1New Orleans, LA
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 AQV and our local port/city partner will be available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here
2New Orleans, LA
New Orleans’s Creole, Cajun and other diverse residents blended to develop art, cuisine, music, and general culture unlike any other in the US. Whether you have a few days here or just a few hours, uncover the treasures of the city as you explore the unique sites lining the historic streets as seen in the famous French Quarter or admire the architecture of the stunning Garden District.
AQV 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.
4St. 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.
The Natchez District, along with the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia, pioneered cotton agriculture in the United States. The city recovered from its post-war decline to become one of the state’s leading industrial centers. Today the production of wood pulp, lumber, petroleum, and natural gas form the basis of the economy; tourism – including casino gambling – and the manufacture of tires are also important. Shops and restaurants now occupy the site of Natchez Under-the-Hill, a 19th-century town of bordellos and taverns that was a haven for outlaws and boatmen. During your visit, explore the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historic homes, all of which inspired Hugh Bayless to include Natchez in his book “The 100 Best Towns in America.”
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. Also at the park is the USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum – a historic warship that was torpedoed and later raised after spending over 100 years at the bottom of the Yazoo River. Today, visitors can climb aboard to see some original weapons and gear used by the soldiers. Other attractions of note include the Lower Mississippi River Museum and Vicksburg Riverfront Murals. Painted on Mississippi River floodwalls, these impressive murals begun in 2002 capture the past, present, and future of Vicksburg and its defining roles in history, culture, and religion. Visit the Lower Mississippi River Museum to find out how Vicksburg ancestors lived along the river during the 19th and 20th centuries, including interactive exhibits. The museum also offers an aquarium featuring local fish species.
7Scenic River Cruising
Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.
8New Orleans, LA
As your 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.