Day 1: Memphis, TN
Departure 5:00 PM
Today is the day you have been waiting for! Prepare to board the opulent American Queen and embark on an unforgettable journey down America’s largest and most historical river.
If you haven’t gotten your full dose of Memphis yet, visit the AQ Hospitality Desk (Open at 8:30 AM!) for ideas about how to spend your day. The official American Queen Voyage Check-In will be open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. During this fast and easy procedure, our representatives will arrange your transfer to the vessel and answer any questions you might have. The process is simple and will have you back to exploring in no time, and, if you think of any more questions, the American Queen Hospitality Desk will be at your service until 3:00 PM, when the complimentary boat transfers will begin!
We would like to invite all guests to join us on a Premium Pre-Cruise Shore Excursion at 10:00 AM as we begin an exclusive adventure through Memphis’ highlights before continuing to the American Queen Dock at 3:30 PM. Reservations are required, so stop in at the Hospitality Desk for more information.
It’s time to start your voyage! Board the American Queen and begin a luxurious voyage down the Mississippi River, where memories will be made that will last a lifetime!
Day 2: Greenville, MS
Greenville, Mississippi is at the very heart and soul of the Mississippi Delta and opens its arms to welcome American Queen guests for a festive Christmas Market celebration. Local crafters including potters, jewelers, artists and other various vendors gather in Greenville’s Stein Mart Square for a traditional Christmas Market that harkens memories of Christmases past. Stroll the aisles with carolers and local entertainers dressed in holiday garb and browse the festooned markets for an old-fashioned holiday experience complete with hot cocoa or tea. With a vast selection of holiday and local treats, crafted beer and regional wines guests are certain to uncover the perfect last-minute Christmas gift to complete the bounty under your tree.
Just a short stroll from the boat, guests will find a park fully decorated with Christmas décor and music. In the midst of this holiday wonderland, the Christmas Markets of Greenville offer local artists wares.
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. The museum is home to many artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and souvenirs dating back to the early 1800’s. 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 Congregation 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 for 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 the 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 illustrated 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. The E.E. Bass Museum is home to the Armitage Herschell 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 about having separate nights for carousel rides, but the owner refused, he wished for everyone to ride together. Take a ride on this miraculous machine and hear the whistle blow and travel back in time.
Washington County Courthouse
Beautiful 1890 structure comprised of mostly Illinois brownstone. This 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, made up of primarily Illinois brownstone. The front of the building showcases the Confederate Monument which faces south – like many do in Mississippi.
Newest addition to Greenville and it is just a brief walk from the American Queen dock. Just a short distance from the dock of the American Queen, guests can find themselves in Greenville’s 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!
Day 3: Vicksburg, MS
Vicksburg, Mississippi 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 celebrates the Christmas holiday with a traditional flair. Meander through the shops adorned with holiday garb and experience the historical significance of this southern town. As the grand American Queen departs Vicksburg this evening, guests will be delighted with a stirring holiday performance by the local musicians as they present a lively performance of holiday tunes.
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 the supervision of Louis Comfort Tiffany.
Anchuca, meaning “happy home” 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 tornado of 1953 swept through Mississippi. Now, the courthouse is filled with countless artifacts including, confederate flags, portraits, the trophy antlers won by steamboat Robert E. Lee in an 1870 race, an original Teddy Bear given by Theodore Roosevelt, and much more!
Yesterday’s Child & Doll Museum & Biendemham Coca-Cola Museum
Take a self-guided tour as you enjoy and remember life through a child’s eyes. Learn the 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 hearts 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 Biedenhard 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 or choose your own adventure on the river with the Mississippi Trail Interactive exhibit! (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)
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!
Day 4: Natchez, MS
The spirit of the Holidays spreads through this charming southern town and resonates throughout its streets with traditional holiday decorations adorning the town’s most historic homes. Natchez takes pride in decking their halls as they welcome American Queen guests into the town for a truly southern holiday celebration. Browse the shops throughout Natchez for that perfect gift and stroll through the halls of her historic homes and buildings. As the American Queen departs, the sweet melodies of holiday tunes bid us adieu with traditional Christmas music from the levee.
Enjoy the Christmas Market atop the bluff that overlooks the Mississippi River. While shopping for local arts and crafts, you will enjoy the festive decorations and holiday music.
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 since 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 at 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 general information and questions about the town and its history, including town 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 of the residents, which he documented in his diary for more than 16 years. His 3-story brick home was built in 1840 and showcases many.
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.
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.
King’s Tavern and Charboneau Distillery
Step off the American Queen Motorcoach and step through the front gate leading to the second floor porch of this 1769 building – the oldest structure in the city of Natchez. Join us for an American Queen exclusive tour of the King’s Tavern – a newly opened restaurant and bar, owned by nationally recognized chef, Regina Charboneau, and her husband, Doug. Here you will begin a guided tour of the bar with a custom drink on the house, followed by an exclusive tour of the distillery located just next-door. Don’t miss out!
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.
Day 5: St. Francisville, LA
Established in 1809, St. Francisville is the oldest town in the Florida Parishes. Today, St. Francisville retains its historical, small-town charm and their festive holiday celebrations are no exception. Stroll through the streets of St. Francisville, adorned for the season as jolly carolers stroll along the bustling sidewalks. The streets come alive with holiday charm as yuletide music fills the air. Stop in at the St. Francisville visitor’s center and discover the friendly faces of the American Queen Syncopators performing live holiday music for a musical welcome to this southern gem.
Guests can hop off here and walk over to 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 a 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 museum is dedicated to the history, people, and architectures of West Feliciana Parish. Built inside a former hardware 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 cemetery. Built in 1860 and rebuilt in 1893 after the Union caused heavy damage in 1863, Grace Episcopal 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.
Day 6: Nottoway, LA
Magic is in the air at Nottoway Plantation as the melodies of Christmas echo through the halls of the great mansion and carry across the lush grounds. Your evening at Nottoway Plantation is full of enchanted holiday traditions including festive Christmas Markets offering a glimpse into holidays past. Christmas Markets are reminiscent of celebrations of yesteryear offering a wonderful opportunity to hunt for the perfect treasure.
Enter the white walls of the great plantation for an elegant celebration with live music, carolers, festive dancing and a holiday feast complete with libations and yule tide merriment. This romantic evening is capped off with the lighting of traditional bonfires along the levees. As your evening at Nottoway comes to a close, return to the American Queen for a grand Holiday Ball.
Exclusive Holiday Celebration
Experience a festive Nottoway plantation decked out for the holidays with Christmas lighting and décor throughout the grounds, public spaces, and grand mansion. Costumed carolers will stroll the grounds and dancers in Antebellum attire will demonstrate vintage dances on the front lawn and within the interior walls of the mansion. A guided candlelit tour of the mansion will emphasize Victorian customs and traditions.
Partake in a bit of hot rum on the Fireplace Patio and optional gingerbread cookie decorating. Santa will be available for photo opportunities along with his ‘holiday attired’ alligator. A pianist will serenade you as you enjoy a private dinner in the mansion and dine on traditional southern cuisine such as crawfish and crabcake appetizers, crab and brie bisque and a fabulous combination entrée.
The sight of traditional Cajun bonfire on the levee adds a special, final touch to the evening as you return to the iconic American Queen for a grand Holiday Ball.
Day 7: 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, this “White Castle” of the South transports visitors back to an era of glory and grandeur. Set amongst a natural backdrop of vibrant gardens and two hundred-year-old oak trees, Nottoway Plantation captivates all with a brilliant blend of true Southern hospitality, history and mystery.
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 décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster, and mud and is all original to the house. And as if that weren’t 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 the pristine walls of Nottoway followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens.
Day 8: New Orleans, LA
Arrival 8:00 AM
Tie up in New Orleans near historic Jackson Square and bid your steamboat adieu. But give in to the temptation to hang around and explore with our three day, two night Big Easy City Stay package.