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New Orleans Express

4.8 stars(6 reviews)

Explore two iconic cities on an express tour of Chicago and New Orleans.

You are viewing the 2023 itinerary. Select your departure year
5 days From $724 per person
Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: GC-NOER-23

About the tour

Embrace the Windy City and learn a bit of what makes it unique with an architecture tour on the Chicago River. The following day, travel 1800 miles aboard Amtrak's City of New Orleans to the Big Easy where you can discover the amazing architecture, culture, and cuisine in this vibrant city. Enjoy some folkore and sample the Cajun and Creole cuisine during a cooking demontstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Indulge in a beignet and coffee from the famous Café du Monde. Follow your ear on Frenchmen St, shop along Royal Street, and take in the sights as you explore the French Quarter, Bourbon Street, and Jackson Square.


What’s included


Day 1 - Chicago

Arrive in Chicago and transfer on your own to your centrally-located hotel. Opt to add a Hop-On/Hop-Off sightseeing tour to see 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.

*There's so much to see and do in this iconic city. Speak to your rail specialist about adding additional nights or activities in Chicago.

Day 2 - Train to New Orleans

Explore the city on the Chicago River with an architecture tour full of storytelling and little known facts about this iconic city. The rest the day is yours to go to Millenium Park, check out a museum, walk along Lake Michigan, or add Food & Walking Tour. This evening transfer on your own to historic Union Station, where you will board Amtrak's City of New Orleans. As the train makes its way south through Illinois, opt to 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 train is scheduled to arrive mid-afternoon. Upon arrival, transfer to your centrally-located hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure to take in the music, sights, and flavors of New Orleans. Overnight New Orleans.

Day 4 - New Orleans Sightseeing

New Orleans is a vibrant city 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. Enjoy a cooking demonstration at the New Orleans School of Cooking. Sample local dishes as you learn some of the history and traditions that make New Orleans unlike any other city in the US.

With the rest of your day, opt to add a Jazz Tour, a Swamp and Bayou Sightseeing Boat Tour, a Hop-On/Hop-Off sightseeing tour, or explore the city at your leisure. For a sweet treat or an afternoon pick-me-up, stop by Café du Monde for a café au laits and world famous beignets. In the evening, watch the city come to life from a jazz bar or on Bourbon St. Overnight New Orleans.

  • Lunch
Day 5 - Tour Conclusion

Your tour ends upon check out of your hotel.

*There's so much to see and do in this virbrant city. Speak to your rail specialist about adding additional nights or activities in New Orleans. Or opt to make this tour round trip with rail 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. 

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 · 6 reviews

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


5 stars

Submitted 3/May

The first class accommodation at the lounge was perfect with the shower room ( complete with towels and toiletries), snacks and comfortable chairs. The meals in the train were savory and hot. Enjoyed every one of them. The train ride from Chicago to New Orleans went by pretty quickly with views of the Midwest towns. The hotels provided in Chicago and New Orleans were right in the center of downtown where you could walk to most places. Overall, all 4 of us enjoyed our experience!

Collected by Trustpilot


5 stars

Submitted 19 Oct 2022

My wife and I used Vacations By Rail to book our annual anniversary trip this year. We have long looked forward to taking a train trip. They booked us into a first-class hotel in Chicago, the Palmer House, and then the train trip (we rented a sleeper bedroom) was wonderful. Much better than air travel. They booked us into the Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans, which was another absolutely wonderful hotel. Both hotels are historic grand hotels with an enormous amount of history to them, so it's like a trip and history lesson all in one. The staff was great in both places. The Chicago hotel was right on the Magnificent Mile, and the New Orleans hotel was right on the French Quarter. The customer service from Vacations By Rail was exemplary at every turn. I wish every travel experience could be as easy as this one was. It made our anniversary truly unforgettable.

Collected by Trustpilot

Kim Lewis

5 stars

Submitted 31 Aug 2022

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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