Southwest Chief & Panama Canal Cruise
Set off for adventure on an 18-day rail-cruise vacation across America's west and through the Panama Canal.
Set off for adventure on an 18-day rail-cruise vacation across America's west and through the Panama Canal. Beginning in Chicago, board Amtrak's Southwest Chief for a 2-day trip across the colorful southwest to Los Angeles. After spending a day touring the City of Angels, embark on your 14-night cruise aboard the Norwegian Star. Ports of call include beautiful Cabo San Lucas, Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, Mexico's northwestern coastal town of Puerto Chiapas, the gorgeous Costa Rican town of Puntarenas, the Panama Canal, and Columbia's old walled city of Cartagena.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Transportation aboard Amtrak (2 nights on train)
- Hotel accommodations for 1 night
- All meals onboard the Southwest Chief and Norwegian Star
- Los Angeles Hop On/Hop Off tour
- 14-night cruise aboard Norwegian Cruise Line's Norwegian Star
- Transfers to cruise terminal and back
- Ports of call
Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Puato Chiapas, Mexico
Puntarena, Costa Rica
Panama Canal, Panama
Day 1 - Depart Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief
Arrive in Chicago and head to Union Station for your 3:00 pm departure aboard Amtrak's Southwest Chief bound for Los Angeles. Once on the train, take time to meet your fellow travelers and take in the view from the Sightseer Lounge. Overnight train. (D)
Day 2 - Southwest Chief to Los Angeles
Continue your journey west as you spend the day aboard the train. Read a book in your comfortable onboard accommodations, enjoy the tasty food from the dining car, or just sit back, relax and enjoy the scenery. Overnight train. (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Los Angeles
You're scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles at 8:15 am. Transfer on your own to your hotel and check in with the remainder of the day at leisure. You may wish to stroll through Little Tokyo and the Jewelry District or stop by Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum for a showcase of all the famous celebrities. Overnight Los Angeles.
Day 4 - Los Angeles and Panama Canal Cruise
Begin your day with a guided tour of the city on a Los Angeles Hop-On Hop-Off Double Decker bus tour. Highlights include Grauman's Chinese Theatre, La Brea Tar Pits, Universal Studios, Chinatown and more. After the tour, transfer to the cruise terminal and board the Norwegian Star for your 14-night tropical cruise. Overnight ship. (D).
Day 5- Norwegian Star
Spend the day exploring the ship and indulging in its many amenities. Lounge poolside, visit the Spa, or play a game of chance at the casino. Overnight ship. (B,L,D)
Day 6 - Cabo San Lucas, Mexico
Arrive in Cabo San Lucas and spend the day basking in the sun on one of its many beautiful beaches, try to spot a whale at the famous geological formation El Arco de Cabo San Lucas, or visit Iglesia de San Lucas, a historic church that was built in the 1700's. Overnight ship. (B, L, D).
Day 7- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Bask in the small village feel of Puerto Vallarta during today's visit. Sunbathe on one of its pristine beaches along Banderas Bay, visit the renowned Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe or shop for local wares at the city's open-air markets. Overnight ship. (N, L, D)
Day 8 - At Sea
You have another full day to relax aboard the ship as you sail for Huatulco. Enjoy delicious meals, lively bars and lounges, and plenty of rest and relaxation. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 9 - Huatulco, Mexico
Today's port of call is beautiful Huatulco, home to more than 30 beautiful beaches and nine crystalline bays surrounded by lush flora and fauna. Wade in the warm waters, relax on golden sand beaches, or go in search of archeological treasures from the coastal Tututepec tribe. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - Puerto Chiapas
Today finds us in the Southwestern Chiapas region of Mexico, a coastal area known for its ancient Mayan ruins and tropical rainforest. Soak in the local culture as you walk the streets of this coastal area, or visit the archeological museum in nearby Tapachula to see artifacts from the region.Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - At Sea
Another full day at sea to enjoy the ship's many amenities. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 12 - Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Today discover beautiful Puntarenas, full of spectacular wildlife and nature. Since Puntarenas is a commercial fishing port, there is plenty of delicious fresh seafood to satisfy your taste buds. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 13 - Norwegian Star at Sea
Proceed to your next port of call, the Panama Canal. En route, you have this day at sea to relax aboard the ship. Overnight ship. (B, L, D).
Day 14 - Panama Canal, Panama
Spend the day at the historic Panama Canal. At 48 miles long, this international waterway allows ships to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. The Island Princess was built to Panamax size, which means it is the maximum size to be able to journey through the canal. Spend the day visiting one of Panama's famous beaches like Santa Catalina and San Blas Islands, hike Volcán Barú, Panama's highest geological point, or try whitewater rafting on the Chiriqui Viejo. Overnight ship. (B, L, D).
Day 15 - Cartagena, Columbia
Today's port of call is Cartagena. During Spanish occupation, Cartagena was the hub for political and economic activity, and travelers can visit several historical landmarks of that era such as the San Felipe de Barajas Castle, Santo Domingo and Palacio de la Inquisicion. Overnight ship. (B, L, D).
Days 16-17 -Norwegian Star at Sea
Begin your journey back to the states with two days aboard the ship. Take this time to take part in all of the onboard activities you still want to experience. Overnight ship. (2B,2L,2D).
Day 18 - Welcome to Miami
Your trip comes to an end as you arrive in Miami for your flight home. You will transfer on your own from cruise ship to hotel. (B)
Ask a rail specialist about adding this 4-day/3-night post-trip option to your Southwest Chief & Panama Canal rail-cruise vacation.
Day 18- Post night
Post night accommodation in Ft Lauderdale.
Day 19 - Silver Meteor
Spend the day on the train as you continue your one day rail journey to our nation's capital. Make sure to spend some time in the Sightseer Lounge as you pass through the beautiful South. Overnight train. (B,L,D).
Day 20- Capitol Limited connection in Washington D.C.
Arrive in Washington D.C around 7:21 am, where you'll board the Capitol Limited for your overnight journey to your final destination of Chicago. Overnight train. (B,L,D).
Day 21 - Chicago
Your trip comes to an end as you pull into Union Station in the Windy City.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Hotel night is at the Millennium Biltmore. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette and all meals on the train. Upgrade to Bedroom sleeping accommodations is available. Travel aboard the Norwegian Star is in an Outside Cabinincluding an ocean view. Oceanview cabins include a shower, two full size beds and closet.
Hotel night is at the Millennium Biltmore. Amtrak accommodations include a Roomette and all meals on the train. Upgrade to Bedroom sleeping accommodations is available. Travel aboard the Norwegian Star is in a Balcony stateroom including a private balcony view. Balcony staterooms include shower, queen-size bed, closet and outside sitting area.
Amtrak accommodations are available in Coach class, Roomette and Bedroom. Coach accommodations include a reclining seat with leg rest. Roomette accommodations include a private cabin that features two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, which converts to an upper and lower berth at night. Bedroom accommodations feature a sofa and chair by day and upper and lower berth by night. Bedroom accommodations also include a sink and self-enclosed toilet and shower.
+Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.
Dates & Prices
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Prices are correct at the time this web page is published; however are subject to chance. Vacations By Rail can supply connecting rail from your closest Amtrak Station.