Return to those days when rail travel was paramount. Travel with us in comfort and style as the historic privately owned railcars transport you on a wonderful journey from Chicago to Washington D.C. and back. You'll enjoy the breath taking springtime views of the Ohio River Valley, Appalachian Mountains, and New River Gorge as they glide by the windows of your nostalgic streamliner. Food, beverage, and first class service, round out this exciting tour that will ultimately deliver you to the Nation's Capitol. And what better time to visit Washington D.C.? Springtime and The Cherry Blossom Festival, an annual event, commemorating the famous tree's gift from Japan in 1912, when the original trees were planted by First Lady, Mrs. William Howard Taft.
Washington D.C. also has much too see. It's a vibrant city filled with diverse neighborhoods, fabulous museums, world-class cultural events and (of course) political intrigue. Its role as the nations' capital has given it an international character. Chosen in 1790 for its location midway between the northern and southern states, at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, Washington became the seat of our national government in 1800. For over 200 years, politicians, lobbyists and busloads of tourists from all over the world have converged on this marvelous city of massive buildings and broad avenues. Mingle and enjoy!
- Ride eastward on Amtrak's Cardinal route through the New River Gorge, "Grand Canyon of the East"
- Travel, dine and sleep in historic, privately-owned railcars
- Visit Washington DC at "Cherry Blossom Festival Time" and the National Cherry Blossom Parade
- Railcars are parked in Washington DC Union Station, one of Amtrak's premier stations, enjoy dozens of restaurants and shops, movie theaters and direct access to the heart of DC
- Explore our Nation's Capital, just footsteps from our railcars
- Trip begins from the "Windy City" Chicago
- Ride westward on Amtrak's Capitol Limited route, the original B & O line
through the beautiful Potomac River Valley, historic Harper's Ferry, the Allegheny Mountains, and the cornfields of Ohio and Indiana
- Attentive first-class service provided by professional, experienced staff
- Up to Six days and Five nights lodging and transportation accommodations aboard private rail cars based on your itinerary.
- All meals prepared fresh by onboard chef
- Up to Five breakfasts served en route and while parked.
- One lunch served en route aboard the rail cars based on your itinerary.
- Three dinners served en route aboard the rail cars
- Premium beverage and snack service during your entire trip.
- Roomette (for a single person), Double Bedroom (for two people) or Deluxe Suite (for two people) accommodations aboard our private rail cars (as per your reservation).
- Luggage transfer for guests departing from Chicago Union Station.
Double Bedrooms: Double bedrooms have space for two passengers. Each double bedroom features either one large couch or a small couch and lounge chair for comfortable private day travel. Every double bedroom has a large window. By night, each double room has two beds (1-upper and 1-lower). Every room is furnished with adjustable climate control, fan, reading lights, fold-down table, garment closet and full-length door mirror. The annex (your private bathroom) has a fold-down sink; large lighted wall mirror, toilet and a 110-volt convenience outlet. Your linens, towels and soap are also provided. Best of all, your attendant will turn down your bed, arrange for a wake-up call and bring your morning tea, coffee, or juice right to your room. All sleeping cars are equipped with a hot shower.
Deluxe Suite: A deluxe suite is a combination of two double bedrooms, en-suited. The deluxe suite affords discriminating travelers twice the room and comfort. If a couple, you would occupy only the lower beds. If a family, you have room for four travelers. Each suite has two bathrooms, one large couch, one small couch, a lounge chair, two tables and two windows for your viewing pleasure.
Roomettes: Roomettes have space for one traveler. Roomettes feature a small couch, in-wall fold-down sink, garment closet, large overhead luggage rack and a huge lighted wall mirror with an electrical outlet. By night, each room has one lower bed. For your added travel comfort, each room has an adjustable climate control, fan and reading/night lights. Roomettes 1-6 additionally have an in-room toilet. A general toilet is located down the hall for your use in Pacific Union. Your linens, towels, bath towels, soap and shampoo are also provided. A shower and changing room is located at the end of the car
Day 1: Tuesday April 7, 2009
4:45 PM: An on-board service manager will meet all Chicago boarding passengers, with their luggage in Chicago Union Station. We will gather under the escalator adjacent to the Amtrak Ticket counter, by the fountain.
Complimentary baggage handling is provided by American Rail Excursions Inc. in Chicago. Please do NOT check any bags with Amtrak!
As soon as pre-boarding check-in is completed, your on-board service manager will escort you to your awaiting train.
5:00 PM: The onboard staff welcomes all Washington DC bound travelers. Your luggage has already been placed in your room. After a review of your accommodations, amenities, and safety instructions, we invite all to the lounge to get acquainted, enjoy complimentary premium beverages and snacks. An included dinner will be served just after your departure from Chicago.
5:45 PM: Depart: Chicago Amtrak's # 50, the Cardinal. As the conductor calls "All Aboard, " your train gradually glides out of the configures of Chicago Union Station. The distinct Downtown Chicago skyline gradually disappears behind us. With the city giving way to the suburbs, and the more rural surroundings now in view through the windows. The buzz of exhilaration is in the air as passengers get acquainted. Premium snack and beverage service continues.
While all passengers have been getting settled and enjoying complimentary premium beverages and snacks in the lounge, the first class onboard chef has been busy preparing a scrumptious dinner for all to enjoy.
6:00 PM (Approx): First seating for dinner.
8:00 PM (Approx): Second seating for dinner (if necessary)
Late Evening: While all are enjoying conversation, camaraderie and the next sights, rooms have been readied in anticipation of weary travelers. The gentle sway and rhythm of the rails are a night time lullaby coaxing you to retire. Enjoy the night. Sweet Rail Dreams!
Night: Occupy railcars overnight en-route.
Day 2: Wednesday, April 8, 2009
7:30-9:30 AM: Breakfast Buffet: Served en route.
Morning: As you rise this morning, the sun is trying to peek around the drawn shade. The tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee awakens your senses. A refreshing shower is all you need to get your motor running. The onboard chef has prepared a delicious breakfast buffet for your enjoyment this morning. Enjoy! The scenic Ohio River and Kentucky farmlands grace the windows this morning.
Noon-1:30 PM: Luncheon: Served en route. You've been so entranced by the beautiful natural scenery, wild springs, white water rivers and waterfalls of West Virginia, that you forgot it is lunch time. You'll continue to see all the sites as can only be seen by train. Relax, enjoy a enticing luncheon prepared by our onboard chef, just for you!
Afternoon: Complementary premium beverages and snacks service continues. The New River Gorge, The Allegheny Mountains, famed Green Briar Resort, and Shenandoah Valley are just some of the scenic vistas you'll be able to see. As the Cherry Blossom Special comes to a halt in one of many remote small towns, you'll feel you have turned back time. Our arriving train is heralded by the trumpeting horn's of our diesels, and it seems the town has turned out to welcome your arrival!
Late Afternoon: Passing through Charlottesville, VA, we are once again reminded about this rich city (Monticello), home of Thomas Jefferson, is just another significant piece of our eastward rail adventure.
5:00 PM Approximately: First seating for Dinner. The sun has set over the mountains, and the silhouettes of the Shenandoah Mountains have all but faded into the night. The culinary talents of your onboard chef have once again been called upon to satisfy the appetites of passengers. Enjoy a glass of wine and friendly conversation over dinner.
5:55 PM: Arrive Washington DC *NOTE: (due to historical freight railroad interference, a later time arrival is more likely.) Passengers may detrain for some evening exploration of Washington DC on their own. Your railcars will be dropped from this evening's arriving Amtrak #50 The Cardinal our "Cherry Blossom Special", and then placed on our special track where we will remain parked until just prior to our departure from Washington DC
7:00 PM: Approximately: Second seating for Dinner (if necessary).
Evening: Complimentary premium beverage and snacks service continues after our arrival into Washington DC and when you feel "it's time", retire to your room once again, where your first class onboard staff has it transformed from a comfortable day room, to its restful nighttime configuration. Goodnight!
Night: Occupy railcars overnight while parked in Washington DC
Day 3: Thursday, April 9, 2009
7:30-9:30 AM: Breakfast Buffet: Served.
After enjoying breakfast onboard, may we suggest you take this opportunity to alight from our railcars and explore Nation's Capitol on your own. A favorite is the step-on, step-off trolley tour, with it's desk located just inside the main entrance to the station.
Afternoon: With nearly three full days to spend in Washington, you should be able to take in a good number of the sights. Lunch will be on your own today.
Late Afternoon: As passengers return to the railcars after a pleasant day exploring Washington DC the staff is ready to quench your thirst with the beverage of your choice and tantalizing snacks should temporarily quell your appetite. Freshen up; Enjoy a hot invigorating shower to re-energize before this evening's quest.
Evening: Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at one of the fine dining restaurants located right in the station or step away to any of the close by great ethnic restaurants. The choice is yours. Bon Appetite!
Night: Occupy railcars overnight parked in Washington DC
Day 4: Saturday, April 10, 2009
7:30-9:30 AM: Breakfast Buffet: Served.
All Day: Enjoy the Smithsonian, The Capitol Building, Washington Monument, or the Lincoln Memorial. There is so much to see! The choice is yours. Lunch and dinner will be on your own today as you tour Washington DC.
Late Afternoon: Complimentary premium beverage and snacks service once again continues throughout the afternoon & evening
Late Evening: Enjoy a nightcap in the lounge, topping off a busy day in Washington DC. Your rooms have once again been readied for sweet slumber tonight.
Night: Occupy railcars overnight parked in Washington DC.
Day 5: Saturday, April 11, 2009
7:30 - 9:30AM: Breakfast: Served.
Morning: Enjoy most of this last day in Washington DC. This afternoon lunch will be on your own!
And of course, the whole purpose of this tour, to witness the spectacle that has thousands of city residents, visitors from across the nation and for that matter around the world, The National Cherry Blossom Festival. A Washington DC traditional rite of spring celebrating the blooming Cherry Blossom Trees throughout the city.
10:00 AM: We invite you to attend one of Washington's fondest traditions - the Parade of the National Cherry Blossom Festival. The Parade steps off at 10:00 AM and marches along historic Constitution Avenue between 7th and 17th Streets, NW.
The parade is a spectacular event for children of all ages. Talented marching bands compete for 16 coveted spots in the parade and provide colorful and musical entertainment. Dance and drumming performance teams from Japan and the United States highlight the art of taiko drumming. Cherry blossom queens from the US and Japan add royalty to the procession. The National Cherry Blossom Festival All-Star Tap Dance Team and Choir perform musical numbers for eager audiences. Clowns, horses, antique cars and mascots all add to the merriment on parade morning.
3:15 PM: Re-board your private railcars, which have now been made part of today's departing Amtrak train #29 The Capitol Limited. Please check the Amtrak TV monitors in the station for the correct track location. The Cherry Blossom Special railcars will be on the rear of the Capitol Limited today.
4:05 PM: As the final "All Aboard!" is called, you gently glide out of the station, and in a wink of the eye, Washington DC is just but a fond memory. Premium snack and beverage service is already underway and shortly dinner will be served. For now, sit back, enjoy the view as we follow the Potomac River Valley to Harper's Ferry.
6:00PM: First seating for dinner this evening. Your onboard chef has worked hard this afternoon preparing for our final dinner together this evening. It's promised to be a real "feast"!
8:00PM: Second seating for dinner (if necessary).
Evening: We'll continue to work our way westward following the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line paralleling the Potomac River Valley and it's many tunnels as we travel through the Allegheny Mountains to Pittsburgh, PA and beyond. Premium snack and beverage service continues.
Night: Sleep in safety and comfort aboard our railcars tonight en-route to Chicago.
Day 6: Sunday, April 12, 2009
6:30-8:30 AM: Buffet Breakfast served en route. Chicago passengers, If you have risen early, you will have one last chance to view the beautiful natural scenery passing by your Cherry Blossom Special's windows. The countryside is certainly different, as farms and cornfields dot the landscape. Soon the farm fields turn to suburban sprawl and in the distance, the towering skyscrapers of downtown Chicago.
8:40 AM: Arrive: Chicago Union Station.
As the train thunders and clanks into the cavernous Chicago Union Station your rail odyssey is now coming to a close. The woosshhh! of the air brakes signal the end of the line for Chicago passengers, at least for this trip. As your staff assists all with their luggage and the good-byes are given by new found friends, we thank you for traveling with us.
†Per Person Rates:
- Double Bedroom, Double Occupancy $1,899
- Double Bedroom, Single Occupancy $3,299
- Deluxe Suite $3,299
- Roomette $2,199
Double Bedroom, Single Occupancy and Roomettes are not available to book online.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Washington DC Cherry Blossom Festival vacation.
Prices are subject to change without notice.
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