Red Wing to New Orleans (17 days/16 nights)
Have you ever wondered what this country looked like to its early explorers and pioneers? Travelling on the Mississippi and its tributaries aboard the elegant American Queen, you will be transported back in time to an era of leisurely and romantic travel. Storybook American towns and vibrant, bustling cities combine with the sweeping panoramas and deep blue lakes which inspired the works of Mark Twain. Authentic America is out there just waiting to be explored and after two weeks cruising amidst the antebellum charms and gracious style of the American Queen, you will never forget this journey.
This tailor-made itinerary takes you on a magical voyage from Red Wing to New Orleans. Journey through the southern states and experience the culture, the music, the food, America’s Civil War and Antebellum history along with the true hospitality of the Deep South.
In between these magnificent cities you will find quaint American towns, traditional plantations, elegant antebellum homes, magnificent gardens and oak trees taking you back to an era of hoop skirts and cotton fields. You will experience the real soul of the Mississippi River..sit in a rocking chair on the American Queen’s Front Porch and watch it unfold before you.
Day 1 – Arrive Minneapolis, USA
Fly from London to Minneapolis, USA.
Private transfer to your premium hotel for your pre-cruise stay.
Day 2 – Red Wing, Minnesota
Today is the big day! Spend your last day here in the city of Red Wing before embarking on an unforgettable journey!
After you are comfortably aboard the vessel, wave “Au Revoir” to Red Wing as we set off on an incredible adventure up the Mighty Mississippi!
Day 3 - Winona, Minnesota
Explore Winona, Minnesota, one of the most beautiful places in the country. The city is referred to as the “Island City” by locals because of the large sand bar it was built upon. Evidence suggests that the land’s history reaches back as early as 9500 B.C., while present-day Winona was founded as the small village of Keoxa in 1851. Nestled between the covered limestone river bluffs of the Mississippi River, this small town is full of culture and small town Americana. Enjoy stunning views of the rolling bluffs as they plummet to the mighty Mississippi below in this beautiful and historic city, filled with incredible museums, galleries, and parks.
Day 4 - La Crosse, Wisconsin
Named by explorer Zebulon Pike, who saw a group of people playing a game with sticks that looked like a cross, La Crosse is now a popular tourist stop. Filled with statues, architecture, and an exquisite view of the river, this river city is an artist’s dream. Like much of Wisconsin, La Crosse became heavily involved with the lumber industry in the mid-1800s until the decline of the forests throughout much of Wisconsin took its toll. But in the wake of the vanishing lumber era, La Crosse became a city renowned for its beer making, with around five breweries operating in La Crosse near the turn of the century. Today, make note of lingering pieces of history along the streets of the city, inside local breweries, and within the floorboards of historic homes and businesses.
Day 5 – Dubuque, Iowa
One of the few large cities in Iowa with hills, Dubuque is an extremely popular tourist destination, featuring unique architecture and desirable river location. From the America’s River Project in the Port of Dubuque that transformed the riverfront, to the revitalization of the historic Main Street, the ongoing evolution of the Historic Millwork District downtown, and the impressive and expansive westward growth, Dubuque remains a remarkable city along the Mississippi. Intelligent Community
Forum named Dubuque as one of just five U.S. cities as a “Smart21 Community” in 2015 and the National Civic League has named Dubuque as a top All-American City three times in just six years! Guests will surely enjoy exploring this beautiful and unique city as they uncover the history and advancements held within.
Day 6 – Bettendorf, Iowa
Discover one of the marvels on the Mississippi River! The Quad Cities combines the cultures of Rock Island, Moline/East Moline in Illinois and Davenport, Bettendorf in Iowa. This fun and friendly area is home to hundreds of music, food, and art festivals. Blues, jazz, rock, and many other music stylings can be found not only at the festivals, but also at music venues in the downtown areas. Museums that tell the history of the area and feature international and national traveling exhibits will also keep you busy, as over 20 museums are scattered throughout the Quad Cities and feature everything from Buffalo Bill Cody and German immigration to fine art collections, and Native American Indian history. Come for a visit and experience Quad Cities on the mighty Mississippi River, their Midwestern hospitality will make you feel right at home!
Day 7 – Burlington, Iowa
Explored in 1673 by Pere Jaques Marquette and Louis Joliet, the land that is now Des Moines County changed hands from France to Spain, back to France and finally to the United States as part of the Louisiana Purchase. After Lt. Zebulon Pike’s expedition landed at what is now Crapo Park in 1805, it was part of several territories – Louisiana, Indiana, Missouri, and Michigan. In 1834, residents named the land “Burlington” after trader John Gray’s Vermont hometown. When Iowa was named a territory in 1838, Burlington remained the capital. Today, visitors enjoy the sights and attractions of the town as the hills and valleys, prairies, and the Mississippi River create the perfect scenic backdrop.
Day 8 – Hannibal, Missouri
Hannibal, Missouri, has a rich history, diverse industrial economy and truly remarkable arts. The city was founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates and became a popular stop along the river for many steamboats traveling up the Mississippi River. Hannibal offers more parks per citizens than most towns in the Midwest and was included in the famous “50 Miles of Art.” Today, the most popular draw of this quirky town is Hannibal’s very own Samuel Langhorne Clemens, recognized world-wide as Mark Twain. Many of the popular characters featured in Twain’s novels were based on people Clemens had known while growing up in Hannibal. Many of the characters and influences of this American icon are weaved into the streets, shops, restaurants, and museums of Hannibal waiting to be uncovered.
Day 9 – St. Louis, Missouri
St. Louis, Missouri, famously referred to as the “Gateway City,” is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultures and traditions each one brings forth. The iconic city was founded in 1764 by French explorers who settled on the east side of the Mississippi, claiming the land as their fur trading post. In 1803, the city’s name began to spread as the beginning point for the famous Louis and Clark Expedition. The city is typically associated with its 630-foot stainless steel monument, the Gateway Arch, which stands proud on the banks of the Mississippi River to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.
Day 10 – Scenic River Cruising
There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river and today is the perfect day to enjoy the many public spaces and activities that are available to you onboard. Gaze at the beautiful landscapes and small river towns as you mingle with fellow guests and discuss the unique aspects of river life. If you fancy a moment for yourself, retreat to The Library adorned with bookcases stocked with an imaginative selection. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish every moment of serenity. Our fitness facility, Card Room and Grand Lobby offer a more stimulating day on the river for those who wish to indulge in more energy-infused activity. However you wish to spend your day, make it your own and revel in every moment.
Day 11 – Memphis, Tennessee
Memphis is a city built on melody from the jazz dives and blues clubs of Beale Street to the Memphis Rock 'N' Soul Museum, Gibson Guitar factory, Sun Studio and the famous Stax Museum of American Soul Music. In a city of contrasts, the tragic but uplifting stories of the National Civil Rights Museum are balanced by the frivolity of the twice-daily march of the ducks at the Peabody Hotel.
Music is the heart and soul of Memphis and is home to many artists such as Jerry Lee Lewis, Johnny Cash, BB King, Otis Redding and, of course, Elvis who has solidified it’s reputation as a musical Mecca – the association is special with Priscilla Presley being Godmother to the American Queen Steamboat!
Day 12 – Port of the Mississippi Delta
The Mississippi Delta is more than a geographical region. It is a way of life - a true cultural experience based around agriculture, music and history. These small river towns have been the inspiration for authors, musicians and artists for centuries. Lower Mississippi River voyages include a unique glimpse into a Port of the Mississippi Delta.
Day 13 – Vicksburg, Mississippi
Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern attractions. Described as the key to the South by President Abraham Lincoln, this Southern town carries a history unlike any other Civil War city. Vicksburg was founded in 1811 and grew as a vital river port city. It was a major component to the Civil War and carries much of the history within the town. Today, Vicksburg is a popular spot for tourists to learn about the battles of the city, taste the cuisine, visit the many museums and pick out the perfect souvenir.
Day 14 – Natchez, Mississippi
This charming river town was founded in 1716, making it the oldest city on the Mississippi. The city is known for its elegance, hospitality and impressive preservation of history – found on every street corner. Enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, museums and historical homes, all of which contribute to Hugh Bayless’ book “The 100 Best Towns in America.”
Day 15 – Nottoway Plantation
EXCLUSIVE PORT TO AMERICAN QUEEN VOYAGES: Nottoway is the South’s largest, most glorious remaining antebellum mansion, with a rich history dating back to 1859. In a fabulous location along the Great River Road, this White Castle of the South transports visitors back to an era of glory and grandeur. Set among a natural backdrop of vibrant gardens and 200-year-old oak trees, the mansion boasts three floors and 64 bedrooms, and flaunts an incredible 22 white square columns. The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white with elaborate gold décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster and mud, and are all original to the house. And as if that weren’t enough, this immaculate mansion was constructed with 365 openings – one for each day of the year. Nottoway Plantation captivates all with a brilliant blend of true Southern hospitality, history and mystery.
Day 16 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Arrive in New Orleans and enjoy a day at your leisure. Consider a post-cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer or extend your stay by choosing the two night Ultimate New Orleans Experience City Stay package. Read more.....
Day 17 - Arrive London, UK
Flight from New Orleans Airport arrives London, UK