Vacations by Rail, a global tour operator offering rail tours and combined rail-and-cruise products recently announced new and expanded trips for 2024. The newest offerings span the U.S., Canada, and Europe, but travel advisors can also consider Vacation by Rail excursions across five continents.
Vacation by Rail’s Newest Trips
Cuisine & Culture: Pacific Northwest A nine-day escorted tour, round trip to and from Seattle, with stops in Portland and points beyond in Oregon. Trains include Amtrak and the historic Mt. Hood Railroad as well as luxury bus touring and even a privately chartered boat tour of the San Juan Islands.
Highlights include vineyard, winery and brewery tours, farm-to-table dining experiences, sightseeing along the Pacific Coast and the Columbia River Gorge, complete with towering waterfalls and spectacular Pacific Northwest scenery, as well as city tours.
Fall Colors of Eastern Canada Rail & Cruise is a 13-day escorted tour from Montreal to Quebec by rail and Quebec to Boston by ship through St Lawrence and the Atlantic, with the reverse Boston-to-Montreal itinerary also available.
Highlights of the tour include fall foliage viewing, city tours of Boston, Quebec City, and Montreal, and visits to cruise ports of call including Bar Harbor, Halifax, Rockland, Sydney, and Charlottetown.
Anchorage & Talkeetna Northern Lights Getaway is a winter-season 4-day independent tour through Alaska via the Alaska Railroad between Anchorage and Talkeetna.
Guests will get many chances to view the northern lights on the journey, as well as stop for excursions including a sled-dog ride, as well as options for “flightseeing” via helicopter or seaplane. The independent itinerary allows for guests to customize their activities and timing throughout the trip.
Northern Lights & Alaska Highlights: A seven-day independent tour via the Aurora Winter Train between Anchorage and Fairbanks.
Trip activities are centered around northern light-viewing opportunities, and can also include excursions for ice fishing, soaking in the mineral waters at Chena Hot Springs, dog sledding, and even a trip across the Arctic Circle on the James Dalton Highway made famous in the “Ice Road Truckers” show.
Highlights of Southern Italy and Sicily: is a 12-day Escorted Tour by rail and ship, a professionally guided trip including Rome, the Amalfi Coast, and Sicily, along with tours in the lesser-visited Italian region of Puglia.
This trip features guided tours of Rome, cruise stops in Amalfi and Positano, a Sicilian stay in a 4-star beachfront hotel, visits to an island winery, the Valley of Temples, and viewing Mt. Etna via the famous narrow-gauge Circumetnea Railway, as well as food and history tours in Puglia.
Vacation by Rail Products
Vacation by Rail offers three main categories of vacation products (all highlighted in their new tours above): Escorted Rail Tours, Combination Rail Tour and River Cruises, and Independent Tours.
While the bulk of the company tours are in North America and Europe, Vacations by Rail also offers tours across four other continents in Africa, Asia, Australia, and South America.
- Escorted Rail Tours are guided group trips with a fixed itinerary that also usually includes some optional excursions.
- Combination Rail Tour and River Cruises include an escorted rail trip to the cruise embarkation point, which may also include rail rides at the end of the water-borne segment or between ports of call.
- Independent Tours include similar itineraries as Escorted Rail Tours, including rail travel, hotels, and meals, but offer greater flexibility with timing and add-on options. Travelers have the freedom to select activities at destinations and can customize the itinerary to suit their needs. While the trip will be self-directed without a guide, customers can get phone and web support via Vacations by Rail.
For Travel Advisors
Travel advisors can register on Vacations By Rail’s travel agent page to receive a monthly newsletter with information about new and popular tours and special offers. Vacations by Rail offers a 10% commission rate for advisors selling tours.