Just the name, Cariboo Prospector, fills one's mind with romance, with the clicking of the train over the tracks. While staying in Vancouver, choices to get to Whistler, about 2 hours away, were either to drive, take a tour on a bus, or ride the train. We were warned away from driving the winding narrow road, especially if the driver wanted to enjoy to trip as well.
We opted for the BC Rail train, the Cariboo Prospector which makes a daily run, leaving Vancouver at 7:00 a.m. and winding its way along the coast of British Columbia before it heads inland to Whistler. There are no reserved seats, so arriving early, about 45 minutes before is advisable to secure your place in line. Tickets, however, should be purchased ahead of time since they sell out with only one train a day making this run. You can buy tickets online at www.bcrail.com.
Once on the train you sit back, relax, and enjoy the scenery. This is definately a tourist run. A well informed and personable employee makes regular announcements about what is coming up outside the windows and its historical or current event significance. They are very friendly folks.
A light breakfast is served of yogurt, bagel, and juice included in the price of the ticket. You can't help being lulled to sleep in the rocking chair motion of the train.
Once you arrive in Whistler, a bus is waiting to take the group into the village, about 3 minutes away. You are dropped off and told when and where to meet your bus driver for the return trip on the bus to catch the 7:05 p.m. train back to Vancouver. You have approximately 7 hours in Whislter to explore and dine.
The return trip again is narrated and a light snack is served enroute. We all came away feeling happy, relaxed, and glad to have experienced the beauty along the tracks and for the ease of the trip. Cost is $79 CDN, approximately $48 US. I'd definately do it again, but next time I might try their Moonlight Express complete with dinner and dancing aboard the train.