Day 1: Depart Chicago
New Orleans / West Caribbean Rail / Sail members will meet their Rail / Sail vacations Tour Director in Chicago’s Union Station throughout the day. At approximately 7:30 p.m., we’ll board the Amtrak train made famous in the song, The City of New Orleans, departing at 8:05 p.m. Relax in your reclining coach seat with leg rest. Roomettes or Bedrooms are available at an additional cost.
Dinner in the dining car is included this evening.
Day 2: New Orleans
Both dining car meals today are included beginning with breakfast this morning. We’ll be rolling through the Mississippi Delta area this morning. We’re scheduled to arrive in the Crescent City by 3:32 p.m.
Our home in New Orleans is the Hampton Inn Downtown French Quarter. You’re in one of the most attractive cities in the world. Take full advantage of all there is to see, to do and to taste.
Meal(s): B & L
Day 3: Embarkation
This morning you’re free to rest or pursue those activities that are of particular interest to you. Enjoy coffee and beignets (a special doughnut-like pastry) at the famous Café du Monde. Wander through the exquisite shops and galleries along Royale Street.
At noon we’ll transfer from our hotel to the beautiful Norwegian Pearl®, our fantastic home for the next seven days and nights. Get settled, enjoy a buffet lunch and spend the afternoon exploring this beautiful ship. We’re scheduled to set sail from New Orleans at 4:00 p.m.
One of the highlights of this voyage will unfold over the next few hours as we cruise over 60 miles down the winding Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
Meal(s): CB, L & D
Day 4: At Sea
Do as little or as much as you care to aboard the beautiful Norwegian Pearl. This ship is a jewel on the high seas, filled with innovative features and luxurious amenities. Swim in one of the sparkling pools, shop the Galleria boutique or get a massage in the Mandara Spa & Salon. Dine in one of the dining rooms or specialty restaurants. Head to the internet café or library. Tee up at the driving range. There is a jogging track and state of the art fitness center for those looking to work off some of the fantastic cuisine. Catch up on your favorite team at the Sports Bar. Grab a latté at the Java Café. Try your luck at the Pearl Club Casino featuring a variety of table games, slots (including nickel slots for the not-so-high roller), video poker, etc.
Other daily activities include bingo, craft-making, art auctions, pool games, trivia contests, wine and cocktail tasting; and that traditional cruise favorite, shuffleboard! Of course you can always just cuddle up with a good book as the ocean drifts by. The evening entertainment is stellar. Don’t miss the colorful Broadway-style production shows in the theater.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 5: Cozumel, Mexico
Once the destination of Mayan women, playing homage to Ixchel, Mayan goddess of fertility, today it’s ranked among the world’s premier dive spots.
Just a ferry ride away: the Mayan ruins of Tulum, spectacularly situated on the sea cliffs.
Other optional shore excursions include: Cozumel Highlights & Shopping, Mayan Ruins Beach Break; Tulum Mayan Ruins; Discover Best of Mexico, Past & Present, Dolphin Encounter, Clear Kayak & Beach Snorkel Combo.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 6: Roatan, Bay Islands, Honduras
One of the Honduras Bay Islands, Roatan is a hidden gem with some of the most beautiful white beaches and the best snorkel and diving spots in the Caribbean.
Optional shore excursions include: Underwater Museum & Reef Snorkel, West Bay Kayak & Snorkel, Maya Key Private Island Retreat, Best of Roatan Island, Dolphin Encounter.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 7: Harvest Caye, Belize
Belize is ideal for eco-tourism. With diverse ecology consisting of jungles, rainforests, swamps, coral reef and so on, travelers can find solace and adventure in Harvest Caye’s stunning landscape.
Optional shore excursions include: Mayan Temple & Spice Farm tour; Mayan Temple of Nim Li Punit; Lagoon Wildlife & Mangrove Estuaries, Monkey River boat ride; Belize Airboat Adventure; Mayan Wellness Therapy Trail.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 8: Costa Maya, Mexico
The quiet side of Mexico; here, along an unspoiled coastal paradise, archeology buffs discover Mayan ruins shrouded in magic and mystery.
Optional shore excursions include: Chacchoben Mayan Runs, Glass Bottom Boat & Snorkel, Kohunlich Mayan Ruins, Catamaran Cruise & Snorkel, Paddleboard & Beach Break, Dolphin Swim Adventure, Beach Getaway.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 9: At Sea
This is the last full day of our Rail/Sail vacation at sea. Enjoy this opportunity to participate in many of the optional activities onboard or relax with a good book on deck with the invigorating salt air.
Meal(s): B, L & D
Day 10: New Orleans
Following our disembarking from the Norwegian Pearl, we’ll begin a two-and-a-half-hour sightseeing tour of the Greater New Orleans area. The tour will include the St. Louis Cemetery III where the above ground burial system will be explained, beautiful City Park, the Lakefront area, the uptown section with its antebellum and new homes, Tulane University, Audubon Park and the French Market.
We’ll stop en route for an “on-your-own” lunch. Our tour will end at the New Orleans Union Station where we’ll depart at 1:45 p.m. on the northbound City of New Orleans. You’ll again have a reclining coach seat and leg rest and the same on-board amenities experienced on our southbound trip. Sleeping accommodations are available at an additional cost. You’ll want to spend some time this evening reminiscing with your fellow vacationers about the great experiences you shared during the past ten days.
Meal(s): B & D
Day 11: En Route to Chicago
Following a full-course dining car breakfast, we’ll arrive in Chicago’s Union Station at 9:00 a.m. Vacationers will depart for home destinations throughout the day. Those returning to Eastern home cities will have time to take an optional Gray Line sightseeing tour, to shop or to visit some of Chicago’s major attractions. Some members will fly home.
Fri, Mar. 16 to Mon., Mar. 26, 2018
Download a full color printable version of this itinerary.
- New Orleans
- Harvest Caye, Belize
- Costa Maya
- Norwegian Pearl®
- This vacation offers so many things to do and see. New Orleans, the fabulous “Big Easy” with all of the history and charm.
- Cruise over 60 miles of the winding Mississippi River to the Gulf of Mexico.
- All four ports of call were centers of the Mayan culture. Mayan civilization began more than 2,000 years ago and reached its zenith between A.D. 300 and 900. At the time Europe was suffering through the Dark Ages, the Mayans enjoyed a creative life more advanced than any of their contemporaries in the known world.
- Optional Excursions are available in port. In Costa Maya, visit the Kohunlich Ruins; in Roatan, visit the Dolphin Encounter; in Harvest Caye, visit the Mayan archeological site of Nim Li Punit; in Cozumel you can take a ferry to the Mayan ruins of Tulum, spectacularly sited on sea cliffs.
- Our ship, the Norwegian Pearl®, will provide a fabulous variety of food and fun as we relax from our full days of shore activities and our two days at sea.
- The train made famous in the song, The City of New Orleans, will provide our comfortable, first-class trip from Chicago to New Orleans and back.
- Round-trip transportation by Amtrak, Norwegian Cruise Line and connecting motorcoach.
- Reclining coach seat on Amtrak for two nights.
- Inside stateroom on the Norwegian Pearl cruise ship for seven nights.
- First-class hotel accommodations for one night.
- Sightseeing tour in New Orleans.
- Baggage handling, taxes and tips.
- 27 meals.
- All gratuities are included; rail, cruise and motorcoach.
- Services of a professional America by Rail Tour Director.
Roomette on Amtrak + $375
Bedroom on Amtrak + $495
Ocean View Stateroom + $100
Balcony Stateroom + $375
Roomette on Amtrak + $750
Ocean View Stateroom + $200
Balcony Stateroom + $750
FLY OPTION - Fly to / from New Orleans. 9 Days
America by Rail will be happy to arrange your flights. Air is not included in above price.
All prices are per person/double occupancy unless otherwise stated.
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