Rockies, Sierras and Napa
PLEASE NOTE: Grandluxe Rail Journeys, formerly the American Orient Express, ceased operations effective August 28, 2008.
Private Rail Car Tours
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are a great alternative to the American Orient Express. Relive those days of first-class service, superb cuisine, and comfortable appointments. Travel in comfort and style aboard historic privately owned railcars.
Alternatives to Grandluxe Rail Journeys. The tours below go to some of the same great destinations using Amtrak:
If you are interested in a luxury rail experience in North America consider The Royal Canadian Pacific
Please contact a Vacations by Rail Specialist for alternatives to Grandluxe Rail Journeys, formerly the American Orient Express.
As featured in AARP Magazine
7 Days from Denver to Oakland (or reverse) via the Colorado Rockies, Arches National Park, Salt Lake City, Canyonlands National Park, San Francisco and Lake Tahoe. 6 nights onboard the American Orient Express
Beauty takes many forms. To some, it's the quiet majesty of a mountain peak, silhouetted by a setting sun. To others, it's the deep sapphire of a magnificent mountain lake. To still others, it's the quest for perfection in a glass that denotes the winemakers of the world-famous Napa Valley.
For the fortunate passengers on this journey, beauty is every day spent with GrandLuxe as we travel through the Rockies, the Sierras, and Northern California's fertile vineyards.
Glide along in restored Vintage Pullman, Single Sleeper, Single Sleeper Grand Class, Triple Suite, Parlor Suite, Classic Presidential Suite, Grand Suite and Gold Suite Carriages as you journey to the treasures of the United States.
Day 1 - Denver, Colorado
Step into a luxe world of adventure and excitement. Fly into the Mile High city of Denver-enjoying the city's sights if you arrive early. Meet at your Denver hotel before boarding your GrandLuxe train in the late afternoon and toast the days to come during your first dinner in the Dining Car. (D)
Day 2 - Rail through the Colorado Rockies
A daylight ride through the incomparable Rocky Mountains. After your first breakfast aboard your GrandLuxe train, sit back and enjoy the show as we take you through some of the country's most stunning mountain scenery. Climb the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains to the Moffat Tunnel, one of the most famous railroad tunnels in America, whose six mile length through the Continental Divide enables trains to bypass 27 miles of difficult railroad. With average daily progress of just 21 feet, the tunnel took four years to bore and was completed in 1928. You'll emerge in Winter Park in the Fraser Valley and follow the Colorado River through the renowned Glenwood Canyon-a sight that inspired the creation of the first glass-domed railcars. Roll down the Western Slope of the Rocky Mountains into Grand Junction, where you'll be served dinner and overnight on the train. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Arches & Canyonlands National Parks
Some of the most inspiring landscapes on earth. That's how Arches and Canyonlands National Parks have been described. And today you'll see why. After breakfast on the train, depart in motorcoaches for a day in these two natural red rock wonderlands, home to the largest concentration of natural sandstone arches in the world-more than 2,000 of them. Highlights include Grandview Point, one of the most scenic and frequently photographed spots in Canyonlands, and Balanced Rock, a precarious-looking 128-foot tower estimated to weigh more than 3,500 tons. After your day in the park, return to the train for dinner and overnight en route to Salt Lake City. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Salt Lake City and Park City, Utah
Discover the many sides of Utah. Today guests can either take a tour of beautiful downtown Salt lake City, or go to Park City and enjoy an art walk. (B,L,D)
Day 5 - The Sierra Nevada Mountains and Sacramento
Today you will travel by rail through the Donner Pass and descend through the Sierra Nevada Mountains into Sacramento. Your afternoon will be spent visiting the California State Railroad Museum, one of North America's finest and most visited rail museums. You will also have time to explore and shop in historic Old Sacramento. Afterwards you will return to the GrandLuxe train for dinner and the contination of your journey. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Napa Valley, California
Enjoy a taste of America's culinary heartland. The endless rows of grape arbors passing by your window leave no doubt-you're in wine country. Lunch is served in the Cask Room Cellar at Merryvale Winery, where long tables are elegantly set with vine covered candelabras and shimmering crystal glasses in a cobblestone hall lined with wine casks. Your three-course luncheon is paired with some of Merryvale's best wines. Then spend the afternoon touring the area, including a visit to Copia, the American Center for Wine Food and the Arts. Conceived by Robert Mondavi with assistance from Julia Child, Eleanor Coppola, Martha Stewart, Alice Waters, and Wayne Thiebaud, Copia highlights everything that Napa Valley has to offer. Part of your comprehensive tour of the facility and its exhibits will be a lecture from a local sommelier or chef on wine or food. This evening your Farewell Dinner is served in the elegant dining cars on board the train. (B,L,D)
Day 7 - San Francisco Bay Area, California
A week of fabulous adventures comes to a close. After breakfast, your GrandLuxe train arrives in Oakland, the final stop of your rail tour. Stay longer for additional sightseeing in the San Francisco Bay Area, or head to the airport to fly home. (B)
Optional Tour packages
Enjoy one of the optional extensions or additional hotel nights before or after your journey. Contact Vacations By Rail for more details.