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Snow Train - Chicago to Seattle

4.3 stars(3 reviews)

Travel the pioneer trails northwest to Seattle on this 5-day winter escape to Seattle.

You are viewing the 2021 itinerary. Select your departure year
5 days From $905 per person

2021 Tour code: TU-SNCW-21

About the tour

Travel the pioneer trails northwest to Seattle on this 5-day winter escape to Seattle. Your vacation begins in Chicago, where you can enjoy some traditional Midwest winter activities before boarding the iconic Empire Builder for your journey through the snowy prairies and plains northwest to the coastal Emerald City, Seattle.

This unmistakably beautiful route takes travelers along the 2,206 mile journey from Chicago to Seattle, and your itinerary includes two nights onboard Amtrak's Empire Builder as well as one night each in Chicago and Seattle.

This vacation is available from Seattle to Chicago based on your travel preference.


What’s included


Day 1 - Chicago's Winter Wonderland

Your winter escape begins with a day at your leisure in Chicago. All of the city's attractions are decorated for the winter holidays. Admire the sparkling lights along Michigan Avenue. Browse the shop windows on State Street themed for the winter season. Participate in winter activities at Navy Pier. Take in panoramic views from the top of Willis Tower. Overnight Chicago.

Day 2 - Depart Chicago aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder

Arrive at historic Union Station for your mid-afternoon departure aboard Amtrak's Empire Builder. Once onboard this legendary train, settle into your seat or private sleeper and prepare for the 2,206 mile journey through some of the most breathtaking scenery in the country. As the train makes its way toward Minnesota, bustling cities give way to the rolling prairies of the northwest. This evening, enjoy a hot meal in the Dining Car and settle in for your first evening aboard the train. Overnight train.

  • Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 3 - Empire Builder en Route to Seattle

As you awake this morning, the train makes its way through the snow-covered prairies of North Dakota. Keep your cameras handy today as you'll be passing through unspoiled natural beauty ripe with winter wildlife including bison, foxes, and white-tailed deer. As the train continues to move westward, the landscape gives way to rolling hills, deep canyons, and snow-capped mountains. The Sightseer Lounge, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, is the best place to enjoy these winter scenes. Overnight train. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 4 - Arrive in Seattle, "The Emerald City"

The Empire Builder is slated for arrival in Seattle, Washington, mid-morning. Transfer on your own from the rail station to your hotel. The rest of the day is yours to explore the city at your leisure. During the winter holidays, be sure to visit Winterfest at Seattle Center. Seek out the brightly lit flotilla of ships during the Argosy Christmas Ships Festival. Browse the shops and stalls at Pike Place Market, stop at one of the weekend farmers markets that run through December throughout the city, visit historic Pioneer Square, and enjoy a panoramic view of the city from atop the Space Needle. Seattle is well-known for its thriving music and theatre scenes, vibrant art galleries, and unique museums. Overnight Seattle. 

  • Breakfast (Sleeping Car passengers only)
Day 5 - Seattle

Your winter train escape comes to a close today. Transfer on your own to the airport or rail station for your return trip home,- or, extend your stay in Seattle to fully experience everything the city has to offer.

Additional information

Hotel Accommodations

Hotels are centrally located, 3.5 to 4 star properties, selected based on quality and availability.

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.

Please Note

For additional dates please see Empire Builder  Experience - Chicago to Seattle.

*Arrival and Departure times are subject to change without notice. Please be advised that passengers traveling on Empire Builder Trains may encounter delays of approximately three to six hours due to heavy congestion, speed restrictions and other operating conditions.

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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4.3 stars4.3 / 5 · 3 reviews

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

Rhonda L, Parkland, FL

5 stars

Submitted 10 Oct 2018

This trip exceeded our expectations! Everything was fantastic! Looking forward to booking another Vacations by Rail trip. The entire experience was superb!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Patti K, Elk Grove Village, IL

4 stars

Submitted 18 Feb 2018

Everything was excellent!

Collected by Vacations By Rail

Arthur G, San Clemente, CA

4 stars

Submitted 18 Dec 2017

It was an adventure and I thought the experience was a lot of fun. The hotels on both ends were excellent. It was night time during the pass through of Glacier Park, which was disappointing, but seeing the countryside we passed through was a great experience nevertheless.

Collected by Vacations By Rail

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