The Trans-American Rail Tour

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Introduction

DISCOVER AMERICA’S MOST FAMOUS SIGHTS BY RAIL

Wake up in the city that never sleeps at the end of this epic adventure. This once in a lifetime journey takes you to some of America’s most famous sights including Alcatraz, the Las Vegas strip, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, and travels on some spectacular railroad excursions, including the Grand Canyon Railroad.

 

 

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Itinerary

Days 1-2 London to San Francisco

We depart from London Heathrow for San Francisco where our base for two nights is the Westin San Francisco. Our sightseeing tour on Day 2 includes the inspiring Golden Gate Bridge and the popular Fisherman's Wharf. We also visit the infamous island of Alcatraz, once a federal penitentiary housing notorious criminals such as Al Capone and the fascinating 'Birdman of Alcatraz'.

Day 3 Yosemite National Park

We travel by train on the San Joaquin route through California's Central Valley, bordered by the coastal mountain ranges and Yosemite National Park. At Merced we transfer by coach to Yosemite itself to enjoy a tour of the Valley Floor, taking in views of Half Dome, the 3,000ft El Capitan and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. Heading back to Merced, we spend the night at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

Days 4-5 To Las Vegas

Our journey on the San Joaquin railroad continues southwards on Day 4. Arriving in Bakersfield, we transfer by coach across the Mojave Desert into Nevada, with the terrain getting progressively more mountainous towards the Nevada border. We spend two nights in Las Vegas.

On Day 5, you are free to explore incredible Las Vegas at leisure. The Las Vegas monorail is a great way to explore the amazing sights and spectacles of the Las Vegas Strip and its variety of resorts, with top class shows and an extraordinary selection of entertainment choices on your doorstep.

Day 6 The Hoover Dam and Flagstaff

Today we head across Nevada to Arizona, via the Hoover Dam. Entering Arizona we arrive on the legendary Route 66 and Flagstaff, where we spend two nights at the Little America Hotel, set amidst 500 acres of ponderosa pine forest.

Day 7 The Grand Canyon

We travel in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives on the Grand Canyon Railway to see one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights, the Grand Canyon. The canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years, is up to 18 miles wide, and a mile deep. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint of the Canyon to take in the dramatic vistas. You have the option of taking a spectacular flight over the Canyon (payable locally).

Day 8 Monument Valley

Today we drive through Navajo country and Utah's Monument Valley - familiar as the rugged setting of America's Western movies. The whole region has the imagery and feel of a bygone age, where cowboys still spend lonely months herding cattle across miles of untouched hills and Native Americans still perform rituals passed down through the ages. We reach Durango and stay at the Hampton Inn Durango.

Days 9-10 US Railroads

On Day 9 we board the Durango and Silverton Railroad* for a journey across the remote wilderness of the National Forest through breathtaking canyons, past emerald-green rivers, to Silverton. We continue by coach to Grand Junction and stay at the Hampton Inn.

On Day 10 we travel on one of the USA's most scenic rail journeys along the route of the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Our journey takes us up into the Rocky Mountains, through the heart of the Colorado wine region. Our destination is Denver, where we spend two nights at the Hampton Inn Downtown Convention Center.

*During the early part of the season the Durango and Silverton Railroad operates a winter timetable. During this period we enjoy a journey from Durango to Cascade Canyon.

Days 11-12 Denver and Rocky Mountains

You have a free day to explore Denver's sights. The city boasts a mile-long promenade lined with cafés and shops and a mountain view down every street. On Day 12 we explore the natural attractions of the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park, with a wide array of wildlife including elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, eagles and hawks. As well as the diverse animals which call these parks home, the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park also off er magnifi cent views of sweeping aspen forests, shimmering lakes and noble old mountain ranges. Tonight we join the California Zephyr sleeper train on our way to Chicago in the North

Days 13-14 Chicago

On Day 13 we complete the journey to Chicago, arriving this afternoon. You are at leisure until this evening, when we visit the Buddy Guys Legends Club for dinner and a Blues show. We spend tonight at the Cambria Hotel. On Day 14 we explore Chicago with a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Set on the shores of the vast Lake Michigan, the 'Windy City' of Chicago is home to a wealth of incredible architecture, world-class museums, and wonderful restaurants. We board the Lake Shore Limited this evening for the overnight journey to Buffalo on the cusp of Niagara Falls.

Days 15-16 Niagara Falls

We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to Niagara Falls. We spend the night at the Sheraton at the Falls hotel, located within walking distance of the attractions on the US side of the spectacular falls. You have the opportunity to explore the falls from the water on a river tour (payable locally).

At lunchtime on Day 16, we travel on the Lake Shore Limited service to New York City, where our hotel for two nights is the Le Parker Meridien, perfectly located to explore all New York has to offer.

Day 17 New York City

We wake up in 'the city that never sleeps' today and enjoy a guided tour including Central Park and glamorous Fifth Avenue, before enjoying a harbour cruise around Manhattan past the Statue of Liberty. You also have free time to explore this exciting city; perhaps visit bustling Grand Central Station, poignant 'Ground Zero', or see a show on Broadway.

Days 18-19 Homeward Bound

Bidding a fond farewell to New York and the US, we transfer to the airport on today, for the flight to London, arriving on Day 19.