American Queen - Mississippi River Cruise
An unforgettable steamboat river cruise
This wonderful tour of the American South combines seven nights cruising the mighty Mississippi with two-night stays in each of New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville. Cruise up the lazy river from New Orleans to Memphis aboard American Queen, a luxurious steamboat that combines a traditional paddlewheeler's charm with the modern comforts of air-conditioned state rooms and suites, two excellent restaurants, bars and lounges and even a cinema, theatre and pool. Discover some of "Ol' Man River's" most historic and enthralling settlements, as you enjoy the luxury of life on board.
The American Queen - New Orleans, Memphis and Nashville Tour Highlights
- A night in Montgomery, resting place of Hank Williams
- Two nights in New Orleans, the 'Big Easy'
- A guided tour of the city that includes the famous French Quarter
- A seven-night Mississippi cruise aboard American Queen, the world's largest paddle steamer
- Calls in Oak Alley, historic Natchez, Vicksburg and pretty Delta music centre, Helena
- Elvis Presley's Memphis
- A stop in Tupelo and a chance to take a tour of the 'shotgun shack' where Elvis was born
- Visits to legendary Sun Studio and world-famous Graceland
- Discovering the Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio B in Nashville
What does the price include?
- Seven nights' room-only accommodation at hotels in Montgomery (1 night), New Orleans (2), Memphis (2), and Nashville (2)
- Seven nights' full-board cruise on board American Queen (beer and wine at dinner included)
- Included guided excursions at each port of call
- Ice cream, speciality coffee and popcorn all included on board
- Free, unlimited Wi-Fi on board
- Return flights from the UK to Atlanta
- Comfortable, air-conditioned coach travel and transfers
- The services of a friendly, experienced Tour Manager and American Queen's friendly and attentive staff
Single rooms and cabins are available for a supplement
Must experience: Sipping a mint julep while you watch the sun set from a rocking chair on the American Queen.
Fascinating fact: American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built.
You say: "A true collection of southern memorabilia - a Mississippi paddle wheeler cruise combined with New Orleans' French Quarter and Elvis' famous mansion, Graceland."
The American Queen Tour Itinerary
Day One: Fly to the USA
Fly to Atlanta to meet your Tour Manager, then transfer by coach to your hotel in the Alabama state capital of Montgomery. Rest and relax, and enjoy your first taste of Southern hospitality this evening.
Day Two: From Montgomery to New Orleans
Today you'll cross the countryside of Harper Lee's Alabama into Louisiana, and head along the Gulf Coast to New Orleans. Check in to your hotel then make the most of your second evening in America's Deep South.
Day Three: Included New Orleans' French Quarter tour
This morning's guided tour is the perfect introduction to New Orleans: the 'Big Easy'. The iron balconies and covered sidewalks of the French Quarter have appeared in so many films, TV programmes and photographs over the years, but there's simply no substitute for seeing them in person. You'll also explore Treme, just to the north of the French Quarter, across Louis Armstrong Park, where colourful clapboard houses line streets that remain an important home for New Orleans' African-American and Creole culture.
Later, join our optional Louisiana swampland excursion for a glimpse of the city's surrounding countryside and wildlife. Keep and eye out for alligators, and enjoy a taste of the region's unique Creole lifestyle, then head back to the 'Quarter' to immerse yourself in the atmosphere of the place.
Day Four: Begin your American Queen river cruise
Head to the quayside, this afternoon, where you'll board majestic American Queen. Settle in to your cabin then enjoy your first evening on board as the stern-mounted paddlewheel makes its first turns through the waters of the mighty Mississippi.
Day Five: Included Oak Alley excursion
American Queen's first stop is one of the finest examples of an antebellum (pre-American Civil War) plantation mansion in the USA. Oak Alley is named for the striking, 800-foot avenue of southern live oak that runs from the river to the main house.
Step back on board after your visit, and enjoy a leisurely lunch followed by an afternoon relaxing and enjoying your luxurious surroundings.
Day Six: Optional Louisiana State Penitentiary excursion
Today, American Queen calls at St Francisville, the oldest town in the Florida Parishes. Explore the town (which incorporates no less than 140 notable historic buildings) at your own pace.
Alternatively, for a more unusual, but also fascinating, experience you can join an optional Premium Shore Excursion to Louisiana State Penitentiary (Angola Prison). This award-winning tour offers visitors a remarkable insight into tales of redemption and rehabilitation from the prison - some told by current inmates.
Day Seven: Natchez and Natchez-Under-the-Hill
You'll stop off at Natchez, the Mississippi's oldest permanent settlement, today. Explore "the prettiest town in the south", and perhaps take a break at one of the riverside cafes and restaurants in notorious Natchez-Under-the-Hill, once a haunt of highwaymen and river pirates.
Day Eight: Optional Vicksburg National Military Park excursion
Abraham Lincoln described Vicksburg as "the key to the South", and it proved to be the site of a significant turning point in the American Civil War. Learn about the siege and the subsequent Confederate surrender, then explore the town's historic port. You'll also have the chance to join another Premium Shore Excursion and take an unforgettable tour of the battlefield itself and the National Cemetery.
Day Nine: Spend a relaxing day on-board
Make the most of American Queen's gym or spa, listen to a fascinating talk from the on-board river lore experts, or simply relax with a good book in a comfortable lounge or on-deck rocking chair as you spend today simply cruising. Don't miss the chance to visit the Captain's Pilot House or the Engine Room Viewing Area, which is next to the giant paddlewheel, for an insight into how this extraordinary ship operates.
Day 10: Helena on the Mississippi Delta
American Queen's last call is pretty Helena on the Mississippi Delta. If you know your music, you may well recognise this as the home of the King Biscuit Time KFFA daily radio show. The show first broadcast Delta Blues to the world in 1941, and is still on the air over 60 years later. Step ashore and listen to the lunchtime show in the place that inspired so much of its music, then wander the streets of a town that was also one of Mark Twain's favourite spots.
Day 11: End your river cruise in Memphis, Tennessee
Say goodbye to your floating palace as you disembark in Memphis, early this morning. The King's hometown boasts an unrivalled musical heritage, and you'll have the chance to explore it, visiting Sun Studio (where rock 'n' roll was born) and the preserved majesty of Elvis Presley's Graceland. You'll also pass by the preserved frontage of the Lorraine Motel, the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated on 4th April 1968.
Later, you can head to Beale Street for an evening of barbecue, blues and rock 'n' roll.
Day 12: Optional Civil Rights Museum and Rock 'n' Soul Museum excursion
Today's full-day tour includes visits to the Stax Museum of American Soul Music and, in downtown Memphis, the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, where a self guided audio tour takes you through the story of the growth of southern music as well as offering literally thousands of tracks to listen to. A more serious (but no less remarkable) story is told at the National Civil Rights Museum, which occupies the site of the former Lorraine Motel that you passed yesterday.
Day 13: From Memphis to Nashville via Tupelo
You'll head east, today, stopping in Tupelo (on the way to Nashville) for the chance to take a tour of the 'shotgun shack' where Elvis was born.
Day 14: Included Studio B and Country Music Hall of Fame excursion
Nashville's reputation and place in country music history is unmatched. And, on today's pilgrimage, you'll have the chance to visit the legendary Studio B and the Country Music Hall of Fame, one of the world's largest music museums and research centres. They're just two highlights of a city that's also home to the Ryman Auditorium (the original home of the Grand Ole Opry) and the iconic Ernest Tubb Record Shop, which still stands at 417 Broadway.
Later, make the most of your final evening with a visit to one of the city's 150-plus live music venues.
Day 15: From Nashville to Atlanta via Tennessee
Enjoy a scenic drive through the wooded hills of Tennessee, calling at Chattanooga (of "Choo Choo" fame), on your way to Atlanta airport where you'll board your overnight flight home.
Day 16: Arrive back in the UK
You'll land back home in the UK, after a once-in-a-lifetime Mississippi river cruise holiday.
|Departure Airport||Date||Price From|
|London Heathrow||24 Nov 2017||£3799.00|
|London Heathrow||02 Mar 2018||£3699.00|
|London Heathrow||30 Mar 2018||£3999.00|
|London Heathrow||11 May 2018||£3699.00|
|London Heathrow||05 Oct 2018||£3699.00|
|London Heathrow||30 Nov 2018||£3649.00|
|London Heathrow||20 Dec 2018||£4099.00|
|Manchester||02 Mar 2018||£3899.00|
|Manchester||30 Mar 2018||£4199.00|
|Manchester||11 May 2018||£3899.00|
|Manchester||05 Oct 2018||£3899.00|
|Manchester||30 Nov 2018||£3849.00|
|Manchester||20 Dec 2018||£4299.00|
|Newcastle||02 Mar 2018||£3899.00|
|Newcastle||30 Mar 2018||£4199.00|
|Newcastle||11 May 2018||£3899.00|
|Newcastle||05 Oct 2018||£3899.00|
|Newcastle||30 Nov 2018||£3849.00|
|Newcastle||20 Dec 2018||£4299.00|
20th December 2018 departure
On this date, the tour will operate in reverse order, starting with one night in Chattanooga and then one night in Nashville. This will be followed by two nights in Memphis, the seven night cruise two nights in New Orleans and one night in Montgomery. The overall duration of the tour and the optional and included excursions will remain the same.
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately three hours.
Passports and visas
When travelling to the USA, British citizens require passports with an integrated chip (shown on the front by a small rectangular symbol beneath the word PASSPORT), valid beyond the return date from the USA. Visas are not normally required for entry, but visitors must apply for an ESTA online with US Immigration at least 72 hours before departure at www.cbp.gov/esta . The current charge is $14 for British Citizens. British subjects and anyone who has a criminal record or has ever been arrested should consult the US Embassy as a visa may be required. Note too that if you have visited Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia or Yemen since March 2011, or have dual nationality with any of these countries, you do require a US visa and cannot travel on the Visa Waiver Program.
On your flight
All outbound flights depart and arrive on the same day. All return flights leave in the evening and land in the UK the next day. On-board meals will usually include lunch and a snack on outward flights, and dinner and breakfast on flight home. Soft drinks are complimentary, but some airlines will charge for alcoholic drinks.
You are permitted to take one suitcase per person on the aircraft, which should not exceed 23kg.
If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
Gratuities are a way of life in North America, and it is generally accepted that they form part of a person's earnings. The customary gratuity for a coach driver or Tour Manager is about $5 per person per day. It is normal to tip 15-20 per cent of the bill for a taxi or in a restaurant, and to leave a dollar or so per drink in a bar. When on board your cruise, tips are included in the tour price.
The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
Changes to your hotels
Should circumstances require, we reserve the right to accommodate you in alternative hotels, of a similar standard, nearby. Full details of your hotels will be sent with your Final Travel Documents.
Standard hotel rooms in North America will contain one or two double- or queen-sized beds, and it is not possible to add extra beds to the room. Parties consisting of more than two travellers, but who have only booked one room, will be expected to make use of the two beds provided. If this is a concern, you may wish to consider booking more than one room for your group.
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