Empire Builder Experience - Chicago to Seattle
Just a few generations ago, the route of the Empire Builder was wilderness, roamed by Native Americans and buffalo.
Just a few generations ago, the route of the Empire Builder was wilderness, roamed by Native Americans and buffalo. Later, fur traders and gold miners visited it. And still later, it was developed by merchants, timber men, farmers and - most dramatically - by railroaders.
Scheduled for scenery, the Empire Builder's historic 2,206 mile journey takes you from Chicago to Seattle through unforgettable, eye-popping scenery of the majestic North and Pacific Northwest of the United States.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights)
- Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
- All Meals on board the train (Roomette & Bedroom passengers)
- Hop On Hop Off Chicago sightseeing tour
- Mississippi River
- Lake Pepin
- Bear Paw Mountains
- Glacier National Park
- Icicle Canyon
- Gateway to Mt. Rainer
- Columbia River Gorge
Day 1 - Chicago
Begin the Empire Builder Experience with an independent arrival into Chicago. Check-in to your downtown hotel and spend the day exploring all Chicago has to offer. From Navy Pier and the spectacular lakefront to Magnificent Mile shopping, world-class parks and museums, you will wish you had a few more days. Overnight Chicago.
Day 2 - Empire Builder to Seattle
Arrive at Union Station for your mid-day departure on Amtrak's Empire Builder. For those passengers with sleeping accommodations, check into Amtrak's first-class Metropolitan Lounge for complimentary beverages and snacks, or take a walk through historic Union Station. Once onboard the legendary Empire Builder, settle into your seat and prepare yourself for the 2300 mile journey through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. Enjoy a full-course dinner in the dining car this evening. All meals onboard the train included with your sleeping accommodation. Relax as the train makes its way through the Wisconsin Dells and St. Paul-Minneapolis, Minnesota tonight. Overnight train.
Day 3 - En Route
As you awake this morning, the train makes its way through the grasslands of the "Northern Prairie State" of North Dakota. Wildlife is in abundance in this area, so be sure to have your camera ready! It is not uncommon to spot bison, elk, prairie dogs, foxes, muskrats, white-tailed deer and bald eagles in this region. Delicious meals are available in the Dining Car, or lighter fare is available in the Sightseer Lounge car. As the train continues on through the day, the landscape gives way to rolling hills, canyons, gorges, and rugged mountain terrain. Relax in the Sightseer Lounge this evening. The floor to ceiling glass windows will ensure that you won't miss any of the spectacular scenery as the train rolls through Glacier National Park. Overnight train.
Day 4 - Seattle
The train is scheduled for a mid-morning arrival in Seattle, Washington. Transfer independently from the rail station to your downtown hotel. Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, and Pioneer Square are steps from your doorway. Explore the thriving music and theatre scene, vibrant galleries, and one-of-a kind museums or relax with some of the best coffee in the country at one of the hundreds of cafés' and coffee shops! Overnight Seattle.
Day 5 - Conclusion
Today ends your Empire Builder Experience. Independent transfer to the airport or rail station.
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Add a Cruise
Many of our rail vacations begin and end in popular port cities. Spice up your vacation by adding an ocean or river cruise aboard your preferred cruise line to your itinerary and experience the best of both worlds. Popular cruises include Alaska’s Inside Passage, the Panama Canal, New England and Eastern Canada, and historic river towns along the Mississippi River.
Look for the Add a Cruise icon to identify those vacations that offer pre- or post-cruises. Ask your rail specialist how you can Add a Cruise!
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Palmer House Hilton and the Westin. Amtrak accommodations are in Coach class and include a reclining seat with leg rest and access to the Sightseer Lounge car. Amtrak
accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. Coach
accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations
include a private cabin that features two comfortable seats beside a picture
window during the day, which converts to an upper and lower berth at night.
Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower
berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed
toilet and shower.
Upgrades to Roomette and Bedroom sleeping accommodations are available for an additional fee and include all meals aboard the train.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
Click here to view testimonials for Empire Builder Experience - Chicago to Seattle.
We were pleasantly surprised at the whole train experience with Empire Builder. The bedroom was more than spacious during the day, though a bit tight at night (but cozy). We found the food far exceeded our expectations and the staff very friendly and entertaining. Our room in the Palmer House in Chicago was marginal, but the room at the Westin in Seattle was quite 'over the top' with a prime view of the city. All in all we found the Amtrak experience wonderful, in comparison to our many travels by train in Europe.
We loved being able to sit back, relax and watch the world go by. My husband and I were both able to enjoy the scenery. The Swift Current Boat trip wasn't so exciting but probably worth taking.
Our trip on the Empire Builder was a 60th birthday present for my train loving husband and we had a great time. met many interesting people in the Observation Car as we traveled along the rails. The hotel selections were especially excellent, and even with our early morning arrivals at both hotels, we were readily accommodated with a very nice room immediately upon arrival. Thank you! We will definitely travel with you again!
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|Departs Daily between 1st November 2014 and 14th March 2015||$688||
|Departs Daily between 15th March 2015 and 31st October 2015||$789||
|Departs Daily between 1st November 2014 and 14th March 2015||$926||
|Departs Daily between 15th March 2015 and 31st October 2015||$1096||
|Departs Daily between 1st November 2014 and 14th March 2015||$1323||
|Departs Daily between 15th March 2015 and 31st October 2015||$1585||
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Amtrak Coach: Departs daily between 1st November 2014 and 14th March 2015 from $688, daily between 15th March 2015 and 31st October 2015 from $789
Amtrak Roomette: Departs daily between 1st November 2014 and 14th March 2015 from $926, daily between 15th March 2015 and 31st October 2015 from $1096
Amtrak Bedroom: Departs daily between 1st November 2014 and 14th March 2015 from $1323, daily between 15th March 2015 and 31st October 2015 from $1585
delays of approximately three to six hours due to heavy congestion, speed restrictions and other operating conditions. Prices are per person and
include tax. Prices are are correct at the time of this web page being published; yet, are subject to confirmation at time of booking. Vacations By
Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.