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New Orleans Express

4.8 stars(4 reviews)

Discover the magic of New Orleans on this 7-day independent train vacation.

You are viewing the 2022 itinerary. Select your departure year
7 days From $1,499 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary
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2022 Tour code: GC-NOER-22

About the tour

Experience New Orleans your way on this 7-day independent train vacation. Beginning in Chicago, travel 1800 miles aboard Amtrak's City of New Orleans to the Big Easy where you can discover amazing architecture, culture, and cuisine in this magical city. Explore the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and Jackson Square. Sample the Cajun and Creole cuisine. Indulge in a beignet and coffee from the famous Café du Monde. Shop along Royal Street. Return to Chicago by train with colorful memories of your New Orleans vacation.


What’s included


Day 1 - Chicago

Arrive in Chicago and transfer on your own to your centrally-located hotel. Get acquainted with the city on a Hop-On/Hop-Off sightseeing tour to Chicago's most popular sights and attractions including Willis Tower for incredible views from the Skydeck, Navy Pier for lakeside entertainment and dining, the Magnificent Mile for extensive shopping opportunities, world-class museums and more! Overnight Chicago.

Day 2 - Train to New Orleans

The day is yours to revisit some of the sights from yesterday's sightseeing tour or set off on your own to explore the city and do some last-minute shopping for souvenirs. This evening transfer on your own to historic Union Station this evening, where you will board Amtrak's City of New Orleans and prepare for your departure. As the train makes its way south through Illinois, enjoy dinner in the dining car and relax in the Sightseer Lounge. Overnight train.

Day 3 - New Orleans

Spend the day relaxing aboard the train as it rolls through the Mississippi Delta toward the Crescent City. The City of New Orleans is scheduled to arrive mid-afternoon. Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally-located hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure.

Day 4 - New Orleans Sightseeing

New Orleans is said to be a magical place with a balance of Old World and New, where European traditions blend with Caribbean flair. The history is as colorful as the local culture and architecture, and the food and music are legendary. See the sights of New Orleans on a Hop-On/Hop-Off sightseeing tour. Beginning in Jackson Square, see the city's famous landmarks and admire the French Creole architecture. Popular attractions along your route include the Superdome, the French Market, St. Louis Cemetery, the Insectarium, Mardi Gras World and more! This evening enjoy a jazz cruise along the Mississippi River. See stunning views of the New Orleans skyline from the river while live jazz from the world-renowned Dukes of Dixieland fills the air.

Day 5 - New Orleans at Leisure

Today you have a full day to continue your explorations of the Big Easy. Indulge in both the Cajun and Creole culinary traditions, take a swamp tour, catch a parade, or explore the city's vibrant history. From the mystical and haunted, to the architectural and multicultural, there is plenty to see and do. Overnight New Orleans. 

Day 6 - New Orleans to Chicago

The morning is free to further explore this magical city. Early this afternoon, transfer on your own to the train station for the departure of the City of New Orleans bound for Chicago. You'll want to spend time in the Sightseer Lounge and share your New Orleans experiences with fellow travelers. Overnight train.

Day 7 - Return to Chicago

The City of New Orleans is scheduled to arrive in Chicago's Union Station this morning where your New Orleans Express vacation comes to an end.

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. 

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.


Palmer House Hilton, Chicago

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Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

Hotel Monteleone, New Orleans

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Amtrak's City of New Orleans


4.8 stars4.8 / 5 · 4 reviews

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

Kim Lewis

5 stars

Submitted 31/Aug

Service was excellent. Food was good. Thomas service was acceptional. Overall a very good trip.

Collected by Trustpilot

Floyd R, Lanark, IL

5 stars

Submitted 26 Apr 2019

This was our first vacation by rail and will not be my last! I was impressed with VBR staff assistance. Cooperation and attention to detail. Almost found it hard to believe that so many details could be pulled together, so quickly. We really appreciated the coordination and planning provided!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Ronald S, Corydon, IN

5 stars

Submitted 10 Dec 2018

'All the hotels and the hop on hop off excursions were great'

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Joan A, Zion, IL

4 stars

Submitted 18 Jan 2018

Tour guide was great. I enjoyed the sightseeing. Especially liked the 'swamp' boat rideOverall very satisfied and looking forward to another trip next year.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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