Our river cruise expert Mary recently returned from the Grand Historic South Cruise aboard the American Constellation. We are sharing her adventures to give you a glimpse of the brand new ship, the American Constellation, and a taste of the itinerary for the Grand Historic South Cruise.
The American Constellation is the newest addition to the ACL fleet, with 6 decks, 8 room choices, and modern amenities, the ship navigates the waters to ports large ships can not access. Mary learned first hand what “itinerary subject to change” means. This cruise is meant to journey through the Intracoastal Waterway, but due to ocean conditions the ship had to sail on the open ocean for parts of the journey. Mary’s greatest appreciation was the captain and crews ability to adapt. Even though the path and itinerary changed, the passengers were still taken to as many ports as possible and provided multiple tours and land excursions daily.
Mary’s journey started in historic Charleston, South Carolina where the American Constellation embarked. She recommends a pre or post-cruise stay in Charleston for exploration of the city. The first day aboard was spent settling in to the comfortable accommodations, mingling with other passengers, eating delicious meals and cocktails, and enjoying musical entertainment. A great start to any trip!
Mary awoke on day two in Beaufort, South Carolina where her favorite activity of the day was a horse drawn carriage tour of the city. She found activities to enjoy onboard the ship as well that day, including Tea Time in the Sky Lounge and the evening entertainment. She spent time discovering each of the different lounges and decks to relax and enjoy the view.
On the morning of day 3 the ship arrived in Hilton Head, South Carolina, a first class resort where the weather was gray and overcast, one of the only locations that was not sunny during this trip. Mary opted out of any tours, and chose to explore on her own, taking a tender to the island. She went to a historic light house that offered beautiful views, and spent the day with a friend shopping in town, dining at a local restaurant. The reports she heard from other passengers was that the Dolphin Discovery Cruise was very enjoyable and that they did, in fact, see dolphins.
On day 4 they arrived in Brunswick, Georgia where a highlight of the cruise was the Sea Turtle Center and Jekyll Island Tram Tour. It was a sunny destination filled with beautiful historic houses, trees filled with Spanish Moss, and many sights to see.
*INTERESTING FACT* The first Transatlantic call was made from Jekyll Island!
Due to an itinerary change, day 5 and 6 were also spent at this beautiful port, but there was plenty to see! There was a festival at the reconstructed Fort King George where Mary watched battle demonstrations and historical reenactments. More highlights from the cruise include the scenic tour of Hofwyl-Boadfield Plantation, as well as a full day tour in St. Augustine.
Day 7 was mostly spent cruising along the coast, but there was plenty to do on board, including games, mint julep demos, and multiple historic presentations.
On the evening of the 7th day Mary arrived in Savannah, Georgia where the ship stayed in port for days 8 and 9. There were a variety of tour options in Savannah, including a trolley tour, a guided walking tour, a visit to the Mighty Eighth Airforce Museum, and even a tour on board of the Pilot House. Savannah was a great destination for shopping as well as historic sites and gorgeous houses.
In the early hours of day 10, the American Constellation made port back in Charleston, South Carolina. Mary chose not stay in Charleston for the final tours, farewell dinner, and disembarkation the next morning. Instead, she and her friend drove back to Florida for more Southern adventures!