From its rich complex history to its multitude of dialects, bubbling mix of cuisine to its colourful neighbourhoods and passion for music, the bold and beautiful Deep South is a region that dances to its own unique rhythm.

Immerse yourself in its captivating culture and honest heritage during a quintessential American river boat cruise. Combined with unforgettable city breaks and a dazzling feast of music-themed experiences, including a performance by Kandace Springs, this river cruise holiday, hosted by Jazz FM presenter, Deb Grant, truly is one-of-a-kind.

Your Deep South discovery begins in magical Memphis, Tennessee, where you’ll savour a two-night hotel stay. Arriving during the vivid and thrilling Carnival Season, you’ll be immersed in colourful streets, awash with bunting and festival décor, and feel the rhythm of upbeat music echo through the neighbourhoods. While here, you’ll enjoy a fascinating audio-guided tour of Elvis Presley’s sensational home, Graceland.

From here, you’ll embark American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built, for a journey along the fabled Mississippi River. Discover the charming towns, majestic wildlife, untold stories and striking antebellum mansions of this remarkable region. Highlights include the city of Vicksburg, a historical port unlike any other; Natchez, the oldest city on the Mississippi River; St. Francisville, boasting a lifestyle of a bygone era, and Nottoway, an exclusive stop where you’ll visit the largest standing antebellum mansion in the south.

Your cruise ends in New Orleans, world-renowned for its round-the-clock nightlife, mouth-watering Creole cuisine, unique dialects and its annual celebrations and festivals – more notably Mardi Gras. During your two-night hotel stay, you’ll explore the city’s wondrous attractions and relish a jazz dinner cruise, accompanied by the illuminating melodies from the Dukes of Dixieland Jazz trio, and views of the captivating skyline at sunset.

Your Route

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Welcome aboard the American Queen

A voyage on the American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built, is like stepping back in time to the era of Mark Twain. This flagship paddlewheeler is an elegant soul, steeped in history and rich in tradition, offering guests the opportunity to experience the wonders of the Mississippi River, the tranquil waters that she calls home. Discover the charming towns, majestic wildlife, untold stories and striking antebellum mansions of this remarkable region. Life on board will be just as magical as your time in port; dine on delectable flavours in the elegant J.M White Dining Room, soak up the sun from the top deck, enjoy live music performances and expertly crafted cocktails in the Engine Room Bar, and lose yourself in award-winning, Broadway-calibre entertainment in the Grand Saloon.

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Entertainment

Be dazzled by Broadway-calibre shows in the theatre and listen to Mark Twain’s tales of the river, or learn nuggets of fascinating information from historians that will enhance your appreciation of the voyage.
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Bars & Restaurants

Whether it’s the elegance of the Grand Dining Room with its sweeping windows or the intimate River Grill for cocktails, the dining and drinking venues befit the majesty of the rest of the ship.
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Relax and Unwind

Your rooms feature décor that is in complete accordance with the rest of the ship: cosy and refined, with modern facilities for your comfort. You could also take in views from the sun deck.

Your 11 Night Holiday Includes

Day 1

18 February 2023

Experience the musical magic of Memphis during a two-night hotel stay

Immerse yourself in the bustling streets of Memphis, alive with music, festival décor and excited crowds during Carnival Season. An annual event, it’s a time of celebration in the deep south and an experience that you’ll remember for the rest of time. This city has a plethora of places to visit and a rich musical heritage – it’s known as both the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. The largest city on the Mississippi River, it boasts a wealth of events and attractions. There is the entertaining Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum and Graceland, which is excellent for Elvis fans. For a quieter time, you can enjoy a relaxing stroll through the Botanic Garden, sample some of the local Southern barbeque food, and sip on a refreshing Blue Suede Tini cocktail to get you in the Memphis mood.

The Westin Memphis Beale Street

Experience a wonderful stay in the heart of downtown Memphis at The Westin Memphis Beale Street. This AAA 4-Diamond hotel boasts freshly-renovated guest rooms and suites, upscale dining options and relaxed meeting spaces. Perfectly located, you’re just steps away from the sights and sounds of Beale Street and The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum.

bell blue  Overnight: The Westin Memphis Beale Street

Day 2

19 February 2023

Enjoy an unforgettable day exploring the music world’s best loved landmark, Graceland.

Today, you’ll pay tribute to ‘The King of Rock and Roll’, Elvis Presley. Graceland is the lavish mansion he called home and is the second most visited house in the US after the White House. Lose yourself in epic surroundings during an audio-guided tour, marvel at the countless Elvis paraphernalia, and wander from room to room, soaking up the jaw-dropping décor. You’ll even get to see his custom jets, his pink Cadillac, and wardrobe; as well as gain full access to the all-new Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex. Discover the Entertainer Career Museum and admire the plethora of incredible exhibits. Whether you’re an Elvis fan or not, it’s a fascinating experience.

bell blue  Overnight: The Westin Memphis Beale Street

Day 3

20 February 2023

From Memphis, embark the lavish American Queen for your all-inclusive Mississippi River Cruise

Today you’ll transfer to port where you’ll embark American Queen, the flagship vessel of the American Queen Steamboat Company. This remarkable paddlewheeler, the largest steamboat ever built, is a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. With a capacity for 436 guests, it’s an intimate ship yet filled with a number of venues to make your cruise special, from the lavish Grand Dining Room to a theatre showing Broadway-calibre performances.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell blue  Overnight: American Queen

Day 4

21 February 2023

Discover the small river towns nestled along the Port of the Mississippi Delta / Terrene Landing

The Mississippi Delta is more than just a geographical region, it’s a way of life, offering a true cultural experience based on agriculture, music and history. The charming river towns peppered along its banks have been the inspiration of authors, musicians and artists for centuries. Savour a unique glimpse into the Port of the Mississippi Delta, and discover a muse for many.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell blue  Overnight: American Queen

Day 5

22 February 2023

Explore the city of Vicksburg, known as the site of a key Civil War battle, The Siege of Vicksburg

Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern attractions. As a major battle site during the civil war, it’s a port that carries a history unlike any other. Learn about the historic conflicts of the city, feast on its delectable cuisine, uncover history from its wealth of museums and pick out the perfect souvenir. Check out the Tiffany-stained glass at the beautiful Norman-style Church of the Holy Trinity and soak up the history of the Old Courthouse Museum, which has hosted an array of illustrious speakers over its history, including several US presidents. At the Lower Mississippi River Museum, you’ll discover how Vicksburg ancestors lived along the river during the 19th and 20th centuries.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell  Overnight: American Queen

Day 6

23 February 2023

Admire the striking antebellum mansions of captivating Natchez

Founded in 1716, Natchez is the oldest city on the Mississippi River and is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressively preserved mansions – which can be found on every street corner. Home to over 1,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it seems as if history fell asleep and awoke, unscathed, by the changing of times. Shops and restaurants now occupy the site of Natchez Under-the-Hill, a 19th-century town of bordellos and taverns that was once a haven for outlaws and boatmen. During your visit, you could explore the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historic homes – most of which survived the American Civil War.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell  Overnight: American Queen

Day 7

24 February 2023

Embrace St. Francisville, a town filled with natural beauty, history and charm

St. Francisville today is a testament to the lifestyle of a bygone era, with its wealth of 19th century mansions set in swathes of rolling countryside, as well as quaint streets which are host to a number of curious attractions. Take a stroll through its historic centre will awaken your sense of place and bring awareness to two centuries of architecture and lifestyles. Wander down Royal Street and stop at a shop that sells unique jewellery made from hundred-year-old buttons, or learn about the local history at the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum. One of the oldest Protestant churches in the US, the Grace Episcopal Church is also found here, within which is an organ dating back to 1860.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell  Overnight: American Queen

Day 8

25 February 2023

Delve into the riches of Baton Rouge, a melting pot of Cajun and Creole cultures

Baton Rouge, capital of Louisiana, nestles on the cusp of the Mississippi River. Boasting an energetic aura, it houses over 300 years of history, seen in the unique architecture and through its extraordinary arts and culture scene. Antebellum landmarks include the castle-like Old Louisiana State Capitol, now a museum. Embark on a deluxe motorcoach to explore the diversity of this glorious city, explore the wonders of the Capitol Park Museum, filled with state history, culture and artifacts or lose yourself in the treasures of the city streets.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell  Overnight: American Queen

Day 9

26 February 2023

Relish an exclusive stop at Nottoway, one of the South’s largest historic mansions

Exclusive to the American Queen Steamboat Company, today you’ll visit the sugarcane estate of Nottoway – the largest standing antebellum mansion in the South, lying on the famous River Road between Baton Rouge and New Orleans. It’s a stunning and intricate building with impressive detail. Original furnishings mingle with era-appropriate antiques to look much as it would have done when it was lived in by its original owner. Its glorious grounds feature 16 majestic oak trees spread across the 31-acre property. The mansion’s gleaming white columns and striking balconies stand guard over the Mississippi River, while on the north side, the three-story Rotunda boasts sweeping views of oak-draped lawns.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: All-Inclusive Board Basis

bell  Overnight: American Queen

Day 10

27 February 2023

Disembarking in spectacular New Orleans, your adventure continues with a two-night hotel stay in the fabled Deep South

Your cruise ends in spellbinding New Orleans, here you’ll disembark for a two-night hotel stay at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside. The Belle of Louisiana knows how to entertain year-round. Take a stroll in Jackson Square and indulge in the famous New Orleans gumbo – a thick stew served over rice - while listening to the jazz that’s the ubiquitous soundtrack of the region. Visit the French Quarter, Garden District and one of the Cajun bayous, and listen out for the distinct New Orleans dialect.

Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Enjoy a fabulous two-night hotel stay at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside, boasting a spectacular riverfront location. Settle into charming surroundings as you watch the ships come in on the Mississippi River or venture out into the city, just steps away. Welcoming rooms and suites offer a tranquil escape away from the excitement of the city, and you’ll find six tantalising dining options to satisfy any craving.

plate2 blue  Meals Included: Breakfast

bell  Overnight: Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Day 11

28 February 2023

Relish a day at leisure in New Orleans, and be enchanted on an evening jazz dinner cruise

You don’t need to visit at Mardi Gras to get caught up in all that’s great about New Orleans; the Belle of Louisiana knows how to entertain year-round. Indulge in the famous New Orleans gumbo while listening to jazz, synonymous with this area or take a Mississippi steamboat ride. Come evening, you’ll bring your holiday to a wonderful close with a Jazz Dinner Cruise. Savour the beauty and romance of the New Orleans skyline as you dine on a delicious buffet dinner and be enchanted by fabulous melodies from the Dukes of Dixieland Jazz trio.

bell  Overnight: Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Day 12

1 March 2023

Your Deep South Tour complete, today you’ll transfer to the airport for your flight home

Bid farewell to New Orleans today, and transfer to the airport for your flight back home.

Enhanced Entertainment

Kandace Springs

Prince once said that Kandace Springs “has a voice that could melt snow.” The music icon heard Springs’ cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” online in 2014 and invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, becoming a mentor to the young singer and pianist.

Kandace’s 2014 self-titled EP turned ever more heads and led to performances on Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon, as well as the Afropunk and Bonnaroo festivals. Okayplayer called her as “a vocal force to be reckoned with” and Afropunk dubbed her “a versatile and vital artist.”

Kandace began gigging around Nashville, and eventually an early demo she recorded caught the ears of Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, the production team who have written hits for Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson. It would be a few years before she signed with Blue Note and went on to release her debut album Soul Eyes in 2016.

Her latest album, released in March 2020, is her most personal work yet. Entitled The Women Who Raised Me, it is her loving tribute to the great female singers who inspired her to begin her journey towards becoming one of the premier jazz/soul vocalists of our time.

Hotel Stays

The Westin Memphis Beale Street
★★★★

Enjoy a fabulous two-night hotel stay at the four-star Westin Memphis Beale Street, situated in Downtown Memphis, a historical neighbourhood acclaimed for its live music, thrilling entertainment, picturesque riverfront and charming churches. Venture out to explore some of the city’s best-loved attractions including the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, and Beale Street, an icon of the roaring 20’, brimming with nightclubs, theatres and restaurants. Rooms are minimal and modern with crisp white décor, neutral tones and wooden features, and provide luxurious comfort with its sumptuous bedding, contemporary bathroom, complimentary Starbucks coffee and a flat-screen TV. You’ll also find a superb restaurant on-site, the Bleu Restaurant & Lounge offers a modern and welcoming space where Chef Tammara Bryant combines local ingredients with international influences to create a variety of mouth-watering, flavoursome dishes.

Hilton New Orleans Riverside
★★★★

Situated on the banks of the Mississippi, and just a leisurely stroll away from the French Quarter – the oldest and most famous neighbourhood in New Orleans, the four-star Hilton New Orleans Riverside boasts a fantastic location in which to enjoy the delights of the city. Your comfortable and sophisticated room, offers a host of amenities including HDTV, an in-room mini-fridge and modern en-suite with complimentary toiletries. Upgrade you room to enjoy views of the serene riverfront or energetic city. As well as a fully equipped health club – which boasts everything from basketball and racquetball to fitness classes and outdoor pools, you’ll also find six exquisite dining options. Dine on signature dishes of charbroiled oysters and Mama Ruth’s Gumbo in Drago’s, experience Old Warm charm and a speakeasy vibe in Public Belt, and awaken your senses with mouth-watering New Orleans style samplings in the awe-inspiring surroundings of Spirits.

Your Holiday Summary

 

PRICES FROM

£3,399

PER PERSON | 18 FEBRUARY 2023 | 11 NIGHTS | INSIDE STATEROOM

OUTSIDE STATEROOM WITH OPEN VERANDA FROM £4,399pp

JUNIOR SUITE FROM £5,199pp

SOLO TRAVELLER FROM £4,899

All-Inclusive River Cruise

  • 7 night all-inclusive river cruise on board American Queen
  • Performance by Jazz and Soul singer Kandace Springs

Hotel Stays

  • 2 night four-star hotel stay at The Westin Memphis Beale Street
  • 2 night four-star stay at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside

Tours

  • Audio guided tour of Graceland, the former home of Elvis Presley
  • Jazz Dinner Cruise

All flights (London departure) and transfers

CONTACT US TODAY FOR A QUOTATION AND LET US HELP YOU CREATE THE ULTIMATE ADVENTURE.