Is a scenic train journey on your bucket list for 2019? Have you always wanted to experience North America’s great national parks by rail such as Glacier National Park or the Grand Canyon? Or take an exciting train vacation to a top city destination like New Orleans, Seattle, or Niagara Falls? Join us for this exciting, live presentation and learn about 7 rail vacations you need to experience firsthand!
From cross-country, scenic journeys on the most iconic train routes in the US and Canada, to rail getaways to the destinations on everyone’s ‘must see’ list, we’ll tell you why these 7 vacations will rank high on your bucket list.
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good afternoon everyone thank you for signing on today's Amtrak vacations seven bucket-list rail journeys I'm so excited to talk to you about some absolutely wonderful bucket list rail trips with Amtrak vacations here I am your host Jared Kittinger I'm here to talk to you all about some of our different products some of the benefits of traveling on Amtrak what the rooms even look like on the train and feel free to type any questions that you have right into the questions box on the side of the GoToWebinar panel I will make sure to take time at the end of the presentation for any Q&A also you're gonna want to hang on to the end of the presentation for two special reasons one lucky webinar attendee will win a $100 Amtrak vacations gift card that I will announce the winner at the end of the presentation additionally we will be having some exclusive attendee only discounts for the presentation so you definitely don't want to hang on with me right up until the end and we do have a couple of handouts that you can download right on the side of the GoToWebinar panel so if you want any of those please feel free to do so now why travel with Amtrak vacations well number one it's a bucket list experience I can't tell you how many folks we've had that we've surveyed after they traveled with us and the number one reason they won with us in the first place is that it was a bucket list experience room to roam with Amtrak you can get up and walk around the train at your leisure go down to the cafe car the dining car or my personal favorite the observation dome lounge less hassle so good news folks if you did want a book an Amtrak vacation strip all you have to do is call our very helpful call center at the presentation all your meals are automatically included within the cost of the trip all the meals on the train are already included within the cost and then flexibility you may see a package on this presentation or online on our web site or even a brochure you might have received and looked at and said hey this itinerary looks great but I want to customize it to fit my travel needs we can absolutely customize any trip to fit your travel style now you may be saying where can I start my rail vacation well there's so many different stations all throughout the USA in Canada we can get you going up from the most local hometown and here's one of my favorite slides on the presentation it's the M tract of vacations systems map everywhere you see a colorful squiggly line is a route that Amtrak travels on everywhere you see a star is a destination that Amtrak vacations has a package going to including hotel sightseeing attractions and the training style in folks you are seeing that right we do cross the border up into Canada we cross up the border into Montreal Niagara Falls Toronto and Vancouver and we can even do cross Canada via rail packages now folks did you know that there's over 500 different Amtrak stations to choose from and a lot of our travelers particularly those traveling on the long-distance routes will actually choose to fly to the first point of departure and a home from the last point on the trip let me give you a hypothetical say you were going on our Empire Builder route that runs from Chicago all the way out across the top of the country out to Seattle you you may fly in a Chicago O'Hare board the train in Chicago take the train out to Seattle and fly home from SeaTac Airport to save yourself a little time and a little bit of money and some of the major benefits of traveling on Amtrak number one you're gonna see the country by taking the train you'll watch as the beauty of the United States and Canada just unfolds all around you and of course you can skip the traffic by taking the train because with Amtrak there's no one ahead of you and no one behind you and let me just ask you a question you don't even have to answer it but you can just answer it to yourself do you not like to fly because if you don't we can be a wonderful alternative for your travel style they say a picture's worth a thousand words I personally think this slide is worth a million because when you see out of the window of a plane clouds look pretty much the same no matter where you're flying well by the window of the train you'll see the beautiful Pacific coastline the great cities in North America like Chicago or even the Denver rocky mountain range right from the window of the Train now we have several different travel styles our most popular of which is the independent rail journeys those are the multi City multi destination trips traveling on the long-distance rail routes rail experiences so packages that are more focused on the rail travel style and less on the destination apiece rail getaway so quick two three maybe four more nights stays in the major US or Canadian cities with sightseeing attraction bundled together and of course using the train to get there and to get home rail and sails so yes we Amtrak vacations can do cruise packages either on the Empire Builder traveling at Chicago all the way up to Seattle or Vancouver or the coast starlight running from Los Angeles up the coast of California up into Seattle or Vancouver before boarding a Norwegian Alaskan cruise and then custom rail journeys I can't emphasize this enough you may see a package on the presentation you may see a package online you may see a package in a brochure and you think the itinerary looks great but you want to add a couple of days in a city or you've already been to a city so you want to take out that city or not do as many days in that destination or you may want to add extra tours in the place we can customize any trip to fit your travel needs and I hope everybody is all aboard as we jump in and start talking about some of the absolute phenomenal rail routes in the United States one particular one is the Downeaster running from Boston up into Portland Maine in this fits perfectly with our New England fall foliage packages that does three nights in Boston before taking the Downeaster up into Portland for two nights in Portland in Boston during the three nights stay there we provide a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour that's one of those trolleys that travels out through the city stopping at the major attractions all around Boston where you can get on and off the tour at your leisure a sightseeing tour of historic Lexington and Concord so you'll actually get to go on a very comfortable bus and travel all through Lexington and Concord and basically repeat the ride that Paul Revere took during the Revolutionary War but from the comfort of a very comfortable bus and then the tour ends at in Cambridge where you can explore Harvard University and then it wouldn't be a fall foliage trip without a fall foliage tour included which is our sightseeing New England and fall foliage tour that which runs from Boston out through central Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire along some of the most scenic fall foliage travel routes and then after leaving Boston on the Downeaster and going up into Portland we have the sightseeing tour of the five historic Portland lighthouses so it's a little trolley that will travel all throat downtown Portland taking you to the five major historic lighthouses all around the city of Portland and that is our New England fall foliage trip covering Boston and Portland Maine now this next trip is fantastic because it hits the number one two two and three most scenic rail routes voted in the United States on Amtrak this departs from Chicago during two nights on the Empire Builder out to Seattle now the Empire Builder was voted number three most scenic rail route in the country though you'll spend one night in Seattle before going overnight on the coast starlight voted the number one most scenic rail route in the country spend two nights in San Francisco and then board the California Zephyr running back to Chicago which was voted number two most scenic rail route in the country so you hit the number one two and three all on one trip alone in Seattle will provide you with a hop-on hop-off seeing tour as well as in San Francisco and a tour of the giant redwoods out at Muir Woods in Sausalito and a sightseeing cruise of San Francisco Bay and that is our Northern Rail experience again hitting the top three most scenic rail routes in the United States it with stops in Seattle and San Francisco along the way now these next packages are great because they are not only packages that highlight scenic Amtrak routes but they also highlight America's national parks and so this is a huge draw for many people because it's a great experience to go out and see the national parks by rail the first of which is Rocky Mountains two arches and Canyonlands getaway this does two nights in Denver with a fully guided day tour out to Rocky Mountain National Park so you'll have all the comfort of staying in a major US city like Denver while still getting to go out and explore Rocky Mountain National Park again that's a full day tour on a big comfy motor coach bus they'll travel all throughout the Rocky Mountains after that two days in Denver you'll board the California Zephyr which actually also that train rides through the Denver Rockies heading out to Grand Junction Colorado for two nights in Grand Junction with a full day tour that covers both arches national park and Canyonlands National Park all in one so this is an absolutely phenomenal package hitting three major National Park Rocky Mountain National Park arches and Canyonlands as well so it's a really wonderful package with a beautiful train ride from Denver out to Grand Junction then we have the Glacier National Park Express now I did mention earlier that the independent rail journeys were our most popular types of packages well folks Glacier National Park is our top selling destination the reason why it's only 209 steps from the door of the Glacier Park station to the door of the Glacier Park Lodge and so the Glacier Park Express is our top-selling independent rail journey this does two nights in Chicago before heading on the Empire Builder out to Glacier National Park and then finishing in Seattle while in Chicago we provide a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour in Glacier National Park we include a full day tour of the Big Sky Circle tours what it's called it's done in those historic 1930s red buses that travel all throughout the park and you'll also get a morning boat cruise on a scenic and serene lake up in Glacier and then in Seattle we have admission to the Space Needle so that is the Glacier National Park Express our top selling independent rail journey and then we have another multiple national park trip this is our Grand National Parks with Yellowstone Yosemite and the Grand Canyon and people always get excited about this one because you hit three major national parks on one trip alone this departs out of Chicago going overnight on the California Zephyr out to Salt Lake City you'll spend one night in Salt Lake City before transferring up to Yellowstone National Park for two nights in Yellowstone with a full day tour of Yellowstone National Park as well and then after that you'll return to Salt Lake and continue the California Zephyr overnight out to San Francisco for two nights in San Francisco with a full day tour out to Yosemite National Park after Yosemite in San Francisco you'll take the beautiful coast starlight route down to Los Angeles for one night in LA before going overnight on the Southwest Chief out to Williams Arizona which we use as our gateway to the Grand Canyon so you'll spend one night in Williams then you'll take the historic Grand Canyon Railway train from Williams through the desert and Ponderosa force right into the South Rim of the canyon now what's great is you'll get off the Grand Canyon Railway train and immediately board a sightseeing tour of the South Rim meanwhile your luggage is being handled right to your hotel room for you so it's an out of sight out of mind experience you'll have your day tour of the Grand Canyon after that they drop you back at your hotel where your luggage is already placed in your room you'll have that whole afternoon free as well as the next morning before boarding the Grand Canyon Railway train back out of the canyon to Williams and then heading overnight up into Chicago now the during they stay in Yellowstone we provide a full day tour of Yellowstone's lower loop such big aspects of the tour include the Grand Prismatic spring which is one of those hot springs as you can see he featured here in the picture you'll also get to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone yes folks there's also Grand Canyon up in Yellowstone as well which is a giant canyon with a rushing waterfall running into a giant running river it's quite a sight to see and then of course you will get an opportunity to go see Old Faithful erupt now when you're out in the San Francisco area we use that as our gateway to Yosemite so you'll have a full day tour of Yosemite National Park the tour will take you out of San Francisco across the Golden Gate Bridge out to Yosemite National Park now it's nice is you'll get a morning tour of Yosemite National Park and then you actually get a couple hours of free time on your own if you want if you're a hiker want to do a little hiking you can do that if you just want to grab some a picnic lunch in the park you could do that as well all of that it's free for you to choose and then at the end of the day will transport you back to San Francisco and then you'll head down to LA and out to Williams in the Grand Canyon you know again we do round-trip service on the Grand Canyon right away this is based in coach accommodations however if you did want to upgrade on the Grand Canyon Railway for the ride into and out of the canyon we have such spots as the first class on the Grand Canyon Railway which are those big comfy plush seats with refreshments included or even the observation dome where it's a giant glass dome that goes all the way up to the roof and then while staying in the South Rim of the canyon we provide a freedom tour of the Grand Canyon South Rim that is the Grand national parks with Yellowstone Yosemite and the Grand Canyon all in one now if you wanted just a smaller trip to see what's a national park might I suggest the Grand Canyon getaway round-trip from Chicago it's fairly simple you'll depart out of Chicago or your most local hometown going oh and but for here when you go from Chicago overnight on the Southwest chief down to Williams you'll arrive in Williams Arizona in the evening and you'll get in just in time for bedtime so check in to the hotel the next morning you'll wake up have a nice hearty breakfast at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel then you'll take that grand key and railway train into the canyon and again it's just like the package I described before you'll get into the canyon you'll get off the Grand Canyon Railway train and immediately board a sightseeing tour of the south rim of the canyon while your luggage is handled to your room then you'll be brought back to your hotel room at the end of the tour you have that afternoon free as the net and as well as the next morning and then the Grand Canyon Railway train goes back to Williams you'll actually have one more night in Williams with a dinner included right at the hotel and then the next day you'll take the Southwest Chief back up to Chicago so that was the grand king getaway round-trip from Chicago but again folks like I said we can customize any of these trips to fit your travel needs so even if it means not coming from Chicago but maybe coming for your from your the most local hometown that's all possible now I'm very excited to announce that we now have added packages that will highlight Bryce national park Zion National Park in Capitol Reef National Park and in this particular package we combine it with the Grand Canyon as well but that isn't always necessary if you just want to do Bryce in Zion and Capitol Reef just as their own we could always do that as well but this package departs out of Los Angeles going overnight on the Southwest Chief you'll head down into Williams and transform four from Williams on the Grand Canyon Railway into the South Rim of the canyon it's just like before you'll get off the tour the the train rather you in the south rim board the tour of the south rim and have the afternoon free and spend one night in the South Rim however what will happen from here is that a a private SUV either a Cadillac Escalade or a Chevy Suburban with your own private tour guide will pick you up from the Grand Canyon South Rim the next day and drive you up into Lake Powell I'll have a little time in the beautiful Lake Powell show you that in a second before taking taking the transfer continued up into Zion National Park for a full tour of Zion after that you'll be transferred to Springdale Utah and have one night in Springdale at a hotel that includes breakfast the next day after spending the night in Springdale that same driver and that same SUV will pick you up from Springdale and drive you up to Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Parks and you'll have a full tour of Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef before finishing that transfer in the cat the escalator the suburban up in the Grand Junction for one night in Grand Junction before taking the California Zephyr out to San Francisco for one night in San Francisco and then finishing the route down in LA and as before we include the sightseeing tour of the Grand Canyon as well as a one-way in coach accommodations on the Grand Canyon relay or you could upgrade to a first-class or maybe even the observation dome after the night in the canyon we take you out to Lake Powell on your way out to Springdale Utah and if you ever wanted to know why someone wants to go to Lake Powell here's a great example of the beauty that's at Lake Powell from there you'll continue on to Zion National Park an absolutely phenomenal National Park very popular and Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef national parks as well before ending in Grand Junction in San Francisco so this is the national parks of the southwest the Grand Canyon and beyond combining the Grand Canyon Lake Powell Zion National Park Bryce Canyon National Park in Capitol Reef national park as well now we don't just do national parks we also can do quick city getaways such as Niagara Falls Washington DC San Francisco New York City such examples would be the New York City ultimate getaway that does three nights hotel accommodations in New York with a multi-day hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour all throughout the city and the New York City pass including multiple excursions and activities all throughout New York we have the Washington DC getaway which does three nights hotel accommodations with a hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour in a mission to either the International Spy Museum or the museum we can even do San Francisco on its own with with the San Francisco ultimate getaway with three nights hotel accommodations a multi-day hop-on hop-off sightseeing tour of San Francisco a San Francisco City Pass and dinner at a popular local restaurant right down on pier 39 so those are some just quick getaways if you want to just do like a long weekend or take the train to one of the major US cities we can of course handle that just the same now one common question is if I'm going on these trips how much luggage should I carry with me well you're allowed to carry ons of up to 50 pounds each and to check bags of up to 50 pounds each and that is per person and that is completely free also we get quite often when should I get to the station well with the airline as we know you usually have to get to the airport two three hours ahead of time with M track you can't even get there up to an hour to 45 minutes ahead of time and that's normally what we suggest getting there 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time and you there's no long TSA lines to worry about if you get there 45 minutes to an hour ahead of time you should be safe to board the train it will take a few minutes to talk about the onboard accommodations on Amtrak and then I'll of course open the floor to some QA and of course the special discount offers and even the gift card award winner will be announced as well now with Coach accommodations coaches very comfortable on an Amtrak as you can see by the picture there is plenty of room and what I like best is there's no pesky middle seat the way there is on an airline with Amtrak just a very comfortable window seat a very comfortable aisle seat with a nice big picture window to enjoy the sights out of again plenty plenty of legroom with a leg rest that'll kick up a trade table that will fold down and plenty of room above head for your luggage now if you're traveling overnight and you want a sleeper the first step up from Coach to a sleeper car is the room at which during the day it's its own little cabin with two big plush seats a big picture window to enjoy the sights out of a tray table that'll fold down a door that will shut and lock with blinds that will go over the windows for privacy if you need to do so and then at night as you can see by the diagram everything folds down the bunk style sleeping accommodations now one might say Jarrett where's the bathroom well with the room at the bathrooms are down the hall there's four bathrooms to every room at car and only those staying in that room that car can actually utilize those bathrooms however if you absolutely did want to have your own private bathroom in the room itself the next level up is the sleeper bedroom which is a little bit bigger of a room and has a long couch in our client chair a big picture window to enjoy the sights out of a tray table that will fold down and its own bathroom in the room itself it's still bunk style sleeping accommodations but that bathroom is only for yours to use and then as I stated before on the majority of the routes as long as you have a sleeper compartment on the train included all your meals are included with a full menu of options that we can make to order and in its it's basically like a rolling restaurant is how we refer to it now if you did want to do a little bit of quick research we you can always go on our website at Amtrak of vacations calm I simply click on the destinations tab a little tab will come down with you know whether you want to travel the East Coast West Coast national parks cruises whatever you want to do so you can do that now how to book us well like I said you can do some research on us at Amtrak vacations calm you can call your local travel agent if there's a travel agent you prefer to work with they we work with travel agents all the time that's not a problem or if you just want to call us directly you can call us at one eight hundred two six eight seven two five two and talk with one of our friendly vacation consultants and put together a trip for you now some everyday discounts because well people like to travel but they also like to save a little bit as well senior 65 and older will receive a 10% discount on the rail portion of a package children aged 2 to 12 receive half off the rail portion of an Amtrak package and then any active military personnel spouses and dependents will receive a 10% discount on the rail portion of an Amtrak package now just for you webinar attendees we have a special upgrade offer and this is coming to an email INBOX near you so what it is is if you book us with an upgrade to either a roommate or bedroom by August 29th you'll get you can going into your email get your voucher and we will say save you a $50 per person or up to $100 per couple off the top of the package by booking us with an upgraded sleeper car on the train by August 29th now the voucher is only good till August 20 nights so you're going to want to give us a call right before them now I will open the floor to some questions I know some of you have already typed the questions in and if you haven't yet feel free to and I will then after that I will announce the lucky $100 gift card winner someone asks does Amtrak allow dogs less than 20 pounds to travel with this I do believe certain routes they do amtrak vacations doesn't really have much to do with any animal travel so you would have to check that for those parameters directly with Amtrak themselves someone asked about Oh about a meal being only one meal included on on one of our itineraries that I showed previously so one so like I said as long as you travel with a sleeper compartment the meals included on the majority of the trips now that is isn't always factored into what the itinerary say so don't let that alarm you most of the meals however when you're actually at the destinations say San Francisco if you you know you go into San Francisco get away you would most of the time pay out-of-pocket for your own meals so we don't give you a meal every single day of your trip it's just when you're traveling on the train with an upgraded to a room a tour bedroom now we occasionally will include a voucher for a good restaurant in one of the major cities such as San Francisco include one dinner at a restaurant on Pier 39 but the rest of the time the meals are out of pocket so I hope that kind of answered the question for you does a bedroom have a larger window than a room at the the bedrooms themselves are larger the windows those are actually pretty much the same size I might be a tad bit bigger but I've seen the windows of a bedroom and around windows of a room and they're pretty much the same so someone asked if I'm traveling in coach do we amtrak vacations or Amtrak offer a meal plan unfortunately not the meals would have to be out of pocket either it from the cafe car or the dining car that someone asked about a triple-a or AARP discount so as of right now the only discounts that we can provide are the senior active military and child amtrak previously had a triple-a discount but they recently removed it but uh but seniors 65 and older children to two to twelve and then any active military personnel can get it so someone asked about being having a single accommodation for a moment you can put if you're just a single traveler going on your own that's no problem you just purchase the remote it's your roommate for the duration of the time you're in it no one else would be sharing it with you the coach seats are first-come first-served so you know you would just boy the Train there's no pre assigned seating like there is on an airline with Amtrak you just you'll have a seat and coach you're guaranteed a seating coach you board the train and you know you sit wherever you so choose you just pick a seat in the coach section and that seems like it's the end of the questions so thank you folks for attending today and I'm really Oh someone did ask some somebody asked about going from East Glacier which we thought we featured in the presentation up into Canada so yes you absolutely can go on up on the train out to Glacier however to get up into Canada you would either have to continue on the train route out to Seattle and then cut up through Vancouver it's aboard the via rail or you would have to just simply get a rental car in ease you know in East Glacier and then drive up across the border there isn't a train connect from Glacier up into Canada oh I guess there are more cut questions coming in someone's asking about accessible accommodations so yes there are ATA accessible rooms on the lower level of the train now those usually go really fast because people you know there's only so many and people need them and so if you do have an ad a requirement please book in with us ASAP someone asked if I have a room ed or bedroom can I have my meals in my room yes you absolutely can in fact there is a train car attendant to every room at car in every bedroom car and so if in so when it comes time for a lunch do you know what have you the train car attendant will come around and see what time you wanted to have dinner what reservation you want to make or you get when they come around you can just say hey I'd rather have my dinner in my room and tell them when you'd want it and they would help you out with that someone else is there a smoking area there is no smoking areas on the train you would have to if you do smoke you would have to do it at one of the stops along the way and they will announce how long you the train is stopped at each stop so then you can use your best judgment about getting off the train someone asked if you have a room that will we be able to go out in a coach class yes you absolutely can you're not confined to your room at the way you're confined to a seat on an airline with Amtrak you'll walk around the train at your leisure and so if you're in a room at and you want to go out and find a code open coach seat you absolutely have the ability bedrooms are on each side of the train so you the bedrooms are all around the Train there's not just once that way any other questions all right if there's no other questions I'm happy to announce the winner of the $100 Amtrak vacations gift card that is Wayne Boston so Wayne congratulations oh so I Wayne you know I hope you stick with us but I guess we have a couple more questions coming in bedrooms not all bedrooms are always on there's like one or two on the bottom but most of them are always on the top and the view liner doesn't have a full bathroom in the room the bathrooms still down the hall so that looks like the end of the questions today so I want to thank you folks for joining and everyone keep your eye out for your email because you're all going to be getting a $100 voucher again if you upgrade by August 29th to a sleeper compartment on the train for one of our packages you can save up to $100 and then Wayne you will get a $100 Amtrak vacations gift card as well in your email so thank you everybody and have a nice day