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  • New York
  • Chicago
  • Denver
  • San Francisco
  • Napa Valley

Fancy an epic train ride from bustling New York to hip San Francisco while having the experience of a lifetime? Look no further. This is it!

Across the USA from East to West Coast you are invited to enjoy staggering vistas, majestic rock formations and a whole host of exciting things to do. To positively maximise your experience a perfect balance has been generated between the sitting back and relaxing part and the active discovery of the cities and Rockies along the way.

En-route you explore The Big Apple, allow charming and windy Chicago to captivate your heart, breathe in the fresh mountain air as you skim along the rocks in Denvers Rocky Mountain National Park and make sure you taste the delicious and internationally praised Napa Valley wines from the most well-known wine region of the USA. End of the line is San Francisco where a selfie at the Golden Gate Bridge is of course a must to round off this phenomenal train journey. It definitely changes from your daily train ride to work, doesn't it.

Individual

Day 1 - New York

Visit New York's buzzling night scenes before tucking in for the night.

Day 3 - New York

Today a full day’s exploration of The Big Apple awaits. You have time to soak up its world famous energy and see its hotspots up close. A Belgian BENY guide will take you to the best spots of the metropolis and unveil some of its secrets for you: the best way to get the maximum out of a minimum of time.

Day 3 - New York > Chicago

While just a while ago you were still painting the town red in New York you now find yourself onboard the overnight train to Chicago, the Windy City.

Days 4 & 5 - Chicago

Chi-Town is ready to welcome you with open arms and so is our Belgian guide, Leentje De Leeuw who will happily guide you through the historical and cultural maze of this wonderful world city by revealing some of its most significant milestone spots, facts and anecdotes. After that the Windy City is open to all your quests.

Day 6 - Chicago > Denver

Tonight you say goodbye to Chicago as you board the train towards Denver, the Mile-high city. As the tracks clickety clack you to sleep, a new adventure awaits you in the morning.

Day 7 & 8 - Denver

Botanic gardens with a capital B and a city for culture buffs: Denver, the gateway to the Rocky Mountains, can undoubtedly tempt you go explore in a rich and rewarding way. On day 2 of your stay here a trip to the Rocky Mountain National Park has been scheduled. You will get a chance to spot wild animals, go rock-climbing and immortalize some brilliant vistas as Instaproof shots. Lunch is served at the Grand Lake and the lively ski village of Winter Park is bound to warm the cockles of your heart.

Day 9 - Denver > San Francisco

With the impressions of the Rocky Mountains still alive in your mind’s eye you board the Amtrak train direction San Francisco. Sweet dreams.

Day 10 - San Francisco

This vibrant city is bound to capture your heart. First thing to do? A picture at Golden Gate Bridge Stroll through the centre, hop on a trolley and dine on the Bay. Whatever you do, enjoy!

Day 11 - San Francisco > Napa Valley > San Francisco

Today you immerse yourself in the vineyards of Napa Valley and rest assured: tasting is allowed. Not only the wines will captivate your senses, the breath-taking landscapes will gladly oblige as well.

Day 12 - San Francisco

Unfortunately even fairy tales come to an end. After a few more memorable moments in San Francisco time has come to head to the airport in order to board your return flight to Brussels.

Hotels & Meals

Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain. Traditional American cuisine uses indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup, which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers.

Slow-cooked pork and beef barbecue, crab cakes, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies are distinctively American foods. Soul food, developed by African slaves, is popular around the South and among many African Americans elsewhere. Syncretic cuisines such as Louisiana Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex are regionally important. The confectionery industry in the United States includes The Hershey Company, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. In addition, Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. The United States has a vast breakfast cereal industry that includes brands such as Kellogg's and General Mills.

Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. Americans generally prefer coffee to tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.

The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1930s. Fast food consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%; frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic". Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.

(Wikipedia)

Travel Documents

  • Travel documents: All Belgian nationals*  (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (biometric) containing min. 2 blank pages,  valid at day of entry and during the entire stay. Connections recommends to let common sense prevail and to build in some slack in terms of validity. Often unforeseen circumstances (weather factors, volcanoes, and threats all kinds) are the cause of a mandatory postponed return date. A credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car.Please keep this in mind. We strongly recommend you to print out the Esta- or Eta permit and to have it on you while you travel to avoid problems. Consult the latest travel information and up-to-date travel advice on diplomatie.be/nl. 

  • All passengers who travel to and /or via the U.S. must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure. The ESTA procedure must be requested via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and paid by a personal credit card only. Please verify the latest updates on travel advice, documents and requirements on http://diplomatie.be/nl.

  • Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents. They must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and pay by a personal credit card only.

Insurances

Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year.  We guarantee you the best protection at the best price. 

Tailored travel

The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts

Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at groups@connections.be or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.

Health

No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be.
Medical interventions and costs can soon become outrageous in the U.S.A. Reflect before leaving and subscribe a decent travel insurance. Our protections All-in Premier insurance was especially designed specifically for travel to the U.S.A. and provides ample cover for all major calamities (fly-on-time and natural disasters included)!

Time Zones

The United States span 4 time zones:

  • Eastern (- 6 h)
  • Central (- 7 h)
  • Mountain (- 8 h)
  • Pacific (- 9 h)

Daylight saving time 2018: In The USA the clock is set forward in the night of Sunday 12 MAR 2017 at 2am.  In Belgium, the clock is set forward on Sunday 26 MAR 2017 at 02am. This entails that between 12 and 26 March, the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.

Winter time 2018: Belgium turns the clock back one hour on Sunday 29 OCT 2017 at 02am.  The USA turns back the arms of the clock on the night of Saturday, 5 nov at 2am. That entails that during the latter week the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.

Currency

Currency

US Dollar (USD), 1 USD = 0,86 EUR & 1 EUR = 1.16 USD (21/06/2018)

Payment Methods
  • A personal credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. The most convenient method of payment is by credit card but cash euros and dollars in small amount come in handy. Inform yourself timely, as from January 15, 2015 your Visa and/or MasterCard credit card (and possibly other types of credit cards) has automatically been set to "not for use in the US, for US car rental agencies and during cruises under the American flag".
  • You must then apply for a release of your credit card. This may be done prior to your arrival in the U.S. (in your bank branch or via the telephone number listed on the back of your credit card or by means of a special form available for PC banking) as well as after arrival in the US (through a withdrawal at an ATM. Please note, in this case there will be a transaction fee charged to your account). The same applies to the Maestro function in your bank card.

Climate

Average Temperatures (°C):
Destination J F M A M J J A S O N D
San Francisco 13 16 16 17 18 19 19 19 21 21 18 14
Las Vegas 14 17 21 26 31 37 40 39 34 27 19 14
New York  3  5 10 16 22 26 29 28 24 18 12  6
Miami 24 25 26 28 30 31 32 32 31 29 27 25
Chicago -1  2  8 15 22 27 29 28 24 17 9  2
Washington DC  6  8 13 19 24 29 31 30 26 20 14  8

What's included?

  • Return flights on United Airlines in K-class (ex Amsterdam) & airport taxes
  • 8 night accommodation in 3* hotels
  • 3 nights aboard the train: the Amtrak in Coach Class between New York - Chicago & Chicago - Denver
  • & the Lakeshore Limited en de California Zephyr between Denver - San Francisco 
  • 2x dinner
  • 48h Hop On Hop Off sightseeing in New York & Chicago
  • BE-NY guided walk New York & Chica-Go guided walk in Chicago
  • Chicago citypass
  • Sightseeing tour of Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Sightseeing tour of Napa Valley & Sonoma
  • Listed price is per person sharing based on double room

What's not included?

All personal expenses and upgrades.

Good to Know

Departs on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays!
INCREASE YOUR COMFORT OVERNIGHT

Travel in a Roomette instead of Coach Class:+€359/pp
Travel in a Bedroom instead of Coach Class: +€965/pp

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