A perfect blend of cities and coast
Explore the second-largest state in the Union on a tour that combines the Space Age modernity of Houston with Fort Worth, starting point of the Chisholm Trail; historic, oil-rich Dallas; colourful state capital, Austin; and colonial San Antonio. You'll then embark upon a wonderful cruising adventure along the coast of Mexico, passing gorgeous white sand beaches and ancient Mayan ruins.
Fly to Houston, meet your Tour Manager and transfer to your hotel in The Woodlands - a pleasant district to the north of the city. Rest and relax after the journey, or perhaps enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
Today, we journey north to the cattle town of Fort Worth, the starting point of the famous Chisholm Trail. The famous Stockyards are the focal point of the Historic Quarter here, where wooden boardwalks and old-fashioned storefronts recreate the days of the Old Wild West.
Spend the morning at the Stockyards, perhaps witnessing a famous Texan cattle drive, before travelling to the impressive city of Dallas. The assassination of President John F Kennedy, which took place here in November 1963, is faithfully recorded in the Sixth Floor Museum (entrance payable locally) of the Texas Schoolbook Depository, which overlooks Dealey Plaza, the scene of the fateful shooting. This evening, back in Fort Worth, perhaps visit Billy Bob's Texas, which promotes itself as 'the world's largest honky-tonk'.
Today, we'll head south, crossing the Rio Brazos en route to leafy, bohemian Texan state capital, Austin, for a one-night stay. The city's thriving music scene is home to countless clubs and bars, including the famous Broken Spoke. From March to November, the city is also home to the world's largest urban bat colony. The sight of around 1.5 million bats taking to the skies at dusk is not one you'll soon forget.
Enjoy a relaxing morning in Austin, perhaps taking in the impressive pink granite Capitol building or the famous 19th-century bakery and cafe at the Driskill Hotel. We'll then make the short journey further south to historic San Antonio, for a two-night stay. Soak up the atmosphere of this colourful city, home to the famous River Walk and the historic La Villita district.
Relive the Siege of the Alamo, when Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie held out heroically, before finally succumbing to the overwhelming forces of General Santa Anna. Visit the preserved remains of the mission buildings - a shrine for all Americans - and then spend another evening wandering along the attractive River Walk.
Leaving San Antonio, you'll depart for the port of Galveston, to begin your five-night Mexico cruise. You'll stay on board MS Carnival Valor, which offers full-board accommodation in comfortable cabins and a host of on-board amenities, including several swimming pools and a waterpark.
Today is spent at sea, as we cross the Gulf of Mexico. Take the opportunity to explore the ship, perhaps enjoying its selection of bars and restaurants, going for a swim or watching some live entertainment.
Our first port of call is Cozumel, a Caribbean island fringed by a beautiful coral reef. This laid back, unashamedly cool haven is famed for its excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities and its stunning marine reserve. Back on dry land, relax on the white sand beach or browse the seafront shops.
Today, we visit the Yucatan, where dense jungle spills onto golden beaches. Join a local excursion to see the ancient Mayan ruins that tower above the jungle canopy, or have a relaxing day soaking up the beach-town vibe of Progreso.
Another day spent at sea as we sail back across the Gulf to the US.
This morning, we arrive back in Galveston, where you'll have some free time to explore. Stroll along the beach, visit a museum or perhaps enjoy lunch at one of the excellent seafood restaurants, before we transfer to Houston, our base for the next two nights, later in the afternoon.
A guided tour introduces oil-rich Houston's highlights, this morning. The tour ends with an unforgettable visit to the world-famous NASA Johnson Space Center, nerve centre behind the moon-landings nearly 50 years ago. Still a working base for the International Space Station, the centre offers an incomparable taste of modern history brought to life in the restored Mission Control Center and by the sight of the towering Saturn V rocket that once propelled astronauts into orbit.
Spend your final morning relaxing, or browsing the stores of the vast Galleria Mall close to the hotel, before you transfer to the airport for your overnight flight home.
Arrive back in the UK, after a wonderful Texan journey.