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Around the World in 50 Days

(Tour code: ATG6)A Westbound voyage around the circumference of the globe by rail

Beginning and ending in London, we travel just under 23,000 miles across the globe on this incredible worldwide adventure. Starting with the renowned 'Big Apple' on America's Atlantic coast, we traverse this vast country of sophisticated cities and majestic landscapes by rail to vibrant Los Angeles and scintillating San Francisco in the West. From here we cross the Pacific for an enthralling journey across northern Asia, drinking in its myriad of distinct cultures.

From the rich, colourful legacies of dynastic China to traditional Mongolian heritage, we board the private Tsar's Gold train following the revolutionary Trans-Siberian Express route to Moscow, encountering Russia's hospitality and turbulent past during insightful stopovers. For the final leg of our intrepid voyage, we head south through Europe's imperial cities to Venice where we join the luxurious Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for our sumptuous journey home, having experienced the ultimate trip-of-a-lifetime.

Tour Highlights
  • New York, Washington DC and Chicago
  • America's Golden West, Monument Valley and the Grand Canyon
  • Los Angeles and San Francisco
  • Shanghai, Beijing and the Great Wall of China
  • Xian and the Terracotta Warriors
  • Tsar's Gold Private Train from Mongolia
  • Lake Baikal, Siberia, Irkutsk & Novosibirsk
  • Moscow
  • Venice Simplon-Orient-Express from Venice
What’s Included (Full details)
  • 1st & Standard Class Rail
    Heritage Rail Excursions
    Tsar's Gold Train
    Venice Simplon-Orient-Express
  • Selected Breakfasts
    Selected Evening Meals
    37 Nights' Hotel Accommodation
  • Selected Porterage
  • Upgrades Available
    Scheduled Flights

Itinerary & Map

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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.

New York
Day 1

London to New York

We leave London and fly to New York, where we spend three nights at the glamorous Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The famous hotel has been emblazoned in popular culture, thanks in no small part to its famous residents such as Cole Porter and Marilyn Monroe, and also lays claim to inventing "Eggs Benedict" and the "Waldorf Salad". With a dinner included and breakfast every day, there is plenty of opportunity to sample the hotel's famous dishes.

  • Dinner
  • Flights to New York
Statue of Liberty
Day 2

Sightseeing in New York

Today we take a sightseeing tour of "the Big Apple". Among the attractions we see Fifth Avenue, the elegant thoroughfare that runs through the heart of Midtown Manhattan. We also visit the enormous Central Park, which creates a sense of reclaimed nature amongst the city's frenzy of skyscrapers. Later we enjoy a cruise around Manhattan harbour. We have lunch on board as we spot landmarks including Ellis Island and the torch-wielding icon, the Statue of Liberty.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of New York
  • Manhattan Harbour Cruise
Times Square, New York
Day 3

At leisure in New York

Today is free for you to discover the attractions of this exciting city at your leisure. With its global influence on art, science, media and entertainment, New York offers something for everyone.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
Washington DC
Days 4-5

New York to Washington DC

Leaving New York, on Day 4 we take Amtrak's Acela service to Washington DC, the nation's stately seat of government. On arrival we enjoy a sightseeing tour of the city's iconic buildings including the White House, the Pentagon and Capitol Hill. Later we transfer to the Willard Hotel for a two -night stay. Frequented by Abraham Lincoln, this glorious hotel has been the setting for some pivotal moments in US history; Mark Twain wrote novels here, and it was also where Martin Luther King penned his legendary "I have a dream" speech. Day 5 is at leisure for you to discover Washington's attractions at your own pace. The country's political powerhouse is scattered with monuments to its previous presidents; otherwise you could visit the fantastic Smithsonian Institution - the world's largest museum complex, with 19 museums and even a National Zoo.

  • Day 4 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 4 - Tour of Washington DC
  • Day 5 - Breakfast
Capitol Limited
Day 6

Through the Midwest to Chicago

Today we leave Washington on the Capitol Limited sleeper service to Chicago. The journey takes us on the route of the historic Baltimore & Ohio Line, which runs through the Potomac Valley and past the Allegheny Mountains before crossing into Ohio. Relax and enjoy the view from the Sightseer Lounge before retiring to your roomette.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Day 7

Exploring Chicago

We arrive in Chicago shortly after breakfast on board. On arrival we enjoy a tour of "the Windy City", seeing the Levee area and the Little Italy neighbourhood. In the afternoon we take a cruise on Lake Michigan, enjoying lunch on board as we admire Chicago's skyline from its sparkling waters. We then transfer to our base for this evening, the prestigious Intercontinental Hotel, situated on Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile'. Your evening is free for you to explore, or maybe take to the waters of the hotel's opulent pool, where Johnny Weissmuller trained for the Olympics.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Tour of Chicago
  • Lake Michigan cruise
California Zephyr
Day 8

Chicago to Denver

This morning we take breakfast high above Chicago at 360 Chicago. Later we join the California Zephyr overnight sleeper train, and continue westwards across the plains of Nebraska to Denver.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Denver State Capitol
Day 9


Today we arrive in Denver, nicknamed the "Mile High City" as it is exactly a mile above sea level. Here we take an orientation drive of the city centre, overlooked by majestic mountain peaks, before arriving at the Brown Palace Hotel. This prestigious triangular building has hosted many celebrated guests, including most of the US presidents and even the Beatles. We spend two nights in this beautifully appointed hotel, and dine here together this evening.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Tour of Denver
Royal Gorge Railroad
Day 10

Royal Gorge Railroad

We travel to Cañon City today, to join the heritage Royal Gorge Route Railroad. Travelling in restored 1950s carriages, we embark on a marvellous journey through the stunning Royal Gorge. We enjoy lunch on board as we head alongside the wild Arkansas River on what is widely considered to be the best-known section of the former Denver & Rio Grande Railroad. Our route also takes us under the Royal Gorge Bridge, which, at 1,053ft, is the highest suspension bridge in the world.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
  • Royal Gorge Route Railroad journey
Rocky Mountain National Park
Day 11

Through the Rockies

This morning we join the train for a stunning daytime journey to Grand Junction. We follow more of the route of the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad - regarded as one of the most scenic rail journeys in the States - into the Rocky Mountains, past dramatic peaks and deep ravines. We arrive in Grand Junction for an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn. This evening we enjoy dinner at the popular Rockslide Brewery.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
Durango & Silverton Railroad
Day 12

The Durango & Silverton Railroad

We transfer to Silverton, where we board the narrow-gauge Durango & Silverton Railroad for a journey through canyons, the National Forest and the pretty Animas Valley to Durango. The town retains its Wild West look, and we spend two nights at the esteemed Strater Hotel, which has provided the inspiration for a number of Westerns. This evening we enjoy dinner in the hotel's famous Diamond Belle Saloon, which recalls the turn of the 20th century with its honky-tonk musicians and 'gunfights'.

  • Dinner
  • The Durango & Silverton Railroad
Monument Valley
Day 13

Monument Valley

Today's journey takes us through Monument Valley into Arizona. Still a stronghold of Navajo culture, the sandstone red buttes and seemingly endless expanse of red sand is not only the typical Wild West image, but is also one of the most legendary sights in the whole of the USA. Later we arrive in Flagstaff, for two nights at the Little America Hotel.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Journey through Monument Valley
Day 14

At leisure in Flagstaff

Today is free for you to relax in Flagstaff, or maybe explore the hotel's private 500-acre pine forest, nestled at the base of the majestic San Francisco Peaks.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
The Grand Canyon
Day 15

The Grand Canyon Railway

We travel by rail to the incredible Grand Canyon today. We transfer by coach to Williams, where we join the Grand Canyon Railroad for a wonderful journey in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives, to the Grand Canyon, one of the world's most awe-inspiring sights. Formed over millions of years, the Canyon is up to 18 miles wide and a mile deep in places. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint to take in the dramatic vistas, before taking a flight over this natural wonder - a fantastic way to admire its huge scale. Later we join the Southwest Chief Sleeper service to Los Angeles.

  • Breakfast, Dinner
  • Journey on Grand Canyon Railroad
  • Flight over The Grand Canyon
RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach
Days 16-18

Los Angeles and San Francisco

Arriving in Los Angeles, today we discover the lively city and the 'dream factory' of Hollywood on a guided tour. We then transfer to our base for tonight, the RMS Queen Mary, a former U-boat dodging ocean liner. This evening we enjoy dinner in the ship's glamorous Sir Winston restaurant. On Day 17 we board the iconic Coast Starlight for a journey along the Pacific coast shoreline to San Francisco. Enjoy spectacular views of golden beaches through the full-length windows. In San Francisco, we transfer to the elegant Fairmont Hotel on Fishermen's Wharf. On Day 18 we take a tour of San Francisco, admiring landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge. Your afternoon is free.

  • Days 16-17 - Breakfast, Dinner
  • Day 18 - Breakfast
San Francisco
Day 19

At Leisure

Today is free for you to continue exploring. Perhaps visit the infamous prison island of Alcatraz or explore the vibrant streets of Chinatown. Tonight we mark our final evening in the USA in style, with a farewell dinner cruise around San Francisco Bay.

  • Breakfast
  • Free Day
  • Dinner Cruise
Fly to Shanghai
Days 20-21

San Francisco to Shanghai

After breakfast today, we bid San Francisco - and the USA - farewell as we transfer to the airport to begin the next leg of our exciting around-the-world adventure. We board our overnight flight for Shanghai, arriving on Day 21. We spend the next three nights at the Grand Mercure Zhongya.

  • Day 20 - Breakfast
  • Flights to Shanghai
Days 22-25

Shanghai and Hangzhou

Today, we embark on an introductory tour of Shanghai, beginning at the Shanghai Museum, a dynamic city where traditional markets and futuristic skyscrapers stand side by side. Dinner tonight is served at the hotel. We discover more with a city tour on Day 23 where highlights include Yu Garden, the French Concession and the Xintiandi district. On Day 24 we leave Shanghai and make the short journey by train to Hangzhou, a city celebrated throughout China for its natural beauty. We spend two nights here at the Courtyard by Marriott by Wulin Hotel and after checking in you are free to begin exploring. We embark on a guided tour on Day 25 taking in the Lingyin Temple and enjoying a cruise across West Lake.

  • Day 22 - Dinner
  • Day 22 - Tour of Shanghai
  • Day 23 - City Tour
  • Day 25 - Tour of Hangzhou
Days 26-28

Guilin and Zhengzhou

We take an internal flight to Guilin today where we check into the Park Hotel for two nights ahead of a cruise down the spellbinding River Li on Day 27. On Day 28 we join the high-speed rail service northwards through rural China to Zhengzhou where we overnight.

  • Day 27 - River Cruise
Day 29

The Longmen Grottoes

Today, we journey to Luoyang to visit the UNESCO listed Longmen Grottoes, a site where over 100,000 images of Buddha have been hand carved into the cave's limestone walls, before continuing to Xian for two nights at the Grand Mercure Hotel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Terracotta Warriors
Days 30-31

The Terracotta Warriors

We visit the Terracotta Warriors, located just outside the city. Built on the command of the first Emperor of China, Emperor Qin, to protect him in death, the warriors are a replica of his army. Over 6000 life size figures exist, and each one is unique and lifelike, with individual features and expressions. Just like Qin's own army, the warriors are organised in ranks, with rows of archers and crossbowmen, followed by infantry and cavalry, complete with their horses. Built around 210 BC, it seems astonishing that this incredible sight was only uncovered in 1974, by a farmer trying to dig a well! After time to marvel at the Terracotta Army, we return to Xi'an to explore, visiting the imposing city walls which date to the Ming Dynasty, and then continuing to the Small Wild Goose Pagoda and the Grand Mosque. We then take time to explore the lively Bazaar around Muslim Street, where traders jostle for your attention, tempting you with their colourful crafts and exotic snacks. Tonight we enjoy a special dumpling banquet. On Day 31 we take the high-speed train to Beijing, for three nights at the Novotel Peace Hotel.

  • Day 30 - Breakfast, Lunch
  • Day 30 - Dumpling Banquet
  • Day 30 - Tour of Xi'an
  • Day 31 - Breakfast
The Great Wall
Day 32

The Great Wall

We travel to Mutianyu to visit the majestic Great Wall of China on Day 32. Stretching from the Gobi Desert to the Korean border, the Great Wall is a genuine relic of dynastic China's proud history. We ascend onto the Great Wall by cable-car, enabling us to closely admire this magnificent structure, as well as the stunning mountain terrain.

  • Breakfast, Lunch
Tiananmen Gate
Days 33-35

Sightseeing in Beijing & On to Mongolia

Many periods of history have left their mark on Beijing, and today we discover these on a sightseeing tour, beginning at Tiananmen Square, the political heart of the city. Surrounding the square are reminders of China's communist power, and Imperial rule. We continue into the neighbouring Forbidden City, the Emperor's seat for around 600 years, and a stunning and vast complex of wooden imperial palace buildings, which according to folklore, consists of 9,999 rooms. Tonight we enjoy dinner together, sampling the local delicacy of Peking Duck. We leave Beijing on Day 34 when you can transfer to the airport for the journey back to London or continue your epic adventure. We travel by sleeper train through the great steppes of the Gobi Desert arriving at the Mongolian border on Day 35 to join the elegant Tsar's Gold Private Train for the incredible journey to Moscow.

  • Days 33-35 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Mongolian Yurt
Days 36-37

Ulaanbaatar & the Mongolian Alps

We arrive this morning into the Mongolian capital of Ulaanbaatar, where we transfer to the Kempinski Hotel Khan Palace for a night. We enjoy a guided tour of the city, which takes us past sights including the Lama Museum and the Choijn Lama Temple. We visit the Tibetan-style Buddhist Gandan Monastery on Day 37. We then enjoy an excursion into the heart of 'Mongolian Switzerland'. The rugged, mountainous region is one of the country's most beautiful landscapes. We experience a traditional lunch in a tent settlement populated by nomadic herdsmen and enjoy a horse-riding show before returning to the train.

  • Days 36-37 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ulan Ude, Lenin Statue
Day 38

Ulan Ude

We bid the Mongolian steppes farewell and cross the border into Russia, travelling through the magnificent Selenga Valley. We arrive in Ulan Ude, where we enjoy a guided city tour. The town is dominated by the world's largest Lenin sculpture, and is known for its Old Believers - a branch of the Russian Orthodox Church. Later we return to the train and continue our journey.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Tour of Ulan Ude
Lake Baikal
Day 39

Lake Baikal

Today we spend an afternoon at leisure enjoying the magnificent Lake Baikal, the oldest and largest freshwater lake in the world. We reach the old station of Port Baikal this morning, located directly on this colossal lake's shore. On arrival, we continue on a private line directly alongside the immense sparkling lake, with fantastic views of the surrounding hills and forests, before enjoying a boat ride on the lake. Later (weather permitting) we stop for a typical local picnic dinner on the lake shore. We reboard the train this evening and continue our journey into Russia, heading directly for Irkutsk on the frontier of Siberia.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Boat ride on Lake Baikal
  • Picnic
Irkutsk Cathedral
Day 40


We arrive in Irkutsk, an enchanting city, which we explore on a guided tour. We admire the beautiful wood-carved cottages, the city's bustling market hall and the grand statue dedicated to Tsar Alexander III. Later we enjoy an excursion to the local open-air museum, which depicts the region as it would have been in the time of the Tsars. Storing our main luggage safely on the train, we spend tonight at the Marriott Courtyard Hotel in Irkutsk.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Tour of Irkutsk
Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Novosibersk
Days 41-42


We re-join the train on Day 41 and make our way across Siberia. We spend the day on board, enjoying the passing scenery. Watch as the verdant slopes and crystal-clear rivers of the Sayan Mountains unfold before you, to give way to the vast Siberian tundra - a landscape not quite like any other in the world. This evening we enjoy Russian hospitality during a speciality 'Tsar's Feast' including vodka and caviar tastings. We arrive in Novosibirsk on Day 42. We receive a traditional Russian welcome with bread and salt, and take a guided tour including Russia's largest Opera House and the iconic Trans-Siberian Monument, and soaking up the views of the mighty Ob River. After dinner, we continue heading west.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 42 - Tour of Novosibirsk
Day 43


Today we arrive in Yekaterinburg, the capital of the Ural Mountains founded by Peter the Great. During a tour of the city we visit the newly erected Cathedral on the Blood, a memorial built on the site where the Tsar Nicholas II and his family were murdered in 1918. After our tour, we rejoin the train and as we leave Yekaterinburg, we cross the Asia-European divide, bringing us formally back onto European soil for the rest of our journey.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Tour of Yekaterinburg
Kazan Cathedral
Day 44


Our first European stop is Kazan, the old Tartar capital on the banks of the Volga. The city was at the centre of the struggle for control of Russia - and we learn more of its past on a guided tour of Kazan's magnificent Kremlin. Tonight is your last night on the Tsar's Gold Private Train, and your last chance to sample the delights on board.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Tour of Kazan
Red Square
Day 45-47

Moscow to Venice

Today we arrive in Moscow, the captivating Russian capital, where we disembark the Tsar's Gold for the last time, and spend two nights at the Ritz Carlton. We visit the magnificent Kremlin, a potent symbol of two mighty imperial cultures. On Day 46 we begin our exploration of the city on a panoramic tour, seeing the beautifully illuminated sights as darkness falls. We cross the vast Red Square and experience the artistic underground treasures of Moscow's metro system. On Day 47, we head to Moscow's International Airport for the flight to Venice, Italy where we transfer to our hotel via a private water taxi.

  • Days 45-47 - Breakfast, Dinner
Grand Canal, Venice
Day 48

Sightseeing in Venice

Today we enjoy a guided tour of Venice, our final stop before returning to London. We visit the magnificent St Mark's Square, undoubtedly one of the most beautiful city squares in the world. Overlooked by St Mark's Basilica, the large open space is surrounded by the Doge's Palace and the iconic bell tower, as well as the shimmering waters of the lagoon. Our local guide takes us through the narrow streets and small squares to visit some of Venice's main sights, including Rialto Bridge, an architectural gem that spans the Grand Canal. Your afternoon is free to soak up more of these unforgettable sights.

  • Breakfast
  • Tour of Venice
The Venice-Simplon Orient Express
Days 49-50

The Venice-Simplon Orient Express

This morning we join the world-famous Venice-Simplon Orient Express, the legendary luxury train which has inspired countless writers and filmmakers. After your steward settles you into your comfortable compartment, all you need to do is relax and watch the stunning scenery as it passes by the window. Enjoy lunch as we pass back through the magnificent Dolomites and travel up through picturesque Austria over tea and pastries. It is soon time to dress for dinner - why not sip a cocktail in the bar car before making your way to one of the restaurant cars, where you are served a delicious four-course dinner, prepared by a skilled French chef. The minimum dress requirement in the evening is a suit and tie for gentlemen and the equivalent for ladies. You may want to linger over a nightcap listening to the sound of the baby grand piano before retiring to your compartment. A continental breakfast is served in your cabin on the morning of Day 50 as we pull into Paris. From here we continue by rail to Calais, enjoying brunch on board. In Calais we transfer to our private coach for the short EuroTunnel crossing. Emerging in Folkestone, we board our next - and final - luxury train, the British Orient Express Pullman. We are greeted with a welcoming brunch as we make our way through the Garden of England, including a glass of Bellini. We are served afternoon tea as the English countryside passes by to give way to the familiar sight of London's metropolis. Our journey concludes as we pull into London Victoria station and disembark, having come full circle after travelling just under 23,000 miles across the globe.

  • Day 49 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 50 - Breakfast, Lunch
  • Venice-Simplon-Orient Express
  • British Orient Express Pullman

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