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The Trans-American Rail Tour

19 Days from £4,495per
very well organised and great value for money
Mr P McKenna
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You are viewing the 2020 itinerary

Itineraries and pricing may vary by departure year

(Tour code: SUG20)

Discover America's most famous sights by rail

Discover the vibrant, varied United States on a once in a lifetime journey that takes you to some of America's most famous sights including Alcatraz, the Las Vegas strip, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls.

  • San Francisco
  • Alcatraz
  • Yosemite National Park
  • Las Vegas
  • The Grand Canyon and the Grand Canyon Railroad
  • Durango & Silverton Railroad
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • New York, Denver and Chicago
  • Niagara Falls
What’s Included
  • Heritage Rail Excursions
    Amtrak journeys
    2 overnight train journeys in a two-berth roomette (meals included)
  • 15 Nights' Accommodation (room only)
  • Selected Porterage

The Trans-American Rail Tour 2020Tour Details

Print Itinerary
Days 1-2 The Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge

London to San Francisco

We depart from London Heathrow for San Francisco where our base for two nights is the Le Meridien Hotel. 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
Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

We travel by train on the San Joaquin route through California's Central Valley, bordered by coastal mountain ranges and Yosemite National Park. At Turlock we transfer by coach to Yosemite itself to enjoy a tour of the Valley Floor, taking in views of Half Dome, the 3,000 foot El Capitan and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. Heading to Turlock, we stay at the Best Western Orchard.

Days 4-5 Las Vegas
Las Vegas

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 Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam

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
The Grand Canyon

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, 1 mile deep and is one of the most visited sites in the US. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint of the canyon to take in the dramatic vistas.

Day 8 Monument Valley
Monument Valley

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 Holiday Inn & Suites Hotel.

Days 9-10 Durango-Silverton Railroad
Durango-Silverton Railroad

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 Staybridge Suites.

*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 Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

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 this evening. We spend the night in Chicago. 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
Niagara Falls

Niagara Falls

We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to Niagara Falls. We spend the night in the Hyatt Place hotel in Niagara Falls, 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 we spend the next two nights.

Day 17 The Statue of Liberty
The Statue of Liberty

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.

Day 18-19 Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound

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.

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
  • Scheduled flights in Economy Class from London Heathrow to San Francisco and New York to London
  • All rail and coach travel throughout

Comfortable accommodation in your destination

  • 15 nights' hotel accommodation (room only), including 2 nights at the Le Meridien Hotel in San Francisco, 1 night at the Best Western Orchard in Turlock, 2 nights at the 4-Star Park MGM in Las Vegas, 2 nights at the 3-Star Little America Hotel in Flagstaff, 1 night at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Durango, 1 night at the 3-Star Hampton Inn in Grand Junction, 2 nights at the Staybridge Suites Hotel in Denver, 1 night in the Cambria in Chicago, 1 night at a Hampton Inn Niagara Falls hotel near Niagara Falls, and 2 nights at the 4-Star Parker Hotel in New York
  • 2 overnight train journeys in two-berth roomette (meals included)


Exciting excursions and free time to explore

  • 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

Enhancing your holiday experience

  • Upgrade to bedroom with shower / WC on overnight trains £495 per person
  • Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy from £275 per person each way

Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.

What our customers think

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The Trans-American Rail Tour

Discover America's most famous sights by rail


Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2019/20

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

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