By Tyler Davidson
Reed Travel Features
SEATTLE -- TCS Expeditions, based here, is offering three new
rail journeys aboard the luxurious vintage American Orient Express
train, which is entering its third season of service.
In addition to the new seven-night Great Trans-Canada Rail
Journey between Vancouver, British Columbia, and Montreal, the line
is introducing a Great Northwest program and a Rockies and
According to Vicki Brems, vice president of marketing for TCS
Expeditions, the Rockies and Yellowstone itinerary was designed to
follow up on one of its popular programs highlighting some of the
premier national parks in the West.
The five-night Rockies and Yellowstone itinerary travels between
Denver and Portland, Ore., taking passengers over the Rocky
Mountains to Salt Lake City, with explorations by motorcoach into
Grand Teton and Yellowstone national parks.
The train continues west along the Columbia River and through
the Columbia River Gorge to Portland.
Departures are from Denver June 12 and Portland Oct. 6. The
price starts at $2,590 per person, double.
The eight-night National Parks of the West itinerary originates
in Santa Fe, N.M., or Denver and includes sightseeing in Grand
Canyon, Bryce Canyon and Zion national parks, a crossing of the
Rockies and a day in Salt Lake City to visit Great Salt Lake and
Departures are from Denver May 25 and Oct. 11 and from Santa Fe
May 17 and June 4; prices start at $3,990 per person.
The operator's Great Northwest itinerary rounds out the national
park theme by adding Glacier National Park to the mix.
"This is letting us move the train north and also letting us
have a look at Glacier National Park, Yellowstone and Grand Teton,"
Brems said of the new itineraries' focus. "So in 1997 we're sort of
expanding our national parks network."
Although TCS departs the train for the standard motorcoach tours
into the parks, the trip there is what makes the journey
"There aren't many ways to see the parks, except to drive, stay
at the hotels or take buses," Brems said.
"By traveling by rail through this wonderful scenery to get to
the park, you're seeing scenery you can't see any other way."
The five- or six-night Great Northwest programs, which operate
in June and September, travel along the Columbia River to the
Yakima Valley and end at Glacier National Park.
The train departs Portland June 17 on an itinerary that loops
through Glacier National Park and terminates in Seattle.
On the way back to Seattle the train travels through the Idaho
panhandle and across the Cascade Mountain Range.
Clients sleep on the train during the journey but have overnight
stays in Portland and Seattle on the day before and after the trip,
The tour cost starts at $1,990 per person, double.
A five-night Portland-Glacier National Park itinerary departs
the "Rose City" Sept. 8 and runs a reverse itinerary from Glacier
National Park Sept. 13.
The cost of this trip starts at $1,790 per person. There is one
hotel night spent in Portland before the Sept. 8 journey.
The itineraries include all excursions and most meals.
The privately owned and operated American Orient Express train
features 11 carriages from the streamliner era of the 1940s and
Two vintage dining cars are the setting for gourmet meal
service, with fine china, crystal, silver and linen. There are two
club cars appointed in leather and brass, and guests will find
nightly entertainment courtesy of a baby grand piano.
All of the air-conditioned sleeping compartments have their own
bathrooms, and at the end of the train is an observation car that
served 20 years on New York Central Line's 20th Century Limited
For more information, call (800) 727-7477 or (206) 727-7300; fax