1 New Orleans, LA
Settle into your hotel and enjoy a feast for your senses as you explore this magical city, renowned for its delicious cuisine, vibrant music scene, and rich culture with an international flair. Stroll the tree-lined avenues, take a carriage ride through the French Quarter, hop aboard a streetcar to the gorgeous Garden District, or visit the renowned National World War II Museum.
2Cruising the Mississippi River
Board your ship and be treated to a Welcome Reception. Get to know your fellow guests and savor the view as you enjoy the afternoon rolling on the mighty Mississippi. Be entertained by onboard performers who will perform the music born of the river.
3Houmas House, LA
Step off your ship docked right at Houmas House and explore one of the most elaborately renovated of the grand homes along the river, once a private home and a thriving historical agricultural enterprise. Entertaining and knowledgeable guides will escort you through the magnificently restored home’s unmatched collection of stunning period furnishings and artwork. The ornately landscaped grounds include 38 acres of gardens, fountains, and majestic live oak trees. Later, experience the opulence and natural wonder of the Oak Alley estate with its breathtaking parallel row of 28 ancient and massive live oak trees. Here, you can savor a complimentary taste of one of the best mint juleps in the South.
4Baton Rouge, LA
Meaning “red stick,” Baton Rouge’s 1699 French name references an ancient geographical marker and reflects the city’s long history. As Louisiana’s state capital, the city still echoes with tales of the characters who lived here, most notably Governor and Senator Huey P. Long. Learn about his dramatic career at the magnificent 1852 Old State Capitol Museum and visit Long’s 1932 State Capitol building, an architectural marvel of granite and marble.
5St. Francisville, LA
As the bow-ramp from the ship opens and stretches to the shore, you will be welcomed into the historic cotton port of St. Francisville. Overlooking the river from atop a high, St. Francisville began as a part of Spanish West Florida in the early 1800s until American settlers overthrew the Spanish governing forces, and the region later became part of the United States. Experience this town’s rich history on your own or with a variety of guided excursions. As you explore, discover the Historic District which boasts magnificent mansions and unique boutique shops and admire cottonwood trees which transition to stately oaks adorned with Spanish moss.
In Natchez, grand homes sparkle like jewels, adorning the bluffs that tower above the river. Since 1716, when the French first built a fort here among the Natchez Indians, the town has grown to boast elaborate mansions built by planters in the 1800s to flaunt their wealth. With no Civil War fighting here, Natchez still features hundreds of antebellum homes and buildings. Each of these architectural treasures has its own story to tell, creating a charming downtown that embodies the essence of southern charm and hospitality.
Vicksburg is a place of drama. During the Civil War, the struggle to control Vicksburg proved to be a major turning point. The well-fortified connection between river and rail transportation was known as “The Gibraltar of the West.” A narrated exploration of the well-preserved National Military Park battlefield enlivens this powerful story and highlights its significance.
President Abraham Lincoln summarized Vicksburg’s importance clearly when he said, “Vicksburg is the key. The war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket… They can defy us from Vicksburg… As valuable as New Orleans will be to us, Vicksburg will be more so.” Several other excursion options are available, including exploring museums and historic sites with local expert guides or on your own. Walk aboard an enormous Army Corps of Engineers towboat. Stroll along the charming series of murals painted along the adjacent floodwall and read panels detailing the Vicksburg stories they illustrate.
Visit historic Beale Street to hear the beat of ‘Blues City’ or head over to Graceland to pay tribute to the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley!
Enjoy breakfast onboard the ship, before beginning your journey home. Reflect upon your adventures and the new friends made along the way.