Day 1: Depart Chicago
Seattle / San Francisco Express tour members will board Amtrak’s Empire Builder this afternoon for the 2200-mile journey to Seattle, Washington. Departure is scheduled for 2:15 p.m.
Go to the glass-walled sightseer lounge car for spectacular viewing. All tastefully prepared full-course dining car meals are included.
Relax in your Roomette. Bedrooms with private restrooms are available at an additional cost. Coffee, juice and water are available in your sleeping car.
We will pass through Minneapolis - St. Paul later this evening.
Day 2: En Route
During the day we will roll across the remote flat lands of North Dakota and eastern Montana.
This evening a dramatic panorama of rocky mountain peaks will begin to rise above the horizon. The scenery is striking as we wind past waterfalls, river gorges and other sights. The glass-walled lounge and dining car are excellent vantage points.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 3: En Route / Seattle
You may want to rise early to watch the sun come up over some spectacular scenery. Today the Empire Builder will enter the 7.8-mile long Cascade Tunnel. Over the next two hours we’ll wind through the scenic Cascade Mountains.
We’ll transfer to the Roosevelt Hotel, a boutique hotel that exemplifies old-world charm, located in the heart of Seattle’s thriving downtown. You’re within easy walking distance of 30 restaurants, numerous shops, the Pike Place Market and The Paramount Theatre. You are free to explore the Space Needle, Pioneer Square or the Market. Or take a Boeing plant tour or perhaps a Puget Sound dinner cruise. There is also a double-decker hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus that departs every 30 minutes.
Day 4: Seattle
You have another day to enjoy the sights and sounds of fabulous Seattle.
Day 5: En Route / Coast Starlight
At 9:35 this morning we’ll board the famous Coast Starlight. We’ll roll south along beautiful Puget Sound and by early evening we’ll be winding through the Cascade Mountains.
Bottled water, juice and coffee are available in the your sleeping car.
Meal(s): L & D
Days 6: San Francisco
You can enjoy a full breakfast in the dining car. Arrival into Emeryville is scheduled for 8:10 a.m. We will take a deluxe motorcoach into San Francisco. The Holiday Inn Fisherman’s Wharf is our home for the next two nights.
In San Francisco the choices are endless. In addition to a hop-on, hop-off double-decker bus there is Alcatraz, cable cars, Muir Woods and Sausalito. You can take a romance food tour, explore North Beach or visit Chinatown. At Fisherman’s Wharf you can visit the Aquarium of the Bay.
Days 7: San Francisco
Today you are free to explore the “City by the Bay”.
Day 8: En Route
We’ll board the famous California Zephyr for the return journey across seven states to Chicago. Departure is scheduled for 9:10 a.m. This is the most scenic long distance rail journey in the U.S. The Zephyr features double-decker Superliner equipment.
After settling in, you may want to go to the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge car with its comfortable seats. It is a great place to view the passing scenery. Bottled water, juice and coffee are available in the your sleeping car throughout the day. All meals on the trains are included beginning with a full-course lunch in the dining car.
Relax in your comfortable private Roomette or Bedroom sleeping accommodations.
As we travel eastward we leave the lush green landscape and palm trees of California and enter the rugged terrain of the Sierra Nevada mountains. We will ride through the famous Donner Pass this afternoon.
Meal(s): L & D
Day 9: En Route
This morning we’ll pass through eastern Utah and western Colorado.
Following your delicious dining car breakfast this morning, you’ll want to view the spectacular scenery from the Sightseer Lounge car.
When we leave Glenwood Springs at 12:10 p.m., we’ll travel through the towering, narrow Glen Canyon. We will then begin to climb through the awesome Rockies toward the Continental Divide. We’ll encounter the famous, 6.2-mile long Moffatt Tunnel and literally go under the Continental Divide. The mountain vistas will continue throughout the afternoon. We’ll arrive in Denver at 6:38 p.m.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 10: En Route to Chicago
During the night we traveled across the Great Plains. Our train will roll across Iowa and Illinois before our afternoon arrival in Chicago. Some tour members will change to trains bound for Midwest, eastern and southern home cities. Others may spend the night in Chicago and fly home tomorrow.
Meal(s): B & L
Sun., Oct. 1 to Tues., Oct. 10, 2017
Download a full color printable version of this itinerary.
You set the pace on our “Express Tours”. These tours feature an open format where you choose the activities. You can fill every minute, or simply relax at the hotel. Fine dining, casual dining or fast-food . . . you decide! We provide you with
brochures from local tour operators and attractions at the time of booking so you can have your plans in place when you arrive!
- Travel 2200 miles aboard Amtrak’s Empire Builder. Pass along Glacier National Park.
- Seattle, the Emerald City. You can take a sightseeing tour if you choose or jump on a double-decker bus to see the city. Again, you’re on your own, so you can see what interests you.
- Explore the Space Needle, Pioneer Square, Pike Place Market or take a Boeing plant tour.
- The Coast Starlight is Amtrak’s premier train. You’ll be pampered from the time we board in Seattle until we disembark in Emeryville, across from San Francisco.
- San Francisco, the “City by the Bay.” You could visit Alcatraz, take a ride on one of the cable cars. Our hotel is at Fisherman’s Wharf.
- Take a sightseeing tour or a romance food tour. Visit North Beach and Chinatown.
- See the spectacular views as you travel 2438 miles as the California Zephyr winds and climbs through the Sierra Nevada’s beautiful Donner Pass and the Colorado Rockies.
- Round-trip transportation by Amtrak and deluxe motorcoach.
- Private-room sleeping accommodations on the trains for five nights in private Roomettes.
- First-class hotel accommodations for four nights.
- 15 meals.
- Baggage handling, taxes & tips.
- Services of a professional America by Rail Tour Director.
$2,995 - 10 Days
Upgrade: Bedroom + $1,295
FLY OPTION - Fly to Seattle and return from San Francisco. 6 Days
*FLY OPTION Includes Roomette from Seattle to Emeryville on the train.
America by Rail will be happy to arrange your flights. Airfare is not included in above price.
All prices are per person/double occupancy unless otherwise stated.
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Discover “The Best Way to See America”. Train trips offer the finest views of exciting destinations throughout North America. Combine that with the fun you’ll experience on a group train trip vacation and you’ll understand why these tours are so popular!