New Orleans to Memphis

Fares from $2,399
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Cruise Summary

A TASTE OF THE TRUE SOUTH - Memory flows deep and sentiment eddies and swirls along the Lower Mississippi River. Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history and soak in the romantic spirit of the Antebellum era. Fertile cotton fields, vast sugar cane plantations and imposing pillared mansions will transport you back in time, as will the Civil War battlefields. 

Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours.

Pre-Cruise City Stay Package:
• Begin your journey with an unforgettable 3-day/2-night city stay package. Click Here for full details and package pricing.

Post-Cruise City Stay Package:
• Extend your journey with an unforgettable 3-day/2-night city stay package. Click Here for full details and package pricing.

All entertainment, events and tours are subject to change without notice.

Itinerary

Vessel: American Duchess™



Day 1: Hotel Stay - New Orleans, LA

Hotel Stay - New Orleans, LA

Enjoy your complimentary stay at the InterContinental New Orleans. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with the many treasures of New Orleans. 

Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. It is here that our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving Premium Shore Excursions. An American Queen Steamboat Company representative, as well as a local representative, will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing suggestions so that you may maximize your time in New Orleans.

Day 2: New Orleans, LA

Departure 5:00 PM
New Orleans, LA

Today is the day you have been waiting for! Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through history.

If you haven’t gotten your full dose of New Orleans yet, visit the AQSC Hospitality Desk for ideas about how to spend your day. The official Voyage Check-In will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. During this time, our representatives will arrange for your transfer to the vessel and answer any questions you might have. The process is simple and will have you back to exploring in no time. If you have any additional questions, the Hospitality Desk will be at your service until the complimentary vessel transfers begin at 3:00 p.m.

Pre-Cruise: New Orleans Highlights Tour

Embark on an adventure through a city radiating an eccentric and authentic atmosphere and filled to the brim with history and culture close to the heart of America. Explore the history of New Orleans including the first settlers, religion, culture and Mardi Gras. On an exclusive New Orleans narrated driving tour, you will experience the city from an intimate first-person perspective. Relax in the comfort of our motorcoach as we glide past some of the most iconic attractions in the city including the French Quarter, Jackson Square and the Garden District, where elegant mansions stand as a testament to Greek revival, Italianate and Queen Anne Victorian styles.

A stop in Jackson Square will be the perfect location to treat yourself to authentic New Orleans styled lunch at one of the many cafes and eateries or to pick out the perfect souvenir of your visit to this iconic city. Then, we will travel down St. Charles Avenue, along the famous street car line, where New Orleans’ most prestigious and beautiful colleges, Tulane University and Loyola University are located.

Continue the day in New Orleans’ breathtaking City Park, a 400-acre park located in uptown between St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River, built on the site of the 1884 World's Fair. Here, we will take a short break to relax and soak in the awe inspiring scenery of “The Big Easy,” as you are treated to a complimentary coffee and a New Orleans’ signature Morning Call beignet. No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a stop at St. Louis Cemetery # 3, known better as the “The City of the Dead,” which is where we will conclude our complete journey through the city of New Orleans!

Note: Our experience ends at the vessel dock.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
5.5 hours
Pre-Cruise: Antebellum Plantation Lunch & Tour with Bayou Swamp Experience

On today’s full adventure, we begin at Houmas House also known as, “The Crown Jewel of Louisiana’s River Road.” This mansion reflects the best parts of each period in its rich history alongside the big bend in the Mississippi River. We will uncover the history of the land grant that was given to the indigenous Houmas Indians who were the first owners of this gorgeous plantation.

Marvel at the free-standing, three story helix staircase which follows the curvature of the adjacent wall as our personal guide escorts us through the mansion. We will see the home’s unique artwork, antique artifacts, and immaculate gardens and grounds before enjoying the culinary traditions of the region with a delicious southern lunch buffet. When your appetite has been satisfied, feel free to explore the home one last time at your leisure or visit the gift shop to pick up that perfect souvenir before we make our way to the 250-acre ecosphere known as the Manchac Swamp.

Upon arrival, prepare to spend the next hour and a half journeying into swamp, through whimsical moss draped cypress trees, as our knowledgeable captain shares information on the lush, exotic vegetation that cover the wetlands, and the creatures who call it home. Because our vessels are exclusive to this river, the swamp critters are accustomed to them, and will emerge at the beckon of the captain’s call! We will also have the chance to get up close and personal with a baby alligator as they come aboard the boat.

Note: While Louisiana’s Manchac Swamp is uniquely beautiful year-round, it is possible that alligators and other native wildlife may not be as active throughout the colder months. Please take this into consideration while booking this tour on dates October through March.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
8 hours

Day 3: Nottoway Plantation, LA

Nottoway Plantation, LA

Nottoway is the South’s largest, most glorious remaining Antebellum mansion with a rich history dating back to 1859. In a fabulous location along the great River Road overlooking the grand Mississippi River, this “White Castle” of the South transports visitors back to an era of glory and grandeur. Set amongst a natural backdrop of vibrant gardens and two hundred-year-old oak trees, Nottoway Plantation captivates all with a brilliant blend of  true Southern hospitality, history and mystery.

Enjoy an included tour of Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest remaining antebellum mansion. This stunning historical plantation lies between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and offers a view of a truly grand plantation. The mansion flaunts three-floors, 64-bedrooms, and displays an incredible 22 white square columns which contribute to its’ nickname—“The White Castle of Louisiana.” The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white and displays elaborate gold décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster, and mud and are all original to the house. And as if that weren’t enough, this immaculate mansion was constructed with 365 openings—one for each day of the year. Enjoy a guided walking tour of an American Castle as we explore within the pristine walls of Nottoway followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens.

Laura...A Creole Plantation: Nottoway

Our day begins at Laura Plantation, where we will enter the fascinating world of true Louisiana Creoles who, at this historic site, lived apart from the American mainstream for over 200 years. Surrounded by fields of sugarcane and featuring 12 buildings on the National Register, your guided visit takes you through the newly restored Big House, the grounds, the formal French Parterre, the vegetable & fruit gardens, the Banana Land grove and the 170-year-old slave cabins where the west-African folktales of Compair Lapin, known in English as the legendary “Br’er Rabbit,” were recorded.

Laura’s acclaimed tour, named the “Best History Tour in the US,” by Lonely Planet Travel (UK), is based upon personal, compelling accounts found in the French Archives Nationales as well as from Laura Locoul’s own Memories of the Old Plantation Home; of the plantation’s Creole owners, women, slaves and children. Before leaving, be certain to stop in at the Laura Plantation gift shop to pick out the perfect souvenir of this exclusive trip!

To conclude this intimate day of exploration, we make our way back along the levee, towards Nottoway Plantation, known as the “White Castle of Louisiana.” Authentic period dressed guides will meet us upon the front steps, welcoming us to the pristine mansion. Enjoy a guided tour of the plantation, weaving through each room and uncovering the history that lays inside, including a glimpse at the famous White Ballroom! As our tour comes to an end, take advantage of free time to explore the grounds and gift shop at your leisure.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
4 hours
Oak Alley Plantation Tour

Disembark the vessel, as we make our way across the levee, heading through the sugarcane fields, making our way to one of the south’s most prestigious and iconic plantations, Oak Alley Plantation.

A powerful testimony to the rich history of the antebellum south, Oak Alley Plantation invites visitors to explore all facets of her plantation past. This immaculate home was constructed during the height of the sugar industries success in America. The breathtaking Greek-Revival home got its name from the most distinguishing feature, a quarter-mile walkway lined in 300-year-old live oak trees spanning from the levees of the Mississippi River to the entrance of the home. As you explore, discover the history of Jacques and Celina Roman, the plantation owners, whose rich and lavish lifestyle drastically changed over the years they resided in the mansion.

As you make your way around the grounds, make a stop at the authentic slave cabins, gardens, and a blacksmith’s shop, or grab a refreshing mint julep and soak in the scenery which is both breathtaking and overwhelming.

Be certain to explore the Plantation Gift Shop to choose the perfect souvenir of your adventure before we make our way back to the dock of the vessel.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
3.5 hours

Day 4: St. Francisville, LA

St. Francisville, LA

Established in 1809, St. Francisville is the oldest town in the Florida Parishes. Below where St. Francisville is located currently, was a settlement called Bayou Sara in the 1790’s. When this settlement was destroyed by flooding and fires, many of the structures and artifacts were hauled up the bluff into St. Francisville where they are still standing. The town is referred to as “two miles long and two yards wide,” but that definitely doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer! Stop in at one of the unique shops, historical homes, beautiful churches, or breathtaking parks and you will agree.

Royal Street
Take a stroll down Royal Street at any of the shops or just to admire the beautiful trees and homes. Or stop into Grandmother’s Buttons – a unique boutique that offers jewelry made out of 100 year old buttons. Inside the store, you can visit the button museum to learn the history of the business and the inspirations of the art. The store is located inside of a former historic bank lobby with 16-foot ceilings and a bank vault, even if jewelry is not in your plans – the architecture is beautiful.

West Feliciana Historical Society Museum
This museum is dedicated to the history, people, and architectures of West Feliciana Parish. Inside a former hardware store, built in 1896, the Historical Society Museum displays many artifacts, photos, costumes, and articles all portraying the history of St. Francisville. Just across the street, you can stop in one of the fine boutiques and shops.

Grace Episcopal Church
Built in 1860 and rebuilt in 1893 after the Union caused heavy damage in 1863, Grace Episcopal Church stands tall in St. Francisville. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the church and the grounds and make sure to check out the organ located inside – it dates all the way back to 1860! The church is one of the state’s oldest Protestant churches that still stand today.

Plantations of the Back Roads: St. Francisville

Today’s experience goes beyond the expectations of a “traditional” southern plantation and offers guided tours of two plantations with a more personal touch. Experience two southern plantations that have deep ancestral ties. Pay close attention to each home during the guided tour – see if the family portrait displayed in both plantations can be found!

We will begin at Rosedown Plantation, one of the most intact documented examples of a domestic plantation complex in the South. It embodies the lifestyle of the antebellum South’s wealthiest planters in a way very few other surviving properties can. The plantation’s landscape is a laboratory for the study and interpretation of the cultural traditions of slavery, the life style of the gentry, and long-standing scientific experiments in agriculture and horticulture. Rosedown was established in the 1830s by Daniel and Martha Barrow Turnbull, and remained in the hands of their descendants until the 1950s. Explore the elaborate home and sprawling gardens and visit the gift shop to search for souvenir reminders of your day exploring the “Plantations of the Back Roads.”

Then, travel to nearby Catalpa, a charming private home that has remained in the same family since the early 1800’s. Owner Mary Thompson, a descendant of the estate’s original family, is a gracious hostess who delights in sharing her grand home, its history and its connection with Rosedown Plantation. In every room of Catalpa, evidence of the family’s rich history lives on. The home is filled with furniture original to Catalpa in addition to china, crystal, silver and portraits that were once at Rosedown Plantation. At the conclusion of your visit, Mary invites all of her guests for a traditional southern farewell on the front porch with a complimentary glass of Sherry.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
4 hours

Day 5: Natchez, MS

Natchez, MS

This charming river town was first inhabited by Natchez Indians and French explorers who shared the land. It was founded in 1716, making it the oldest city on the Mississippi. The city is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of history – found on every street corner throughout Natchez. Guests enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historical homes located in Natchez, all of which contribute to Hugh Bayless’ book, “The 100 Best Towns in America.”

Rosalie Mansion
In 1716, the French built Fort Rosalie overlooking the Mississippi River. In 1823, a mansion was built by a wealthy cotton planter on land north of the fort. The Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution have since gained ownership and have been maintaining the house and grounds since 1938. On this self-guided tour, discover the history of the house and the artifacts found throughout. Period-dressed docents can be found throughout the home to answer questions and to provide more information! Guests can explore the extensive gardens, gift shop, library, and carriage as well.

Natchez Visitor’s Center
Enjoy a short, 20-minute video in the Visitor’s Center Theater and hear about the history of Natchez. Then, explore the building at your leisure. At the entrance, a scaled display model of the city is showcased. Stop in the office for some general information and questions about the town and its history, including town highlights and points of interest.

William Johnson House Museum
William Johnson was known as the “Barber of Natchez”; he began as a slave and gained his freedom at age eleven. After his freedom, he began to work his way up in society, eventually becoming almost fully accepted within society. As the town barber, William Johnson was able to hear the stories and gossip of many of the residents, which he documented in his diary for over 16 years. His 3-story brick home was built in 1840 and showcases many original furnishings.

Magnolia Hall
This Greek Revival Mansion was built in 1858. The house was built before the breakout of the Civil War in town but did suffer some damage – a cannon ball was launched into their kitchen! It is now fully restored – the main floor offers a showcase of many antiques and furnishings and the upper floors offer a costume collection located in the Historic Clothing Museum. Tour the house and then stop in the gift shop for some souvenirs.

Stanton Hall
Irish Immigrant and cotton merchant Frederick Stanton built this Palatial Greek Revival mansion in 1857. It was appraised at $83,000 during that period, even before it was furnished. Take a 30-minute tour of the house – which takes up the entire block and is fully furnished. Afterwards you can stop for lunch in the Carriage House Restaurant, known for their fine southern cuisine.

King’s Tavern and Charboneau Distillery
Step off the motorcoach and walk through the front gate leading to the second floor porch of this 1789 building – the oldest structure in the city of Natchez. Join us for an exclusive tour of the King’s Tavern – a newly opened restaurant and bar, owned by Regina Charboneau, a nationally known chef, and her husband Doug. Enjoy an exclusive tour of the distillery, followed by a guided tour of the bar, located just next door, with a complimentary custom drink.

Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture Museum
Here, learn the history and culture of the African Americans over time. The museum will delve into the 300-year-old African American history, spanning four lifetimes from Colonial and Cotton Kingdom Natchez, to the Reconstruction and the Civil Rights Movements. As you explore this creative portrayal of the true African American story, you will unfold history to reveal Natchez in a light that is shown nowhere else around.

Home Hosted Visit with Ginger and James

The words “Southern hospitality” evoke images of ornate mansions flanked by arched porches and charming ladies offering warm smiles and stories of southern grandeur. Today, we will experience nothing less on this exclusive home-hosted visit to The Towers, one of Mississippi’s grandest and most elegant privately owned antebellum homes. Here, we will be welcomed like old friends by owners Ginger and James Hyland and guided through their personal home. Set on five manicured acres among ancient oaks, The Towers is a stunning estate of exceptional Italianate design with a rich past. 

Silks, antique lace sheers, and magnificent draperies adorn the walls of The Towers, but unlike most historical homes, there are no roped-off rooms here. This is a one-of-a-kind experience where we’ll be free to explore the home as if we were members of the Hyland family. As we relax on the mansion’s back porch, sipping refreshing mint-infused champagne and soaking in the beauty of the perfectly maintained gardens, Ginger will share stories of her star-studded past. Ginger—the daughter of Lawrence A. Hyland, president of Hughes Aircraft Company and one of the men credited with the invention of radar—will share impressive tales of her past growing up in California, including accompanying her parents to Hollywood parties with Howard Hughes, Walter Matthau, and Jack Lemmon. As an adult, Ginger was able to create her own legacy as the first female president of the American Quarter Horse Association.

Ginger is a charismatic host, and will give us an intimate tour of her house, including rare and stunning glimpses of her trinkets and Victorian-era treasures hidden throughout the mansion. Each piece’s story is more interesting than the last. For instance, the set of goblets elegantly placed atop her antique tables were crafted by Ludwig Moser, famous glassware manufacturer for European royalty, while the place mats they rest upon were hand-crafted for Princess Grace. The intricate, original Carrickmacross lace wedding veil on display is an antique version of the one Kate Middleton wore during her extravagant wedding. Ginger and James’ passion for collecting is obvious, as they can recite the history of every piece on display, and welcome all questions with enthusiasm for the stories of the past.

Our tour ends in the sunny, enclosed back gallery, where will enjoy a delightful taste of southern comfort food during a casual, private visit hosted by the Hylands. We’ll get an exclusive taste of Southern flare as we indulge in scrumptious snacks, as we are introduced to Ginger and James’s dear friend Rene Adams (who also happens to be a renowned local chef). Chef Rene will entertain us with stories of the history of food in the Natchez area, including culinary secrets and authentic recipes.

After a champagne toast, our visit will come to an end, as we bid farewell to our new southern friends. Until next time!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
2.5 hours
The Story of Cotton in the Antebellum South

Cross the river to Louisiana and visit historic Frogmore Plantation, designated a “Must See Site” by Rand McNally. Frogmore is the only historic & modern, 1800-acre working cotton plantation in the South. Take a seat on an original pew in an 1800s African American plantation church, as the mistress of Frogmore takes the audience back in time. Music fills the air as the “secret songs” are performed by local musicians. Enjoy the gospel songs and hear the narration about life on a cotton plantation.

Continue the experience exploring authentic slave cabins and cotton fields. Take a walk up to the fields and feel free to pick some cotton for a glimpse of the essence of life on a plantation. We encourage all to explore the historic steam engine cotton gin which the Smithsonian Institute states is the rarest of its kind in existence. After a complimentary beverage in the “Sharecropper Plantation Store,” contrast historical methods. On your return to Natchez, your guide will enlighten you with unusual cotton trivia and answer questions.

A visit to Longwood will complete the “Story of Cotton,” with a glimpse into the devastation caused by war and a changing America. This historic antebellum octagonal mansion is the largest of its shape in America. Also known as “Nutt’s Folly,” this unique mansion remains beautifully unfinished and stands symbolically in representation of the last burst of Southern opulence. A reminder of a time before war brought the cotton baron’s dominance to an end. After surviving decades of neglect and abandonment, Longwood stands strong today and is a can’t miss stop when visiting Natchez.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
4 hours
Inside Regina's Kitchen with Celebrity Chef Regina Charboneau

During our visit to Natchez, Mississippi, we will be welcomed into Twin Oaks, a beautiful, southern-style mansion and the personal home of award-winning chef Regina Charboneau. Regina is the author of numerous well-received cookbooks, and is recognized in the culinary world as the personification of southern hospitality. (In fact, she is often complimented for this by none other than Andrew Zimmern.) Regina never ceases to look forward to opening her front door to a limited number of American Queen Steamboat Company guests for intimate culinary experiences around her own dining room table.

Built in 1832, the historic Twin Oaks is a relic of the Antebellum Age of the South. Upon arrival, you'll get a taste of true, down-home hospitality as you're served up delicious southern libations to get nice and cozy before Chef Regina gives a tour of her home, all the while weaving in personal stories of her family and frequent visitors --friends, business colleagues, and celebrities who simply can't get enough of her cooking.

Regina's claim to fame is her much-coveted recipe for picture-perfect, buttery, flaky biscuits. She will share her secrets with you during this very intimate experience. If her southern-style biscuits weren't already enticing enough, Regina serves them on top of her homemade, creamy chicken pot pie. Her ability to take a seemingly simple, traditional dish and elevate it with such finesse never fails to amaze her guests. Not one to be content simply playing the hostess, Regina then invites you into her personal kitchen to get hands-on. You will work with your own dough right alongside her, following this expert's step-by-step instructions to recreate her mouthwatering masterpiece. But it's not all comfort food; you'll get a glimpse into some of Chef Regina's other dishes while at Twin Oaks.

You've never experienced a true southern experience until you spend some time here in Regina's kitchen. There is something about the relaxed atmosphere of Twin Oaks that makes cooking these dishes for yourself, with your own two hands, all the sweeter. Soon, you'll be ready to sample these incredible recipes straight from the oven, fresh, warm, and crispy! Our group of new friends will share some drinks, some pot pie, some laughs --and perhaps even a few surprises --around Regina's dining room table. Not only will you learn Chef Charboneau's inside secrets, but you won't leave her house empty-handed. Regina provides an American Queen Steamboat Company exclusive custom CDs loaded with your new recipes and even a few extras.

Chef Regina Charboneau was born and raised in Natchez, Mississippi. Her culinary success followed the talented chef from Mississippi, to San Francisco, where Regina birthed the idea of “Biscuits & Blues,” which became wildly successful and featured the flavors of her hometown. The nightclub has won multiple WC Handy awards for the Best Blues Club in America. Regina didn't stop there - in 2001, she returned home, where she purchased the historic Twin Oaks Mansion, where she currently resides and continues making strides in the industry. Whether Regina was collaborating as Chef De Cuisine and Culinary Director, sharing her knowledge in her cookbooks, managing and creating menus for her restaurants - including her newest - King's Tavern, or dabbling in the art of rum production with her family at Charboneau Rum Distillery, Regina is sure to bring a piece of the South to the table!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
2.5 hours

Day 6: Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. Described as the “Key to the South” by Abraham Lincoln, this southern town carries a history unlike any other Civil War city. Vicksburg was founded in 1811 and grew as a vital river port city. It was a major component to the Civil War and carries much of the history within the town. Today, Vicksburg is a popular spot for tourists to learn about the battles of the city, taste the cuisine, visit the many museums, and pick out the perfect souvenir.

Church of the Holy Trinity
This incredible church spans over 125 feet long, 52 feet wide, and reaches 61 feet high to the apex of the roof. The church was constructed in Romanesque Revival style, finished in red brick, though it showcases zigzag tracery, which was highly unique to the style at the time. The stained-glass windows may be the main draw – there are 26. They were given as memorials and six of them were created by Tiffany Studios in New York under the supervision of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Anchuca Mansion
The word Anchuca derives from an Indian word meaning, “happy home”, which is the exact vibe this home gives off. Built in 1830 by politician J.W. Mauldin, Anchuca is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the war, the house was used as a shelter for those who had suffered. Tour the home and its beautiful furnishings.

Old Court House Museum
Now a National Historic Landmark, construction for this colossal courthouse began in 1858 and was completed in just two years in 1860 for $100,000. It survived Union shelling, a direct hit from a tornado in 1953, and is now home to the largest collection of Vicksburg’s history. The museum is filled with countless artifacts, including confederate flags, portraits, the trophy antlers won by steamboat Robert E. Lee in an 1870 race, an original Teddy Bear given by Theodore Roosevelt, and many more!

Biedenharn Coca-Cola® Museum
At the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, enjoy the wide variety of Coca-Cola memorabilia in an authentic candy store and soda fountain setting. This building is where Coca-Cola was bottled for the first time anywhere in the world in 1894.

Lower Mississippi River Museum
This museum’s mission is to show the federal government’s role in the Mississippi’s past as well as future efforts to maintain a healthy river. Guests can explore showcases of the history of Vicksburg and the region or exhibits about the 1927 flood and how it affected Vicksburg and the Mississippi River. Learn about the fish of the river up close in the museum’s 1,515-gallon aquarium or choose your own adventure on the river with the Mississippi Trail Interactive exhibit!

Old Depot Museum
This museum has a 250-sq ft diorama of the Vicksburg Battlefield. It also houses 250 ship models, model railroads with railroading artifacts, 150 model cars cover the development of the automobile, an architectural display with models depicting the different styles of architecture in Vicksburg, and more than 40 original paintings of war on the river and Civil War artifacts.

On the Front Lines of the Civil War

Travel the front lines of one the most important battlefields in the country. Cross into enemy territory, hear the stories and hardships suffered by soldiers and discover what makes Vicksburg such an important city in American history. Aptly described by President Lincoln as “the key to victory,” the Siege and Battle at Vicksburg is a landmark in time that shaped our country and how wars would forever be fought.

Set off for the historic Vicksburg National Military Park. Here, we will travel the 16-mile road that weaves through the 1,300 monuments and markers. As our luxury motorcoach navigates the bluffs and fields that once served as crucial battlegrounds, we’ll cross both Union and Confederate lines and make a few stops to allow for a close-up experience at some of the key points of interest along the way. Tour the USS Cairo and Museum, an Iron Clad River Boat that was raised from the depths of the Mississippi River and can be boarded and fully explored. Climb the steps at the Illinois State Monument, the largest of the 27 state monuments and walk the National Cemetery, a peaceful location holding the largest amount of Civil War burials in the country, as well as the Vicksburg Battlefield Visitor’s Center where an informative fiber-optic display depicts the progression of the siege.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
4.5 hours

Day 7: River Cruising

River Cruising

There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river and today is the perfect day to enjoy the many public spaces and activities that are available to you onboard. Gaze at the beautiful landscapes and small river towns as you mingle with fellow guests and discuss the unique aspects of river life. If you fancy a moment for yourself, retreat to The Lincoln Library adorned with ornate bookcases stocked with an imaginative selection. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish every moment of  serenity. Our fitness facility, business center, movie theater and grand lobby offer a more stimulating day on the river for those who wish to indulge in more energy-infused activity. However you wish to spend your day, make it your own and revel in every moment.

Day 8: Tunica, MS

Tunica, MS

At the northern reaches of the Mississippi, Tunica is one of South's leading entertainment destinations. It is home to nine casino resorts and three championship-level golf courses. Tunica boasts more than just entertainment though, as it is a popular starting point for the Mississippi Blues Trail, a scenic highway that winds through Mississippi and takes yoiu to historic blues markers and landmarks.

Hop on our deluxe motorcoaches and begin your tour of the South’s Casino Capital! There’s no shortage of fun in this Mississippi town. Tunica offers casinos, history, great food and fun – all within its quaint boarders. The tour starts with a stop at the Tunica River Park. Located on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, the Tunica River Park is a magnificent combination of modern architecture and nature’s splendor. Step up to the observation deck to enjoy spectacular river views, enjoy the interactive history displays at the Mississippi River Museum, or take a walk through the eco trail, winding through nearly two miles of beautiful wetland forest. Experience the unspoiled timber, native creatures and Mississippi plant life, as you unwind and become one with nature.

Your tour continues with a stop at the Tunica Museum to delve into America’s diverse history. The exhibits range from Native American prehistory through European exploration, to military and commercial advancements from the 19th and 20th centuries. At the Tunica Casino District, go all in at one of several of the high rollers’ casinos, or enjoy a five-star lunch at a casino restaurant.

Day 9: Memphis, TN

Arrival 8:00 AM
Memphis, TN

Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy Memphis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.

Post-Cruise: The Elvis Experience

Experience the town that “The King” called home on a guided journey through Memphis! Put on your blue suede shoes and board the luxury motorcoach as it departs towards Memphis’ heart and soul-- Beale Street!

Oozing with the gritty feeling of the blues and rock `n' roll, Beale Street's musical history is alive in every store front lining the road, street band performing on the corner, and brick paving our way. A larger-than-life iconic brass statue of Elvis marks the starting point of the “Walking in Memphis” portion of this exclusive excursion. Here, we will experience the most famous street in Memphis as our local guide leads us through the vibrant city he calls home. Our personal and exclusive guide shares his infectious enthusiasm and love for this southern city as he narrates stories of his favorite attractions as we walk past. A stroll along Beale Street is littered with music, history, culture and the sweet smell of smokey barbeque wafting through the alleys.

The journey continues with Beale Street in our rearview and the home of The King himself ahead – Graceland Mansion! The presence of Elvis can still be felt within the walls as you walk through the very same rooms as he did after a long day’s performance. Custom crafted and state-of-the art iPads will help guide your way through each room, providing thoughtful narration by actor and Elvis enthusiast, John Stamos as well as personal commentary by Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

At The Graceland Mansion discover distinctly “Elvis” rooms such as the famous “Jungle Room,” an homage to “The King’s” love for Hawaii, featuring green shagged carpets, exotically carved woodwork, and a Polynesian feel. View “Vernon’s Office,” where Elvis’ father, Vernon Presley, managed his career, as well as the Trophy Building and Racquetball Building, where you will find hundreds of awards and accolades, received throughout his career as well as those awarded posthumously. Just outside the mansion, a short stroll through the Meditation Garden, where “The King’s” final resting place is located alongside other members of his family. Pay your respects to Elvis and his contributions to American music and entertainment, knowing his legacy resonates throughout the world and spans multiple generations.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
5.25 hours
Post-Cruise: Backstage Pass to Memphis

On today’s excursion, we’ll get a glimpse behind the curtain to experience a side of Memphis few tourists ever see, on an exclusive sightseeing experience.

Our day begins as we depart the vessel and embark on a one-hour driving tour of the city of Memphis, complete with narration by a local guide with deep, personal knowledge of the city. We’ll cruise the city in style on one of our luxury motorcoaches, as we view sites made famous by blues greats. We will make our way past many of the most iconic Memphis attractions, such as Fed Ex Forum, Gibson Guitar, Lorraine Motel, Chisca Hotel, Cotton Row, Beale Street, and Sun Studio.

We come to a stop at the Peabody Hotel, home to one of the city’s quirkier traditions: the “Peabody Ducks.” It all began back in the 1930s, when two friends, having overindulged in some choice local whiskey, thought it would be hilarious to put three small ducks into the fountain in the Peabody Hotel lobby. To their surprise, the ducks not only loved it, but so did the public. Thus, an unlikely tradition was born and has lasted for more than eighty years: a parade of ducks to the Peabody Hotel fountain. These days, the ceremony has evolved into a daily performance known as the famous Peabody Duck March.

Seeing the Duck March firsthand has become something of a local rite of passage. Prior to witnessing the event for ourselves, we’ll enjoy a short film chronicling the history of the Peabody Hotel. Guests will then be greeted by the “Duckmaster,” who will become our personal tour guide. Our up-close-and-personal tour, will include visits to the Grand Lobby (with its world-famous fountain), Lansky’s, Chez Philippe, the Duck Palace, the Skyway and Plantation Roof, and the Pastry Kitchen, where each guest will receive a delicious Peabody duck cookie. The guided tour concludes in the Memorabilia Room where guests can explore the Peabody’s impressive collection of artifacts. Then, we will make our way to a special, reserved section of the mezzanine for front-row access to the famous Peabody Duck March!

Our final stop of the day is St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. We’ll spend some time in the gift shop, then escape the hustle and bustle of the city in the hospital’s tranquil Memorial Garden, featuring cascading waterfalls, lush foliage, and flowering trees.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
5 hours