Scene summaries may contain spoilers
Nellie Bly, reporter for the New York World, sets out to beat the trip made by Phileas Fogg in 'Around the World in 80 Days'. Aboard the steamship to take her from New York to England, she writes her will while being peppered with questions from other reporters. As the ship prepares to leave, she heads up to the deck to wave goodbye.
The ship casts off, and Nellie scribbles a letter to her sister while surrounded by people talking about her journey. When they start to doubt that she'll manage the trip, Nellie stands up for herself. She intends to do the trip, then they'll look ridiculous for doubting her!
Nellie mingles with the crew and passengers and gets her first view of the Isles of Scilly. They're nearly in England!
Nellie arrives in Southampton and meets Tracey Greaves, the London correspondent for Nellie's paper, and Monsieur Sherard. They take a night train to London. Sherard mentions that Jules Verne, writer of 'Around the World in 80 Days', would like to meet Nellie, but they will have to take a detour to Amiens to meet him. Sherard thinks they can do it if Nellie is willing to go without rest for two days. Nellie agrees.
They reach London with two hours before Nellie's next train, and with a lot to do! Greaves insists on a whistlestop tour of London, but it's outshone by a knowledgeable cabbie.
During a rough Channel crossing, Nellie reads a cablegram from her sister. Once in France, Nellie, Greaves, and Sherard rush for their train. Sherard insists on buying a paper, but they make it just in time.
Jules Verne welcomes them to his home and gives them a tour. He asks why Nellie is not following the same route as Phileas Fogg in the book. Nellie explains that the steamship is much faster, and she is not trying to save the life of a young widow as he did in the book! Jules Verne says that he believes that Nellie will succeed. Unfortunately they have to leave quickly to catch the next train.
In their carriage, Sherard reveals that Nellie has a competitor – Elizabeth Bisland, from the 'Cosmopolitan'. She's travelling in the opposite direction to Nellie. It's now a race! This means that Nellie cannot afford any delays or she will lose. They reach the station, and Nellie manages to board the train just in time.