The ultimate American
coast to coast adventure by train
Experience a once-in-a-lifetime coast to coast rail journey across the most diverse country in the world. Your photo album will include many of America's highlights including the Statue of Liberty, the White House, the Wild West, the Rockies, the Grand Canyon, Hollywood Boulevard and the Golden Gate Bridge.
- Chicago and Denver
- Durango and Silverton Railroad
- The Grand Canyon Railroad
- RMS Queen Mary
- Denver and Rio Grande Railroad
- Monument Valley
- Los Angeles and Hollywood
- San Francisco including a visit to Alcatraz
Day 1 - London to New York
We depart from London for New York, where our base for three nights is the Beacon Hotel, within easy reach of Central Park, Broadway and Times Square.
Day 2 - Sightseeing in New York
See the incredible sights of the 'Big Apple', including Central Park and glamorous Fifth Avenue on our guided tour, before enjoying a harbour cruise around Manhattan past the Statue of Liberty. Your afternoon is free to continue exploring New York.
Day 3 - At leisure in New York
Today is free for you to explore 'the city that never sleeps', and your options are virtually endless as New York offers something for everyone. New York's neighbourhoods, including Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, East Village, the West Side and Harlem, all take on a unique character of their own, but remain quintessentially 'New York'. Enrich your mind at one of the city's many museums, such as the Guggenheim, American Museum of Natural History, or the Museum of Modern Art. Discover unparalleled shopping in 57th Street's upmarket boutiques or visit Wall Street for a taste of the city's financial hub.
Day 4-5 - Washington DC
On Day 4 we take the train south to Washington, the nation's capital, where we spend two nights at the Affinia Hotel, located opposite Union Station and close to many of Washington's main sights. This afternoon we begin a guided tour of this elegant city, passing many of the famous landmarks including the White House, Capitol Hill, historic Georgetown and the Pentagon. Day 5 is free to explore Washington at leisure. Why not visit the world's largest art, science and history museum complex - the fantastic Smithsonian? There are many other terrific places to visit, including Arlington Cemetery and lively Adams Morgan and many other sights.
Day 6 - To the Mid-West
We leave Washington late-afternoon on the Capitol Limited. The Capitol Limited service runs daily between Washington DC and Chicago, following the historic B&O line through the Potomac Valley. Our overnight journey takes us past historic Harpers Ferry and the Allegheny Mountains into Pittsburgh, before crossing into Ohio and heading north to Cleveland, across Indiana and eventually into the centre of Chicago. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the passing scenery from the comfort of the Sightseer Lounge before moving to the dining car to enjoy dinner - included as part of the journey.
Day 7 - The Windy City
We arrive in Chicago after breakfast on board the Capitol Limited. We board a coach at the station for a city tour that revisits the 'dry and lawless years' of the 1920s and '30s, taking in the site of the St Valentine's Day Massacre and Al Capone's headquarters, as well as less violent landmarks! Your afternoon is free to explore Chicago. The Willis Tower - Chicago's equivalent of the Empire State Building - is a must-see, and the nearby Hancock Centre offers similarly terrific views. We spend the night at the Mile North Hotel, located within walking distance of Navy Pier, the shops of the Magnificent Mile and the lake.
Day 8 - Chicago at leisure and the Great Plains
A free morning today gives you chance to further explore Chicago at leisure. Nobody should leave Chicago without taking a ride on the "Loop" - Chicago's iconic overhead metro. This afternoon we board the California Zephyr for an overnight journey to Denver, which takes us across the cornfields and plains of Iowa and Nebraska. The Zephyr has a Sightseer Lounge where you can relax and enjoy the views. Dinner is served in the train's dining car this evening.
Day 9 - Denver: the Mile High City
We arrive in Denver (nicknamed the 'Mile High City' as it is at an altitude of exactly one mile above sea level) early this morning, with breakfast served in the dining car shortly before we disembark. Our morning arrival means you have a free day to explore the city's sights. Denver boasts a mile-long promenade lined with cafˇs and shops and a mountain view down every street. The Denver Museum of Nature & Science has a space museum and the world's most advanced digital planetarium. Our home in Denver is the centrally-located Warwick Hotel.
Day 10 - Rocky Mountain National Park
Day 11 - Into the Rockies by rail
Day 12 - Through the mountains
*During the early part of the season the Durango and Silverton Railroad operates a winter timetable. During this period we enjoy an alternative journey from Rockwood to Cascade Canyon and Durango.
Day 13 - Monument Valley
Day 14 - Flagstaff
Day 15 - Grand Canyon
Day 16 - Los Angeles and the RMS Queen Mary
Day 17 - The Coast Starlight
Day 18 - San Francisco and Alcatraz
Day 19 - A day at leisure in San Francisco
Days 20-21 - Journey Home
Departure dates and price -
- Rail and coach travel as described
- 16 nights' hotel accommodation (room only)
- 3 overnight train journeys in two-berth roomette (meals included)
- Guided city tours in New York, including Manhattan harbour cruise, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco
- 4 iconic Amtrak journeys on the Capitol Limited, California Zephyr, Southwest Chief and Coast Starlight
- Rocky Mountain National Park excursion
- 2 fantastic rail journeys on heritage lines of Durango & Silverton Railroad and Grand Canyon Railroad
- Time to explore the South Rim of the Grand Canyon and harbour cruise to Alcatraz for a tour of the famous prison
- Transfers and luggage handling in USA, flight taxes and charges
- The services of a professional Tour Manager throughout
- Single room prices include the supplement for single occupancy throughout including sole occupancy of a roomette on overnight trains: £1,295 (Apr-Sep 2013), £1,350 (06 Sep-Oct 2013)
- The Electronic System for Travel Authorisation (ESTA) administration charge
On overnight journeys, accommodation is in a Superliner Roomette, with two comfortable reclining seats beside a large window, which convert to upper and lower berths at night. Each cabin has individual climate control, a fold down table, fresh towels and complimentary bottled water. WC, shower and washroom facilities are located at the end of each carriage. Roomettes are located on both the upper and lower levels of the double-deck carriages.
On some Amtrak trains a limited number of bedrooms are available at a supplement. These cabins have a daytime sofa that converts to a wide lower berth and a comfortable upper berth at night, and the added benefit of their own en suite shower, washbasin and WC.
During daytime journeys we travel in comfortable seats with plenty of legroom.
On tours involving journeys on overnight sleeper services, passengers enjoy a meal in the restaurant car if they are travelling during a mealtime. Passengers travelling during the day may purchase meals from the restaurant car where this service is provided. Many Amtrak trains also have Lounge, Dinette and Cafe cars where passengers can buy snacks, meals and beverages and take advantage of the comfy seating.
Washington - Chicago on the Capitol Limited
Across the Appalachian Trail to Harpers Ferry
Through Maryland and Ohio to Cleveland
Chicago - Denver on the California Zephyr
Chicago to the Mississippi
Across Iowa to Nebraska
Through Colorado to Denver
On some of our USA tours we travel this route in reverse, beginning in Denver and ending in Chicago..
Flagstaff - Los Angeles on the Southwest Chief
The Southwest Chief departs Flagstaff and takes us along the route of the famous US Route 66 highway, through Arizona to the State Line, where we enter California. We cross the Colorado River and travel through the Mojave Desert, making stops in small desert towns before ascending the Cajon Pass at a height of 3,811 feet (1,162m). Created by the movements of the San Andreas Fault, the Cajon Pass offers a route through the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains. The Southwest Chief continues through Fullerton in Orange County and passes through the sprawling suburbs of Los Angeles before reaching the end point of our journey: the Mission Revival style Los Angeles Union Station.
Los Angeles - San Francisco on the Coast Starlight
LA to the Pacific Coast
After passing through Glendale we reach the city of Burbank, home to many of the biggest film studios including Warner Brothers, Disney and Columbia. We continue through the San Fernando Valley towards the Santa Susanna Mountains and the Simi Hills, and travel along the narrow Simi Valley towards the Pacific Coast and the city of Oxnard. We finally reach the Pacific Coast at Ventura, at which point the Coast Starlight begins to head north, hugging the coastline and following the Pacific Coast Highway. We enjoy spectacular views of the ocean and the long stretches of golden, sandy beaches, as well as the islands of Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa.
Santa Barbara to San Francisco
The final stage of our journey takes us through Castroville, the 'artichoke capital of the world', Gilroy, the 'garlic capital of the world' and the beautiful Santa Cruz Mountain Range. We make a stop in San Jose, the first state capital of California, before reaching our destination, the vibrant city of San Francisco.
Denver and Rio Grande Railroad
Durango and Silverton Railroad between Durango and
The line climbs from Durango into the San Juan Mountains at Silverton, on a journey lasting 3 ½ hours. This allows plenty of time to enjoy the magnificent scenery
Grand Canyon Railway from Williams to the Grand Canyon
The route starts at the south end at the historic Williams Depot, built in 1908. Trains run north through the state of Arizona and terminate at the Grand Canyon Depot, which was finished in 1910.
As well as the fascinating scenery, during your rail journey you can also enjoy musicians performing numbers from the early 20th century, and actors performing a staged shoot-out. There are also attendants on board, happy to answer any questions you may have.
Upgrade your cabin on the overnight trains from a Superliner Roomette to an en suite bedroom with shower/WC: £495 per person
Cabin upgrades are only available for twin occupancy.
Flight upgrades are available. Please contact us for up to the minute offers
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