Chicago to Seattle

Holiday Highlights

  • Explore Chicago and Seattle
  • Travel on the mighty Empire Builder
  • Minnesota State Fair (subject to date of travel)
  • A true slice of Americana
  • Optional excursions can be arranged and this holiday can be tailored to suit your interests
  • Break your journey at any of the 39 stops between Chicago and Seattle
  • Follow Billy’s footsteps and stop in Glasgow, Montana or Williston, North Dakota
  • Enjoy the hospitality of small town America

Iconic comedian and actor Billy Connelly circumnavigates all four corners of the United States by train in his latest ITV travel series. See him visit 28 states and 8,000 miles of cities, coast, mountains, desert and swamp over three episodes – a travelogue that follows the tracks of the pioneers who built a nation and inspired the romance of the American dream. Billy heads into the vast and astonishing landscapes that make up America’s backyard. On the way he meets a truly remarkable cast of people who capture the irresistible spirit of America and he regales us with tales of his favourite kinds of people: outlaws, singers, fighters and dreamers.

You too can follow in Billy’s footsteps as Ffestiniog Travel have created rail tour itineraries that mirror each of the first three episodes. In Episode 1 Billy Connolly begins his rail journey in Chicago and travels on the Empire Builder train to Seattle, visiting Montana's answer to Glasgow (named after his own home city) en route and much more.

If you are interested in any aspect of this Tailored Rail tour don’t hesitate to contact Ffestiniog Travel direct at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss options.


Day 1 – Fly to Chicago

Fly from the UK to Chicago for a 2-night stay.

Day 2 – At Leisure in Chicago

We include a CityPASS so that you can visit the Field Museum, including the Underground Adventure, Shedd Aquarium, Skydeck Chicago and a choice between the John Hancock Observatory OR Museum of Science and Industry and the Adler Planetarium OR Art Institute of Chicago.

Day 3 – Board the mighty Empire Builder

Board the Empire Builder train after lunch for the 8 hour ride to the Twin Cities of St Paul and Minneapolis. Enjoy a 2-night stay in St Paul.

Day 4 – Minnesota State Fair

Spend the day at the Minnesota State Fair, 22nd August to 2nd September 2019. If these dates don’t suit there are plenty of other things to see and do. The Cathedral of Saint Paul, National Shrine of the Apostle Paul is one of the most distinctive cathedrals in the United States. Why not visit the home of James J. Hill, builder of the Great Northern Railway, now a National Historic Landmark. The Minneapolis Skyway System is an interlinked collection of enclosed pedestrian footbridges connecting various buildings over 11 miles enabling you to explore in climate-controlled comfort year-round.

Day 5 – Matt’s Jucy Lucy

Enjoy another day in the Twin Cities, not forgetting to visit Matt’s for a famous Jucy Lucy burger. This evening board the Empire Builder again.

Day 6 – On Board the Empire Builder

Awake this morning as you cross the North Dakota plains and travel over the spectacular Gassman Coulee Trestle. Skirting the Missouri, you'll cross into the Big Sky country of Montana and journey past the Glacier National Park. Overnight on board the train.

Day 7 – Seattle

The Empire Builder arrives in Seattle mid-morning. Spend the day seeing the sights of Seattle. Stay 2 nights in Seattle.

Day 8 – More Seattle

We include a CityPASS so you can visit the Space Needle (Day and Night ticket), Seattle Aquarium, take a Argosy Cruises Harbour Tour, visit the Pacific Science Centre (includes IMAX), the Woodland Park Zoo and much more.

Day 9 – Fly home

A day at leisure in Seattle before boarding an overnight flight back to London arriving the following day.

Selected Hotels

Hyatt Chicago Magnificent Mile, Chicago

Holiday Inn St Paul Downtown, St Paul

Best Western Plus Pioneer Square Hotel, Seattle

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights London/Chicago and return Seattle/London
  • CityPASSes for Chicago and Seattle
  • Amtrak tickets for journeys detailed in Coach Class reserved seats Chicago to St. Paul-Minneapolis, and Superliner Roomette from St. Paul-Minneapolis to Seattle
  • 6 nights’ accommodation in good quality hotels on a room only basis
  • Private airport transfers

Price per person

Quotes available upon request

Booking form

Download your tour booking form here.


24/7 Support


Ffestiniog Travel provides 'out of hours' support for all independent travellers in the event of an emergency.

Why Choose Ffestiniog Travel?

  • UK's first rail tour operator to run an overseas escorted rail holiday in 1974
  • Created for people who love rail holidays and exploring the world’s heritage railways
  • Dedicated rail holiday specialist - great destinations, sightseeing and unparalled railway content
  • Train ticket supplier for worldwide rail operators - we can plan and arrange your rail journey to anywhere
  • Knowledge of the world’s rail routes makes us leading specialists in escorted and Tailor Made rail holidays
  • Over 60% of our existing rail tour travellers return to holiday with us year after year
  • Committed to supporting rail travel and heritage railways around the world
  • Our profits support the continued preservation of the famous Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railways
  • Small, dedicated rail holiday travel team offering an award winning personal service

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