Last night was the CMA awards. Did you watch? George Strait won Entertainer of the Year. But besides all that, what a night for Nashville! Last night was a giant country-western party at the Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. Connie Britton, star of the TV show, Nashville, presented an award, and country singers performed fantastic duets/trios and with crossover artists (like Dave Grohl as guest drummer with the Zac Brown Band).

nashville-grand-ole-opryI always get excited to see Nashville have the spotlight for awhile. It’s a national treasure that is often ignored – unless you are an avid country music listener. But it’s more than just country-western music – Nashville is Music City, USA! Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Grand Ole Opry House, it is also the “hollywood” of music, where performers move to be discovered in the music business. The city is full of music clubs and honky-tonk bars, playing local talent every night. Nashville has always had some Jazz presence, although not generally recognized for it.

But we can’t just talk about music. Nashville is home to over 700 churches, giving it the nickname ‘the Buckle of the Bible Belt.’ But this is juxtaposed by the nickname Nashvegas, referring to all of its shows, clubs, and general nightlife that attracts tourists. Nashville is also home to the largest population of Kurdish people in the US, adding to its cultural diversity.

Nashville sits on the Cumberland River, just East of the Mississippi. We have two cruise ships that visit Nashville each year, the American Queen and the Queen of the Mississippi.

October 24-November 1, 2014 is a Country Music theme cruise onboard the American Queen. From Nashville to Chattanooga, you’ll explore the region that this iconic musical tradition began.