Empire Builder - Glacier National Park & Alaska Cruise
Experience all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on this 15-day rail-cruise vacation.
Experience all the beauty of the Pacific Northwest on this 15-day rail-cruise vacation. Your journey starts in Chicago where you will begin the 2,206 mile journey to Seattle aboard Amtrak's legendary Empire Builder. On the way, stop at breathtaking Glacier National Park, where you will have two days to take in the gorgeous landscape of this famous National Park. Continue the journey to Seattle, where you will set sail aboard the ms Westerdam to cruise along Alaska's Inside Passage, completing your incredible vacation.
This vacation can be booked online for departures from the following Amtrak stations: Chicago, St. Louis, Detroit, Milwaukee, and St. Paul/Minneapolis. For other departure cities, please select the Chicago location and a rail specialist will contact you within 48 hours with a package customized with a departure from your most convenient Amtrak station.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 5 nights
- All meals aboard the train and ship
- Sightseeing in Chicago
- Big Sky Circle Cruise in Glacier National Park
- Seattle Ride the Ducks Tour
- Transfers to/from cruise terminal
- 7-night cruise aboard Holland America's ms Westerdam
- Ports of Call include:
- Juneau, Alaska
- Glacier Bay
- Sitka, Alaska
- Ketchikan, Alaska
- Victoria, British Columbia
Day 1 - Arrive Chicago
Arrive in Chicago and check into your centrally-located hotel. Spend the day exploring Chicago on a hop-on/hop-off trolley tour, and see all the famous sites including the Magnificent Mile, Navy Pier, and the John Hancock Observatory. Tonight enjoy some local cuisine like a famous Chicago-style deep dish pizza. Overnight Chicago.
Day 2 - Depart Chicago aboard the Empire Builder
Arrive at Chicago's historic Union Station for your 2:15 pm departure aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder. As you begin your overnight journey to Glacier National Park, socialize with fellow travelers or take in the gorgeous scenery in the Sightseer lounge. Overnight train. (D)
Day 3 - Arrive in East Glacier Park, Montana
Today's rail journey takes you through the “Northern Prairie State” of North Dakota and into Montana. Arrive at Glacier National Park around 6:45 this evening. Your hotel for the night is the Swiss Chalet-inspired Glacier Park Lodge. The heated outdoor swimming pool and nine-hole golf course make for a stunning retreat for any traveler. Overnight Glacier National Park. (B, L)
Day 4 - Glacier National Park
Today embark on an inclusive tour of Glacier National Park that starts with a morning drive over Marias Pass, with wildlife viewing at Goat Lick and a stop at the historic Izaak Walton Inn. After an optional lunch at Lake McDonald Lodge, tour the grand cedar and hemlock forests that lie within the Lake McDonald Valley. Ascend to the high alpine region of the Going-to-the-Sun Road at Logan Pass and down into the St. Mary Valley, stopping at the Wild Goose Island overlook for another incredible photo opportunity. Your excursion concludes with grand vistas of grassland, prairie and mountains as you arrive back at Glacier Park Lodge. Overnight Glacier National Park.
*Travelers on the June 8 departure, will enjoy the Old North Trail tour in lieu of the Big Sky Circle tour. Highlights include Two Medicine Valley, the majestic peaks of the St. Mary Valley, and an awe-inspiring ride into the Swiftcurrent Valley.
Day 5 - Depart Glacier National Park for Seattle by train
The day is yours to explore Glacier National Park at your leisure. Board the Empire Builder for your 6:45 pm departure to Seattle. Spend the night aboard the train talking to fellow passengers about all the incredible sights of Glacier National Park. Overnight train. ( D)
Day 6 - Arrival in Seattle
Arrive in Seattle around 10:30 am and check into your centrally-located hotel. The day is yours to explore the city at your leisure, with opportunities to visit landmarks such as the Space Needle, Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square. Overnight Seattle. (B)
Day 7 - Explore Seattle
Experience the city like you could never imagine with the Ride the Ducks of Seattle tour. Traveling aboard the WWII landing craft, tour Seattle by land and water. Start the tour on wheels as you view Seattle's waterfront with stops at the shopping district and Pike Place market. Then splash into Lake Union, as the craft floats on wheels continuing the unique tour of this famous city. Overnight Seattle.
Day 8 - Seattle and Alaska Cruise
The morning is at your leisure. At 4:00 pm, set sail aboard the ms Westerdam and begin your cruise adventure through Alaska's Inside Passage. Take time to explore the ship and its many amenities. Overnight ship. (D)
Day 9 - ms Westerdam at Sea
Today indulge in some of the ship's finer amenities. Treat yourself to a hot stone massage at the spa, spend time at the Culinary Arts Center-presented by Food & Wine Magazine-or play a game of chance at the casino. Enjoy a gourmet meal and dancing this evening. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Juneau, Alaska
Today's port of call is Juneau, Alaska's capital city. It is home to the Juneau Icefield. This large ice mass encompasses more than 30 glaciers including the mighty Mendenhall Glacier. You may wish to visit the Icefields or consider a visit to the lush Tongass National Forest, browse the rustic local shops, or climb aboard the Mt. Roberts Tramway for beautiful views and a great spot to hike. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - Glacier Bay
Today brings a visit to Glacier Bay, located in southeastern Alaska. Keep an eye-and ear!-out for calving icebergs. Glacier Bay is famous for having the most actively calving tidewater glaciers in the world-the area has 16 glaciers, 12 of which reach shorelines and have calved to produce icebergs. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Sitka, Alaska
Situated on the west side of Baranof Island in the Alexander Archipelago, Sitka is flanked by majestic mountains and the glistening Pacific Ocean. The town's history as a Russian settlement can be seen in its early architecture, like the onion domes of St. Michael's Cathedral, a National Historical Landmark since 1962. Spend the day uncovering the town's storied history. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 13 - Ketchikan, Alaska
Known as the "Salmon Capitol of the World" and home to the world's largest collection of totem poles, Ketchikan is the southernmost city in Alaska and today's port of call. Appreciate the town's sights and attractions with a self-guided walking tour. Include a visit to Creek Street, a wooden boardwalk featuring museums, galleries, restaurants, and popular local shops.
A must-see attraction in Ketchikan is Misty Fjords National Monument, a protected area of more than 2,294,000 acres of Tongass National Forest in Alaska's panhandle. These deep water fjords left by retreating glaciers created granite cliffs towering thousands of feet above the sea and countless waterfalls tumbling into tranquil waters. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Victoria, British Columbia
The ms Westerdam sails into Victoria, British Columbia today. The city's British heritage is evident from the double-decker buses and horse-drawn carriages to the tea rooms and vibrant gardens. Victoria has earned the reputation as the "City of Gardens," and no trip to this beautiful city is complete without a visit to the 55-acre Butchart Gardens with its year-round brilliantly-colored blooms. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 15 - Welcome Back to the Emerald City
Your magical rail-cruise vacation comes to a close this morning as you dock in Seattle. Consider extending your stay in Seattle to fully explore the city, or transfer to the airport for your return flight home (transfer available for flights after 1:00 pm). (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotels include the Palmer House Hilton, Glacier Park Lodge, and Westin. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette, all meals on the train, and exclusive access to the Pacific Parlour Car. Upgrade to Bedroom sleeping accommodations is available for an additional fee. Travel aboard the ms Westerdam is in an Inside Stateroom including two lower beds that convert 1 Queen-size bed and a shower.
Hotels include the Palmer House Hilton, Glacier Park Lodge, and Westin. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette, all meals on the train, and exclusive access to the Pacific Parlour Car. Upgrade to Bedroom sleeping accommodations is available for an additional fee. Travel aboard the ms Westerdam is in an Oceanview Stateroom including two lower beds convertible to one Queen-size bed, bathtub, and shower.
Deluxe Verandah Outside
Hotels include the Palmer House Hilton, Glacier Park Lodge, and Westin. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette, all meals on the train, and exclusive access to the Pacific Parlour Car. Upgrade to Bedroom sleeping accommodations is available for an additional fee. Travel aboard the ms Westerdam is in a Verandah Stateroom including two beds convertible to one Queen-size bed, whirlpool bath and shower, sitting area, private verandah, and floor-to-ceiling windows.
Hotel accommodations are based on availability; substitutes will be similar in quality and amenities.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|7th June 2014||$2,852||Book Now|
|28th June 2014||$2,956||Book Now|
|2nd August 2014||$2,956||Book Now|
|7th June 2014||$3,390||Book Now|
|28th June 2014||$3,318||Book Now|
|2nd August 2014||$3,318||Book Now|
|7th June 2014||$3,418||Book Now|
|28th June 2014||$3,522||Book Now|
|2nd August 2014||$3,522||Book Now|
|7th June 2014||$3,858||Book Now|
|28th June 2014||$3,962||Book Now|
|2nd August 2014||$3,962||Book Now|
|7th June 2014||$3,956||Book Now|
|28th June 2014||$3,883||Book Now|
|2nd August 2014||$3,883||Book Now|
|7th June 2014||$4,424||Book Now|
|28th June 2014||$4,528||Book Now|
|2nd August 2014||$4,528||Book Now|
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Port taxes and fees are $191.87 per person and not included in the above fares. Valid Passport and proper documentation is required for this trip.
Please be advised that passengers traveling on Empire Builder Trains may encounter delays of approximately three to six hours due to heavy congestion, speed restrictions and other operating conditions. Holland America reserves the right to re-instate a fuel supplement for all guests at up to $9 per person, per day should the price of light sweet crude oil according to the NYMEX increase above $70 per barrel. Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.