Discover the beauty of the Northwest as you embark on a rail-journey of a lifetime traveling along three scenic rail routes.
Discover the beauty of the Northwest as you embark on a rail-journey of a lifetime traveling along three scenic rail routes. Your tour begins in the Windy City, Chicago, as you board Amtrak's legendary California Zephyr. Spend the first two days of your journey traveling through the heart of the majestic Colorado Rockies, witnessing highlights such as Moffat Tunnel under the Continental Divide. You will then reach your first destination, San Francisco. With the help of an extensive sightseeing tour, witness some of the iconic attractions that make the City by the Bay so truly unique such as Golden Gate Park, Chinatown, Jackson Square and Fisherman's Wharf. Make sure to also hop on one of the city's classic cable cars!
Following your stay in San Francisco, board the iconic Coast Starlight for your voyage north to the small fishing village of Newport, Oregon. Known as the “Dungeness Crab Capital of the World”, spend the night at leisure venturing the quaint downtown or take an excursion to the nearby village of Yaquina Bay. The next day you will embark on an exciting cruise on the Pacific where you will want to make sure to keep your eyes peeled for a possible sighting of a gray whale or harbor porpoise. After your cruise, make your way to your next destination, Portland.
On your tour of Portland, you will visit renowned highlights like the Classical Chinese Garden, Nob Hill, and the scenic shopping area, Pearl District. After your day of sightseeing, you will board Amtrak's Cascades for your trip to Seattle. This port city is beyond doubt spectacular, and you will realize why firsthand as you visit famed sites such as the Space Needle, Pikes Place Market, the University of Washington and Chinatown. You will then board the Empire Builder for your 2,200 mile overnight journey back to Chicago.
Highlights and Inclusions
- 15 meals
- Rail transportation aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr, Coast Starlight, Cascades, and Empire Builder trains
- Private Roomette train accommodations for 5 nights
- First-class hotel accommodations for 4 nights
- Transportation by deluxe motorcoach
- Sightseeing and scenic excursions per itinerary
- Services of a professional tour manager
- Baggage handling, taxes and service charges
Scenic highlights of your trip include:
- San Francisco
- Yaquina Bay
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the California Zephyr
Meet your tour manager and fellow travelers in the Metropolitan Lounge of Chicago's Union Station, board the famous California Zephyr at 1:30 pm, and prepare for your 2:00 pm departure. Relax in your private Roomette accommodations or visit the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge as the train begins its travels west. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - En Route to California
When you awake this morning, look westward and thrill to the sight of the Colorado Rockies in the distance. After a hot breakfast, find a seat in the glass-walled Sightseer Lounge or relax in your private compartment with its large picture window. Today's scenery will be outstanding! Once the Zephyr departs Denver it begins its climb over the Front Range of the Rockies. About an hour later you'll encounter the famous 6.2-mile long Moffat Tunnel and go under the Continental Divide. Throughout the day the train will wind around sharp mountain curves and through numerous tunnels with streams winding through valleys far below. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Arrive in Emeryville
Awake this morning to a changing landscape. Leave the rugged terrain and pine trees behind as you begin to surround yourself with lush greenery and palm trees. The train is scheduled to arrive in Emeryville at 4:10 pm. Then it's on to the world-famous "City by the Bay," San Francisco. Check into your hotel with the evening at leisure. Overnight Hilton Fisherman's Wharf. (B, L)
Day 4 - San Francisco Sightseeing
The morning is free to ride a cable car or wander through the city's great shops and galleries. At 1:00 pm, we'll embark on a 3 ½-hour sightseeing tour of San Francisco including Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Jackson Square, the Mission District, Telegraph Hill, the Presidio, and Fisherman's Wharf, where your sightseeing excursion ends. Discover the market, import houses, souvenir shops, and excellent restaurants on your own, perhaps electing to dine at one of these establishments tonight.
Plan on using the hotel lobby as your base during the day and early evening as well as a place to store your overnight bags prior to our evening departure for the Emeryville Amtrak Station. At 10:04 pm, we'll board the famous Coast Starlight for our journey north along the Pacific Coast. Overnight train.
Day 5 - Coast Starlight into Oregon / Newport, OR
Set your own leisurely schedule today as you continue to enjoy all of the activities aboard this train. You won't want to miss the spectacular sights of the towering, snow-covered Cascade Mountains with 22 tunnels and innumerable hairpin turns that are outside your wide train window this morning. The train is scheduled to arrive in Eugene, OR at 12:36 pm today. From here we'll travel to the beautiful Oregon Coast by motorcoach.
Later this afternoon we'll arrive at Newport, OR, known as "the Dungeness Crab Capital of the World." Our hotel this evening sits atop bluffs overlooking the mighty Pacific Ocean. This evening you can visit the quaint downtown area and scenic Yaquina Bay. Overnight Hallmark Resort. (B, L)
Day 6 - Newport / Portland
This morning we'll be joined by a team of naturalist guides for a fun and exciting 2-hour cruise aboard the deluxe 65-foot Discovery. Keep an eye out for gray whales, harbor porpoise, seals, sea lions, pelicans, bald eagles, and an abundance of marine birds. Enjoy the incredible scenery of the bay, river, and coastline featuring the largest fishing fleet on the Oregon Coast, the historic bridge and two lighthouses. If the ocean is rough or conditions change, there are 6 miles of riverways to explore!
Following our cruise we'll visit the Oregon Coast Aquarium, a world-class attraction nestled on beautiful Yaquina Bay. The Aquarium is a living classroom with 14 exhibits including Aquarium Gardens, Estuary Trail, Sea Bird Aviary and Giant Pacific Octopus. Experience the ethereal magic of jellyfish and magnificent colors of the many varieties of fish as well as the antics of sea otters, harbor seals, and sea lions. Later this afternoon, we'll check into our hotel. Early this evening we'll board The Portland Spirit for a wonderful dinner cruise with live entertainment. Overnight Courtyard by Marriott City Center. (D)
Day 7 - Portland / Seattle
This morning we'll strike out on a tour of Portland, the "Rose City." Your three-hour guided excursion explores the best that Portland has to offer. Our resident experts unlock some of the best kept secrets of the Bridge City. Visit some of Portland's most scenic historic districts including Old Town Chinatown, once the second largest Chinese-American community on the West Coast and now home to the Classical Chinese Garden; Nob Hill, one of the city's most picturesque boutique shopping areas; and, the Pearl District, Portland's hip new area for arts and entertainment.
Following our sightseeing tour, we'll transfer to Portland's Union Station where we'll board Amtrak's Cascades for Seattle. The Cascades feature newly-refurbished European-designed Talgo trains. Enjoy the oversized windows and free WiFi. The European-style Bistro car offers fresh entrees, salads, sandwiches, and beverages including local microbrews and coffees for an on-your-own lunch. The train is scheduled to arrive in Seattle's King Street Station at 6:20 pm. Overnight Roosevelt Hotel.
Day 8 - Seattle Sightseeing
Set off late this morning for a three-hour sightseeing tour of the Seattle area. Highlights include Chinatown, concrete floating bridges, Lake Washington, the arboretum, the University of Washington, and sweeping views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. We will also visit the Space Needle, with incredible photo opportunities from the observation deck, and Pike Place Market. The tour ends at the Seattle's King Street station for a 4:40 pm departure on the Empire Builder. Board the train and relax in your private Roomette accommodations as the train begins the 2,200 mile journey to Chicago. Overnight train. (D)
Day 9 - En Route to Chicago
Enjoy a delicious dining car breakfast and then head for the Sightseer Lounge car. Around 8:00 am, a dramatic panorama of snow-covered Rocky Mountain peaks will begin to rise above the horizon, becoming increasingly dramatic as we approach Glacier National Park. The scenery is striking as we wind past waterfalls, river gorges, and other sights. The rest of the day we'll cross the remote flatlands of eastern Montana and western North Dakota. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Arrive in Chicago
Enjoy breakfast and lunch aboard the train as the final leg of your journey comes to an end. The Empire Builder is scheduled to arrive in Chicago's Union Station late this afternoon, where your tour comes to an end. (B, L)
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!
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