Empire Builder with Alaska Cruise via Glacier Bay
Rail-cruise vacation featuring the Empire Builder to Seattle plus a Glacier Bay Alaska cruise.
Rail-cruise vacation featuring the EmpireSave Builder to Seattle plus a Glacier Bay Alaska cruise.
The Empire Builder travels the legendary 2,206 mile route from Chicago, across the northern United States west to Seattle, the Gateway to Alaska. But this picturesque rail journey is only the start of this unforgettable 11-day vacation. Upon arrival in Seattle, board your Holland America cruise ship bound for Alaska where you will be awed by the state's scenic Inside Passage.
Highlights and Inclusions
- One-way transportation aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle
- Two nights roomette sleeping accommodations onboard the Empire Builder
- All meals onboard the Empire Builder and Alaskan cruise
- Hotel accommodations for 1 night
- 7-day Holland America Alaska cruise
- Transfer between hotel and cruise
- Transfer to airport for return flight home available for flights after 1pm
- Wisconsin Dells
- Mississippi River
- Rocky Mountains
- Glacier National Park, Montana
- Gateway to Mount Rainier, Washington
- Columbia River Gorge
- Puget Sounds
- Downtown Seattle
- Space Needle
- Glacier Bay
- Mendenhall Glacier
- St. Michael's Cathedral
- Creek Street
- Misty Fjords National Monument
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Empire Builder
Arrive at Chicago's historic Union Station for your 2:15 pm departure aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder. Settle in for the 2,206-mile journey through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. You won't want to miss an exclusive wine and cheese tasting in the Sightseer Lounge, where you can sample regional wines and cheeses produced along the route you're traveling. As you travel northwest to Winona, Minnesota, meet volunteer park rangers from the Chicago/Mississippi National River and Recreation Area who will share stories and artifacts from the region as part of the Trails & Rails program. This evening, enjoy a hot meal in the Dining Car and settle in for your first evening aboard the train as you travel through the Wisconsin Dells and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Empire Builder En Route to Seattle
As you awake this morning, the train makes its way through North Dakota and into Montana's Big Sky Country. As you enjoy a delicious breakfast in the Dining Car, review the route map and take note of today's scenic highlights. Don't miss the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle west of Minot in the morning. Keep your camera handy today as you'll be passing through unspoiled natural beauty ripe with wildlife including bison, elk, prairie dogs, foxes, muskrats, white-tailed deer, and bald eagles. As the train continues to move westward, the landscape gives way to rolling hills, canyons, gorges, and rugged mountain terrain. The Sightseer Lounge, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, is the best place to enjoy the passing scenery, especially as the train rolls through Glacier National Park this evening. Overnight train. (B, L, D)
Day 3 - Arrival in Seattle, Gateway to Alaska
You know you are nearing the end of your rail journey when you glimpse the peaks of Mount Rainier in the distance. With a 10:30 am arrival in Seattle, you have the better part of the day to explore the city at your leisure. Don't miss the city's main attractions including the imposing Space Needle, the Experience Music Project, Pike Place Market, and historic Pioneer Square. Overnight Seattle. (B)
Day 4 - Seattle at Your Leisure / Alaska Cruise Departure
This afternoon transfer to the pier and prepare to board Holland America's ms Westerdam for the second half of this memorable vacation. Your ship sets sail at 4:00 pm, giving you plenty of time to settle into your cabin before heading on deck to wave good-bye to magnificent Seattle. With the next day at sea, there is ample time to explore the ship and all its amenities and activities. Overnight ship. (D)
Day 5 - 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 6 - Juneau, Alaska
Alaska's capitol city of Juneau is located on the Gastineau Channel in Alaska's panhandle and is home to the Juneau Icefield. Sitting atop steep mountains is the Juneau Icefield, a large ice mass encompassing more than 30 glaciers including the mighty Mendenhall Glacier. In addition to the Juneau Icefield, 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 7 - Glacier Bay
Today brings a visit to Glacier Bay, located in southeastern Alaska. Glacier Bay and the surrounding land is recognized as Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, a Biospehere Reserve, UNESCO World Heritage Site, and protected ecosystem of plants and animals. 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 8 - 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. Enjoy a performance by the New Archangel Dancers, meet Tlinget natives, and stand on the spot where the United States took possession of Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million-less than two cents per acre. Visit the Sitka National Historical Park, Alaska's oldest federally designated park. Hike the scenic coastal trails within the park and discover a collection of cedar totem poles donated by Native leaders in southeast Alaska. Or, shop in the downtown district and pop into the Sheldon Jackson Museum, Alaska's oldest museum with collections that represent the state's rich history and diverse cultures. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - 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. A highlight of your route can include Creek Street, a wooden boardwalk featuring museums, galleries, restaurants, and popular local shops. The Southeast Alaska Discovery Center provides insight into the profound significance of the Tongass National Forest. Or visit the Deer Mountain Tribal Hatchery and Eagle Center to get a firsthand look at the state's salmon hatchery program and see rescue birds and its rehabilitation program. The Totem Heritage Center showcases a collection of 19th century totem poles, and the Saxman Native Village and Totem Bight State Park respectively offer a glimpse into native Tlinget traditions.
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. Try a flightseeing trip to get an up close and personal perspective on this breathtaking sight and gain a unique vantage point from which to snap priceless souvenir photos. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
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 11 - Welcome Back to the Emerald City
Your magical Alaska cruise 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 for your return flight home for flights after 1:00 pm. (B)
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotel night at the Westin. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette and all meals on the train. 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 convertible to one Queen-size bed and shower.
Hotel night at the Westin. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette and all meals on the train. 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
Hotel night at the Westin. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette and all meals on the train. 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 of similar quality and amenities.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|14th May 2014||$2,089||Book Now|
|11th June 2014||$2,223||Book Now|
|2nd July 2014||$2,365||Book Now|
|6th August 2014||$2,365||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$1,530||Book Now|
|14th May 2014||$2,462||Book Now|
|11th June 2014||$2,825||Book Now|
|2nd July 2014||$2,825||Book Now|
|6th August 2014||$2,825||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$2,465||Book Now|
|14th May 2014||$2,545||Book Now|
|11th June 2014||$2,679||Book Now|
|2nd July 2014||$2,790||Book Now|
|6th August 2014||$2,805||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$1,881||Book Now|
|14th May 2014||$2,825||Book Now|
|11th June 2014||$3,450||Book Now|
|2nd July 2014||$3,540||Book Now|
|6th August 2014||$3,540||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$2,825||Book Now|
|14th May 2014||$2,902||Book Now|
|11th June 2014||$3,265||Book Now|
|2nd July 2014||$3,265||Book Now|
|6th August 2014||$3,265||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$2,905||Book Now|
|14th May 2014||$3,265||Book Now|
|11th June 2014||$3,890||Book Now|
|2nd July 2014||$3,980||Book Now|
|6th August 2014||$3,980||Book Now|
|3rd September 2014||$3,265||Book Now|
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