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California Zephyr & Alaska Cruise

4.5 stars(2 reviews)

From Lake Michigan to the Golden Gate Bridge to the Gulf of Alaska, this rail-cruise adventure is one of a kind.

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15 days Not yet on sale

2022 Tour code: WC-ZACW-22

About the tour

Come and discover America's great frontiers! This incredible tour combines the best of a rail and cruise vacation. On your train ride from Chicago, get acquainted with the diverse American landscape. In quirky San Francisco, wander the streets of Chinatown and stand in the shadow of the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge. From San Francisco, depart for an Alaskan cruise that will bring you to the most scenic parts of the wild and beautiful state. No other vacation cover so much ground with so much ease.


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What’s included


Day 1 - Arrive Chicago and board the California Zephyr

Welcome to the Second City! Make your way to Chicago's historic Union Station for your mid afternoon departure aboard Amtrak's California Zephyr. Settle into your onboard accommodations, and prepare for your journey West! Overnight train.

  • Dinner
Day 2 - California Zephyr en route to San Francisco

This morning you'll wake up to find yourself passing through the majestic Rocky Mountains. Spend the day watching the scenery roll by from your window, or enjoy the view while mingling with other guests in the Sightseer Lounge. Overnight train.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 3 - Arrive San Francisco

You are scheduled to arrive at 5:00 pm this evening in San Francisco, a city unlike any other. From pioneers to hippies to Silicon Valley, this forward-thinking city has always had a free, curious, and innovative spirit. This evening, dine in Chinatown, stroll along Fisherman's Wharf, and get acquainted with this remarkable city. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 4 - Discover San Francisco

Start your day with a trip to prison; the nation's first maximum-security penitentiary military prison, that is - Alcatraz. Previously having housed such A-list criminals as Al "Scarface" Capone, George "Machine Gun" Kelly, and hot-headed "Bumpy" Johnson, Alcatraz was once considered one of the most dangerous and inescapable prisons in the nation. But never fear! No criminals currently reside there at this time. Alcatraz is now a beloved attraction and National Park with a scenic ferry ride transporting you to and from Pier 33 in Fisherman's Wharf. Thrills and chills guaranteed!

As part of this package, conclude your day back on the mainland with a grand tour of the city, one of the most soulful cities on the West Coast. Your tour will commence with a drive along the famous waterfront, with views of the San Francisco Bay and Alcatraz Island. Notable photo opportunities include: the Golden Gate Bridge, Golden Gate Park, Twin Peaks (weather permitting), China Town, Palace of the Fine Arts, and Presidio National Park, just to name a few. Overnight San Francisco.

Day 5 - Board the Star Princess

Spend the morning taking a stroll along San Francisco's winding streets or riding a cable car over its hills. This afternoon, you'll board the Star Princess cruise ship. This magnificent ship will be your home for the next ten nights, so take this evening to settle into your accommodations and prepare for your Alaskan adventure. Overnight ship.

  • Dinner
Days 6-7 - At Sea

Spend your time at sea taking in spectacular ocean views, mingle in the Italian-style Piazza, read in the library, learn something new in a Discovery at Sea® enrichment class, or unwind in the Lotus Spa Pool. This is your time to kick back and relax. Overnight ship.

  • Day 6 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  • Day 7 - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Ketchikan, Alaska

Immersed in gorgeous coastal scenery, rooted in commercial fishing, and brimming with activities, Ketchikan is the quintessential Alaskan city. Stroll along Creek Street's antique boardwalk, admire totem poles, and watch as salmon swim up Ketchikan Creek! Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Sitka, Alaska

The onion domes of St. Michael's Cathedral are a clue to Sitka's past as a Russian settlement - the colonial headquarters of Count Baranof, no less. Discover the echoes of its bustling past at a performance by the New Archangel Dancers. Meet Tlingit natives and stand on the spot where the United States took possession of Alaska in 1867 for $7.2 million. Take a stroll through the Sitka National Historical Park, shop the downtown district, and visit the Sheldon Jackson Museum for a firsthand look at some of the city's most prized art, crafts, and Russian relics. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Juneau, Alaska

Arrive today in Alaska's capital city, Juneau. Points of interest here include the Alaska State Museum, where you can learn about the state's fascinating history, and the Alaskan Brewing Company, whose tasting room features complimentary samples of limited edition and rough draft beers. If you have time, zip over the magnificent Mendenhall Glacier. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - Endicott Arm & Dawes Glacier

This narrow fjord is located approximately 50 miles southeast of Juneau and is part of the Tracy Arm-Fords Terror Wilderness area. Breathtaking Endicott Arm extends over 30 miles long, with nearly one-fifth of its area covered in ice. As you glide through the pristine fjord, you'll first pass by a lush forest where a number of beautiful waterfalls cascade down, and then you'll be treated to views of snowcapped mountains and blue-tinged glaciers more spectacular than you could ever imagine.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 12 - At Sea

Today, sail along the breathtaking western coast of Canada. Take time to appreciate the views and make some time for yourself at the spa or a yoga class. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 13 - Victoria, British Columbia

Victoria puts the "British" in British Columbia. Situated on beautiful Vancouver Island and full of charming streets, Victorian facades, and miles of bike paths, Victoria offers countless ways to spend your day. Walk through the Buchtart Gardens, visit the Royal BC Museum, and stop for a photo op at the harbor. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 14 - At Sea

Enjoy your last day sailing through the beautiful Pacific Northwest! Make the most of the ship's amenities, including the various restaurants and dining rooms. Overnight ship.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 15 - Disembarkation in San Francisco

Your tour comes to an end this morning in San Francisco. Disembark the Star Princess and head to the airport for your flight home*.

*You may choose to extend your vacation by taking the California Zephyr back to Chicago.

Additional information

Pricing Plans

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 featuring two comfortable seats beside a picture window during the day, converting 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. All travelers have access to the Sightseer Lounge. Roomette and Bedroom accommodations include all meals aboard the train. 

Oceanview:  Travel aboard the Ruby Princess is in an Outside Cabin including an ocean view. Oceanview cabins include a shower, two full size beds and closet.

Balcony: Travel aboard the Ruby Princess is in a Balcony including a private balcony view. Balcony includes shower, queen-size bed, closet and outside sitting area.

Please note

Please be aware Amtrak may experience occasional schedule changes and service disruptions.  Vacations By Rail recommends visiting the Amtrak web site prior to your departure for the latest information.

Prices do not include port taxes of approximately $250 per person. Exact amount will be confirmed at time of booking.

Departure times

Departure times vary based on selected rail vacation. This information will be provided in your final documents. For more information please speak with your rail specialist.

Mobility information

Due to the nature of our tours they are generally unsuitable for those with restricted mobility. If you’d like to discuss any particular vacation with us in this respect, then please don’t hesitate to call us.


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4.5 stars4.5 / 5 · 2 reviews

  1. 5 stars
  2. 4 stars
  3. 3 stars
  4. 2 stars
  5. 1 star


4 stars

Submitted 10 Jun 2019

The rail part of the trip was good it was not all I was expecting, food was all the same menu,but ok.No flooding as I was told the morning of the train leaveing. The ship was nice but very old and needed a updated badly. However the food was great and the stops to towns was good. All in all the trip was ok

Collected by Vacations By Rail

James Thorp, Plainfield, IN

5 stars

Submitted 26 Apr 2018

Outstanding customer service support provided by Dawn R. Well organized trip with very clear pre-trip instructions.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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