The U.S. will welcome a new luxury train experience in summer 2011 when Denver-based American Railway Explorer (ARE) introduces an exclusive “rail cruise” that combines world-class food, comfortable on-board accommodations and on- and off-train experiences while traveling through spectacular scenery throughout the country, some accessible only on ARE excursions. After overhauling railcars and developing specific itineraries, ARE will operate four-, eight- and 11-day tours featuring accommodations, meals, entertainment, off-train transportation and interpretive guides.
The itineraries will be developed to ensure that the American Railway Explorer travels mostly through the night and allows guests to disembark for day excursions. At each stop, passengers will have opportunities to participate in various guided tours or to set their own itineraries. The eight-day Southwest Explorer will operate between Napa, CA. and Santa Fe, NM. This excursion will include guided Napa tours; Yosemite National Park; Santa Barbara, CA.; Grand Canyon National Park; Williams, AZ.; Albuquerque, NM. and Santa Fe, NM.
The Northwest Explorer, also an eight-day trip, will travel between Napa and Jackson, WY, with stops in Crater Lake National Park; Glacier National Park; Helena, MT; Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This excursion will also include a narrated daytime run through the Columbia River Gorge along the Oregon-Washington border.
The Transcontinental Explorer will be an 11-day tour operating twice in 2011 between Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. with stops in San Francisco, Sacramento, Denver, Chicago, Niagara Falls, Shenandoah National Park and Washington, D.C. This excursion will also feature narrated daytime runs through the Sierra Nevada mountain range, the Rocky Mountains through Utah and Colorado and along Lake Erie.
The four-day West Coast Explorer will operate between Napa and Los Angeles with Napa Valley winery tours and stops at attractions along the way, including the Hearst Castle and Monterey Bay Aquarium.
Last year the American Railway Explorer purchased 1950s-era vintage railcars that are undergoing a comprehensive transformation to restore and improve upon the high standards of the original train. The equipment will feature 11 sleeper cars, one lounge/piano car, two dining cars, two dome cars and one observation car. The train will also include accommodations for crew members. An executive chef will prepare meals on board using sustainable and locally produced ingredients.
Rates per person will start at approximately $900 per day for the West Coast Explorer up to $1,500 per day for the Transcontinental Explorer. The capacity for the Explorers is 130 guests. Passengers meet the first night at a designated hotel for a welcome dinner and overnight stay. They are responsible for making their own travel arrangements to the originating city and from the final destination. Reservations may be made at www.americanrailwayexplorer.com.