Shore Excursion

Just Add Land: Train Journeys

Ride the Rails

If a weeklong cruise just isn’t enough, combine it with a train adventure for a trip of a lifetime.

By Sherry Laskin

It’s not a new concept. Rail-and-sail vacations have been around for years. But lately, word is getting around about these unique extended adventures. When combined with a cruise, a rail journey offers a chance to explore territory that simply can’t be seen from a cruise ship.

Travel by train past snowcapped mountains and sleepy villages while nestled in luxurious accommodations. Settle into a plush lounge chair in a vintage glass-domed observation car. Indulge your palate with fine dining, complimentary cocktails, and luxurious accommodations.

Sound intriguing? Here are some of the most popular rail trips around the world to enhance your cruise vacation.

North to Alaska and Canada

If you’re interested in cruising, chances are you’re interested in cruising Alaska. This means typically cruising northbound or southbound between Anchorage and Seattle or Vancouver, or an Inside Passage cruise round-trip from Seattle or Vancouver.

But before or after that quintessential cruise, consider staying put to ride the rails even deeper into the countryside. Some cruise lines such as Princess Cruises and Royal Caribbean International offer their own rail service on various Alaska CruiseTour itinerary options.

Or, join the luxury railroad company Rocky Mountaineer, which traverses some of the most breathtaking scenery in the world. Travel through the Canadian Rockies, staying in renowned hotels along the way. With three different classes of service, there’s a train ride and accommodation choice for every budget.

Rocky Mountaineer train excursions range from a quick one-day jaunt to a full weeklong adventure, beginning, ending, or round-trip from Vancouver or Seattle. For example, embark on the eight-night round-trip journey from Vancouver and visit the quaint town of Jasper, chug on through the vast Columbia Icefield, gaze across sparkling Lake Louise, and spend time in the ski mecca of Banff.

Down to the Delta

If a river cruise in the United States is on your to-do list, hop aboard an authentic paddlewheeler and ply the Mississippi River on…

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Photo: Rocky Mountaineer

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