Music, culture & history
Celebrate the sights and sounds of the South as we step into the world of Robert Johnson, Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Dolly Parton and, of course, Elvis Presley. Cross the Mississippi Delta, where the blues began, to the birthplace of jazz in New Orleans, and follow the river to the hometown of The King and rock 'n' roll before heading west, to Nashville - the world capital of country music. Visit the places that inspired some of popular music's greatest icons, and see the studios where they recorded their classic tracks.
WHAT DOES THE PRICE INCLUDE?
Day One: Fly to the USA
Fly into Atlanta, then transfer to the Alabama state capital, Montgomery. Spend the night in the city where country legend Hank Williams was laid to rest, and where a special museum celebrates his short, spectacular career.
Day Two: From Montgomery, Alabama to New Orleans
The gentle landscape of Harper Lee's Alabama gives way to the vast verdant wetlands of Louisiana as we follow the Gulf Coast to New Orleans. Once there, head out to absorb the exuberant energy of this lively city, or join our optional dinner jazz cruise on board a traditional southern steamboat.
Day Three: Optional New Orleans tour and Manchac Swamp excursion
Explore the Big Easy on today's optional guided tour. See the iron-balconies and covered sidewalks of the French Quarter, the brightly painted wooden houses of Treme and the three spires of St Louis Cathedral on Jackson Square.
Later, head into the surrounding countryside in search of the soul of Creole on our optional Louisiana swampland excursion, then return to the 'Quarter' for a night exploring the bars and clubs where the sounds and spirits of Louis Armstrong and 'King' Oliver still linger.
Day Four: From New Orleans to Tupelo and Memphis
Our focus shifts from jazz to rock 'n' roll today, as we leave New Orleans and head to Elvis Presley's birthplace - Tupelo, Mississippi. You'll have time to visit the tiny house where The King was born (entrance payable locally), before continuing on to Memphis.
Settle in to the wonderful Inn at Graceland, then head to Beale Street for an evening of great music and great food.
Day Five: Optional Sun Studio and Graceland excursion
Today's full-day excursion includes a visit to legendary Sun Studio, where music legends from Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison to Johnny Cash and BB King recorded, and to Elvis's beloved home and the world's most famous rock 'n' roll residence - Graceland.
Day Six: From Memphis, Tennessee to Nashville
Relax as our air-conditioned coach carries you through the rolling woods and farmland of Tennessee to Nashville - the city that remains the heart and soul of country music.
Day Seven: Optional Country Music Hall of Fame and Studio B excursion
Our final excursion is one you really don't want to miss, as we delve into the history behind the sound at the Country Music Hall of Fame, and discover the legendary recording studio that spawned more hit songs than any other in America: Studio B.
Day Eight: From Nashville to Chattanooga and Atlanta
Our final day takes us south, via Chattanooga - beautifully set on the Tennessee River - as we return to Atlanta Airport to check in for your flight back to the UK.
Day Nine: Arrive back in the UK
Arrive home, after an overnight flight.
Nashville and New Orleans Touring Hotels ★★★
Hotel transfer times
The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately two 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.