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
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 3: Los Angeles
Today you can choose to explore magical new worlds, view expansive movie back lots, or get up close and personal with the wildest of animals. Visit the “happiest place on earth”, Walt Disney’s Disneyland. It consists of two parks, Disneyland Park, an enchanted kingdom of fantasy and imagination, and California Adventure Park, a theme park that celebrates the Golden State in style from the bright lights of Hollywood to the classic piers that dot the California coast. You can also head down to the beach for whale and dolphin watching or take an Orange County wildlife and beach tour. If the outdoors is more your style, carve your own path and head out to the many hiking trails that run throughout. Visit Downtown Disney for dining and shopping in the evening.
Day 4: Los Angeles
Today is yours to spend at any of the local attractions. Visit Knott’s Berry Farm, with over 165 rides, shows and attractions, and five themed areas, there is something for everyone. For something different, detour to the Park’s Old West Ghost Town® and have a cool sarsaparilla or visit Camp Snoopy, home of the PEANUTS gang and filled with dozens of adventures.
Day 5: 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 restaurants on Stearn’s Wharf. Continue on to San Simeon for an overnight stay.
Day 6: 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 Monterey. 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 scenic and famous 17-Mile drive up the coast. Stop at the famous Pebble Beach and enjoy the sights of luxury mansions along the coast.
Day 7: San Francisco
San Francisco is home of majestic wine country and the Golden Gate Bridge. Rows of elegant houses, the famous cable cars, clusters of ethnic neighbourhoods, and the colourful waterfront all add to the distinctive international flavour of the city. Today, you are free to enjoy one of the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Take a cable car ride from Fisherman’s Wharf. Another major attraction is Alcatraz, a small island located in the middle of San Francisco Bay. It served as lighthouse, a military fortification, and finally as a federal prison until 1963. The rangers give excellent guided tours detailing the history and legends surrounding “The Rock.” Spend the day in Golden Gate Park. Golden Gate Park offers dozens of fun things to do. Top sights are the Conservatory of Flowers and the Japanese Tea Garden. Don’t miss the local resident buffalo herd. This evening dine in one of San Francisco’s many distinctive neighbourhoods. From Chinatown to the very Italian flavoured North Beach, each offers its own distinctive culture and cuisine.
Day 8: San Francisco
Today, you are free to enjoy one of the many sights and sounds of San Francisco. Visit the landmark bridge, the Golden Gate. It spans 6450 feet and links San Francisco to Marin County. Completed in 1937 at a cost of $35 million, the “Bridge That Could Not Be Built” is now a San Francisco signature visible from many points around the Bay. A visitor centre and gift shop is located on the San Francisco side. 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 “crooked street in the world.”
Day 9: San Francisco – El Portal, Yosemite National Park
Depart the bustle of San Francisco and drive toward the natural beauty of Yosemite National Park. 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. Extensive visitor activities, facilities, and services are available.
Day 10: El Portal, Yosemite National Park – Fresno
Continue to enjoy your time in the Yosemite National Park area before making your way to Fresno. 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.
Day 11: Fresno – San Diego
An early start is recommended today as you depart the Yosemite area and head for San Diego.
Beautiful, brilliant San Diego has the sun, the beaches and the climate to die for. It’s the sixth-largest city in the U.S. and a centre for military industry, trade, and biotechnology. The San Diego Zoo is one of the world’s best. Balboa Park is both a natural space and a collection of wonderful museums. Old Town is a colourful gaggle of shops and restaurants while there are many beautiful beaches including Coronado, Mission Beach, Pacific Beach and La Jolla.
Day 12: San Diego
Today visit SeaWorld® Adventure Park San Diego. This world-class attraction features a variety of spectacular sights and activities. See Shamu the killer whale, ride the waves of Shipwreck Rapids, and see manatees, polar bears and dolphins. At the San Diego Zoo, known throughout the world as a first-rate facility, more than 3,800 animals of over 800 different species make their home. The zoo grounds cover 100 acres including more than 6,500 different species of plants. The zoo is well known for its efforts to recreate the natural habitats of the animals.
San Diego is also home to Balboa Park, America’s largest urban cultural park. Explore art treasures from around the globe, fossils from near and far and exotic animals. See sports memorabilia, world folk art, rare aircraft, ancient mummies, unique photographic art and model trains. Enjoy plays, dance, puppet shows and music. Hike Florida Canyon’s trail, visit the Carnivorous Plant Bog in the Botanical Building and watch the sparkling water dance in the many fountains in the Park. The park is close to downtown San Diego.
Day 13: San Diego (D)
Return your rental car before making your own way to the cruise terminal to commence your cruise.
Day 14: Cruise – At Sea (B,L,D)
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like. Enjoy the on-board facilities including day spa and swimming pool, several bars and dining options plus dazzling entertainment
Day 15: Cruise – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico (B,L,D)
The timeless image of that natural archway spilling into the sea evokes all the right ingredients for a holiday – maritime desert climates, beaches galore, crystal-blue surf and big game fish along the southern coast of rugged Baja California. Find classic Mexico in San Jose del Cabo, the old town, and a resort-fringed coast nearly always slathered in sunshine. Cabo’s shopping bargains can’t be beat, enjoy stunning views of Land’s End on Lover’s Beach and Las Playitas — a series of mini-beaches tucked into weathered coves.
Day 16: Cruise – Mazatlan, Mexico (B,L,D)
A cosmopolitan western-Mexico beach city serving up great weather, venerable iglesias and an array of beaches. Immerse yourself a little further and the city gets ever more remarkable. Cliff divers wait at the top of a rocky outcrop for the right wave then plummet 45 feet into the sea. Sunlight filters in through myriad panels of stained glass at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. Waves crash on the esplanade along Olas Altas beach, providing a soundtrack for an evening stroll. Don’t forget to sample local shrimp. Mazatlan serves it up fresh – try some al mojo de ajo (with garlic) or in the shell with a tangy squeeze of lime.
Day 17: Cruise – Puerto Vallarta, Mexico (B,L,D)
Puerto Vallarta lies squeezed into the thin space between Banderas Bay and the verdant folds of the Sierra Madre. It’s no longer the well-kept secret of the artists, writers and Hollywood stars who first “discovered” it in the 1960s, but “PV” (as it is affectionately known) still retains the essence of the fishing village it once was. Viejo Vallarta, the old town, is a mix of red-tiled buildings, cobbled streets, chic shops and busy open markets. Other highlights include Mismaloya Beach, Gringo Gulch, and Conchas Chinas, the Beverly Hills of Vallarta. Head inland for more adventure, up into the rugged canyons and luxuriant jungles of the mountains.
Day 18: Cruise – At Sea (B,L,D)
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like
Day 19: Cruise – At Sea (B,L,D)
Today is yours to do as much or as little as you like
Day 20: Disembark Cruise San Diego –– Australia (B)
At the appropriate time make your own way to the airport for your flight home to Australia.
Day 21: In Flight
Day 22: Australia
Arrive home today.