Rocky Mountaineer’s new Rockies to the Red Rocks itinerary will operate for a month longer than originally planned later this year owing to demand, with some preview season itineraries nearing capacity.
The rail operator announced the new itinerary, a two-day journey between Moab, Utah, and Denver, Colorado, with an overnight stay at Glenwood Springs, in November last year, taking in the mountain scenery of the US south-west.
The preview season has been extended from 15 August through to 19 November; as a result, Rocky Mountaineer will offer 16 additional departures. It is also adding extra carriages to increase capacity on all departures.
Rocky Mountaineer has, however, delayed the start of its Canadian travel season, citing the current Covid travel landscape.
Guests affected by the delayed start in Canada can opt for future travel credit worth 110% of monies paid, or transfer their booking to the Rockies to the Red Rocks itinerary, in which case they will be offered an additional incentive to travel on a future Canadian departure.
The operator will also freeze 2021 and 2022 prices at 2020 levels, and provide a price guarantee allowing travellers to book a similar tour at the same price, even if third-party suppliers, such as hotels or tour operators, raise their prices.
Guests can also change their departure dates or the people on the booking up to 30 days ahead of travel without charge or penalty.
Alternatively, guests who booked in the UK onto departures now affected by the delayed start to Rocky Mountaineer’s Canada season can instead opt for a full refund for any monies paid.
"The travel landscape is almost unrecognisable from 17 months ago when we last operated our trains," said Peter Armstrong, founder and interim chief executive of Rocky Mountaineer.
"Much uncertainty remains around when the Canadian and provincial governments will lift the travel and health restrictions that make it impossible for us to welcome guests on board our Canadian routes.
"We are hopeful the vaccination programs under way in the United States and Canada will soon be sufficient so we can get back to doing what we do best, which is hosting guests for an incredible experience on board our trains."
Reflecting on the firm’s new itinerary, Armstrong added: "We also have high hopes for the preview season of our newest rail route in the Southwest US, Rockies to the Red Rocks.
"We are seeing a strong interest from travellers with some high-demand dates nearing capacity, and signs are pointing to a strong US domestic travel season for the year ahead.
"After the challenges of the past year, we truly appreciate the support and interest we are receiving for this route. We are adding more departure dates for 2021 and adding rail cars to each departure, so we can host even more guests throughout the preview season."