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The Trans-American Rail Tour

(15 reviews)
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Discover America's most famous sights by rail

19 days From £4,195 per person
Flexible Booking

Book your 2021 holiday before 31st October and you can transfer your holiday for free - no questions asked. T&C's apply

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2021 Tour code: SUG21

About the tour

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.


What’s included


Days 1-2 - London and San Francisco

We depart London Heathrow for San Francisco, where our base for 2 nights is Le Meridien Hotel San Francisco. Our sightseeing tour on Day 2 includes the inspiring Golden Gate Bridge and popular Fisherman's Wharf. We also cruise to the famous island of Alcatraz, once a federal penitentiary housing notorious criminals such as Al Capone and the fascinating 'Birdman of Alcatraz'.

The Golden Gate Bridge
Day 3 - Yosemite National Park

We travel by Amtrak train today to Merced. From here a coach takes us to Yosemite National Park where we enjoy a tour of the valley floor, taking in views of Half Dome, the 3,000-foot El Capitan, and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. We stay in Merced for the night.

Yosemite National Park
Days 4-5 - To Las Vegas

We board our Amtrak service to Bakersfield today continuing to Las Vegas by coach. On arrival, we check into the famous Park MGM hotel for 2 nights. On Day 5, you are free to explore incredible Las Vegas at leisure. The Las Vegas monorail is a great way to discover 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 to choose from.

Las Vegas
Day 6 - The Hoover Dam and Flagstaff

Today, we head across Nevada to Arizona, via the Hoover Dam. Entering Arizona, we take the legendary Route 66, following this famous road until Flagstaff, where we spend 2 nights at the Little America Hotel, set amidst 500 acres of ponderosa pine forest.

Hoover Dam
Days 7-8 - The Grand Canyon and Monument Valley

We travel in vintage carriages hauled by historic locomotives on the Grand Canyon Railway today, 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.

On Day 8, we drive through Navajo country and Utah's Monument Valley - familiar as the rugged setting of many American Western movies. The whole region presents the imagery of a bygone era, where cowboys still spend lonely months herding cattle across miles of untouched hills and Native Americans still perform age-old rituals. We reach Durango for a night at the Holiday Inn & Suites.

The Grand Canyon
Days 9-10 - Exploring the US by railroad

On Day 9, we board the Durango and Silverton Railroad* for a journey through breathtaking canyons, past emerald-green rivers and dense forests to Silverton. We continue by coach to Grand Junction and stay at the Hampton Inn. On Day 10, we set out on one of the USA's most scenic rail journeys, travelling aboard the California Zephyr. Our journey takes us up into the Rocky Mountains, through the heart of Colorado's wine region. Our destination is Denver, where we spend 2 nights at the AC Hotel Marriott.

*During the early part of the season the Durango & Silverton Railroad operates a winter timetable. During this period we enjoy a journey from Durango to Cascade Canyon by rail.

Durango-Silverton Railroad
Days 11-12 - Denver and the Rocky Mountains

Day 11 is free for you to explore Denver's attractions. The city boasts a milelong promenade lined with cafés and shops, and there's mountain views lurking down every street. On Day 12, we take a tour of the Rocky Mountains, seeing the Red Rock Amphitheatre and Buffalo Bill's Grave. We head over to Breckenridge for lunch before continuing to Loveland Pass, situated at an elevation of 11,990 feet and offering panoramic views of the Rockies. Tonight, we rejoin the California Zephyr for our journey to Chicago.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Days 13-14 - Chicago

We arrive into Chicago's union station this afternoon, and you are at leisure for the rest of the day. On Day 14, we explore Chicago on a guided sightseeing tour of the city. Set on the shores of vast Lake Michigan, the 'Windy City' 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 rail journey to Buffalo, on the cusp of Niagara Falls.

Days 15-16 - Niagara Falls

We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to our hotel located close to the spectacular Niagara Falls. The waterfall is loved by travellers all over the world for its emerald colour and a descent so forceful that the spray casts a mist around it. On Day 16, we travel to New York by train, taking a tour of iconic Grand Central station, on our arrival. We then transfer to the Marriott East Side hotel.

Niagara Falls
Day 17 - New York, New York

We wake up in 'the city that never sleeps' today, setting out on a guided tour that includes Central Park and glamorous Fifth Avenue, before taking a harbour cruise around Manhattan and past the Statue of Liberty. You also have free time to explore this exciting city; perhaps visit poignant 'Ground Zero' or catch a show on Broadway.

New York
Day 18-19 - London

Bidding a fond farewell to New York and the US, we transfer to the airport today for our flight to London Heathrow, arriving on Day 19.

Homeward Bound

Additional information

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.

Visa requirements
Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular holiday with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


AC Hotel Chicago Downtown

AC Hotel Chicago Downtown, Chicago

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AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown, Denver

AC Hotel by Marriott Denver Downtown, Denver

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Holiday Inn & Suites Durango Central, Durango

Holiday Inn & Suites Durango Central, Durango

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Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

Little America Hotel, Flagstaff

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Hampton Inn, Grand Junction

Hampton Inn, Grand Junction

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MGM Park Hotel

MGM Park Hotel, Las Vegas

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Hampton Inn & Suites Merced, Merced

Hampton Inn & Suites Merced, Merced

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New York Marriott Marquis

New York Marriott Marquis, New York

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Hyatt Place, Niagara Falls

Hyatt Place, Niagara Falls

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Le Meridien Hotel

Le Meridien Hotel, San Francisco

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Amtrak Trains
Durango & Silverton Railroad
Grand Canyon Railway

Enhance your holiday


Overnight Train Upgrade
2 for 1 Premium Economy Flight Upgrade
Upgrade your flight to Premium Economy
London Hotels
UK rail connections

Extend your holiday

San Francisco
Simply New York
Washington D.C.


93% of travellers would recommend this tour

Based on 15 verified reviews

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Mr J Cattigan

Submitted 18/10/2019

It was exactly what we thought it would be and met all our needs. Travel was good, hotels excellent (apart from Niagara, which didn’t detract from the overall experience). Guide was excellent and what we saw was exceptional.

Mr K Kimmey

Submitted 21/11/2018

Tour manager was one of the best I've ever had. Accommodations were excellent. Enjoyed the total trip. Beautiful scenery great guides at ever tour.

Mrs P Jackson

Submitted 31/10/2018

Holiday very good it was just a shame about the Australians

Mr J Elliott

Submitted 31/10/2018

It was very well organised with a wonderful tour manager keeping everything under control which could not be faulted. A very enjoyable but very tiring 19 days.


Submitted 26/09/2018

Fantastic trip. Fabulous people and great tour manager.


Submitted 15/07/2018

Very good, saw some wonderful places. Meal times were disjointed, more time in San Fran and NY would have been good.

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

Worldwide Holidays by Rail 2020/21

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The Trans-American Rail Tour

Discover America's most famous sights by rail


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