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Las Vegas & the Golden West

14 Days from£3,425
per person
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You are viewing the 2018 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: VGG18)

Discover the iconic sights of America's west coast

Awe-inspiring scenery at the Grand Canyon and Yosemite contrasts with the glitz and glamour of Las Vegas on this truly sparkling holiday. Combine that with the charming towns and pretty scenery of the Golden State, stunning scenic daytime railway journeys, the Grand Canyon and the magic of Hollywood for a truly unforgettable experience.

  • San Francisco including a visit to Alcatraz
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Las Vegas
  • The Hoover Dam
  • The Grand Canyon & The Grand Canyon Railroad
  • LA and Hollywood
  • RMS Queen Mary and Long Beach
  • Monterey
  • Carmel & Big Sur
What’s Included
  • Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursion
    1 overnight on board the Southwest Chief
  • 10 nights' accommodation
    1 night aboard the RMS Queen Mary
  • Return Scheduled Flights
    Upgrades Available
    Regional Departures Available

Las Vegas & the Golden West 2018Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Day 1 The Golden Gate Bridge at night
The Golden Gate Bridge at night

To San Francisco

We depart London Heathrow on our flight to San Francisco, for a two-night stay at the Westin St Francis.

Day 2 Alcatraz

San Francisco and Alcatraz

We begin our stay in San Francisco with a sightseeing tour, visiting some of the cosmopolitan city's most famous sights, including the Golden Gate Bridge and popular Fisherman's Wharf. This afternoon we board a ferry at Pier 33 and cross San Francisco Bay to the infamous island of Alcatraz. Our tour takes us into the prison to see the cells as they were when it was operational, as well as examples of some escape attempts.

Day 3 Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park

Through California to Yosemite and Merced

This morning we depart from Oakland by train on the San Joaquin route through California's Central Valley, bordered on the west by the coastal mountain ranges and on the east by Yosemite National Park. At Merced we transfer by coach into Yosemite for a tour of the Valley Floor, taking in spectacular views of Half Dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley, which peaks at 4,000 feet above the valley, the 3,000 ft El Capitan and the thundering Bridalveil Falls. We spend tonight in Merced at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel.

Day 4 Las Vegas
Las Vegas

To Bakersfield and Las Vegas

We rejoin the San Joaquin today as we travel to Bakersfield. From here we continue by coach across the Mojave Desert, passing small, isolated villages and abandoned ghost towns. Eventually, the tall buildings and bright lights of Las Vegas appear on the horizon. Arriving into Las Vegas, we spend three nights at The Tropicana, located on the famous Strip.

Days 5-6 Las Vegas
Las Vegas

Viva Las Vegas

Las Vegas is, for many people, the most spectacular city in the world. With two free days here you can explore the amazing sights and spectacles of the resorts, which offer something for everyone, with top class shows and an extraordinary selection of entertainment choices on your doorstep, including the world-famous casinos. The Las Vegas monorail is a great way to explore the exotic delights of the Strip, from the African-themed Sahara Hotel to the MGM Grand, via resorts with Oriental, Roman and Parisian themes, as well as Las Vegas' version of Venice - a veritable world tour without need for your passport! Alternatively, your Tour Manager can offer an optional flight over the Grand Canyon, which provides a brilliant view of the awesome canyon, one of the world's greatest natural wonders.

Day 7 Route 66
Route 66

The Hoover Dam and Williams

Today we travel across Nevada to Arizona, via the Hoover Dam, an engineering masterpiece which was completed in 1936 to end the flooding caused by the Colorado River. Entering Arizona, we drive on the legendary Route 66 to the railroad town of Williams, where we spend the night at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel.

Day 8 The Grand Canyon
The Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon Railway

Today we travel by rail to the incredible Grand Canyon on board the Grand Canyon Railway. We travel in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives to see one of the world's most awe inspiring sights, the Grand Canyon. We arrive at the South Rim, the Canyon's main viewpoint and an ideal base to experience the dramatic vistas - as spectacular here as they are anywhere else.

We return to Williams on the Grand Canyon Railway, and this evening we drive to Flagstaff where we join Amtrak's overnight Southwest Chief service to Los Angeles, passing through the heart of the eastern side of the USA.

Day 9 Hollywood

Hollywood and the RMS Queen Mary

This morning the Southwest Chief continues through Fullerton in Orange County and passes the sprawling suburbs of Los Angeles before reaching Union Station. Our first stop in Los Angeles is Hollywood, home of the US movie industry. You have some free time here, which gives you chance to walk in the footsteps of the stars on the Walk of Fame on Hollywood Boulevard, one of America's most famous streets.

Later today we travel to Long Beach for one night on board the RMS Queen Mary. The ship, which is now a hotel, has a fascinating history as a luxury ocean liner and as a U-boat dodging, high-speed troop carrier during the Second World War. Your evening is free to spend enjoying the many attractions of Long Beach.

Day 10 Coast Starlight
Coast Starlight

The Coast Starlight and Monterey

This morning we travel on board the iconic Coast Starlight for a daytime journey along the stunning Pacific coast shoreline. We reach the Pacific Coast at Ventura, at which point the Coast Starlight begins to head north, hugging the coastline and following the Pacific Coast Highway. Relax in the sightseer lounge and enjoy spectacular views through floor-to-ceiling windows of vast stretches of pristine beaches as the train hugs the rugged coast north of Santa Barbara.

Entering the Salinas Valley we pass the Santa Lucia and Diablo mountain ranges en route to Salinas, from where we make a short coach transfer to Monterey for three nights at the Casa Munras Hotel & Spa.

Days 11-12 Monterey

Carmel, Big Sur and Monterey

We explore the wonderful Californian coastline today, including the exclusive residences of 17 Mile Drive and the attractive waterfront of Cannery Row, made famous by John Steinbeck in his 1945 novel 'Cannery Row'. We also visit Carmel, where Clint Eastwood was once mayor, a charming town that has attracted artists for decades, and explore the Big Sur, where the Pacific coastline rises dramatically into the magnificent Santa Lucia Mountains.

Day 12 is at leisure in Monterey. You could visit Stevenson House, former home of author and poet Robert Louis Stevenson.

Days 13-14 Flying home
Flying home

San Francisco to London

This morning we transfer by coach to San Francisco Airport for our flight back to London, arriving on Day 14 where your tour concludes.

Please note

Please note

Please note that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.

Departure Times

Provisional departure and return times, where available, can be found together with our dates and prices by clicking on the 'Prices & Availability' button. We write to all booked customers approximately 10 weeks prior to the start of their tour to advise the exact departure and return time for their particular group.

What’s included


An escorted experience with all travel arrangements

  • The services of a professional UK Tour Manager from start to finish
  • British Airways scheduled flights London to San Francisco and return
  • Rail and coach travel as described

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 10 nights' hotel accommodation (room only)
  • 1 night on board the Southwest Chief in a two-berth roomette
  • 1 night is aboard the RMS Queen Mary

Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • Guided tours of San Francisco, Carmel and Big Sur
  • Excursions to Alcatraz, Yosemite National Park, Hoover Dam and Route 66
  • Free time in Las Vegas, Hollywood and Monterey
  • South Rim and the Grand Canyon Railway
  • 4 Iconic Amtrak journeys

Enhancing your tour

  • Upgrade to a bedroom with shower and WC on the overnight sleeper: £175 per person (twin occupancy only)
  • Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy from £400 per person each way


British Citizens do not require a visa to enter the USA but please see the Visa section of 'Things You Should Know' for details of the USA's Visa Waiver Programme and the ESTA form, which must be completed online prior to departure and is subject to an administration fee.

What our customers think
Available tour extensions
San Francisco
San Francisco
San Francisco
from £275 per personView details
Phil Conde
Lori Mcclaren
Kathryn Cambridge
James Eaton
Las Vegas & the Golden West

Discover the iconic sights of America's west coast


Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2017/18

Long haul rail holidays to North America, South America, Asia, Africa and Australasia.

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