Southwest Chief & Panama Canal Cruise
Set off for adventure on a 19-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 15-night cruise aboard the Coral Princess or Emerald Princess. Ports of call include beautiful Puerto Vallarta, Huatulco, San Juan del Sur, the gorgeous Costa Rican town of Puntarenas and Colombia'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 Coral Princess or Emerald Princess
- Los Angeles Hop On/Hop Off tour
- 15-night cruise aboard Coral Princess or Emerald Princess
- Transfers from cruise terminal to Miami Airport
- Ports of call
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Puntarenas, Costa Rica
Fuerte Amador, 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 & 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 Princess Cruise ship for your 15-night tropical cruise. Overnight ship. (D)
Day 5 - At Sea
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 - At Sea
You have another day to relax before you arrive in Puerto Vallarta. Spend the day exploring the ship again, why not lounge by the poolside, visit the ship's casino and indulge in its many amenities onboard. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 7- Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Warm, glamorous, and full of adventure, Puerto Vallarta is today’s port of call. Stroll along the Malecon boardwalk and peruse the artists’ wares, learn how tequila is made, or make some lively new aquatic friends at the Dolphin Adventure. There are endless opportunities for fun and exploration in Puerto Vallarta. Overnight Ship. (B, 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
Located in the foothills of the Sierra Madre del Sure mountains, the beautiful Bay of Huatulco is Mexico’s largest ecological reserve and home to many unspoiled sandy beaches.
Explore the Copalita River which is home to precious trees including cedar, mahogany, and almond, or spend the day with a local chef who will demonstrate how to make delicious regional cuisine including tortillas and tamales. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 10 - At Sea
Spend today relaxing onboard the ship as you travel to San Juan del Sur. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 11 - San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua
Nicaragua is the largest Central American nation and has stunning landscapes, vast cultural treasures, and an intriguing history. From strolling the cobblestone streets of colonial Granada on Lake Nicaragua, to exploring one of the many volcanoes, Nicaragua has something for even the most seasoned traveler. 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 – At Sea
En-route to the Panama Canal, you have this day at sea to relax aboard the ship. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 14 - Fuerte Amador, Panama
Fuerte Amador, situated at the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, is a man-made peninsula extending out into the Pacific Ocean.
The one-mile causeway was created by connecting four small islands with rocks excavated from the Panama Canal. There are several shops, restaurants, and other specialty stores centered around a large marina that serves as a tender dock. The causeway also affords a panoramic view of Panama City's impressive skyline and serves as the home for the Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research.
Note: Fuerte Amador is an anchorage port, passengers transfer to shore via ship's tender. On complete transits of the Panama Canal, the ship typically arrives in Fuerte Amador in the morning, operates tours and spends the full day at anchor.
Day 15 - Panama Canal, Panama
Spend the day cruising the historic Panama Canal. At 48 miles long, this international waterway allows ships to sail between the Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. The Coral Princess/Emerald Princess was built to Panamax size, which means it is the maximum size to be able to journey through the canal. Overnight ship. (B, L, D)
Day 16 - Cartagena, Colombia
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 17 & 18 - At Sea
Begin your journey back to the United 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 19 - Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Your trip comes to an end as you arrive in Fort Lauderdale. Upon disembarkation, you will transfer from cruise ship to the airport. (B)
Post-Trip Extension- Ask a rail specialist about adding this 4-day/3-night post-trip option to your Southwest Chief Panama Canal rail-cruise vacation.
Day 20 – Fort Lauderdale to Washington D.C.
Board the Silver Meteor for an overnight train journey to Washington D.C. Enjoy the scenic ride, relax and reflect about the wonderful places you visited on your cruise. (B, L, D)
Day 21 - 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 22 - Chicago
Your trip comes to an end as you pull into Union Station in the Windy City.
Rail Your Way
Add more flexibility to your rail vacation by choosing when and where to begin and end your vacation. Whether you want to go east to west, west to east, north to south, south to north, start at the beginning, travel the reverse itinerary or begin in the middle, Rail Your Way allows you to tailor make your rail vacation so you can have the experience you want.
Look for the Rail Your Way icon to identify those vacations that offer customized rail connections or joining points. Ask your rail specialist how you can have Rail Your Way!
Extend Your Vacation
Extend your rail vacation with new city packages in Chicago, Toronto, and Vancouver. Optional pre- or post-night packages include hotel accommodations for two nights and popular local sightseeing, and may be added to the beginning or end of qualifying rail vacations.
Look for the Extend Your Vacation icon to identify those vacations which offer new city stay packages. Ask your rail specialist for details about these pre- and post-night extensions.
Train and Hotel Accommodations
Coral Princess, with more than 700 balcony staterooms, was custom built to navigate the historic Panama Canal. Be sure to try the Bayou Café and Steakhouse, which features New Orleans-inspired Cajun and Creole cuisine, join friends for cocktails and Movies Under the Stars® by the pool or try some decadent treats at the International Café.
Your adventure begins the moment you step aboard. With nearly 900 staterooms with balconies, you'll awaken each day to a new horizon. Experience the relaxed ambience onboard and tantalizing cuisine in our elegant dining rooms. Enrich yourself with Discovery at SEA programs and unwind at the The Sanctuary, a tranquil haven reserved for adults.
The Oceanview stateroom is approximately 146 to 206 square feet and features a picture window for memorable views.
The spacious approximately 179 to 279-square-foot (incl balcony). The Balcony stateroom is appointed with fine amenities and outstanding views from an approximately 35 to 72-square-foot private balcony.
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.
Dates & Prices
Select from the packages below to view prices for this tour.
|30th December 2019||$4,365||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||$4,020||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||$4,799||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||$5,225||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||$5,105||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||$4,728||Book Now|
|30th December 2019||$5,534||Book Now|
|26th February 2020||$5,935||Book Now|
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Amtrak Roomette / Outside Stateroom: Departs 30th December 2019 ($4,365), 26th February 2020 ($4,020)
Amtrak Roomette / Balcony Stateroom: Departs 30th December 2019 ($4,799), 26th February 2020 ($5,225)
Amtrak Bedroom / Outside Stateroom: Departs 30th December 2019 ($5,105), 26th February 2020 ($4,728)
Amtrak Bedroom / Balcony Stateroom: Departs 30th December 2019 ($5,534), 26th February 2020 ($5,935)
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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.