A nostalgic private rail car whistle stop tour to the beautiful and historic resort town of Petoskey, MI. In days gone by, the Pennsylvania Railroad operated many trains carrying summer vacationers from Chicagoland to the cooler shores of Lake Michigan at Petoskey, MI and Mackinac Island. Relive the days when private rail car travel was paramount aboard the Resort Northern Arrow Special, all private train.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Resort Northern Arrow vacation.
- Attentive first-class service provided by staff throughout the trip.
- Pullman double bedroom, double or single occupancy accommodations aboard our private railcars that make up your Resort Northern Arrow special train.
- Complimentary luggage transfer for Chicago boarding passengers.
- Six Days and up to 6 nights of accommodations aboard your private rail cars based on your itinerary.
- Complimentary Bon Voyage Party (Departing Chicago) Champagne toast, hor d'oeuvres and snacks.
- Complimentary meal service aboard our Resort Northern Arrow based on your itinerary: Up to six breakfasts and one dinner.
- Complimentary premium beverage and snack service during our entire trip.
Double Bedrooms (accommodates 1-2 adults):
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.
Day 0: Thursday July 30, 2009
4:00pm or later: To accommodate Chicago arriving Resort Northern Arrow passengers, the private rail cars, your hotel on steel wheels, will be available for overnight occupancy. The rail cars will be located in Amtrak's Chicago coach yard, 1400 Lumber St. Chicago, IL 60606.
Most cab drivers do not recognize Amtrak's 14th and Lumber Street address. Instead, tell them "Canal Street and Roosevelt Road", the intersection just east of the yard. Once you are at that intersection, have them continue east on Roosevelt Road (the bridge over the yard) and turn right (south) at the bridge tender's tower. Call Vacations By Rail for final location of the rail cars.
Once you are settled in your accommodations aboard the rail cars, we suggest you take this opportunity to alight from your rail cars, grab a cab and enjoy the many night spots Chicago has to offer. When you return, enjoy a complimentary nightcap before retiring to your room. Your accommodations will be ready for sweet dreams aboard our rail cars tonight.
Night: Occupy railcars overnight in Chicago
Day 1: Friday July 31, 2009
7:30am-9:30am: Breakfast served onboard, parked in Chicago. The aroma of freshly brewed coffee sneaks through our cars this morning. A hearty breakfast will be served in the dining area this morning. Enjoy a complimentary eye-opener from the lounge if you like!
Morning & Early Afternoon: After breakfast its off to explore the Windy City on your own. Visit close by- Sears Tower, State Street, The Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier or any of Chicago's museums. The choices are endless! The day is yours to enjoy Chicago, IL. Lunch will be on your own this afternoon.*
2:00pm (Approx): As soon as Amtrak positions train #364 the "Blue Water" (our Resort Northern Arrow) in Chicago Union Station, 225 S. Canal St., Chicago, IL 60606. Onboard service manager will meet ALL passengers in the station at the fountain under escalator, across from Amtrak's ticket booths. Those passengers just joining us, please DO NOT check any baggage with Amtrak. There will a special check-in for all Northern Arrow passengers and their bags. Your luggage will be placed in your room onboard the private cars.
2:30pm (Approx): With the check-in completed, the onboard service manager will escort all Chicago boarding Northern Arrow passengers to the awaiting private rail cars.
Your first class onboard staff welcomes all the Petoskey, MI bound travelers. Your luggage has already been placed in your room. After a review of your accommodations, amenities and safety instructions, you are invited to the lounge for a gala Bon Voyage party complete with complimentary cocktails, and an array of tantalizing hor d'oeuvres.
3:00pm: Depart: Chicago, IL Amtrak #364 the "Blue Water" our "Resort Northern Arrow" Special Train. As the conductor calls "All Aboard", the train gradually glides out of the confines of Chicago Union Station.
Afternoon: The distinctive Downtown Chicago skyline gradually disappears. With the city giving way to the suburbs, the more rural surrounding are now in view through the windows. The buzz of exhilaration is in the air, as passengers enjoy the passing scenery. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues.
6:00pm(approx): First seating for dinner. With the sun over the horizon of Lake Michigan, you'll see glimpses of boaters as you pass through the recreational boating harbor of New Buffalo, MI. Enjoy your freshly prepared dinner, while taking in the sights just outside your window. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and friendly conversation over dinner.
8:00pm(approx): Second seating for dinner. After dinner, complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues
through midnight local time.
9:07pm (approx): As currently planned, upon arrival in Durand, MI, the private cars belonging to the Resort Northern Arrow special train will be switched off Amtrak's "Blue Water". The Resort Northern Arrow special train will then diverge off the well traveled Amtrak route and head towards Owosso, MI on the former Tuscola & Saginaw Bay R.R. (now Great Lakes Central RR). Once the train has completed all the necessary safety checks, the Great Lakes Central R.R. freight locomotives take over and you're on the move. You'll make the approximately 12 mile run from just outside Durand, MI to Owasso, MI where the train will park for the evening.
Late Night: And when you feel it's time, retire to your room. Your first class onboard staff has transformed your accommodations from a comfortable day room, to it's restful night time configuration.
Night: Goodnight!! Occupy rail cars overnight en-route and while parked in Owosso, MI.
Day 2: Saturday August 1, 2009
7:30-9:30am: Breakfast served onboard en-route. It's dawn of the second day on the high iron, and today promises to be one to remember. The onboard chef has freshly prepared a delicious and hearty breakfast for your enjoyment.
8:00am, Depart: Owosso, MI With a blast from our locomotive's horn, the engineer gently eases the all private car, Resort Northern Arrow special train out of the Owosso, MI yard. You are on the move! Much like a presidential train, the Resort Northern Arrow train commands the attention of both young and old, as you rumble through the Michigan countryside.
Morning: With your engineer at the throttle, you bob up and down the gentle hillsides without missing a beat. The rhythm of the rails sings it's soothing song, as your passengers enjoy some of the most picturesque views of small town America.
11:45am: Arrive Marion, MI. Before you know it the locomotive's horn heralds you arrival into Marion, MI. You'll stop for about two hours and enjoy this quaint Michigan small town's festival, "Marion Old Fashion Days". Lunch will be on your own while enjoying the hospitality of Marion, MI.
1:45pm: Depart Marion, MI. Departing Marion, MI you'll make a run for Cadillac, MI, passing through Mt. Pleasant, Clare and Farwell before you skirt the shores of beautiful Lake Cadillac.
2:30pm (approx): As the train tip toes into downtown Cadillac, MI the shores of Lake Cadillac just about lap up to the rails. The train will not stop in Cadillac. You'll pass through where just outside of town the Resort Northern Arrow train will wye and then continue north. With Cadillac now just a memory, the first class onboard staff would like to serve you a complimentary premium beverage and some snacks for your enjoyment.
3:45pm (approx) Arrive: Fife Lake, MI.: Get your swimsuit and sandals on, grab your beach towel & sunscreen as you're stopping at Fife Lake! The train will swing around a great little swimming area Fife Lake. Weather permitting you'll make this unique swimming hole stop for about two hours or so. Get your cameras out, because you won't see this on Amtrak. If you do not want to go for a swim then enjoy the hospitality Fife Lake residents have to offer. Take a short self guided tour of this quaint community. Two local museums are just a short stroll away. Local shops, restaurants and even an ice cream parlor are a stone's throw away from the train!
5:45pm: Depart Fife Lake, MI.: With the sand gone from between your toes and the swimsuits drying in the vestibules, the train is highballing towards Boyne Falls, MI and that city's annual event "Polish Fest". Enjoy a complimentary beverage of your choice and a snack while watching from the comfort of our rail cars as you continue our northward trek to Boyne Falls, MI.
8:00pm (approx): Arrive: Boyne Falls, MI – Enjoy Polish Festival, now in sight! With the approaching headlights of the train now visible in the distance to Polish Fest attendees, the Resort Northern Arrow train engineer whistles wildly as this spectacle brings the festival to a halt. With the train thundering onto the Boyne Falls station platform, the Resort Northern Arrow special train squeals to a gentle halt. As the traps (stairs) are lowered, and the wonderful aroma of many types of food converge on the senses, all passengers eager to partake! You'll dwell here a few hours for your enjoyment. The festival, dinner, and all activities are on your own this evening.
Late Evening: Depart: Boyne Falls, MI. Polish Festival. The Resort Northern Arrows locomotive whistle trumpets the "All Aboard" to all passengers. With passengers back onboard, the Resort Northern Arrow special train slips away from Boyne Falls, MI under the cover of darkness. Reunited, onboard passengers gather in the lounge for a complimentary night cap. Enjoy a movie in the lounge or retreat to the comfort and privacy of your room, now readied for a restful evening of sleep.
Midnight (approx): Arrive: Petoskey, MI. As the train rolls slowly into the heart of Petoskey, the serenity of this quaint little town is broken by the deep rumble of diesel engines. The flashing lights of Petoskey, MI police squad cars escorting the train through downtown, signals townsfolk you have arrived! Once the train is secured, those passengers that have booked hotel space locally, on their own, may disembark at this time.** The train will remain parked here until departure on Tuesday August 4, 2009 at approximately 8:00am.
Night: With our Resort Northern Arrow special private train now parked in downtown Petoskey, MI, our onboard passengers enjoy a restful night in their comfortable beds.
Day 3: Sunday August 2, 2009
7:30-9:30am Breakfast served onboard. As you rise this morning, the crisp bright sun is trying to peek around your drawn shade. The aroma of fresh hot coffee and bacon on the grill kind of kick starts you! Enjoy the onboard chef's culinary delights!
Late Morning: Today enjoy all that this summer haven for tourists has to offer. Stroll around town and visit the unique stores and shops in Petoskey, MI . Rent a bicycle or just hike around town. Visit the magnificent Little Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan shores that are just a few blocks away from the train. The choices are yours.
Afternoon: Enjoy Lunch on your own this afternoon as you tour Petoskey, MI. Later in the afternoon, return back to the lounge for some complimentary premium beverages and snacks.
4:30pm (approx): An optional*** group bus transfer will depart from our train to the beautiful Pier Restaurant over looking Lake Michigan, located in beautiful Harbor Springs. Additionally, a tour of the historic town of Bayview, MI. is included.
Evening: For those passengers not on the tour tonight, enjoy a wonderful dinner on your own at any one of the fine restaurants Petoskey, MI has to offer. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues aboard the rail cars.
Late Evening: With a full day of hearty activities now behind you, your first class onboard staff have transformed your accommodations to it's comfortable cozy night mode.
Night: Occupy rail cars overnight parked in Petoskey, MI.
Day 4: Monday August 3, 2009
7:30-9:30am: Breakfast served onboard while parked in Petoskey, MI.
Early Morning: Today is yours to do as you wish. For all passengers activities, lunch & dinner will be on your own today.
9:30am Depart: Petoskey, MI. optional at additional cost. For those passengers who have elected to participate in the optional motor coach tour from Petoskey to Mackinac Island and Victory Casino, you'll all gather next to our train at the depot for departure.
Morning: Upon arrival of the motor coach at the Mackinac City, MI docks, you'll transfer via ferry boat to Mackinac Island where you'll tour the island on your own.
12:30pm: If you desire, enjoy lunch on your own at the famous Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. (Contact Vacations by Rail for reservations) and after lunch stroll their verandah and visit the unique shops.
Afternoon: After lunch why not travel by the infamous Mackinac Island horse drawn carriage, which ultimately returns back to downtown. Enjoy stopping in the downtown shops. Don't forget to purchase some world famous Mackinac Island fudge!
5:30pm: Depart Mackinac Island via ferry boat.
6:00pm: As soon as all passengers have re-boarded the motor coach, you'll head on back to Petoskey and the train. For those passengers wishing some additional evening fun, the motor coach will make an interim stop at Victory Casino. Try your luck...for those who want to beat the house.
Evening: Once again join your new found friends in our lounge for complimentary premium beverage and snack service. And when it's time to call it quits, your comfortable beds have been prepared for sweet slumber tonight.
Night: Occupy rail cars overnight parked in Petoskey, MI.
Day 5: Tuesday August 4, 2009
7:00am: All passengers that were staying at hotels should re-board at this time.
7:00-9:30am: Breakfast served onboard en-route.
8:00am: Depart: Petoskey, MI. With the Resort Northern Arrow special train reassembled we bid farewell to your hosts, the friendly folks in Petoskey, MI. With the train easing away from our downtown parking spot, the towns folk have gathered at door steps, porches, crossings and at their place of work to wave good-bye to all our Northern Arrow passengers.
Morning: Once out of town, you'll pick up the pace as we head south through Kalkaska, MI. Your train will continue southward as we traverse the beautiful Michigan countryside to Cadillac, MI.
Late Morning: With your train once again high stepping down the rails, the first class onboard staff has your favorite complimentary cocktail and snack for your enjoyment as you enjoy the sights and the company of new found friends.
12:30pm (approx): Arrive Cadillac, MI. With the Resort Northern Arrow special train gently coming to a halt in downtown Cadillac, MI. we suggest you take this opportunity to step off the train, stretch your legs and do a little shopping and exploring of Cadillac, MI on your own. Lunch will be on your own in Cadillac, MI this afternoon. The train will retreat from our downtown stop to the railroads near by rail yard to service the train. You will return to the same spot we dropped you off once the service has been completed. Please plan accordingly!
2:30pm (approx): Depart Cadillac, MI. With the engineer whistling the "All Aboard", the Resort Northern Arrow special train slips away from Lake Cadillac and the downtown area. We encourage passengers to safely enjoy the open air feel of the vestibules where you can capture on film, the breathtaking scenery and sweet fresh air that abound on the Northern Arrow route. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues through the afternoon.
5:00pm (approx): Arrive: Mount Pleasant, MI. The Resort Northern Arrow special train will pull right into the heart of Mount Pleasant. MI. The station, now Mountaintown Station Brewery and Steakhouse is a casual brew pub. This eatery is our station stop, you'll dwell in Mt. Pleasant, MI for about two hours. You may choose to further explore Mt. Pleasant seeking out shops, restaurants or other points of interest on your own. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at the establishment of your choice.
7:00pm(approx): Depart Mount Pleasant, MI. With all the passengers once again onboard, the train departs Mt. Pleasant, MI. As the sun sets on the picturesque rolling countryside, you'll retrace the route back to Durand, MI. While en-route why not take this, your last evening opportunity, to enjoy some fun, friendship and fellowship with new-found acquaintances. In the lounge, conversation centers around the past days of our rail adventure. By now the first class onboard staff knows just what favorite beverage of choice is. Enjoy!
Note: As of this date, the remaining exact timing and routing of the Resort Northern Arrow has not yet been finalized with Amtrak and the state of Michigan transportation department. Although some times and routing may change, it does not appear that the final arrival into Chicago Union Station will be greatly affected. As always... Please plan accordingly.
10:15pm (approx) Arrive: Durand, MI. Although the arrival time in Durand, MI. is predicated on the final operating plan, the Resort Northern Arrow will discharge the freight locomotives here and Amtrak's power will be added. The stop here, will be dependent on the timing of these operations.
11:30pm (approx) Depart: Durand, MI. Although you may have already retired for the evening, the train will embark on an 81 mile sprint to Port Huron, MI. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service will conclude at midnight.
Night: Occupy railcars overnight en-route to and parked in Port Huron, MI.
Day 6: Wednesday August 5, 2009
1:15am (approx) Arrive: Port Huron, MI. Although you should be fast asleep in the comfort of your own bed, our Resort Northern Arrow train will be made part of today's Port Huron, MI. departing Amtrak #365, The Blue Water.
5:15am (approx) Depart: Port Huron, MI. Amtrak #365 The Blue Water our Resort Northern Arrow Special! If you elect to rise early before sunrise, you can watch from your window the sleepy towns of Lapeer and Flint pass by. Freshly brewed coffee will be available to those early risers.
7:30-9:30am: Breakfast served onboard en-route. With the train back on the fast, high iron we'll top 90mph on some segments as we briskly return to Chicago, IL.
Late Morning: With the state of Michigan now only a memory, the Resort Northern Arrow special train has downtown Chicago in it's sight. The pristine countryside has now been replaced by the harsh urban environment. The tall downtown Chicago skyscrapers stand sentinel to our arriving train.
11:14am Arrive: Chicago, IL. Union Station. As the Resort Northern Arrow special train ducks under the cover of Chicago Union Station, the squeal of the brakes and woosshhh of the air signal the end of the line, for this trip. With the on-boars staff assisting all our passengers and their luggage off the train, hugs and fond farewells are exchanged as we all have returned with new found friends. The trip ends here for Chicago bound passengers.
* Sometime after 12:00 noon the private train will be moved from Amtrak's Chicago coach yard to Chicago Union Station. During this time the rail cars will be inaccessible until the train is positioned in Chicago Union Station (Approx 2:00pm). Please plan accordingly.
Call 877-929-7245 today to book your Resort Northern Arrow vacation.
** Passenger wishing to stay in the historic Perry Hotel (about 100 yards from the train) in the Gaslight District should call Vacations By Rail for reservations. Passengers may stay two nights in the hotel but must be back on board no later than 7:00 AM, Tuesday, August 4, 2009. Hotel stay is not included in train tour fare.
*** Optional: Petoskey, MI motor coach side tour to Bayview, MI and transportation to Dinner in Harbor Springs plus transportation to Mackinac Island. (includes motor coach & ferry boat transportation only) $89.00 per person additional.
A fifty percent payment is due upon registration. The remaining unpaid balance is due by June 30, 2009
No refunds unless trip is canceled.
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