Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Representatives from American Queen Voyages and our local port/city partner will be available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.
Memphis’ history and heritage begins with the indigenous people who lived by the mighty Mississippi. Throughout the years it has been home to cotton tycoons and enslaved people, to musicians who sounded the first notes of songs that still echo around the world today, and to civil rights icons including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visitors embrace the diversity of this city that has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and its many music-themed attractions. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for American Queen Voyages guests to experience, including Beale Street Historic District, Blues Music Hall of Fame, Center for Southern Folklore, Graceland, Gibson Guitar Factory, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, St. Blues Guitar Workshop, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio and the W.C. Handy home and museum.
3Cleveland (Terrene Landing), MS
In the heart of the Mississippi Delta lies the town of Cleveland, one of the two county seats of Bolivar County. Named for President Grover Cleveland, the town began formation in 1869. Bolivar County has deep roots in the civil rights movement. Amzie Moore, a civil rights pioneer, opened a gas station, beauty shop, and grocery store on Highway 61 in Cleveland. His business also served as headquarters for the area’s civil rights efforts. His home was declared a historical landmark on May 13, 2008. Because of the Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railroad that ran through the middle of town, people were drawn to Cleveland from outlying areas.
Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern attractions. As a major battle site during the Civil War, this port carries a history unlike any other. Learn about the historic conflicts of the city, taste its cuisine, visit the many museums, and pick out the perfect souvenir. Vicksburg’s best-known contribution to history is probably the part she played in the American Civil War. It is the final resting place for 17,000 Union soldiers, 13,000 of whom are unknown. In 1899, the Vicksburg National Military Park was created to commemorate and preserve the infamous siege line and the historic heritage. Visitors can climb the 47 steps to the entrance of the marble Illinois Monument, featuring a domed roof, pillars, and sculpted bronze bald eagle.
Natchez is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of historic homes – found on every street corner. It seems as if history fell asleep and awoke unscathed by the changing of times in this magical port. Natchez is home to over 1,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the homes survived the American Civil War and their history flows in abundance along the Mississippi. Natchez has a long and fascinating history, dating back to 1716, making her the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi. Even before Natchez was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Natchez Indians, noted for being the only Mississippian culture with complex chiefdom characteristics to have survived long into the period after the European colonization of America began.
6St. Francisville, LA
St. Francisville today is a testament to the lifestyle of a bygone era, with its cache of charming pre-war homes and striking architecture. With over 140 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, sprawling estates nestled in the countryside and bustling Main Street shops, this quaint port situated on the Mississippi has a style all its own. This oldest town in the Florida Parishes, St. Francisville has been called the town two miles long and two yards wide; it lies on a loessal ridge created by the dust storms of the Glacier Period.
7Baton Rouge, LA
Our Baton Rouge, Louisiana cruises have something to offer everyone, from hop-off-hop-on tours of historical sites to strolling the lively streets of New Orleans. These cruises to Baton Rouge, Louisiana, are all-inclusive, with beverages and cuisine on board, transportation to the vessel from a hotel, onboard entertainment, and more. Beyond the typical attractions and activities available on a Baton Rouge, Louisiana river cruise, you can also explore the capital's rich history through its cuisine. With each stop on cruises from Baton Rouge, Louisiana, you'll find new eateries to try, exciting excursions, and cities with hidden gems on every corner.
American Queen Voyages features an exclusive port at Nottoway, located in White Castle, LA, on the south bank of the Mississippi River, part of the Baton Rouge metropolitan area. Here you can visit the estate of sugarcane magnate Randolph Nottoway – the largest standing pre-war mansion in the South (53,000 sq ft) – an intricate building with impressive detail. Original furnishings mingle with era-appropriate antiques to create an atmosphere that does justice to the home’s original ambiance. It is fascinating history and a luxurious aesthetic – an authentic Southern experience you will not want to pass up. The surrounding town of White Castle was established as a town in the 1880s with the influx of people and business brought by the logging industry in the cypress swamps of the area. When the cypress wood was depleted, the main economic activity reverted to the sugar cane industry which had been established in the latter part of the 18th century. Individual plantation sugar mills gave way to larger mills servicing many plantations. By 1970, White Castle had three major sugar mills, Cora Texas, Cedar Grove, and Catherine/Supples. Only one, Cora Texas, is still in operation. During the 1950s, the chemical industry entered the area, congregating around the Mississippi between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. This industry brought economic growth which took White Castle into the 1980s. Companies establishing chemical plants in the area near White Castle were Dow Chemical north of Plaquemine, Georgia-Gulf and Hercules north of White Castle, and Ciba-Geigy on the east bank of the Mississippi.
9New Orleans, LA
As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home -- your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you.