USA Coast to Coast - Departing London

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21 days, from £3845
Great Rail Journeys
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Description

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.

Tour Highlights
* New York including a harbour cruise
* Washington
* Chicago and Denver
* Journey on the Denver & Rio Grande Railroad
* Journey on the Durango & Silverton Railroad
* Monument Valley
* Journey on The Grand Canyon Railroad
* Los Angeles and Hollywood
* Stay on the luxury liner RMS Queen Mary
* San Francisco

What's Included
* Heritage Rail Excursions Amtrak rail travel
* 16 nights' hotel accommodation (room only) 3 overnight train journeys (meals included)
* All Transfers Included Selected Porterage
* Return Scheduled Flights Upgrades Available

Itinerary


 Day 1 London to New York

We depart from London Heathrow for New York, where our base for three nights is the Beacon Hotel, within easy reach of Central Park, Broadway and Times Square. Please note: Groups USG507 and USG514 will stay at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York, while Groups USG508, 510, 516, 525, 527, and 534 will stay at the Sheraton Times Square in New York. Includes:Scheduled flights


 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. Includes:Tour of 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. Includes:Free Day


 Days 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 Phoenix Park 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, lively Adams Morgan and many other sights. Includes:Tour of Washington


 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 your 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 MileNorth Hotel, located within walking distance of Navy Pier, the shops of the Magnificent Mile and the lake. Includes:Tour of Chicago


 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 in the evening.


 Days 9-10 Denver and Rocky Mountain Park

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. After our guided orientation drive on arrival, the rest of your day is at leisure to explore. Our home in Denver is the centrally-located Warwick Hotel. Day 10 is free for you to explore the area. Includes:ExcursionsTour of Denver


 Day 11 Into the Rockies by rail

Today we embark 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, past dramatic peaks and deep ravines to the city of Grand Junction, in the heart of Colorado's wine region. We enjoy an overnight stay at the Hampton Inn, close to many downtown restaurants, museums and theatres. Includes:Denver & Rio Grande railroad route


 Day 12 Through the mountains

A coach takes us through the San Juan Mountains to Silverton, an old mining town. Here we board the Durango and Silverton Railroad for a journey through breathtaking canyons, past emerald-green rivers, across the remote wilderness of the National Forest, to Durango. The town retains its Wild West look, with many restored buildings, a vintage narrow-gauge railway, station and museum. We spend the night at the Doubletree Hotel. Includes:Durango and Silverton Railroad


 Day 13 Monument Valley

Familiar from a hundred westerns, the rugged landscape of Utah's Monument Valley is one of America's defining images. 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 generations. The journey through Navajo country takes us to Flagstaff for two nights at the Little America Hotel. Includes:Journey through Monument Valley


 Day 14 Flagstaff

Enjoy a day at leisure in the fabulous setting of Flagstaff, maybe by spending the morning relaxing at the hotel's outdoor swimming pool (seasonal) and hot tub before enjoying a gentle walk amidst the hotel's 500 acre private ponderosa pine forest. Includes:Free Day


 Day 15 Grand Canyon

Today we head along the legendary Route 66 to the town of Williams to join the Grand Canyon Railway. We travel in vintage carriages, hauled by historic locomotives, to the Grand Canyon to see one of the world's most awe inspiring sights. The canyon, created by the Colorado River over a period of 6 million years, is 277 miles (446km) long, up to 18 miles (29km) wide, and a mile (1.6km) deep. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint of the Canyon. You have the option of taking a spectacular flight over the Canyon (payable locally) - a fantastic way to see the scale of this natural wonder! During the evening we transfer to the station to join the Southwest Chief for the overnight journey to Los Angeles. The Southwest Chief is unique among Superliner trains as it is permitted to reach speeds of up to 90mph on sections of the route. Includes:Journey on Grand Canyon RailroadThe Grand Canyon


 Day 16 Los Angeles and the RMS Queen Mary

We spend the morning in Hollywood, with free time to see the footprints of the stars at Mann's Chinese Theatre or to take a stroll down the famous Hollywood Boulevard. We then travel to Long Beach for one night on board RMS Queen Mary, which has a fascinating history as a luxury ocean liner and due to its role in World War II as a U-boat dodging, high-speed troop carrier. Includes:Free Day


 Day 17 The Coast Starlight

We join Amtrak's Coast Starlight for a daytime journey, leaving sprawling LA and travelling north along the scenic Pacific coast shoreline to San Francisco. Relax in the Sightseer Lounge and enjoy spectacular views through floor-to-ceiling windows as the train hugs the coast, passing vast stretches of pristine beaches north of Santa Barbara, which then takes us through the wine county of San Luis Obispo. We arrive into Oakland, a suburb of San Francisco, and transfer to the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway, our base for three nights. The hotel enjoys a great location close to the cable car terminus, with excellent views over San Francisco. Please note group USG529 will stay at the Sheraton Fisherman's Wharf Hotel and group USG542 will stay at the Doubletree by Hilton Berkeley Marina. Includes:Journey on The Coast Starlight


 Day 18 San Francisco

Sightseeing on our first morning includes the inspiring Golden Gate Bridge and the popular Fisherman's Wharf, home to a famous population of sea lions. During your free time here you may wish to visit the infamous island of Alcatraz, most famous for its time as a prison. Known also as "The Rock", from where there are no known escape survivors, the island's notable former residents include Al Capone and the 'Birdman of Alcatraz'. Includes:Tour of San Francisco


 Day 19 A day at leisure in San Francisco

Your second day in San Francisco is free, so why not explore the vibrant streets of Chinatown and the intriguing Golden Gate Fortune Cookie factory, or ride the trams (cable cars) up and down the hilly streets and visit the famous winding Lombard Street, which has the distinction of being 'the crookedest street in the world"? You could spend time taking in the city's culture with visits to the Museum of Modern Art or the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park, enjoy some opera, jazz or ballet, or visit the Coit Tower on Telegraph Hill for stunning views. A trip to Haight- Ashbury takes you into one of the city's most fashionable areas. Known as "the Haight", this intersection is famous for its association with the hippie culture era of the 1960s. *Please note group USG529 will be taken on an excursion to Alcatraz, with some free time available for leisure. Includes:Free Day


 Days 20-21 Journey home

We transfer to the airport for the overnight flight to London Heathrow, arriving mid-morning on Day 21. Includes:Scheduled flights