DAY 1 Friday 5 October 2018 New Orleans
Today we depart Australia on our flight to Dallas Fort Worth, connecting through to New Orleans, the birthplace of jazz. We cross the International Date Line and arrive in New Orleans on the day we depart. On arrival we will check into our hotel, located in the French Quarter, famous for its historic homes and architectural treasures.
DAY 2 Saturday 6 October 2018 New Orleans
This morning we will have a comprehensive coach tour of New Orleans and surrounding region with a local guide, including visits to an above ground cemetery. Discover the many diverse cultures that have made New Orleans unique. The afternoon will be free to explore New Orleans at your leisure. There is so much to do and see in the French Quarter – you may like to have lunch at a Cajun restaurant or take a ride on the famous St. Charles Avenue Streetcar (all optional). This evening we will have a welcome dinner.
DAY 3 Sunday 7 October 2018 New Orleans
This morning we will travel from New Orleans to experience a swamp tour by air boat. See the beauty of the marshes and swamps, you may even see alligators, snakes and turtles! We later return to New Orleans where the rest of the afternoon will be free.
DAY 4 Monday 8 October 2018 Embarkation
The morning will be free. This afternoon we are transferred by coach to the port and board The American Queen to begin our fabulous voyage. In the evening enjoy a Welcome Aboard Dinner.
DAY 5 Tuesday 9 October 2018 Nottoway
This morning we arrive at Nottoway, the South’s largest, most glorious remaining Antebellum mansion with a rich history dating back to 1859. This stunning historical plantation lies between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and offers a view of a truly grand plantation. The mansion flaunts three-floors, 64-bedrooms, and displays an incredible 22 white square columns. The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white and displays elaborate gold décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster, and mud and are all original to the house.
DAY 6 Wednesday 10 October 2018 St Francisville
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. Spanish moss trees grow throughout the town, which creates a beautiful southern comfort to the atmosphere.
DAY 7 Thursday 11 October 2018 Natchez
Today we step into the plantation lifestyle of the antebellum south in Natchez, site of numerous restored mansions. Visit historic Jefferson College, or just amble down the Natchez Trace. From Spring Pilgrimage to Christmas, there’s no shortage of excitement in this small town as you tour the antebellum mansions, drink in the history and enjoy the evening entertainment. We take a narrated tour of Longwood and Stanton Hall. Stanton Hall was built in 1857 and is considered the grandest of the Natchez mansions. Longwood, built in 1861, is the largest octagonal house in the United States, standing six stories high and topped with a 25-foot finial. Also on our route is Twin Oaks, the antebellum mansion of Regina Charboneau, the Chef de Cuisine of the American Queen.
DAY 8 Friday 12 October 2018 Vicksburg
This morning discover a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg, Mississippi. Billed as the “Red Carpet City of the South,” Southern hospitality is alive and well and awaiting your arrival. We board a hop-on hop-off Steamcoach for a narrated tour experience of Vicksburg, a city bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment and outdoor adventure. Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. We will stop at The Church of the Holy Trinity, a place of spiritual refreshment to Vicksburg for more than 125 years. Two blocks from the church we visit the Southern Cultural Heritage Center. Our next stop is the Vicksburg Battlefield Visitor’s Center. As we return to the downtown area, continue to the Old Courthouse Museum, which showcases thousands of artifacts from pre-Columbian times to Civil War implements, and visit the Levee St. Museum. Finally, we stop at Washington Street for more shopping, or discover other interesting museums including the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum and Yesterday’s Children Antique Doll and Toy Museum.
DAY 9 Saturday 13 October 2018 Greenville
Greenville is at the very heart and soul of Mississippi Delta. Located on the banks of Lake Fergusson, Greenville is a short distance from Indianola, the birthplace of B.B. King. Many authors and writers were born or reside in the small town of Greenville; local legend says that the Greenville water grows writers. Board our hop-on hop-off Steamcoach for a narrated tour experience of Greenville. We stop at Greenville History Museum, Hebrew Union Congregation Temple and Museum, 1927 Flood Museum, E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center, Greenville’s Writers Exhibit at the Percy Library, Washington County Courthouse and Trop Casino.
DAY 10 Sunday 14 October 2018 River Cruising
Settle into a rocking chair and just let the scenery glide by. Or join in the fun of our numerous onboard activities. Your full day of leisurely steamboating on the river sets the tone for an unforgettable vacation.
DAY 11 Monday 15 October 2018 Memphis
This morning disembark in Memphis, home of Elvis Presley and birthplace of rock’n’roll. We first visit Graceland, the famous mansion owned by Elvis Presley. We will see all the attractions including the mansion, the grave site, Elivs’s plane collection and The Automobile Museum. This afternoon we have a sightseeing tour of Memphis and visit the National Civil Rights Museum (the motel – now museum – where Dr Martin Luther King was assassinated). This evening we will visit Beale Street, where we take in the atmosphere and music of this colourful precinct.
DAY 12 Tuesday 16 October 2018 Memphis
This morning we will visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Roll Soul Museum. This afternoon we have a guided tour of Sun Studios made famous in the 1950s as the recording studio, where Elvis, Johnny Cash, and others recorded many famous hit songs. The evening we have an included dinner.
DAY 13 Wednesday 17 October 2018 Memphis
We will continue our exploration of Memphis including the Memphis Music Hall of Fame, W.C. Handy’s statue in Handy Park, the statue of Little Milton outside the Blues Foundation’s Hall of Fame, Gibson guitar factory and The Peabody Hotel. We will head back to Beale Street for more entertainment.
DAY 14 Thursday 18 October 2018 Nashville
Today we travel by coach to the picturesque village of Lynchburg, for a guided tour of the famous Jack Daniel’s Distillery. We will have lunch at Miss Mary Bobo’s Boarding House, in Lynchburg, which has offered traditional ‘southern’ dining in a two-story 1867 mansion since 1908. We will continue on to Nashville where we stay for the next three nights.
DAY 15 Friday 19 October 2018 Nashville
Today we have a sightseeing tour of Nashville, home of country music. With our local guide we will enjoy the sights including the Opryland area, the beautifully restored Ryman Auditorium (Grand Ole Opry venue ‘til 1974), we also visit the incredible Opryland Hotel (famous for its fabulous lobbies and beautiful indoor gardens), Centennial Park (see full scale replica of Greek Parthenon) and exclusive residential areas. This evening we enjoy a big night out at Nashville’s famous Grand Ole Opry. This fantastic show features up to 20 legendary country music artists.
DAY 16 Saturday 20 October 2018 Nashville
A free day to explore Nashville and to relax. This evening we have a final night dinner to celebrate our tour and cruise of the South of the USA.
DAY 17 Sunday 21 October 2018 Departure
This morning we will be transferred to the airport for the flights to Australia.
DAY 18 Monday 22 October 2018 In flight
DAY 19 Tuesday 23 October 2018 Arrive Australia
We arrive back in Australia today and tour arrangements conclude.