part of the world. In fact this is just what Nicole was able to do. Discover her advice for things to do in Seattle, and find out more about combining a cruise with the Rocky Mountaineer experience.


We interview Wade Bush, one of Rocky Mountaineer's longest serving employees

6th March 2017



Delving deeper into what life is like onboard the impressive Rocky Mountaineer, we interview Wade Bush - who has been with the organisation a mighty 22 years! Now working as Train Manager, Wade shares his favourite aspects about the onboard experience...

 

What do you enjoy most about working onboard Rocky Mountaineer?

The people; our guests, colleagues onboard, the wider team at Rocky Mountaineer and our partners. Our train travels through some of the most beautiful places on the planet. The scenery is incredible, but it’s the people who make the trip truly memorable.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Cruise & Stay

 

If you could choose one, what is your best memory working onboard?

 I remember a young black bear standing to smell the of fresh pastries of the dining room, placing her paw on the side of the GoldLeaf car while it was stopped near McBride, British Columbia. Despite how many times I’ve passed by Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies, it still impresses me. Ultimately though, I think its connecting with guests from around the world and being part of their journey that is truly memorable. 

 

Rocky Mountaineer Interview

 

What can you recommend to guests to make their time onboard a little bit more special?

Always have your camera ready because you never know when you’ll catch sight of a bear, moose or mountain goat - but also remember to enjoy the scenery first-hand. Our onboard team is well versed in the passing region, so they give plenty of notice to enjoy the sights and capture photos of lakes, rivers, mountains and other notable features.

 

Rocky Mountaineer

 

When is your favourite moment of the day?

The all aboard call! We start each journey with a train whistle, followed by the group shouting “all aboard.” For me, this tradition signals the start of another adventure, which is always exciting.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Alaska

 

What is your favourite meal served on Rocky Mountaineer?                      

      Honestly, I can’t pick just one favourite! From savoury breakfasts to gourmet lunches and decadent desserts, our onboard menus are mouth-watering to say the least. The slow cooked beef short ribs are incredible and the salmon is cooked to perfection.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Wade Bush

 

Do you have a favourite route and why?

Each of our four rail routes offers something special; from the Pacific Ocean coastlines of Coastal Passage to the historic rail route of First Passage to the West, to the glacier-fed lakes and rivers of Journey Through the Clouds. However, the route that is dear to my heart is Rainforest to Gold Rush as it passes through lush rainforests and my hometown before heading on to historic gold rush towns and the majestic Canadian Rockies.  

 

Rocky Mountaineer life onboard

 

Do you have time to enjoy the scenery and what is your favourite view?

I take time to enjoy the scenery whenever I can. There is an incredible rawness to the wildlife you can see from the train. Black bears foraging for food near the tracks, soaring eagles overhead, mountain goats nimbly scaling near vertical mountainside; it is all amazing. I will never forget the image of a massive bull moose wading in turquoise green river waters as we passed by.

 

Rocky Mountaineer wildlife cruise

 

Feel like you would want some fond Rocky Mountaineer memories of your own? Why not take a look at our best Rocky Mountaineer cruise and stay packages.

More information on Rocky Mountaineer.





Delving deeper into what life is like onboard the impressive Rocky Mountaineer, we interview Wade Bush - who has been with the organisation a mighty 22 years! Now working as Train Manager, Wade shares his favourite aspects about the onboard experience...

 

What do you enjoy most about working onboard Rocky Mountaineer?

The people; our guests, colleagues onboard, the wider team at Rocky Mountaineer and our partners. Our train travels through some of the most beautiful places on the planet. The scenery is incredible, but it’s the people who make the trip truly memorable.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Cruise & Stay

 

If you could choose one, what is your best memory working onboard?

 I remember a young black bear standing to smell the of fresh pastries of the dining room, placing her paw on the side of the GoldLeaf car while it was stopped near McBride, British Columbia. Despite how many times I’ve passed by Mount Robson, the tallest peak in the Canadian Rockies, it still impresses me. Ultimately though, I think its connecting with guests from around the world and being part of their journey that is truly memorable. 

 

Rocky Mountaineer Interview

 

What can you recommend to guests to make their time onboard a little bit more special?

Always have your camera ready because you never know when you’ll catch sight of a bear, moose or mountain goat - but also remember to enjoy the scenery first-hand. Our onboard team is well versed in the passing region, so they give plenty of notice to enjoy the sights and capture photos of lakes, rivers, mountains and other notable features.

 

Rocky Mountaineer

 

When is your favourite moment of the day?

The all aboard call! We start each journey with a train whistle, followed by the group shouting “all aboard.” For me, this tradition signals the start of another adventure, which is always exciting.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Alaska

 

What is your favourite meal served on Rocky Mountaineer?                      

      Honestly, I can’t pick just one favourite! From savoury breakfasts to gourmet lunches and decadent desserts, our onboard menus are mouth-watering to say the least. The slow cooked beef short ribs are incredible and the salmon is cooked to perfection.

 

Rocky Mountaineer Wade Bush

 

Do you have a favourite route and why?

Each of our four rail routes offers something special; from the Pacific Ocean coastlines of Coastal Passage to the historic rail route of First Passage to the West, to the glacier-fed lakes and rivers of Journey Through the Clouds. However, the route that is dear to my heart is Rainforest to Gold Rush as it passes through lush rainforests and my hometown before heading on to historic gold rush towns and the majestic Canadian Rockies.  

 

Rocky Mountaineer life onboard

 

Do you have time to enjoy the scenery and what is your favourite view?

I take time to enjoy the scenery whenever I can. There is an incredible rawness to the wildlife you can see from the train. Black bears foraging for food near the tracks, soaring eagles overhead, mountain goats nimbly scaling near vertical mountainside; it is all amazing. I will never forget the image of a massive bull moose wading in turquoise green river waters as we passed by.

 

Rocky Mountaineer wildlife cruise

 

Feel like you would want some fond Rocky Mountaineer memories of your own? Why not take a look at our best Rocky Mountaineer cruise and stay packages.

More information on Rocky Mountaineer.




Chelsea's Rocky Mountaineer Adventure

21st November 2013

Updated February 2017

 

Chelsea from our sales team had a once in a lifetime chance to travel onboard Rocky Mountaineer. Here’s what she has to tell...

 

A dream became reality

After booking many customers on Rocky Mountaineer, I had a strong desire to experience this wonderful trip for myself. My dream came true when I was offered the chance to go along and try it as part of a familiarisation trip for work.

Along with a group of UK travel agents, we spent seven days in Canada courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer. After selling Rocky Mountaineer for over a year, it was amazing to experience it first-hand.

Having worked the Alaska season onboard Celebrity Cruises from Vancouver, I was already acquainted with the city, however it was now time to venture further inland.

 

Day One

After a nine hour direct flight from Gatwick on Air Transat I arrived in Vancouver. I was initially dubious about this airline, but I was proved completely wrong. The flight was extremely smooth and the flight attendants were extremely attentive.

During the afternoon we travelled into Downtown Vancouver by catching the sky train. This runs every 10 minutes from the airport directly into the city centre and down to the port.

After spending one day a week here previously, I wandered around the city remembering all the sights and found myself drinking a coffee outside the port, watching the ships and reminiscing about my time at sea.

After tearing myself away from the stunning views I made my way to The Fairmont Airport Hotel. The restaurant, bar and our room had huge windows over-looking the runway so you could watch the planes come and go, it was a perfect stay.

 

Day Two

After an early wake-up call we took a short trip to Rocky Mountaineer's privately owned train station.

This train was the last of the season to Calgary. Rocky Mountaineer had invited five wounded service men and patrons of military charities and their families to join the train, a very nice touch I thought. The atmosphere was incredible as families were glowing with pride, it made me feel incredibly proud of our armed forces. After a short speech and a cup of tea it was time to board the train on SilverLeaf travelling from Vancouver to Kamloops.

The carriages are huge and the space you get is incredible. They are airy and bright with large curved picture windows. We had three hostesses in our carriage, who after quick introductions, began serving breakfast.

 

Image 1: SilverLeaf service, Image 2: GoldLeaf service


In SilverLeaf you are served at your seat. There was coffee, tea, fruit juice, warm scones with jam, fruit salad, Canadian bacon, eggs and potatoes. The amount of food I received was amazing, they just kept presenting me with more delicious treats.

The rain was pouring for the first hour, so the scenery wasn’t the best and with the raindrops on the windows, neither were my pictures! However this did not dampen the experience for one minute.

Once we left the city, it was like we had entered another world. The views were breath-taking as we travelled higher and higher past lakes and through the mountains.

We reached Kamloops with a warm welcome and were transferred to our hotel. Whether you travel in GoldLeaf or SilverLeaf, your luggage follows you wherever you go, you do not have to lift a finger. So after a quick change, we were meeting the rest of our group at the Noble Pig.

This brew pub makes their own beer from scratch and their staff make up the crazy names for the new beers too. After our tour of the brewery, our tour guide ordered our food. He ensured we tried some traditional Canadian appetisers such as bacon popcorn, fried pickles and poutine, chips with cheese and gravy (everyone in the group was slightly taken back by this, they’ve obviously never been up north!)

 

Day Three

The train stayed in the station overnight as it only travels during daylight hours. The most exciting thing about today was that we were upgraded to GoldLeaf :-)

The GoldLeaf carriage is split into two levels. The top floor is where you will sit for the majority of your journey. The same style seats as SilverLeaf but the carriage has a complete glass domed ceiling for better views.

 

 

Where the GoldLeaf differs from the SilverLeaf is the dining. The downstairs cabin is a sit down restaurant with chefs to prepare fresh meals for you. I thought the food was amazing in SilverLeaf, so this was an ultimate luxury for me.

I sat there feeling like a queen as I gazed out the window, admiring the scenery whilst eating smoked salmon and caviar.

The menu was divine and the presentation really proves better than many top restaurants I have been to.

Today's train journey took us from Kamloops to Banff. The higher we climbed, the more beautiful it became. The turquoise lakes spread around the snow-capped mountains were a sight seen to be believed.

 

Day Four

Waking up in Banff was like waking up on Christmas day. Banff’s log style cabins are covered in fairy lights and with snow on the ground, it looked truly magical.

We stayed in the Caribou Lodge, which is located in the centre. It’s on the main street and within short walking distance to the area with the bars, restaurants and souvenir shops.

The first stop we visited was the Spiral Tunnels, we had travelled through here on the train the day before.

The next top was the Emerald Lake. The sun was out and the water was an amazing turquoise colour. We sat with our gloves on watching the wildlife and drinking warm maple syrup cider, yum!

 

 

Finally came the big part of the day - Lake Louise. The Fairmount Hotel dominates the lower end of the lake and the rest of the area is pure picturesque scenery. We walked down to the end of the lake and back again, taking in the incredible scenery. It was very grand in scale and for that reason I would say that Emerald Lake was more beautiful as it was quaint and silent, but that’s just my opinion!

 

Day Five

The great thing about Banff is there is something for everyone. There are plenty of bars, restaurants and shops. The surrounding areas are also home to some great attractions including, Banff Springs, Skiing, and Gondola rides.

We decided to go on the Gondola Tour up Sulphur Mountain. The gondola takes you up to the summit where the views are incredible. You can see everything; lakes, forests and the whole area of Banff nestled in between the mountains.

After a short trip back into town to get souvenirs and a quick bite to eat, it was time for the part I had most been looking forward to – the Helicopter tour!

The rest of my group were a little scared of heights, but I was eager to go. There was only one seat left - next to the pilot, so I jumped in and became co-pilot for the trip! I later realised it was the best seat as I had glass all around me so the views I had were spectacular. This was an excellent way to see the beauty of Canada and an experience I will never forget. I would definitely recommend this to anyone.

After this trip we continued from Banff onto Calgary were we stayed at the Delta Bow Valley Hotel.

 

Day Six

Today we visited Calgary Heritage Park. For those who are not aware, it is a handful of villages that are set up to represent the different eras of Canada's history. It’s all outdoor and has its very own railway. Everyone who works here dresses in full costume and acts as different characters. If you’re travelling with younger children, this is definitely a place to visit.

Our final stop of the day was the Calgary Tower, where you can experience panoramic views over Calgary. There is a revolving restaurant at the top if you fancy a bite to eat with a great view.

 

 

After a jam-packed week, today was a little more relaxed. We stayed in the International Suites for our last night, with a final meal and goodbye drinks before we all flew home the following day.

 

The end of my adventure...

Everything and everyone on this amazing trip has been incredible and it is hard to put into words just how fantastic it was.

Rocky Mountaineer experience has been nothing short of breath-taking and something everyone should try to experience if they can.

A massive thank you to Craig and Rocky Mountaineer for having all of us onboard.

 

If you are inspired to visit these unique destinations we have a series of cruise packages which include this incredible journey. See our Rocky Mountaineer deals here.


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