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The Trans-American Rail Tour

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

18 daysFrom $5,095 per person

2020 Tour code: SUG20

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.

Highlights

What’s included

Itinerary

Days 1-2 – 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'.

The Golden Gate Bridge
Day 3 – 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.

Yosemite National Park
Days 4-5 - 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.

Las Vegas
Day 6 - 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.

Hoover Dam
Day 7 - 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.

The Grand Canyon
Day 8 - 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.

Monument Valley
Days 9-10 - 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 Hampton Inn & Suites Denver Downtown hotel.

*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.

Durango-Silverton Railroad
Days 11-12 - 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.

Rocky Mountain National Park
Days 13-14 - Chicago

On Day 13 we complete the journey to Chicago, arriving this afternoon. You are at leisure this evening. We spend the night in Chicago. 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.

Chicago
Days 15-16 - Niagara Falls

We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to Niagara Falls. We spend the night in the Hyatt Place hotel in 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.

Niagara Falls
Day 17 - 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.

Includes
  • Scheduled flights
The Statue of Liberty
Day 18 - Homeward Bound

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

Homeward Bound

Additional information

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.

Hotels

AC Hotel Chicago Downtown, Chicago

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Vacation inn & Suites Durango Central, Durango

Vacation 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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New York Marriott East Side

New York Marriott East Side Hotel, 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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Best Western Orchard

Best Western Orchard, Turlock

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Trains

Amtrak Trains
Durango & Silverton Railroad
Grand Canyon Railroad

Reviews

93% of travelers would recommend this tour

Based on 15 verified reviews

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Mr J Cattigan

Submitted Oct 18, 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 Nov 21, 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 Oct 31, 2018

Vacation very good it was just a shame about the Australians

Mr J Elliott

Submitted Oct 31, 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.

Anonymous

Submitted Sep 26, 2018

Fantastic trip. Fabulous people and great tour manager.

Anonymous

Submitted Jul 15, 2018

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

Worldwide Vacations by Rail 2019/20

Worldwide Vacations by Rail 2019/20

The definitive guide to our 2019/20 rail tours to a wide range of destinations around the world.

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