The Trans-American Rail 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.
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'.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
On Day 13 we complete the journey to Chicago, arriving this afternoon. You are at leisure until this evening, when we visit the Buddy Guys Legends Club for dinner and a Blues show. We spend tonight at the Cambria Hotel. 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.
We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to Niagara Falls. We spend the night at the Hampton Inn 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.
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.
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 that while every departure of this tour will feature the same excursions, the order may differ from that shown above.
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.
An escorted experience with all travel arrangements
Comfortable accommodation in your destination
Exciting excursions and free time to explore
Enhancing your holiday experience
Please note: This tour may be suitable for reduced mobility passengers, please call for further information.
of travellers would recommend this tour
based on 15 verified reviews
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.
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.
Holiday very good it was just a shame about the Australians
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.
Fantastic trip. Fabulous people and great tour manager.
Very good, saw some wonderful places. Meal times were disjointed, more time in San Fran and NY would have been good.
Everything was well organised and the tour manager was superb from the moment we were greeted until the end of the journey. Nothing to worry about, no heavy cases to chase after which left us free for 100% holiday enjoyment.
Organisation was seamless, the only thing that stopped us was a landslide in Yosemite. We really needed the days off because the tour is full on and occasionally we needed to take a breath. It took too long to get to know the other people on the tour and some sort of start up get together could have speeded this up. Maybe consider simple first name badges just to break the ice.
Great itinerary, great tour manager, good quality hotels and coaches/ train seating. Would be a five but we had a couple of mix ups with hotel bookings/ rooms.
Stress free as we had a great tour manager who ensured everything went smoothly. He gave us lots of information to ensure we could make the most of our holiday.
Discover America's most famous sights by rail