America’s musical heartland
Join us on a fully escorted tour to see New Orleans, the cradle of the blues and Dixieland jazz; Tupelo, birthplace of the 'King'; Memphis, where he made his home; and Nashville, the undisputed capital of Country Music. Afterwards, round off your trip with a relaxing eight-day cruise across to the sun-blessed resorts of Mexico and the Caribbean aboard the marvellous Carnival Dream.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to Atlanta and continue to Chattanooga
Fly to Atlanta, meet your Tour Manager, then board our coach and journey into the southeast corner of Tennessee and Chattanooga - of "Choo-Choo" fame - on the banks of the Tennessee River.
Day Two: Optional Country Music Hall of Fame excursion
After a brief tour of Chattanooga, which includes a visit to the Chattanooga Choo-Choo Hotel, a former railroad terminal and forever linked to the song of the same name, continue your journey to Nashville. After a drive through the wooded Tennessee hills and farmland, you'll arrive for a one-night stay in the world capital of country music. Home to the legendary Ryman Auditorium and Grand Ole Opry, Nashville is one of America's foremost music cities. Why not join our optional excursion, here, to discover the Country Music Hall of Fame and the legendary Studio B (the starting point for more popular hits than any other recording studio in the USA) or head out to pick up a rare record at the Ernest Tubb Record Shop or catch some live music?
Day Three: Head to Memphis
After a leisurely morning, we'll head to Memphis. Soak up the atmosphere of this musically blessed city, and perhaps dine on famous Beale Street.
Day Four: Optional visit to Sun Studio and Elvis's Graceland
Don't miss today's optional, full-day Memphis Sounds excursion, which will include a visit to legendary Sun Studio, the recording birthplace of legends such as Elvis Presley and BB King, and the most famous southern 'mansion' of all, 'Graceland'.
Day Five: Visit Tupelo, Elvis's birthplace
Today you'll head through the Mississippi Delta of the fabled bluesmen to Tupelo. Here you may wish to visit the tiny house that was Elvis's birthplace before we continue through Mississippi, following the course of 'Ol Man River' towards Louisiana and the Gulf of Mexico, for a two-night stay in the great city of New Orleans.
Day Six: Explore New Orleans
This morning's optional guided city tour introduces the 'Big Easy'. Don't miss the time-warped, iron-balconied buildings of the French Quarter, centred on Jackson Square.
This afternoon, take the optional Bayou and Alligators tour for a glimpse of the city's surrounding Creole country and wildlife, before returning to the city for another night of hot music and even hotter Creole food, or perhaps join our optional Steamboat Dinner Jazz Cruise and enjoy a cruise down the Mississippi.
Day Seven: Begin your Caribbean cruise
Today we join Carnival Dream for our seven-night cruise to the Caribbean and Mexico. Settle in, explore the ship's facilities and perhaps think about upgrading yourself to an outside cabin - the difference is small for a balcony and a fabulous ocean view.
Days Eight and Nine: Relax at sea
Spend two lazy days at sea. Take a seat at the bar or enjoy the pool or the spa.
Day 10: Call at Montego Bay in Jamaica
Our first port of call is Jamaica's Montego Bay. Seek out some souvenirs and reggae rhythms, or simply relax barefoot at one of the many beach bars.
Day 11: Discover Grand Cayman
Today is spent in Grand Cayman, where you may choose from a range of optional tours sold on board the ship - including the best scuba diving in the Caribbean Sea. Otherwise, stretch out on the glimmering white sands at Seven Mile Beach or stroll around the shops, cafes, and museums of George Town.
Day 12: Explore Cozumel
Enjoy a full day in the celebrated Mexican resort of Cozumel. Among the activities you can book here you'll find sightseeing tours, sub-aqua diving and even a submarine tour.
Day 13: At sea
Spend another day relaxing at sea as Carnival Dream sails back across the Gulf of Mexico towards the USA.
Day 14: Stay in Montgomery
Arrive back in New Orleans this morning and spend the last night of the tour in Montgomery, the former home of Hank Williams, on the banks of the Alabama River.
Day 15: Fly home from Atlanta
Today you'll head back across Alabama and Georgia to Atlanta for your flight home.
Day 16: Arrive home
Arrive back in the UK after an overnight flight.
Deep South Hotels and Caribbean Cruise
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.
Foreign Office travel advice
Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
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.
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.
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.
Smoking is not permitted on any coach forming part of your holiday; regular stops will be made though for your comfort en route. The majority of hotels in North America are non-smoking throughout including in all bedrooms. In general smoking outside is acceptable, but do look out for signs prohibiting this close to public entrances or bus stops.
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.
Departure update – 11th November 2019
Please note the order of the ports of call on this cruise itinerary have been amended by Carnival. The cruise inclusions have been unaffected by this change.