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The Trans-American Rail Tour

18 Days from $4,975per
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’ hotel accommodation (room only)
  • Selected Departures Guaranteed

The Trans-American Rail Tour 2020Tour Details

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

San Francisco

Meet your Tour Manager and group today at the Le Meridien Hotel in San Francisco. 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 '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 Railroad 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 Vacation 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 Mountain National Park

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. Tonight we join the California Zephyr sleeper train.

Days 13-14 Chicago


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.

Days 15-16 Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls

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.

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 harbor 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.

  • Scheduled flights
Day 18 Homeward Bound
Homeward Bound

Homeward Bound

Today you are free to make your way to the airport at your own pace, for your flight back home.

Recommended Airport Arival

For this tour, we recommend you fly in to San Francisco International (airport code SFO), which is approximately 15 miles from your first hotel. Our recommended departure airport is John F. Kennedy International (JFK), which is approximately 17 miles from your final hotel in New York.

Departure Times

You may check in at the first hotel on your itinerary anytime after 14:00; this is where you will meet your Tour Manager.

What’s included


An escorted experience and travel during your tour

  • The services of a professional Tour Manager
  • 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 Vacation 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 Harbor 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

Not Included

  • Flights and Airport transfers


What our customers think

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Tour Rating

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Yung-Mei Choi
Vaugnel Fletcher
Dimitri Zgonis
The Trans-American Rail Tour

Discover America's most famous sights by rail


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