Image Courtesy American Queen Steamboat Company
A TASTE OF THE TRUE SOUTH – Memory flows deep and sentiment eddies and swirls along the Lower Mississippi River. Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history and soak in the romantic spirit of the Antebellum era. Fertile cotton fields, vast sugar cane plantations and imposing pillared mansions will transport you back in time, as will the Civil War battlefields.
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The largest steamboat ever built, the grand American Queen is a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. The largest, most opulent riverboat in the world.
Although filled with today’s modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian era. Glistening woodwork, fresh flowers and antiques adorn her interior spaces. Outside, lacy filigree evokes memories of the many stately riverboats that preceded her and so inspired her designers.
While on board, you can select a volume from the vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, the boat’s library. Or enjoy a sing-along in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap your toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon, the most elegant showplace on the river.
Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady of the river epitomizes the grace and grandeur that has made River Cruising a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries. One voyage and you’ll see why.
Day 1: Hotel Stay – New Orleans
Your journey begins with a deluxe hotel stay in New Orleans. Take the evening to get acquainted with this culturally diverse city.
Day 2: New Orleans, LA
Enjoy the sights and sounds of New Orleans today at our leisure, or consider a Pre-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the American Queen. Departure 5:00 PM
Day 3: Oak Alley, LA
Located in the Saint James Parish, Oak Alley is a much-photographed plantation that combines architectural splendor and the natural wonder of its 300-year-old oak trees. Spend time strolling beneath the canopy of these trees, and learn about the rich history and culture of this southern estate.
Day 4: St. Francisville, LA
Established in 1809, St. Francisville is the oldest town in the Florida Parishes. Below where St. Francisville is located currently, was a settlement called Bayou Sara in the 1790’s. When this settlement was destroyed by flooding and fires, many of the structures and artifacts were hauled up the bluff into St. Francisville, where they are still standing. The town is referred to as “two miles long and two yards wide,” but that definitely doesn’t mean they have nothing to offer! Stop in at one of the unique shops, historical homes, beautiful churches, or breathtaking parks and you will agree with that! Spanish moss trees grow throughout the town, which creates a beautiful southern comfort to the atmosphere.
Day 5: Natchez, MS
This charming river town was first inhabited by Natchez Indians and French explorers who shared the land. It was founded in 1716, making it the oldest city on the Mississippi. The city is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of history – found on every street corner throughout Natchez. Guests enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historical homes located in Natchez, all of which contribute to Hugh Bayless’ book, “The 100 Best Towns in America.”
Day 6: Vicksburg, MS
Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. Described as the “Key to the South” by Abraham Lincoln, this southern town carries a history unlike any other Civil War city. Vicksburg was founded in 1811 and grew as a vital river port city. It was a major component to the Civil War and carries much of the history within the town. Today, Vicksburg is a popular spot for tourists to learn about the battles of the city, taste the cuisine, visit the many museums, and pick out the perfect souvenir.
Day 7: Scenic River Cruising
Enjoy the sights and sounds of river cruising as you spend a leisurely day onboard.
Day 8: Helena, AR
In the Valley of Crowley’s Ridge, sits the small town of Helena, Arkansas. Helena dates back to 1833, and was once a bustling, thriving southern city. Today, Helena would seem to some as a town that time forgot. While the rest of the country was building shopping centers and interstate systems, Helena struggled to stay afloat amidst all of the progress. Big changes drew small businesses away from Main Street U.S.A. and into strip malls. Convenience took over, where simplicity once stood. Today, Helena is in the throes of a revival. With quirky boutiques, unique stores and a historic musical past, Helena remains proud of the life they continue to successfully sprout from the ruins of the past. For in through the dust and rubble, new life for this determined Southern town is emerging. Helena welcomes American Queen guests to play a large part in their re-birth.
Day 9: Memphis, TN
Arrival 8:00 AM. enjoy Memphis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer. Consider extending your stay with our three day, two night American Music City Stay package.