Jewels of the Mississippi River Cruise, from Memphis to New Orleans
Venue: Mississippi River
- Depart from Terminal, with BREAKFAST included en route. Arrive in Cincinnati, Ohio and check in to the DRURY INN & SUITES for the evening. DINNER is included this evening.
Sunday, November 11 (8 1/2 hours travel time)
- BREAKFAST is included at the hotel. Check out and depart for Memphis. This afternoon, check in to the SHERATON HOTEL. Tonight, DINNER and ENTERTAINMENT are included at KING'S PALACE CAFE on Beale Street.
Monday, November 12 (Cruise departs at 5:00 pm)
- BREAKFAST is included at the hotel. This morning, enjoy the PLATINUM TOUR of GRACELAND. Lunch and browsing on your own on BEALE STREET. At approximately 3:30 pm, we will board the AMERICAN QUEEN to begin your voyage. DINNER is included on board the cruise.
- While on board the cruise, you can select a volume from the vast collection in the MARK TWAIN GALLERY, the boat's library. Or enjoy a SING-A-LONG 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.
FOOD SERVICE BEFITTING A QUEEN: Every meal aboard the American Queen is an affair to remember and the cost is included! Their celebrated American chefs draw their inspiration from the great Heartland to create a movable, delectable feast for you to indulge in. On this cruise, you'll enjoy everything from piping hot beignets and bananas foster French toast for breakfast to succulent five-course dinners. Every day celebrates the culinary sense.
Tuesday, November 13: Greenville, MS
- Greenville is at the very heart and soul of Mississippi Delta. Located on the banks of Lake Fergusson, it is a short drive to Indianola, the birthplace of B.B. King and many other blues singers, so naturally she has her fair share of Blues. Many authors and writers were also born or live in this small town; local legend says that Greenville water grows writers. The author of the Muppets actually got started here along with a long list of impressive, renowned writers! This beautiful town is sure to win your heart with its southern charm and soul!
- GREENVILLE HISTORY MUSEUM: View artifacts, photos, and memorabilia dating back to the 1800's. Learn the history of Greenville and the citizens in it. Here, guests can learn about Greenville and all of the important events and people she has to offer. See personal objects of local past citizens, businesses, or well-known historical present-day celebrities! Greenville History Museum has plenty of information about the Greenville Flood of 1927, including many pictures and stories.
- HEBREW UNION CONGREATION TEMPLE AND MUSEUM: Built in 1906 and has all original stained glass windows and organ. This guided, extensive museum on Hebrew history was built in 1906. Located in front of the temple is an original carriage stone - used by passengers as they climbed in and out of horse-drawn carriages in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The temple showcases original stained glass and an original working organ both from 1906.
- 1927 FLOOD MUSEUM: Learn the history of one of the most impactful floods Washington County has ever faced. Located in the oldest structure in Downtown Greenville, the Flood Museum depicts the history of one of the greatest natural disasters the county has ever seen. View the flood artifacts and photos illustrating the flood's impact during the long four months Greenville were flooded. Watch a short documentary illustrating the cause and effects of the Great Flood and the struggle of man against nature.
- E.E. BASS CULTURAL ARTS CENTER: Home of the oldest functioning Armitage carousel. This carousel was created in 1901, and is the oldest fully functioning Armitage carousel today. Mississippi at that time was still very segregated, many people approached the owner having separate nights for carousel rides, but the owner refused - he wished for everyone to ride together. Take a ride on this miraculous machine, hear the whistle blow and travel back in time.
- GREENVILLE'S WRITERS EXHIBIT AT THE PERCY LIBRARY: Housed in the William Alexander Percy Memorial Library is an exhibit honoring the rich literary heritage of Greenville. The Exhibit includes books and manuscripts from many Greenville Writers.
- WASHINGTON COUNTRY COURTHOUSE: This beautiful 1890 structure is comprised of mostly illinois brownstone. The courthouse is actually the second to occupy this space - the original was burned down by Union troops during the Civil War. It was replaced by the current structure in 1890. The front of the building showcases the Confederate Monument which faces south - like many do in Mississippi.
- TROP CASINO: Just a short distance from the dock of the American Queen, you can find yourself in Greenville's newest addition, the Trop Casino. This $6.8 million expansion includes a riverboat and land-based casino! Enjoy the latest slots and table games or enjoy a fine dining experience at one of the casino's extraordinary restaurants!
Wednesday, November 14: 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.
- CHURCH OF THE HOLY TRINITY: This Episcopal Church is more than 125 years old and houses six Tiffany stained-glass windows. This incredible church spans over 125 feet long, is 52 feet wide, and reaches 61 feet high to the apex of the roof. The church was constructed in Norman-style, finished in red brick, though it showcases zigzag tracery which was highly unique to the style at the time. The stained glass windows may be the main draw - there are 34. They were given as memorials and six of them were created by TIffany Studios in New York under supervision of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
- ANCHUCA MANSION: Anchuca is one of the most significant antebellum homes in Vicksburg and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1830 and provided shelter for those suffering during the War. The word Anchuca derives from an Indian word meaning, "happy home", which is the exact vibe this home gives off. Built in 1830 by politician J.W. Mauldin, Anchuca is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the war, the house was used as a shelter for those who had suffered. Tour the home and its beautiful furnishings.
- OLD COURT HOUSE MUSEUM: Built in 1858, this building stands as the most historic structure in Vicksburg, hosting speakers and guests like Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, and others! Construction for this colossal courthouse began in 1858 and was completed miraculously just two years later in 1860 for $100,000. It was restored by Eva Whitaker Davis after the torando of 1953 swept through Mississippi. Now, the courthouse is filled with countless artifacts including confederate flags, portraits, the trophy antlers won by Robert E. Lee in an 1870 race, an original Teddy Bear given by Theodore Roosevelt and much more!
- YESTERDAY'S CHILD & DOLL MUSEUM & BIEDENHARN COCA-COLA MUSEUM: Take a self-guided tour as you enjoy and remember life through a child's eye. Learn a history of an America's beloved soda in this 1890's- furnished museum. Located directly across the street from one another, these two Vicksburg gems are close to the heart of many residents. Yesterday's Doll Museum was featured in Delta Magazine and Dolls Magazine. Enjoy a self-guided tour featuring over 1,000 dolls and toys dating back to 1843. At Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, enjoy the wide variety of coca-cola memorabilia in an authentic candy store and soda fountain setting.
- LOWER MISSISSIPPI RIVER MUSEUM: Listen to the risks and benefits of life surrounding the Mississippi River and learn the Federal Government's role the Mississippi River's past and present. This museum's mission is to show the role of the government in Mississippi's past and future, to maintain a healthy river. Guests can explore showcases of the history of Vicksburg and the region or exhibits about the 1927 flood and how it affected Vicksburg and the Mississippi River. Learn about the fish of the river up close in the museum's 1,515 gallon aquarium with the Mississippi Trail Interactive Exhibit.
- OLD DEPOT MUSEUM: Featuring the world's largest collection of ship models and a collection of riverboat models and naval vessels with Mississippi names. Also, the museum offers the only diorama of the Siege of Vicksburg, shown in a birds-eye view of the battlefield with 2,300 miniature soldiers. Formerly a depot for the Grand Trunk & Western Railroad, this museum has more than 150,000 historical and genealogical items in its collection. It features a scale-model village of the buildings important to the development of Vicksburg and the South Kalamazoo County Region and outback guests can check out the caboose! Before you leave, make sure to visit the gift shop!
Thursday, November 15: 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 known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of history - found on every street corner throughout Natchez. Guests will enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historical homes located here, all of which contribute to Hugh Bayless' book, "The 100 Best Towns in America."
- ROSALIE MANSION: Built in 1823, this was a Union headquarters for Natchez during the Civil War built in 1823. This 1716 mansion was built by the French as a fort on the bluffs of Natchez. The Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution have sinced gained ownership and have been maintaining the house and grounds since 1938. On this guided tour, hear the history of the house and the artifacts from an expert tour guide dressed in period clothing. Guests can explore the extensive gardens, gift shop, library, or carriage house before they leave.
- NATCHEZ VISITOR'S CENTER: Learn about the river in this beautiful southern town, visit exhibits, or shop in the gift shop! Enjoy a short, 20-minute video in the Visitor's Center Theater and hear about the history of Natchez upon arrival. Then, explore the building at your leisure. At the entrance, a scaled display model of the city is showcased. Stop in the office for some information and questions about the town and its history, including highlights and points of interest.
- WILLIAM JOHNSON HOUSE MUSEUM: An incredible, historic 3-story brick house constructed after the 1840 Natchez tornado. William Johnson was known as the "Barber of Natchez"; he began as a slave and gained his freedom at age eleven. After his freedom, he began to work his way up in society, eventually becoming almost fully accepted within society. As the town barber, William Johnson was able to hear the stories and gossip of many residents, which he documented in his diary for more than 16 years. His 3-story brick home was built in 1840 and showcases many.
- MAGNOLIA HALL: This fully-restored mansion was owned by a wealthy cotton broker and merchant and was built in 1858. This Greek Revival Mansion was built in 1858. The house was built before the breakout of the Civil War in town but did suffer some damage - a cannon ball was actually launched into their kitchen! It is now fully restored - the main floor offers a showcase of many antiques and furnishings and the upper floors offer a costume collection located in the Historic Clothing Museum. Tour the house and then stop in the gift shop for some souvenirs.
- STANTON HALL: A magnificent, Antebellum Greek Revival Mansion built on an entire city block of Natchez. Irish Immigrant and cotton merchant Frederick Stanton built this Palatial Greek Revival mansion in 1857. It was appraised at $83,000 during that period, even before it was furnished. Take a 30-minute tour of the house - which takes up the entire block and is fully furnished. Afterwards you can stop for lunch in the Carriage House Restaurant, known for their fine southern cuisine.
- NATCHEZ ASSOCIATION FOR THE PRESERVATION OF AFRO-AMERICAN CULTURE MUSEUM: View photographs and artifacts or hear the history of African-American heritage in Natchez and Adams County. Here, learn the history and culture of the African Americans in Natchez over time. Guests can hear the stories or explore the many exhibits that portray the hardships that African Americans suffered and those that prevailed in a time period which allowed for minimal success to the entire race. Add another dimension of Natchez history by stopping at this museum.
Friday, November 16: Baton Rouge, LA
- Baton Rouge, the Capital of Louisiana, has a deep culture and rich history. Named by a French explorer, Sieur D'Iberville after a reddish pole marking two separate tribal hunting grounds, Baton Rouge has transformed into a rich cultural city. Locals speak a specific version of French in their everyday language. The city is home to Louisiana's capitol building which is the largest in the United States, as well as the Old State Capitol - a Gothic architectural monument located in Bluffs overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. Spend the day exploring all that Baton Rouge has to offer, from the museums and the architecture, to the shops and cuisine - everyone will enjoy an exciting, busy day!
- USS KIDD DD-61: Known as the "Pirate of the Pacific," she is the centerpiece of a memorial which serves to honor men and women of our American armed forces. Just a short walk from the American Queen's dock, guests can explore a Fletcher-Class Destroyer that fought in many battles in U.S. History. Named after Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship during Pearl Harbor, the USS Kidd has received 8 battle stars for WWII service and 4 battle stars for Korean War service. This 2,050 ton, 376 foot-long vessel has since been converted into a museum, with exhibits of extensive collections of war artifacts, ship models, memorial hall, real fighter planes and bombers, and memorials.
- ST. JOSEPH CATHEDRAL: Built in 1853, the Cathedral stands as a landmark of the Catholic Church. The Gothic Revival structure has been extensively renovated and is listed on the National Register of Historical Places as well.
- CAPITOL PARK MUSEUM: Here you can step onto a simulated Mardi Gras float, discover the difference between museum showcases collections of visual arts, jazz, costumes, textiles and artifacts from Louisiana history. It was founded in 1906 and holds over 450,000 artifacts and works of arts. Permanent exhibits include: "Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond," "Experiencing Louisiana: Discovering the Soul of America," and "Grounds for Greatness: Louisiana".
- LOUISIANA'S STATE CAPITOL: The tallest capitol building in the nation was constructed during the Depression. Get a birds-eye view of the city and mighty Mississippi River from the 27th floor observation deck. This prime example of Art Deco Architecture was extremely popular in the 1930's and stands 450 feet tall. The building holds 34 floors making it the tallest state capital in the United States. Guests can admire the uniquely constructed rooms throughout the building or take a ride up to the 34th floor to the observation deck where an impressive panoramic view of the city can be found,
- OLD ARSENAL MUSEUM: Built in 1838, the site was of particular military importance due its location on the Mississippi River. View the exhibits of the Battle of Baton Rouge. Located on the grounds of the New State Capitol, this museum was built in 1838 on what was a federal military post. Today, the Old Arsenal Museum contains exhibits about the structure of the historic powder magazine and the history of the State Capitol grounds.
- LSU MUSEUM OF ART: Located inside the Shaw Center for the Arts, the LSU Museum of Art seeks to enrich and inspire through collections, exhibitions, conservation and education. Founded in 1959, the Louisiana State University Museum of Art has been fully accredited by the AAM and offers over 14 impressive galleries. Admire showcases from American, European, British, Chinese, and African influences and over 5,000 art pieces. Learn about the history of art and the influences it has on modern art styles and explore the extensive collection or original paintings, sculptures, photography, and more!
- LOUISIANA'S OLD STATE CAPITOL: A gothic architectural monument located on the bluffs overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. This incredible building has withstood war, fire, scandal and abandonment. It is now referred to as the Museum of Political History and has received awards for the architecture, exhibits, and preservation. Learn the history of Louisiana's capital city, art, culture, and politics while you explore the original artifacts and interactive exhibits!
Saturday, November 17: 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.
- ROYAL STREET: Guests can hop off here and walk over the The Republic of West Florida Historical Site. Or choose to stroll into Grandmother's Buttons, a very unique southern boutique. Take a stroll down Royal Street at any of the shops or just to admire the beautiful trees and houses. Or stop into Grandmother's Buttons - a unique boutique that offers jewelry made out of 100 year old buttons. Inside the store, you can visit the button museum to learn the history of the business and the inspirations of the art. The store is located inside of a former historic bank lobby with 16-foot ceilings and a bank vault, even if jewelry is not in your plans - the architecture is beautiful!
- OLD MARKET HALL: Become steeped in southern charm and local artistry. Stop at Harrington Gallery to experience one-of-a-kind paintings and beautiful pieces by local artists. Visit the Shanty Too, a quaint boutique featuring artisan jewelry and gifts. The structure was built in 1819 and has beautiful open layout. Now, the building is used as a market center for the town to host their small businesses. Every day is different - you may see anything from jewelry and makeup, scarves and dresses, or snacks and produce!
- WEST FELICIANA HISTORICAL SOCIETY MUSEUM: Learn about St. Francisville and Louisiana's history and culture. Also, feel free to stop at the West Feliciana Parish Library and relax with a good book or newspaper. This store built in 1896, the Historical Society Museum displays many artifacts, photos, costumes, and articles all portraying the history of St. Francisville. Just across the street, you can stop in any of the fine boutiques and shops!
GRACE EPISCOPAL CHURCH: Originally built in 1827, this restored Gothic structure is one of the oldest Protestant churches in Louisiana. Learn about its significance during the Civil War and its' historical Civil War cemetary. Built in 1860 and rebuilt in 1893 after the Union caused heavy damage in 1863, the Church stands tall in St. Francisville. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the church and the grounds and make sure to check out the organ located inside - it dates all the way back to 1860! This church is one of the state's oldest Protestant churches that still stand today.
Sunday, November 18: Nottoway, LA
- Nottoway is the South's largest, most glorious remaining Antebellum mansion with a rich history dating back to 1859. In a fabulous location along the great River Road, overlooking the grand Mississippi River, is this "White Castle" of the South transports visitors back to an era of glory and grandeur. Set amongst a natural backdrop of vibrant gardens in 200 year old oak trees, Nottoway Plantation captivates all with a brilliant blend of true Southern hospitality, history and mystery.
- NOTTOWAY PLANTATION: Enjoy an included tour of Nottoway Plantation, the South's largest remaining antebellum mansion. 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 which contribute to its' nickname - "The White Castle of Louisiana." The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white and displays elaborate gold decor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster fieze made from Spanish Moss, clay, plaster, and mud and are all original to the house. And as if that weren't as enough, this immaculate mansion was constructed with 365 openings - one for each day of the year. Enjoy a guided walking tour of an American Castle as we explore within pristine walls of Nottoway followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens.
Monday, November 19: Disembark in New Orleans, LA (8 hours travel time)
- Tie up in New Orleans near historic Jackson Square and bid your ship adieu. At the conclusion of the cruise, the bus will be waiting at the pier with a LOCAL GUIDE for a WALKING TOUR of the HISTORIC FRENCH QUARTER. Lunch and browsing is on your own in JACKSON SQUARE.
Following your lunch break, we will depart towards home. Dinner and rest breaks will be made as needed. Tonight's LODGING will be in Athen's, TN area.
Tuesday, November 20 (11 1/2 hours travel time driver swap en route )
- BREAKFAST is included at the hotel.
- Check out and depart for home, with wonderful memories of your Mississippi River Cruise!
- FAREWELL DINNER is included at a popular reasturant en route home.
- From Saturday, 10 November 2018 to Wednesday, 21 November 2018