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Great Western Explorer - 14 Day Tour
Please Note: This tour will no longer be offered
While biased, the new Vista-Dome Great Western Explorer is
a masterpiece, a visual feast offering up some of the most
extraordinary sights of the American West, combined with
exceptional sightseeing, superb hotels and a leisurely pace. This
holiday is a trip of superlatives: from the deep blue waters of
Lake Tahoe to the overwhelming splendor of Hearst Castle, to
the California Coast (which we travel alongside for 131 miles by
train!) to the awesome majesty of the Southwest, not to
mention the incomparable Yosemite National Park! We have
included such rare treats as a ride aboard the newly restored
Virginia & Truckee Railroad into historic Virginia City, Nevada,
steamship passage to the lovely Catalina Island and a visit to the
famed Santa Monica Pier just to name just a few delights awaiting
our guests. Naturally, all sightseeing and admission fees are
included in the tour price. With remarkable hotels like the
Grand Sierra Resort in Reno (a two-night stay) and the legendary
Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles (also two nights!). And last
but not least, there is a professional tour manager to handle all
the details so that you may concentrate on the important
matters like whether or not to enjoy the crab omelette or the
fresh tuna at our lunch in quaint Morro Bay CA.
In an age sadly filled with cramped flights without meal service
where there is a charge for a pillow, our guests enjoy First Class
sleeping car travel with beds and pillows! This way, you will
have an up-close view of all of the majesty and beauty of the
Great American West.
- Guests enjoy the stunning daylight passage through the
Colorado Rockies over the Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad
‘Main Line Through the Rockies’ and the glorious passage across
the Navajolands of the Great Southwest, complete with Navajo
Indian Guide commentary. All meals, wine and spirits while aboard
the Vista-Dome ‘Great Western Limited’ are included.
- Two-night stay in enchanting Santa Fe, New Mexico, with
sightseeing and plenty of free time to explore this historic area.
- Fully hosted from start to finish by professional tour manager
that handles all of the details.
- Superb hotels throughout including the Four-Diamond rated
Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, and the opulent Biltmore Hotel in Los
Angeles. Notably, many of our hotel stays are two-nights long.
- Many meals ashore including breakfast daily.
- Extraordinary sightseeing like the storied Virginia & Truckee
Railroad, a visit to Hearst Castle and Steamer passage to lovely
Catalina Island are featured and all admission fees are included.
- A leisurely, relaxed pace with plenty of free time for you to enjoy
as you wish.
- Guaranteed departures!
Day 1 - Chicago Union Station
Leave Chicago this afternoon aboard the 'Great Western Limited'. We cross the Mississippi River at dinner time and speed west. (D)
Day 2 - The Colorado Rockies
En route with the stunning passage through the heart of the Colorado Rockies today over the fabled Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, a breathtaking train journey. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Reno, Nevada
We arrive in Reno this morning at 8:20 am and our rooms at the luxurious Grand Sierra Resort are ready for us, having been pre-booked for the night before. There is time to freshen up before a city tour by trolley and a Ponderosa Mine Tour. An evening of leisure at the Grand Sierra Resort. (B)
Day 4 - Reno
A glorious day as we travel to spectacular Lake Tahoe that includes a cruise aboard the Tahoe Queen Sternwheeler with time at Emerald Bay. We return to Grand Sierra at Reno the evening for a final night in this magnificent resort. (B)
Day 5 - Sacramento California
A short scenic drive through the High Sierras this morning past Donner Lake brings us to Old Sacramento with a visit to its justly famed California State Railroad Museum. This afternoon followed by dinner aboard the legendary riverboat Delta King. Overnight at the superbly located Holiday Inn in Old Sacramento. (D)
Day 6 - Yosemite National Park
A drive through California's lush Central Valley brings us to Yosemite, a place that mere words do not do justice to. We have a tour of the Valley floor including Half Dome and Bridal Veil Falls and you will want to have your camera ready. Overnight is spent at the luxurious Tenaya Resort within the Park. (B)
Day 7 - Morro Bay California
A special treat this morning with a ride on the Yosemite & Sugar Pine RR followed by a visit to the famed Big Trees before we drive west to the Coast with the evening at leisure in quaint Morro Bay, one of the most picturesque spots in California.* (B, L)
Day 8 - Los Angeles California
Today is a day of superlatives that begins with a visit to the grandest private home ever built in the country, extraordinary Hearst Castle and like Yosemite yesterday, words fail to capture the grandeur of this castle and its location overlooking the Pacific. After the Castle, we enjoy lunch in Morro Bay before another visual wonder, a 131 mile ride along the California Coast by train to downtown Los Angeles. Great beauty awaits in the City of Angels where our guests begin a two-night stay at the fabled Biltmore Hotel, the Grande Dame of Los Angeles hotels. (B, L)
Day 9 - Catalina Island
Every great train journey should have at least a short ocean cruise and today we set sail for quaint and nostalgic Avalon on lovely Catalina Island, a magical place with quaint shops, restaurants and the famous casino. We return to the Biltmore this evening for a second night in the ultimate setting with frescoes by the Vatican painter. (D)
Day 10 - Santa Monica California
We have left the morning free for you to enjoy the many sights of downtown Los Angeles with a midday departure for charming Santa Monica with a visit to its famed Pier, at the end of Sunset Blvd. With free time before traveling to Union Station via Hollywood Blvd past Mann's Chinese Theatre. We enjoy an early dinner in Olvera St., where Los Angeles began before boarding the 'Great Western Limited' bound for Santa Fe, New Mexico. (D)
Day 11 - Santa Fe New Mexico
breakfast time finds the great Southwest with the Navajolands of Arizona speeding past the windows and later today we cross the Continental Divide at Raton Pass before our afternoon arrival in enchanting Santa Fe where we begin our two-night stay. (B, L)
Day 12 - Santa Fe New Mexico
Santa Fe has been honored by UNESCO as a 'Creative City' , one of only nine in the world and you will soon see why. Our day begins with a morning visit and tour of the historic Plaza area and we left all afternoon free for you to enjoy the multitude of galleries and museums that make this one of the most magical small towns in North America. There is an abundance of natural beauty and a particular treat is the Georgia O'Keefe Museum. The evening is at leisure to enjoy one of the many acclaimed restaurants. (B)
Day 13 - Great Western Limited
We board the 'Great Western Limited' this afternoon and we are soon speeding across the Navajolands of Arizona. Later today, we cross the Continental Divide at Raton Pass. (D)
Day 14 - Chicago Union Station
We cross the Mississippi River this morning and arrive in Chicago this afternoon with memories of special places that will last a lifetime. (B, L)
Prices are land-only, per person based on double occupancy. Single pricing is available upon request. Prices are are correct at the time of this web page going live; however, are subject to confirmation at time of booking.
CB = Continental Breakfast, B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, R = Reception
*November departure overnights at the Shore Cliff Lodge in Pismo Beach.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Great Western Explorer vacation.