Southwest Chief & Panama Canal Cruise
Set off for adventure on a 19-day rail-cruise vacation across America's west and through the Panama Canal.
Holidays By Rail won the 2018 British Travel Award for Best Overall Rail Holiday Company, and we're celebrating by giving you an additional £25 per passenger off qualifying rail tours.
Use promo code CELEBRATE. Hurry! Offer ends 10 December 2018.
Beginning in Chicago, board Amtrak's Southwest Chief for a 2-day trip across the colorful southwest to Los Angeles. After spending a day touring the City of Angels, embark on your 15-night cruise aboard the Island Princess. Ports of call include beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, San Juan del Sur, the gorgeous Costa Rican town of Puntarenas, Colombia's old walled city of Cartagena, and the Island of Aruba.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 1 night
- All meals onboard the Southwest Chief and Island Princess
- Los Angeles Hop On/Hop Off tour
- 15-night cruise aboard Island Princess
- Transfers from cruise terminal to Miami Airport
- Ports of call
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
Arrive in Chicago and head to Union Station for your 3:00 pm departure aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief bound for Los Angeles. Once on the train, take time to meet your fellow travelers and take in the view from the Sightseer Lounge. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Southwest Chief to Los Angeles
Continue your journey west as you spend the day aboard the train. Read a book in your comfortable onboard accommodations, enjoy the tasty food from the dining car, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Overnight train. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Los Angeles
You're scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles at 8:15 am. Transfer on your own to your hotel and check in with the remainder of the day at leisure. You may wish to stroll through Little Tokyo and the Jewelry District or stop by Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum for a showcase of all the famous celebrities. Overnight Los Angeles.
Day 4 - Los Angeles and Panama Canal Cruise
Begin your day with a guided tour of the city on a Los Angeles Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker bus tour. Highlights include Grauman's Chinese Theatre, La Brea Tar Pits, Universal Studios, Chinatown and more. After the tour, transfer to the cruise terminal and board the Princess Cruise ship for your 15-night tropical cruise. Overnight ship. (D)
Day 5- Island Princess
Spend the day exploring the ship and indulging in its many amenities. Lounge poolside, visit the Spa, or play a game of chance at the casino. Overnight ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - At Sea
You have another day to relax before you arrive in Puerto Vallarta. Spend the day exploring the ship again, why not lounge by the poolside, visit the ship's casino and indulge in its many amenities onboard. Overnight ship. (B,L,D)
Day 7- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Warm, glamorous, and full of adventure, Puerto Vallarta is today’s port of call. Stroll along the Malecon boardwalk and peruse the artists’ wares, learn how tequila is made, or make some lively new aquatic friends at the Dolphin Adventure. There are endless opportunities for fun and exploration in Puerto Vallarta. Overnight Ship. (B, L, D)
Day 8 - At Sea
You have another full day to relax aboard the ship as you sail for Huatulco. Enjoy delicious meals, lively bars and lounges, and plenty of rest and relaxation. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 9 – Huatulco, Mexico
Located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sure mountains, the beautiful Bay of Huatulco is Mexico’s largest ecological reserve and home to many unspoiled sandy beaches.
Explore the Copalita River which is home to precious trees including cedar, mahogany, and almond, or spend the day with a local chef who will demonstrate how to make delicious regional cuisine including tortillas and tamales. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - At Sea
Spend today relaxing onboard the ship as you travel to San Juan del Sur. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest Central American nation and has stunning landscapes, vast cultural treasures, and an intriguing history. From strolling the cobblestone streets of colonial Granada on Lake Nicaragua, to exploring one of the many volcanoes, Nicaragua has something for even the most seasoned traveler. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Today discover beautiful Puntarenas, full of spectacular wildlife and nature. Since Puntarenas is a commercial fishing port, there is plenty of delicious fresh seafood to satisfy your taste buds. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 13 – At Sea
En-route to the Panama Canal, you have this day at sea to relax aboard the ship. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Panama Canal, Panama
Spend the day cruising the historic Panama Canal. At 48 miles long, this international waterway allows ships to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. The Island Princess was built to Panamax size, which means it is the maximum size to be able to journey through the canal. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 15 - Cartagena, Colombia
Today's port of call is Cartagena. During Spanish occupation, Cartagena was the hub for political and economic activity, and travelers can visit several historical landmarks of that era such as the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, Santo Domingo and Palacio de la Inquisicion. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Days 16 - Aruba
Dutch influence still lingers on this balmy Caribbean island, part of the former Netherlands Antilles until its independence in 1986. Aruba is a contrast: the island's arid interior is dotted with cactus and windswept divi-divi trees while secluded coves and sandy beaches make up its coast. Aruba's long and colorful heritage is reflected in its dialect. Called Papiamento, it is a tongue that combines elements of Spanish, French, Portuguese, Dutch, African and English. Overnight Ship. (B,L,D)
Days 17 - 18 - At Sea
Begin your journey back to the United States with two days aboard the ship. Take this time to take part in all of the onboard activities you still want to experience. Overnight ship. (2B,2L,2D)
Day 19 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Your trip comes to an end as you arrive in Fort Lauderdale. Upon disembarkation, you will transfer from cruise ship to the airport. (B)
Post-Trip Extension- Ask a rail specialist about adding this 4-day/3-night post-trip option to your Southwest Chief Panama Canal rail-cruise vacation.
Day 20 – Fort Lauderdale to Washington D.C.
Board the Silver Meteor for an overnight train journey to Washington D.C. Enjoy the scenic ride, relax and reflect about the wonderful places you visited on your cruise. (B, L, D)
Day 21 - Capitol Limited connection in Washington D.C
Arrive in Washington D.C around 7:21 am, where you'll board the Capitol Limited for your overnight journey to your final destination of Chicago. Overnight train. (B,L,D)
Day 22 - Chicago
Your trip comes to an end as you pull into Union Station in the Windy City.
2019 Itinerary will not include Aruba
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Dine in the manner that suits your schedule instead of cramping your style. Choose from Traditional Dining, Anytime Dining, Specialty Dining or Casual Dining. On the Island Princess the nights are always a buzz with activities, and it's up to you to choose your pleasure - from live theater and the big screen, to plush lounges, swanky casinos and dance clubs. Fill your days with activities and do nothing the next. Take a personal enrichment class, do yoga, go duty-free shopping, or just relax with a dip in one of the pools or spas.
Hotel night is at the Millennium Biltmore. The Oceanview stateroom is approximately 162 to 212 square feet and features a picture window for memorable views.
Hotel night is at the Millennium Biltmore. The spacious approximately 210 to 234-square-foot Balcony stateroom is appointed with fine amenities and outstanding views from an approximately 35 to 72-square-foot private balcony.
Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations include a private cabin that features two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, which converts to an upper and lower berth at night. Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
*12/4/18 The Island Princess will be replaced with the Coral Princess
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|3rd January 2019||£3,297||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||£3,555||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||£3,296||Book Now|
|3rd January 2019||£3,769||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||£3,881||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||£4,200||Book Now|
|3rd January 2019||£3,764||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||£4,110||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||£3,827||Book Now|
|3rd January 2019||£4,205||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||£4,432||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||£4,733||Book Now|
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Amtrak Roomette / Outside Stateroom: Departs 3rd January 2019 (£3,297), 30th December 2019 (£3,555), 26th February 2020 (£3,296)
Amtrak Roomette / Balcony Stateroom: Departs 3rd January 2019 (£3,769), 30th December 2019 (£3,881), 26th February 2020 (£4,200)
Amtrak Bedroom / Outside Stateroom: Departs 3rd January 2019 (£3,764), 30th December 2019 (£4,110), 26th February 2020 (£3,827)
Amtrak Bedroom / Balcony Stateroom: Departs 3rd January 2019 (£4,205), 30th December 2019 (£4,432), 26th February 2020 (£4,733)
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Prices are land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Prices are correct at the time this web page is published; however are subject to change.
The above rates include port taxes in the amount of £248 for 2018 and £282 for 2019 departures per person. This rate is subject to change and will be confirmed at time of booking.
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