Day 1: New Orleans, LA
Departure 5:00 PM
Today is the big day! Spend your last day here in the city of New Orleans before embarking on an unforgettable journey!
After you are comfortably aboard the vessel, wave “Au Revoir” to New Orleans as we set off on an incredible adventure up the Mighty Mississippi!
Day 2: 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.
Day 3: Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge, the Capital of Louisiana, has a deep culture and rich history. Named by 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 on the 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 the cuisine – everyone will enjoy an exciting, busy day!
Day 4: 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 5: 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 6: Greenville, MS
Greenville is at the very heart and soul of Mississippi Delta. Located on the banks of Lake Fergusson, Greenville is a short drive to Indianola, the birthplace of B.B. King and many other blues singers, so naturally Greenville has its fair share of Blues integrated into its culture. Many authors and writers were born or reside in the small town of Greenville; local legend says that the Greenville water grows writers. The author of the Muppets actually got started here along with a long list of other impressive, renowned writers! The town is also known for their gardening, which they were recognized for growing the largest carpet plant in the nation; and museums of which the town has one for practically everything! This beautiful town is sure to win your heart with its southern charm and soul!
Day 7: Tunica, MS
Long before it became a leading gaming destination, Tunica played a pivotal role in the history of the South.
Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour: Hop on our deluxe steamcoaches and begin your tour of the South’s Casino Capital! There’s no shortage of fun in this Mississippi town. Tunica offers casinos, history, great food and fun – all within its quant boarders. The tour starts with a stop at the Tunica RiverPark. Located on the banks of the Mighty Mississippi, the Tunica RiverPark is a magnificent combination of modern architecture and nature’s splendor. Step up to the observation deck to enjoy spectacular river views, enjoy the interactive history displays at the Mississippi River Museum, or take a walk through the eco trail, winding through nearly two miles of beautiful wetland forest. Experience the unspoiled timber, native creatures and Mississippi plant life, as you unwind and become one with nature.
Your tour continues with a stop at the Tunica Museum to delve into America’s diverse history. The exhibits range from Native American prehistory through European exploration, to military and commercial advancements from the 19th and 20th centuries. At the Tunica Casino District, go all in at one of several of the high rollers’ casinos, or enjoy a five-star lunch at a casino restaurant.
Discover the world-class gaming action and non-stop fun in this southern destination.
Day 8: Memphis, TN
Enjoy a complimentary city tour of Memphis, Tennessee. During this exclusive narrated driving tour of Memphis, you will see such landmarks like Sun Studio, The Peabody Hotel, National Civil Rights Museum and a cruise past Beale Street. Included is a Graceland Platinum ticket! After a guided tour of the Graceland Mansion, enjoy self-guided tours of the rest of the outlying museums.
Included Shore Excursions:
Experience Memphis through the eyes of The King himself on an exclusive experience through this musical southern city. Join us as we embark on a driving tour passed select landmarks such as Sun Studio, iconic Beale Street and Elvis Presley Plaza. Keep a sharp eye out for wondering musicians as this tour may have a couple musical surprises as we make our way to Graceland.
Visit this musical mecca with a Platinum Ticket to Graceland Mansion and all of the outlying museums. Enjoy a self-guided tour of Graceland and enjoy free time for lunch on your own at one of the Elvis themed eateries on the grounds. During this exclusive narrated driving tour of Memphis, you will see such landmarks as Sun Studio, the Peabody Hotel, the National Civil Rights Museum (The Lorraine Motel) and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.
Experience the most musical town in the world when you cruise down Beale St known as the "Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock & Roll." You will see Elvis Presley Plaza, BB King's Blues Club and the Gibson Guitar Factory. Included is a Graceland Platinum ticket, which is a Self-Guided tour that includes the Graceland Mansion, all of the outlying museums with extra time to treat yourself to a lunch fit for a King at one of Graceland’s Elvis themed eateries. You will not want to miss this unique and authentic city tour, which pays homage to the legendary musical giants who called Memphis home.
Day 9: Leisurely River Cruising
There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river and today is the perfect day to enjoy the many public spaces and activities that are available to you onboard. Consider booking an indulgent, stress-relieving massage in the American Queen's spa. Browse The Emporium gift shop for that perfect keepsake or take the time to mingle with fellow guests.
Day 10: New Madrid, MO
New Madrid was founded in 1776 by Spanish Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró who welcomed Anglo-Saxon settlers but required them to become citizens of Spain and live under the guidance of his appointed impresario, Revolutionary War veteran, Colonel William Morgan of New Jersey. Some 2,000 settled in the region. In 1800, Spain traded the territory to France in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, who promptly sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The city is remembered as being the nearby location for the Mississippi River military engagement, the Battle of Island Number Ten, during the Civil War. The city is famous for being the site of a series of over 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by what is called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Today, explore this quaint river town that will surely steal the hearts of all guests.
Day 11: Henderson, KY
Henderson was formed in the 1850’s as a railroad stop on the Mobile Railroad. It was then located in Southern Madison County and was known as Dayton. Sometime near the Civil War, the name was changed to Henderson Station. After the War, the name was shortened to Henderson. During the 1880’s era, Henderson had a large amount of growth, and by the turn of the century, it had more than 2,000 residents. Most of the town was built around the railroad, but a college caused growth, as well. Henderson is a progressive modern, small Southern town, but it also has its heritage and history deeply embedded within its borders and embraced by its citizens.
Day 12: Paducah, KY
Paducah embraces their harmonious history between the European settlers and the Padoucca Indians native to the area. The city is located at the confluence of the Ohio and the Tennessee Rivers and because of this, it is often called the Four-Rivers Area due to the proximity of the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers. This prime location has played a major role in Paducah’s history, as transportation was easily accessible – the economy was strong and travelers were frequent!
Day 13: Cape Girardeau, MO
Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri is found; a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. Stroll along the riverfront, where the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army on the Mississippi in historic downtown, and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Lewis and Clark while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth on their Corps of Discovery to explore the Louisiana Purchase.
Day 14: Chester, IL
Known as the “Home of Popeye”, Chester, Illinois is a city rich in history and pop culture. Because creator and writer of Popeye, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born here, the famous characters starred in the show will be seen showcased frequently throughout the town. Stop at the Popeye Character Trail to view granite statues of the characters overlooking the Mississippi or check out America’s only Popeye museum and gift shop to take home a souvenir to remind you of your visit to Chester! Spend the day exploring the unique history as you walk through luxurious homes, historical buildings, and museums!
Day 15: St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, Missouri, famously referred to as the “Gateway City,” is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultures and traditions each one brings forth. The iconic city was founded in 1764 by French explorers who settled on the east side of the Mississippi, claiming the land as their fur trading post. In 1803, the city’s name began to spread as the beginning point for the famous Louis and Clark Expedition. The city is typically associated with its 630-foot stainless steel monument, The Gateway Arch, which stands proud on the banks of the Mississippi River to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.
Day 16: Hannibal, MO
Hannibal, Missouri has a rich history, diverse industrial economy, and truly remarkable arts. The city was founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates and became a popular stop along the river for many steamboats traveling up the Mississippi. Hannibal offers more parks per citizens than most towns in the Midwest and was included in the famous “50 Miles of Art.” Today, the most popular draw of this quirky town is Hannibal’s very own, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, recognized world-wide as Mark Twain. Many of the popular characters featured in Twain’s novels were based on people Sam had known while growing up in Hannibal. Many of the characters and influences of this American icon are weaved into the streets, shops, restaurants, and museums of Hannibal waiting to be uncovered.
Day 17: Leisurely River Cruising
There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river and today is the perfect day to enjoy the many public spaces and activities that are available to you onboard. Gaze at the beautiful landscapes and small river towns as you mingle with fellow guests and discuss the unique aspects of river life. If you fancy a moment for yourself, retreat to our Gallery adorned with ornate bookcases stocked with an imaginative selection. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish every moment of serenity. Our fitness facility, business center, movie theater and grand lobby offer a more stimulating day on the river for those who wish to indulge in more energy-infused activity. However you wish to spend your day, make it your own and revel in every moment.
Day 18: Quad Cities (Bettendorf), IA
During the Civil War, the nearby river towns of Davenport, Iowa, Rock Island, Illinois and Moline, Illinois thoughtful planning and strong leaders helped them to flourish while other settlements began to fail. It was during this same time period that the three towns began to refer to themselves as the “Tri-Cities.” Today, despite the name “Quad Cities,” the city is comprised of five towns in total with the addition of East Moline, Illinois and Bettendorf, Iowa. Enjoy the diverse culture of this “melting-pot” city and uncover the stories of Quad Cities’ past in the many museums, boutiques, and eateries!
Day 19: Dubuque, IA
Dubuque is Iowa’s oldest city and is among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. The first permanent settler of the area was French-Canadian fur trader Julien Dubuque who arrived in 1785. Dubuque’s location to the Mississippi and its abundant land and resources, attracted large numbers of immigrants, particularly Irish and Germans, from overcrowded cities on the east coast. Dubuque is filled with historic sites, architectural Historic Districts with well-preserved buildings and homes, history and art museums, the great Mississippi River, and a revitalized main street that invites guests with Dubuque’s claim-to-fame as an “All-American City.”
Day 20: La Crosse, WI
La Crosse, named by explorer Zebulon Pike who saw a group of people playing a game with sticks that looked like a cross, is a popular destination for tourists. Filled with statues, architecture, and an exquisite view of the river, this river city is an artist’s dream. Like much of Wisconsin, La Crosse became heavily involved with the lumber industry in the mid-1800's until the decline of the forests throughout much of Wisconsin took its toll. But in the wake of the vanishing lumber era, La Crosse became a city renowned for its beer making, with around five breweries operating in La Crosse near the turn of the century. Today, make note of lingering pieces of history along the streets of the city, inside local breweries, and within the floorboards of historic homes and businesses.
Day 21: Red Wing, MN
Red Wing, Minnesota was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of most historic places in the world. Discovered in the early 1850’s, the lands were used mostly for harvesting wheat that would be transported up the river. Later in Red Wing’s history the economy began to flourish due to the thriving pottery industry, which became a main source of income between 1877 and 1967. Today, the city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and travelers that occupied the land before today, or to admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.
Day 22: Red Wing, MN
Arrival 8:00 AM
Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy nearby Minneapolis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.