The Trans-American Rail Tour
Discover America's most famous sights by rail on this 19 day holiday that takes you through the national parks, spectacular sights, and exciting cities from San Francisco to New York.
Book on or before 19th February 2019 and save up to £200 per person on selected 2020 Worldwide holidays. The early booking discount varies depending on the price of the departure. Prices do not include the discount.
Wake up in the city that never sleeps at the end of an 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.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Scheduled flights in Economy Class from London Heathrow to San Francisco and New York to London
- All rail and coach travel throughout
- 15 nights' hotel accommodation (room only)
- 2 overnight train journeys in two-berth roomette (meals included)
- Guided tours of San Francisco, Chicago and New York
- Visit to Alcatraz Island
- Manhattan Harbour Cruise
- Excursion to Yosemite National Park
- Visit to the Rocky Mountains National Park
- Excursion to Estes National Park
- Excursion to the Hoover Dam
- Visit to Niagara Falls and the Grand Canyon's South Rim
- Free time in Las Vegas and Denver
- 2 heritage rail journeys
- The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
Days 1 & 2 - London to San Francisco
We depart from London Heathrow for San Francisco, where our base for two nights is the Westin St Francis. 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 '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 the Half Dome, the 3,000 ft. El Capitan and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. Heading to Merced, we stay at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.
Days 4 & 5 - To Las Vegas
Our journey on the San Joaquin 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 wonderful 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 including the world-famous casinos. (Day 4 - B)
Day 6 - The Hoover Dam & 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 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 & Rocky Mountain National Park
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 offer magnificent 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. (Day 12 - D)
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 Kingston Mines 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. (Day 13 - B, L, D)
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 15 - B)
Day 17 - New York, New York
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 today, for the flight to London, arriving on Day 19.
Rail Your Way
Own your holiday, make it bespoke, especially designed for you. This could be as simple as a variation to one of our existing tours by choosing where and when you want to begin and end your journey. Or something totally unique with your chosen destinations and hotels for the time you want. Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your holiday so you can have the experience you want.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Add long-haul or domestic flights from your nearest airport and make your holiday air-inclusive. Look for the Air Available icon to identify those holidays where flights can be included.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Extend Your Holiday
Extend your holiday with additional hotel nights, comprehensive sightseeing or new city stay packages, all of which can be added to the start or end of your rail holiday. Look for the Extend Your Holiday icon to identify those rail holidays with exciting pre- and post-holidays extensions.
Ask your rail specialist for details.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Amtrak trains provide the passenger rail services in the USA, and relaxing on board one of its comfortable long distance trains is simply the best way to discover this vast country, its great cities and ever-changing landscape.
The Durango & Silverton Railroad
The Durango & Silverton Railroad has been in continuous operation since 1882 - now 133 years ago. It still operates steam engines and vintage rolling stock, and, perhaps most impressively, they are all indigenous to the line. The locomotives in use today made their first appearance there between 1923 and 1925.
The line climbs from Durango into the San Juan Mountains at Silverton, on a journey lasting 3 ½ hours. This allows plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery.
The Grand Canyon Railway
Opened in 1901, the Grand Canyon Railway carried passengers and supplies over the sixty-five mile journey from the Arizona town of Williams to Grand Canyon Village at the canyon's South Rim. Although the magnificent steam locomotives that once hauled carriages to and from the Grand Canyon only appear very rarely, the two-hours and fifteen-minute trip to and from Williams remains an unforgettable and nostalgic journey through one of the USA's most spectacular landscapes.
Cambria Hotel, Chicago
Located on Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile' is our hotel, the 4-Star Cambria Hotel & Suites Chicago Magnificent Mile. This hotel is close to many of Chicago's attractions, including Lake Shore Park, as well as near to many restaurants and bars. Available at this lovely hotel include a lounge on the rooftop, which offers lovely views over the Chicago skyline, two restaurants, and a fitness centre. The rooms are decorated in neutral tones, and come with amenities that include a coffee-maker, a television, an iron, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Hampton Inn Downtown Convention Centre, Denver
Our hotel in Denver is the Hampton Inn Downtown Convention Centre, a high-rise hotel that is located within reach of many of Denver's attractions, in the heart of its trendy lower downtown area. Amenities on offer at this hotel include a breakfast area, a lounges, a fitness room, a swimming pool, and a laundry service (payable locally). The rooms are decorated in neutral tones, and come well equipped with an en-suite bathroom, a television and complimentary Wi-Fi. There is also a hairdryer, a minifridge, and a coffee-maker available on demand.
Hampton Inn, Durango
Located on the outskirts of Durango, close to the Animas River and the Rio Grande National Forest is our hotel, the 3-Star Hampton Inn Durango. Each room has wonderful views of the surrounding area, and come well equipped with a television, an en-suite bathroom, a coffeemaker, and complimentary Wi-Fi. Amenities on offer at this hotel include a swimming pool, a breakfast area, and a laundry service (payable locally).
Little America Hotel, Flagstaff
The Little America Hotel in Flagstaff stands in 500 acres of ponderosa pine forests at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks and offers a perfect base from which to explore the natural wonders of Northern Arizona. The hotel benefits from a full-service restaurant and a lounge bar. Leisure facilities include a fully-equipped gym, a heated outdoor swimming pool (open seasonally) and a hot tub, plus a selection of sports and activities are available on request. The Little America Hotel also has a gift shop selling a wide selection of clothing, books, jewellery, art work and souvenirs. The well-appointed rooms at the Little America Hotel are situated in four two-storey lodges within the grounds. Each room is both comfortable and spacious, featuring two queen-sized beds and a sitting area. Facilities within the room include two telephones, a flat screen television, mini refrigerator, coffee maker, hair dryer, iron and ironing board and a safe. Overnight laundry and dry cleaning services are available at this hotel, as well as a coin-operated laundry.
Hampton Inn, Grand Junction
Situated on historic Main Street in downtown Grand Junction, the hotel enjoys a prime location within easy walking distance of 150 shops, restaurants, museum and theatres. Facilities include an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and fitness centre. Rooms are equipped with television, hairdryer and coffee maker.
Park MGM hotel, Las Vegas
The Park MGM is located close to the famous Las Vegas Strip and is an ideal base for exploring this unique city. It has a breakfast room where hot breakfasts are served daily, a cocktail lounge and lobby bar. Leisure facilities include a swimming pool, whirlpool spa, sundeck, fully equipped gym and Las Vegas gaming machines. The comfortably furnished rooms feature a telephone, television, coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
Courtyard By Marriott, Merced
The Courtyard by Marriott opened in June 2007 and is situated 1 mile from Downtown Merced. The hotel has a Courtyard Café which opens for breakfast (pay locally), an indoor swimming pool, jacuzzi and fitness room. The rooms have individual climate control and feature a telephone, television, a coffee maker and a hairdryer.
Le Parker Meridien, New York
Located a short walk away from the famous Central Park, and close to iconic Broadway, is our hotel, the 4-Star Le Parker Meridien. This lovely hotel is surrounded by a plethora of trendy bars and restaurants, and is within reach of many of New York's finest attractions. There are 3 restaurants in the hotel, including a hidden burger restaurant, a breakfast bar, an elegant bar set inside an old church, and an Indian restaurant. On top of these fine eateries, there are also many leisure facilities, including a spa, a fitness centre, and a swimming pool, situated at the top of the building with stunning views over Central Park. The rooms are decorated in bright, neutral colours, and come with a hair-dryer, a television, climate control, a mini-bar, and complimentary Wi-Fi.
Sheraton at the Falls, Niagara Falls, USA
During our visit to Niagara Falls we stay at the Sheraton at the Falls on the US side of the Falls. Situated in the downtown area of Niagara Falls, the hotel is perfectly located for visiting all of the local attractions. Within the hotel is the Old Falls Sports Bar & Grille, which has a menu of American-style dishes and serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. There is also an indoor swimming pool, a fully-equipped gym and a gift shop. The guest rooms are air conditioned and feature a telephone, television, CD player, coffee making facilities and a hairdryer.
Westin St Francis, San Francisco
This stylish hotel is a San Francisco institution, having stood for over a century just a short walk from the city's downtown district, packed with wonderful sights and sounds. All en-suite rooms are a charming blend of modern amenities and early 20 th century elegance. The hotel boasts a fabulous steakhouse, a buffet restaurant, a gourmet cocktail bar, café, fitness studio and a beauty and wellness centre. Rooms come equipped with standard facilities and also include a flat-screen TV and access to high-speed Internet.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|27th April 2019||£4,395||Book Now|
|11th May 2019||£4,595||Book Now|
|25th May 2019||£4,920||Book Now|
|15th June 2019||£4,695||Book Now|
|24th August 2019||£4,795||Book Now|
|7th September 2019||£4,595||Book Now|
|21st September 2019||£4,595||Book Now|
|28th September 2019||£4,495||Book Now|
|25th April 2020||£4,395||Book Now|
|9th May 2020||£4,495||Book Now|
|23rd May 2020||£4,695||Book Now|
|13th June 2020||£4,795||Book Now|
|27th June 2020||£4,795||Book Now|
|22nd August 2020||£4,795||Book Now|
|5th September 2020||£4,795||Book Now|
|12th September 2020||£4,695||Book Now|
|19th September 2020||£4,695||Book Now|
|26th September 2020||£4,595||Book Now|
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: Departs 27th April 2019 (£4,395), 11th May 2019 (£4,595), 25th May 2019 (£4,920), 15th June 2019 (£4,695), 24th August 2019 (£4,795), 7th September 2019 (£4,595), 21st September 2019 (£4,595), 28th September 2019 (£4,495), 25th April 2020 (£4,395), 9th May 2020 (£4,495), 23rd May 2020 (£4,695), 13th June 2020 (£4,795), 27th June 2020 (£4,795), 22nd August 2020 (£4,795), 5th September 2020 (£4,795), 12th September 2020 (£4,695), 19th September 2020 (£4,695), 26th September 2020 (£4,595)
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Prices are per person based on double occupancy. Prices are correct at the time of this web page going live; however are subject to confirmation at time of booking. Itinerary and accommodations may vary for 2020 departures. Please speak with a rail specialist for details.
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