Day 1 - London to New York
We depart from London for New York, where our base for three
nights is the Beacon Hotel, within easy reach of Central Park,
Broadway and Times Square.
Day 2 - Sightseeing in New York
See the incredible sights of the 'Big Apple', including Central
Park and glamorous Fifth Avenue on our guided tour, before enjoying
a harbour cruise around Manhattan past the Statue of Liberty. Your
afternoon is free to continue exploring New York.
Day 3 - At leisure in New York
Today is free for you to explore 'the city that never sleeps',
and your options are virtually endless as New York offers something
for everyone. New York's neighbourhoods, including Greenwich
Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, East Village, the West Side and
Harlem, all take on a unique character of their own, but remain
quintessentially 'New York'. Enrich your mind at one of the city's
many museums, such as the Guggenheim, American Museum of Natural
History, or the Museum of Modern Art. Discover unparalleled
shopping in 57th Street's upmarket boutiques or visit Wall Street
for a taste of the city's financial hub.
Days 4-5 - Washington DC
On Day 4 we take the train south to Washington,
the nation's capital, where we spend two nights at the Affinia
Hotel*, located opposite Union Station and close to many of
Washington's main sights. This afternoon we begin a guided tour of
this elegant city, passing many of the famous landmarks including
the White House, Capitol Hill, historic Georgetown and the
Pentagon. Day 5 is free to explore Washington at
leisure. Why not visit the world's largest art, science and history
museum complex - the fantastic Smithsonian? There are many other
terrific places to visit, including Arlington Cemetery and lively
Adams Morgan and many other sights.
Day 6 - To the Mid-West
We leave Washington late-afternoon on the Capitol
Limited. The Capitol Limited service runs daily
between Washington DC and Chicago, following the historic B&O
line through the Potomac Valley. Our overnight journey takes us
past historic Harpers Ferry and the Allegheny Mountains into
Pittsburgh, before crossing into Ohio and heading north to
Cleveland, across Indiana and eventually into the centre of
Chicago. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the passing scenery from the
comfort of the Sightseer Lounge before moving to the dining car to
enjoy dinner - included as part of the journey.
Day 7 - The ‘Windy City’
We arrive in Chicago after breakfast on board the Capitol
Limited. We board a coach at the station for a city tour that
revisits the 'dry and lawless years' of the 1920s and '30s, taking
in the site of the St Valentine's Day Massacre and Al Capone's
headquarters, as well as less violent landmarks! Your afternoon is
free to explore Chicago. The Willis Tower - Chicago's
equivalent of the Empire State Building - is a must-see, and the
nearby Hancock Centre offers similarly terrific views. We spend the
night at the MileNorth Hotel, located within walking distance of
Navy Pier, the shops of the Magnificent Mile and the lake.
Day 8 - Chicago at leisure and the Great Plains
A free morning today gives you chance to further explore Chicago
at leisure. Nobody should leave Chicago without taking a ride on
the "Loop" - Chicago's iconic overhead metro. This afternoon we
board the California Zephyr for an overnight journey to
Denver, which takes us across the cornfields and plains of Iowa and
Nebraska. The Zephyr has a Sightseer Lounge where you can
relax and enjoy the views. Dinner is served in the train's dining
car this evening.
Day 9 - Denver: the Mile High City
We arrive in Denver (nicknamed the 'Mile High City' as it is at
an altitude of exactly one mile above sea level) early this
morning, with breakfast served in the dining car shortly before we
disembark. Our morning arrival means you have a free day to explore
the city's sights. Denver boasts a mile-long promenade lined with
cafés and shops and a mountain view down every street. The Denver
Museum of Nature & Science has a space museum and the world's
most advanced digital planetarium. Our home in Denver is the
centrally-located Warwick Hotel.
Day 10 - Rocky Mountain National Park
Today we leave the city by coach to explore the natural
attractions of the Rocky Mountain National Park and Estes Park,
with majestic mountain vistas and a wide array of wildlife
including elk, bighorn sheep, black bears, coyotes, eagles and
Day 11 - Into the Rockies by rail
Today we embark 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, past dramatic peaks
and deep ravines to the city of Grand Junction, in the heart of
Colorado's wine region. We enjoy an overnight stay at the Hampton
Inn, close to many downtown restaurants, museums and theatres.
Day 12 - Through the mountains
A coach takes us through the San Juan Mountains to Silverton, an
old mining town. Here we board the Durango and Silverton
Railroad* for a journey through breathtaking canyons, past
emerald-green rivers, across the remote wilderness of the National
Forest, to Durango. The town retains its Wild West look, with many
restored buildings, a vintage narrow-gauge railway, station and
museum. We spend the night at the Doubletree Hotel.
*During the early part of the season the Durango and
Silverton Railroad operates a winter timetable. During this
period we enjoy an alternative journey from Rockwood to Cascade
Canyon and Durango.
Day 13 - Monument Valley
Familiar from a hundred westerns, the rugged landscape of Utah's
Monument Valley is one of America's defining images. 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 generations. The journey through Navajo country takes
us to Flagstaff for two nights at the Little America Hotel.
Day 14 - Flagstaff
Enjoy a day at leisure in the fabulous setting of Flagstaff,
maybe by spending the morning relaxing at the hotel's outdoor
swimming pool (seasonal) and hot tub before enjoying a gentle walk
amidst the hotel's 500 acre private ponderosa pine forest.
Day 15 - Grand Canyon
Today we head along the legendary Route 66 to the town of
Williams to join the Grand Canyon Railway. We travel in
vintage carriages, hauled by historic locomotives, to the Grand
Canyon to see one of the world's most awe inspiring sights. The
canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million
years, is 277 miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a
mile (1.6km) deep. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint of
the Canyon. You have the option of taking a spectacular flight over
the Canyon (payable locally) - a fantastic way to see the scale of
this natural wonder! During the evening we transfer to the station
to join the Southwest Chief for the overnight journey to
Los Angeles. The Southwest Chief is unique among
Superliner trains as it is permitted to reach speeds of up to 90mph
on sections of the route.
Day 16 - Los Angeles and the RMS Queen Mary
We spend the morning in Hollywood, with free time to see the
footprints of the stars at Mann's Chinese Theatre or to take a
stroll down the famous Hollywood Boulevard. We then travel to Long
Beach for one night on board the RMS Queen Mary, which has a
fascinating history as a luxury ocean liner and due to its role in
World War II as a U-boat dodging, high-speed troop carrier.
Day 17 - The Coast Starlight
We join Amtrak's Coast Starlight for a daytime journey,
leaving sprawling LA and travelling north along the scenic Pacific
coast shoreline to San Francisco. Relax in the Sightseer Lounge and
enjoy spectacular views through floor-to-ceiling windows as the
train hugs the coast, passing vast stretches of pristine beaches
north of Santa Barbara, then takes us through the wine county of
San Luis Obispo. We arrive into Oakland, a suburb of San Francisco,
and transfer to the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway**, our base for
three nights. The hotel enjoys a great location close to the cable
car terminus, with excellent views over San Francisco.
Day 18 - San Francisco and Alcatraz
Sightseeing on our first morning includes the inspiring Golden
Gate Bridge and the popular Fisherman's Wharf, home to a famous
population of sea lions. We then head across San Francisco Bay, by
ferry from Pier 33, to visit the infamous island of Alcatraz, most
famous for its time as a prison. Known also as "The Rock", from
where there are no known escape survivors, the island's notable
former residents include Al Capone and the 'Birdman of Alcatraz'.
Our tour of the island takes us into the prison itself, seeing the
cells as they were, with examples of some escape attempts on
Day 19 - A day at leisure in San Francisco
Your second day in San Francisco is free, so why not explore the
vibrant streets of Chinatown and the intriguing Golden Gate Fortune
Cookie factory, or ride the trams (cable cars) up and down the
hilly streets and visit the famous winding Lombard Street, which
has the distinction of being 'the crookedest street in the world"?
You could spend time taking in the city's culture with visits to
the Museum of Modern Art or the de Young Museum in Golden Gate
Park, enjoy some opera, jazz or ballet, or visit the Coit Tower on
Telegraph Hill for stunning views. A trip to Haight-Ashbury takes
you into one of the city's most fashionable areas. Known as "the
Haight", this inter-section is famous for its association with the
hippie-culture era of the 1960s.
Days 20-21 - Journey home
We transfer to the airport for the overnight flight to London,
arriving mid-morning on Day 21.
Tours departing on 3, 8, 10 and 17 May; 14, 21 and 28
June; 18 and 20 September will stay in the Hotel Excelsior in New
York City. All other departures will stay in the Hotel
Terms & Conditions of the reduced deposit offer
Reduced Deposit is available on all Great Rail Journeys USA
tours departing in 2013. USA Coast to Coast in Winter, USA Coast to
Coast at Christmas and Las Vegas & the Golden West in Winter
are not included in the offer.
Reduced Deposit of £100 deposit per person is applicable to all
Great Rail Journeys USA bookings confirmed between 27 December 2012
and up to and including 28 February 2013.
Reduced Deposit is only applicable to the basic holiday price. Any
extra services, insurance or upgrades are charged separately at the
time of booking.
The balance of the deposit, which is equal to the Full Standard
Deposit value minus the Reduced deposit amount paid is payable by
29 March 2013 or at the time of full balance payment, whichever
If the balance of the deposit is not received by the 29 March
2013 we reserve the right to cancel your holiday.
Normal cancellation conditions will apply to all bookings and
therefore the Full Standard Deposit would become due should you
cancel your holiday.
*Please note that the tour departing on 10 May 2013 (tour code
USG309) will stay at the Hotel Palomar in Washington DC.
**The tour departing 3 May 2013 (tour code USG306) will stay at
the Hyatt Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco.