Dallas, San Antonio and Austin
Discover the Big Country sights and sounds of the Lone Star State, Texas, before the fitting finale of the great music cities Memphis and Nashville. Each day of this wonderful escorted tour brings a new delight - from New Orleans, Houston and Tex-Mex capital San Antonio to bohemian Austin, 'cattle-town' Forth Worth and oil-rich Dallas.
Fly to Atlanta, meet your Tour Manager and transfer by coach to Montgomery, Alabama - birthplace of country superstar Hank Williams - for your first night in the USA.
Head south across the sleepy countryside of Harper Lee's Alabama, into Louisiana and along the Gulf Coast to the great city of New Orleans, the unmistakable Big Easy. Enjoy your first evening in this intoxicating place, perhaps joining our optional Steamboat Dinner Jazz Cruise.
This morning's optional guided tour introduces the Big Easy, and will include the famous French Quarter of time-warped, iron-balconied buildings centred on Jackson Square.
This afternoon, join our optional Louisiana Swampland excursion to explore the surrounding countryside, and later head back to the 'Quarter' to enjoy the nighttime atmosphere of the place that gave the world jazz.
Travel west across Louisiana, crossing the Mississippi, to stop at Oak Alley Plantation. Here the history of the South - including slavery, cotton and the Civil War - is brought to life in a great antebellum mansion and its grounds.
Continuing west, you'll head to Lake Charles, in the heart of 'Creole Country' and your next overnight stop.
Today's fascinating tour takes us along the Creole Nature Trail, one of only 43 designated 'All-American Roads' in the US. Visitor centres bring opportunities to spot birds and other swampland creatures, including alligators.
Later, we'll head along the Gulf Coast, and catch the ferry across the ship canal, as we enjoy the scenic journey to Houston.
NASA's world-famous Lyndon B Johnson Space Centre was the heart of the moon-landings nearly 50 years ago, and remains a working base for the International Space Station. The site offers an incomparable taste of modern history, with its restored 'Mission Control' and the sight of the towering 'Saturn V' rocket that fired the astronauts into orbit.
Later, we'll continue to San Antonio, our base for the next two nights.
San Antonio, capital of Tex-Mex culture and one of the USA's most attractive cities, greets you today. Discover the famous River Walk that snakes its way across the city, and relive the siege of The Alamo - when Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie held out heroically for almost two weeks before finally succumbing to the overwhelming forces of Mexican general Santa Anna.
Today you'll make your way to the Texan State Capital of Austin for an overnight stay. The city's thriving music scene is home to countless clubs and bars, including the famous Broken Spoke, and listings magazines might reveal some famous names when they're in town.
Join our optional river cruise to view the world's largest urban bat colony, a thrilling sight when one-and-a-half million of the critters take to the skies at dusk.
Journey north to the cattle-trading town of Fort Worth, the starting point of the famous Chisholm Trail, and still home to authentic Western culture. The famous Stockyards are the focal point of the Historic Quarter, where wooden boardwalks and old-fashioned store fronts recreate the days of the Old West.
Spend this morning at the Stockyards, perhaps witnessing a Texan cattle-drive, before you continue to glittering Dallas, forever associated with the tragic events of November 1963. Today the Sixth Floor Museum (entrance payable locally) of the Texas Schoolbook Depository overlooking Dealey Plaza - unchanged since the Kennedy assassination - recreates the hideout from which the fatal shots were fired.
This evening, back in Fort Worth, perhaps visit Billy Bob's Texas, the world's most rip-roarin', all-singin', all-line-dancin' Western Saloon.
Sit back and relax on today's journey east from Fort Worth to Little Rock, Arkansas. The city is home to the William J Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, which honours the work of the state's most famous son. Later, why not visit the restaurants and bars of the colourful River Market District?
We'll cross into Tennessee, today, heading to the great city of Memphis on the bank of the Mississippi. the 'Big Muddy'. Enjoy a free afternoon and evening exploring the heritage of Elvis's hometown, perhaps visiting the Stax Records Museum or the more sombre Museum of Civil Rights, before soaking up the party atmosphere of Beale Street.
Today's full-day Memphis Sounds excursion will include a visit to legendary Sun Studio and to Elvis's beloved Graceland, home and final resting place of The King. This evening, why not try some delicious pork ribs? After all, Memphis is America's barbecue capital!
Journey east to Nashville, the undisputed world capital of country music. An optional excursion will introduce the legendary Studio B - where countless country standards and a galaxy of Elvis's RCA hits were recorded - and to the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Enjoy a scenic drive through the wooded hills and farmland of Tennessee, heading for historic Chattanooga. This quintessential southern trading town, of 'Choo-Choo' fame, enjoys a beautiful setting on a bend in the river. From here, you'll continue to Atlanta Airport to catch your overnight flight home.
Arrive back in the UK, after a wonderful journey through America's fascinating Southern Heartland.