The Trans-American Rail Tour    *alt*

21 days, from £3795
Great Rail Journeys
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Description

A 21-day USA tour from the Pacific to the Atlantic coast
Wake up in the city that never sleeps at the end of an epic adventure across the most diverse country in the world. This once in a lifetime journey takes you to some of America's most famous sights including Alcatraz, the Las Vegas strip, the Grand Canyon and Niagara Falls, and travels on some spectacular railroad excursions.

Tour Highlights
* San Francisco
* Alcatraz
* Yosemite National Park
* Las Vegas
* The Grand Canyon and the Grand Canyon Railroad
* Durango & Silverton Railroad
* Rocky Mountains excursion
* Denver and Chicago
* Niagara Falls
* New York City

What's Included
* Heritage Rail Excursions Amtrak journeys 2 nights on Amtrak
* 17 Nights' Accommodation
* Selected Porterage
* Return Scheduled Flights Upgrades Available

Itinerary


 Days 1-3 London to San Francisco

We depart from London Heathrow for San Francisco, where our base for three nights is the Holiday Inn Golden Gateway. 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'. You are free to continue exploring at leisure on Day 3. 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'. Includes:Day 2 - Tour of San FranciscoDay 2 - Alcatraz


 Day 4 Yosemite National Park

We travel by train on the San Joaquin route through California's Central Valley, bordered by the coastal mountain ranges and Yosemite National Park. At Merced we transfer by coach to Yosemite itself to enjoy a tour of the Valley Floor, taking in views of Half Dome, the 3,000 ft El Capitan and the spectacular Bridalveil Falls. Heading back to Merced, we spend the night at the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. Includes:Yosemite National Park


 Days 5-6 To Las Vegas

Our journey on the San Joaquin continues southwards on Day 5. 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 at the Harrah's Hotel close to the Las Vegas Strip. On Day 6 you are free to explore wonderful 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 including the world-famous casinos. Includes:Las Vegas


 Day 7 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 Includes:The Hoover Dam


 Day 8 The Grand Canyon

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, and a mile deep. We arrive at the South Rim and main viewpoint of the Canyon to take in the dramatic vistas. You have the option of taking a spectacular flight over the Canyon (payable locally). Includes:Journey on Grand Canyon RailroadThe Grand Canyon


 Day 9 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 Doubletree Hotel. Includes:Journey through Monument Valley


 Days 10-11 US Railroads

On Day 10 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 11 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 region. Our destination is Denver, where we spend two nights at the Warwick Hotel Denver. *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. Includes:Durango and Silverton RailroadDenver and Rio Grande Railroad


 Days 12-13 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 cafes and shops and a mountain view down every street. On Day 13 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. Includes:Rocky Mountain National Park


 Days 14-15 Denver to Chicago

On Day 14 we complete the journey to Chicago, arriving this afternoon for an introductory sightseeing tour, spending tonight at the MileNorth Hotel. Day 15 is free to explore Chicago. We board the Lake Shore Limited this evening for the overnight journey to Buffalo on the cusp of Niagara Falls. Includes:Tour of Chicago


 Days 16-17 Niagara Falls

We arrive in Buffalo and transfer to Niagara Falls. We overnight at the Sheraton at the 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. At lunchtime on Day 17, we travel on the Maple Leaf service to New York City, where our hotel for three nights is the Sheraton Times Square, perfectly located to explore all New York has to offer.


 Days 18-21 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 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. We transfer to the airport on Day 20, for the flight to London, arriving on Day 21. Includes:Scheduled flightsTour of New YorkManhattan Harbour Cruise