West Coast USA
Tuesday 11 June to Monday 24 June 2013
The enchanting coastal scenery of Northern California, Oregon and Washington State combine with the exciting cities of Seattle, Portland and San Francisco and some truly memorable rail journeys to make this a classic holiday in the best Ffestiniog Travel tradition.
Day 1 Flight to Seattle
Scheduled flight from London to Seattle with accommodation in the fashionable Pioneer Square district.
Days 2 and 3 At Leisure in Seattle
Free days to explore. The historic waterfront is served by a street-car route using vintage tramcars whilst, at the other extreme, a monorail links the shopping area to the Space Needle. Take an elevator to the top for superb views of the city and surrounding coastline. Your visit won’t be complete without a trip to the historic Pikes Market.
Day 4 Coastal Scenery to Portland
We take an early afternoon train down the Pacific coast to Portland. The train has modern and very comfortable “Talgo” tilting coaches.
Day 5 Mount Hood Railway
Full day excursion to Mount Hood. Leaving Portland by private coach, we drive up the famous Columbia River Gorge, visiting the spectacular Multnomah Falls, then riding the Mount Hood Railway to Parkdale. Continue by road to the Timberline Lodge at 6000ft on the slopes of Mount Hood. Return to Portland for overnight stay.
Day 6 Explore Portland
We have a free day to explore this elegant and attractive riverside city. Transport enthusiasts will delight at the extensive modern light rail system and city tramway based on European practice.
Day 7 The "Coast Starlight"
After a free morning, we join Amtrak’s “Coast Starlight” as it journeys south through the Cascade Ranges. All meals are included on the train and its comfortable lounge and bar cars will ensure that you can enjoy the panoramic views. Overnight accommodation on the train is in comfortable two berth roomettes or, for a supplementary charge, two berth bedrooms with private facilities. It is possible to have either type of cabin for single occupancy by paying an additional charge.
Day 8 Sacramento
We arrive in Sacramento around breakfast time and have the rest of the day to relax. A visit to the large Sacramento Railroad Museum has been arranged.
Day 9 Coastal Highway
We now make the short journey across to the west coast by private coach before heading north once more along the spectacular coastal Highway 1. The magnificent scenery will require numerous photo stops but we should arrive in sleepy Little River by late afternoon. The hotel is situated in its own grounds on a beautiful bay in which wading birds can be found.
Day 10 The "Skunk" Train
We have a short transfer to Fort Bragg, home of the California Western Railroad. The line was founded in 1885 as a logging railway and still operates a passenger service along a 40 mile route through the redwood forest, along the Noyo River and over the coast mountain range. Known locally as the “Skunk” because of its early gasoline powered railcars (you can smell ‘em before you can see ‘em), we take the morning train the length of the line to Willits with a break for a BBQ lunch (included) at Northspur. At Willits our coach will meet us and transfer us to San Francisco for an overnight stay in the Fisherman’s Wharf district.
Day 11 The Napa Valley Wine Train
Most of the day is at leisure to explore this lovely coastal city. Our hotel is close to the terminus of one of the famous cable car lines, also the Fisherman’s Wharf terminus of streetcar line F which still runs vintage trams from all over the USA and even Europe. The ferry terminals for cruises to the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz are three minutes walk away. An early evening transfer will take us to the Napa Valley Wine Train for a unique dining experience (included in the price of your holiday). Enjoy a gourmet meal with local wine whilst travelling through California’s historic wine country.
We now head south by coach to visit Roaring Camp and two more of California’s independent railways. Firstly we take a round trip on a narrow gauge steam hauled logging railway, the Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad, where we find a “Shay” logging locomotive in action on the steepest gradient of any narrow gauge line in the USA. Return in time for lunch in the old logging town and then take the afternoon train on the Santa Cruz, Big Trees and Pacific Railway through the San Lorenzo River Canyon and down to the Pacific Coast. After returning to Roaring Camp, our coach meets us and transfers us back to our hotel in San Francisco.
Day 13 Relax in San Francisco
Most of the day is free before a late afternoon transfer to the airport for a flight home.
Day 14 Arrive London
Arrive in London after breakfast.
|With standard roomette on Amtrak:||£2,895|
|With deluxe bedroom on Amtrak:||£3,013|
|Single Room Supplements:|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£200|
Rates of exchange used are as at 1st August 2012