Day 1: Australia –– Los Angeles
Today depart Australia for Los Angeles, USA!
On arrival collect your car hire and make your own way to your Los Angeles hotel.
Day 2: Los Angeles – Santa Barbara – San Simeon
Depart Los Angeles this morning and drive toward Santa Barbara, situated on the beautiful Pacific Coast, Santa Barbara is a gem. The pristine city’s climate gives rise to a number of natural attractions. Stroll through the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens to view breathtaking flora. The beaches all have their own allure. East Beach attracts the trendy and young while fishing and whale watching are the favourites at Arroyo Burro. Enjoy the fine collection at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art or explore the Old Mission. Fresh seafood can be found in the many restaurants on Stearn’s Wharf. Continue on to the San Simeon area for an overnight stay.
Day 3: San Simeon – Monterey – San Francisco
Depart San Simeon this morning for the luxurious drive up the Pacific Coast toward Monterey. After being swept away by the stunning Pacific coast views, spend the afternoon enjoying this artisan city. Settled in 1770 as one of the first European outposts on the west coast, many of the early American Colonial buildings still stand. Monterey eventually became the sardine capital of the Western Hemisphere when the first packing plant was built in 1900. Today, the old sardine factories have been converted into quaint restaurants and boutique shops. This area called “Cannery Row” was made famous by the author John Steinbeck and still remains an amusing place to explore. Monterey Bay is a fantastic place to whale watch and tours are offered locally. Consider taking the famously scenic 17-Mile drive up the coast. Stop at renowned Pebble Beach and enjoy the sights of lavish mansions along the coast. Continue on to San Francisco for a two night stay.
Day 4: San Francisco
Enjoy touring the city by cable car today. Visit the dramatic curves of Lombard Street, one of San Francisco’s most photographed sites. The beautifully landscaped, one-block descent from Hyde Street to Leavenworth Street, has given Lombard the title of “crookedest street in the world.” At the intersection of Hyde and Lombard, a cable car route provides spectacular views of Alcatraz, Angel Island, Coit Tower, Yerba Buena Island and the Bay Bridge. For a change of pace, consider a visit to Muir Woods National Monument. This grove of coastal redwoods has been protected for a century, and the amazing specimens rank among the tallest trees in the world. Some reach 252 feet, are 14 feet across, and are more than 1000 years old. Paved trails make for easy exploration and unpaved trails offer more of a challenge for the hiking enthusiast. This evening, explore Chinatown, along its streets, exotic ingredients are sold, silks and jade are tendered, and wonderful native food can be found at the many restaurant.
Day 5: San Francisco – Yosemite National Park – Fresno
Depart the bustle of San Francisco and drive toward Yosemite National Park. The striking beauty of Yosemite is due in part to the Yosemite Valley, whose flat floor contrasts with nearly vertical granite walls. The granite cliffs, including the El Capitan monolith, Glacier Point, and Half Dome all tower as major waterfalls tumble over them. In addition to the Valley, Yosemite includes an extensive high-mountain wilderness of peaks, rivers, and meadows, and groves of giant sequoia trees. Extensive visitor activities, facilities, and services are available. At Yosemite Village, you can visit the Valley Visitor Centre and see its orientation film, publications, theatre programs, and exhibits highlighting the natural and human history. Self-guiding trails are nearby. Elsewhere in Yosemite Valley, you can gaze up at the waterfalls; visit Mirror Lake/Meadow in the East Valley and the famous “Tunnel View” of Yosemite Valley at Wawona Tunnel. An overnight stay has been arranged in the Yosemite area.
Day 6: Fresno – Las Vegas
Depart the Yosemite area and drive toward Nevada. Las Vegas has something for everyone. From the outrageous live shows to the excitement of casinos, the action never stops from morning to night. Stroll down Las Vegas Boulevard, also known as “the strip.” Each hotel and casino has a distinctly different theme and all are wondrous displays. Take a trip up to the top of the Stratosphere hotel tower, the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Enjoy dinner at the Top of the World, or simply admire the view from the observation deck.
Visit any of the premier hotels including Caesars Palace, The Venetian and Paris for luxury shopping. If you’re searching for a bargain, drive to one of the outlet malls featuring designer names at discounted prices.
Dining in Las Vegas is superior. World-renowned chefs have decided to make Vegas their kitchen and there is a restaurant nearby to satisfy any palette. Make sure not to miss the nightly fountain show at the Bellagio Hotel. Using a dramatic combination of music, water and light, the Bellagio delivers spectacular performances nightly with its majestic fountains. For a different side of Vegas, visit Fremont Street. This historic street features shops, restaurants and casinos. Above you hangs a canopy screen where more than 12 million lights put on a spectacular show.
Day 7: Las Vegas – Los Angeles
Depart the glitz of Las Vegas and drive to Los Angeles. Visit Santa Monica Pier, built in 1916, it was once known as the “finish line” of legendary Route 66. It features an aquarium, an amusement park and the famous Hippodrome building, a mix of California, Byzantine and Moorish architecture that has been featured in many films. Or, for a behind the scenes look at movie making, visit Universal Studios. Tour the sets and cast yourself in the thrilling rides, shows and attractions that bring the movies to life. In the evening, enjoy Universal City Walk, filled with restaurants and nightclubs.
Day 8: Los Angeles
Today, explore the City of Angels. Visit the glitz and glamour of Hollywood. Take a stroll along the Walk of Fame and see the names of celebrities commemorated in pink stars along the sidewalk. Visit Mann’s Chinese Theatre, the best-preserved of the movie palaces from Hollywood’s golden era. Known for its celebrity hand and footprints in the forecourt, over 200 impressions are yours to discover. Drive through Beverly Hills, the most famous neighbourhood in the United States and glimpse exclusive homes. Shop at famous Rodeo Drive, where luxury retail commands the street. If movie making is what you fancy, visit Universal Studios. Tour the sets and cast yourself in the thrilling rides, shows and attractions that bring the movies to life. In the evening, enjoy Universal City Walk, filled with restaurants and nightclubs.
Day 9: Los Angeles
Ensure you return your rental car before making your own way to the cruise terminal to commence your cruise.
Day 10: Cruise – At Sea (B,L,D)
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like. Make the most of the on-board facilities including 15 delicious dining options, 11 bars and lounges, day spa, casino and fantastic nightly entertainment.
Day 11: Cruise – At Sea – (B,L,D)
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like.
Day 12: Cruise – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (B,L,D)
Smaller and more subdued than Acapulco, Puerto Vallarta has retained a good deal of its small village charm along with 26 miles of spectacular beaches along the Banderas Bay. Stroll the cobblestone streets to the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Or peruse the many local wares for sale at the open-air markets.
Day 13: Cruise – Mazatlan, Mexico (B,L,D)
Combine a first-class beach resort with a city with an illustrious, colonial past and you’ve got Mazatlan. Sip on some Margaritas and enjoy the authentic Mexican cuisine. Take a drive along the foothills of the Sierra Madre Mountains. Then visit the many shops offering local crafts.
Day 14: Cruise – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (B,L,D)
Cabo’s signature landmark is El Arco (“The Arch”), a rock formation at the tip of “Land’s End.” The jewel of the Baja Peninsula is famous for its world-class sport fishing, as well as its high-end resorts and exclusive gated communities that line an area simply called “the Corridor.”
Day 15: Cruise -At Sea (B,L,D)
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like
Day 16: Disembark Cruise Los Angeles –– Australia (B)
At the appropriate time make your own way to the airport for your flight home to Australia.
Day 17: In Flight
Day 18: Australia
Arrive home today.