Cruise Alaska’s Inside Passage and Ride a Train Through the Canadian Rockies on This Epic Trip

Cunard Line is adding the option of tacking on a Rocky Mountaineer rail experience before or after an Alaska cruise this summer.

A train beside a river with mountains in the background

Guests on Cunard sailings in Alaska can extend their journey with three- or four-day trips aboard the Rocky Mountaineer.

Courtesy of Rocky Mountaineer

Two of the most magical ways to see and experience the beauty and majesty of Canada and Alaska have come together as one thanks to a new partnership between the upscale British cruise line Cunard and rail operator Rocky Mountaineer.

This year, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, passengers on Cunard’s iconic Queen Elizabeth ocean liner sailing in Alaska can extend their voyage with a four-night pre-voyage or three-night post-sailing ride on the Rocky Mountaineer through the Canadian Rockies, depending on the date of the cruise.

It’s the second time the two companies have partnered to create this epic itinerary (they first did so in 2019). Other cruise brands, like American Queen Voyages, have also joined forces with Rocky Mountaineer over the years. But this is your only chance for such an experience in 2023.

The three-night post-departure rail trip (starting at $2,850 per person) travels from Vancouver to Calgary, whereas the four-night pre-departure trip (starting at $3,250) does the same route in reverse and includes an additional day in Banff National Park. Along the way, guests stay in luxury hotels (arranged by Rocky Mountaineer), such as Elk + Avenue and Rimrock Resort Hotel, both near Banff.

This particular Rocky Mountaineer route is often considered one of the most scenic train journeys in the world, and guests will have the chance to see the dizzying canyons and snow-capped peaks of the Canadian Rockies from the glass-domed 180-degree panoramic train cars.

Cunard is offering seven sailings in the 49th state in 2023, ranging from 7 to 12 days. Each round-trip itinerary embarks and disembarks in Vancouver, Canada, and sails within Alaska’s famed Inside Passage, splitting time between port cities like Sitka (known for its totem poles and Russian-era buildings) and Juneau (where travelers can visit the half-mile-wide Mendenhall Glacier and take a helicopter to Admiralty Island to see the world’s largest concentration of brown bears). The Queen Elizabeth will also explore destinations that are only reachable by ship, like the innermost parts of Glacier Bay National Park and Hubbard Glacier.

The joint Cunard–Rocky Mountaineer itinerary can be booked through Cunard’s website or by a travel advisor. Cunard is also currently offering a Wave Season deal of up to 30 percent off fares and up to $2,000 of on-board credit per stateroom.

Bailey Berg is a freelance travel writer and editor, who covers breaking news, trends, tips, transportation, sustainability, the outdoors, and more. She was formerly the associate travel news editor at AFAR. Her work can also be found in the New York Times, the Washington Post, National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, the Points Guy, Atlas Obscura, Vice, Thrillist, Men’s Journal, Architectural Digest, Forbes, Lonely Planet, and beyond.
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