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The Great Western Explorer

May 30 - June 12, 2011
November 7 - 20, 2011
14 - Days From $3,995 pp



Condensed Daily Itinerary
Day 1 CHICAGO UNION STATION
D
Leave Chicago this afternoon aboard the ‘Great Western Limited’. We cross the Mississippi River at dinner time and speed west.
Day 2 THE COLORADO ROCKIES
B L D
En route with the stunning passage through the heart of the Colorado Rockies today over the fabled Denver & Rio Grande Western Railroad, a breathtaking train journey.
Day 3 RENO NEVADA
B
We arrive in Reno this morning at 8:20 am and our rooms at the luxurious Grand Sierra Resort are ready for us, having been pre-booked for the night before. There is time to freshen up before our midday departure for historic Virginia City where we enjoy a ride on the newly restored Virginia & Truckee Railroad. An evening of leisure at the Grand Sierra Resort.
Day 4 RENO
B
A glorious day as we travel to spectacular Lake Tahoe that includes a cruise aboard the Tahoe Queen Sternwheeler with time at Emerald Bay. We return to the Grand Sierra at Reno this evening for a final night in this magnificent resort.
Day 5 SACRAMENTO CALIFORNIA
B D
A short scenic drive through the High Sierras this morning past Donner Lake brings us to Old Sacramento with a visit to its justly famed California State Railroad Museum followed by dinner aboard the legendary riverboat Delta King. Overnight at the superbly located Embassy Suites.
Day 6 YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK
B
A drive through California’s lush Central Valley brings us to Yosemite, a place that mere words do not do justice to. We have a tour of the Valley floor including Half Dome and Bridal Veil Falls and you will want to have your camera ready. Overnight is spent at the Yosemite View Lodge.
Day 7 MORRO BAY CALIFORNIA
B L
A special treat this morning with a ride on the Yosemite & Sugar Pine RR followed by a visit to the famed Big Trees before we drive west to the Coast with the evening at leisure in quaint Morro Bay, one of the most picturesque spots in California.
Day 8 LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA
B L
Today is a day of superlatives that begins with a visit to the grandest private home ever built in the country, extraordinary Hearst Castle and like Yosemite yesterday, words fail to capture the grandeur of this castle and its location overlooking the Pacific. After the Castle, we enjoy lunch in Morro Bay before another visual wonder, a 131 mile ride along the California Coast by train to downtown Los Angeles. Great beauty awaits in the City of Angels where our guests begin a two-night stay at the fabled Biltmore Hotel, the Grande Dame of Los Angeles hotels.
Day 9 CATALINA ISLAND
B D
Every great train journey should have at least a short ocean cruise and today we set sail for quaint and nostalgic Avalon on lovely Catalina Island, a magical place with quaint shops, restaurants and the famous casino. We return to the Biltmore this evening for a second night in the ultimate setting with frescoes by the Vatican painter.
Day 10 SANTA MONICA CALIFORNIA
BD
We have left the morning free for you to enjoy the many sights of downtown Los Angeles with a midday departure for charming Santa Monica with a visit to its famed Pier, at the end of Sunset Blvd. with free time before traveling to Union Station via Hollywood Blvd past Mann’s Chinese Theatre. We enjoy an early dinner on Olvera St., where Los Angeles began before boarding the ‘Great Western Limited’ bound for Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Day 11 SANTA FE NEW MEXICO
B L
Breakfast time finds us in the great South west with the Navajolands of Arizona speeding past the windows and later today we pass through Albuquerque before our afternoon arrival in enchanting Santa Fe where we begin our two-night stay.
Day 12 SANTA FE NEW MEXICO
B
Santa Fe has been honored by UNESCO as a ’Creative City’ , one of only nine in the world and you will soon see why. Our day begins with a morning visit and tour of the historic Plaza area and we have left all afternoon free for you to enjoy the multitude of galleries and museums that make this one of the most magical small towns in North America. There is an abundance of natural beauty and a particular treat is the Georgia O’Keefe Museum. The evening is at leisure to enjoy one of the many acclaimed restaurants.
Day 13 GREAT WESTERN LIMITED
B D
We board the ‘Great Western Limited’ this afternoon and tonight is our special Farewell Dinner as we cross the Continental Divide at Raton Pass.
Day 14 CHICAGO UNION STATION
B L
We cross the Mississippi River this morning and arrive in Chicago this afternoon with memories of special places that will last a lifetime. We offer special hotel rates in Chicago for guests that would like to enjoy a bit more time in the Windy City.

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