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Mississippi River Cruises

The arrival of the riverboats changed the landscape and lives of the people along the rivers of the Old South forever. Great sugar and cotton plantations sprang up, and trade boomed along the entire Mississippi River system

Step back in time to the grand era of steamboating on an authentic paddlewheeler and journey to the heart and soul of America's Deep South on our Mississippi riverboats. Choose the newly built Queen of the Mississippi, it's sister ship American Eagle or the recently refurbished American Queen, a well-known sight on the Mississippi.

  • New Orleans French Quarter
  • Oak Alley Plantation House
  • St Louis Gateway Arch
    • Avalon Waterways Ship - American Queen
      American Queen
      • Explore America's heartland on this superb holiday along the mighty Mississippi on authentic paddelwheeler American Queen, with return flights from the UK and complimentary excursions plus hotel stays in Memphis and New Orleans

      • Cruise and Stay
      • 2015 - Dec

    • Exclusive! FREE airport hotel and car parking OR home-pick up service!

    • American Cruise Lines Ship - American Eagle
      American Eagle
      • Cruise the Mississippi River on a brand new paddlewheeler and see the mansions and plantations of the Deep South, Civil War history at Vicksburg and the vibrant cultural heartland of New Orleans

      • World River Cruise
      • 2015 - Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
        2016 - Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Oct, Nov, Dec

    • Exclusive £100pp Blue Water Holidays Discount!

    • American Cruise Lines Ship - American Eagle
      American Eagle
      • Cruise the mighty Mississippi River aboard a brand new paddlewheeler, built in traditional style. Explore the deep south gems of Vicksburg, St Francisville, Baton Rouge and Oak Alley plantation

      • World River Cruise
      • 2015 - Oct, Nov, Dec
        2016 - Feb, Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Oct, Nov, Dec

    • Exclusive £100pp Blue Water Holidays Discount!

    • American Cruise Lines Ship - Queen of the Mississippi
      Queen of the Mississippi
      • Unique 11-night fully ATOL protected cruise holiday package including a 7-night cruise on the Mississippi River on a brand new paddlewheeler, with hotel stays in both Memphis and New Orleans. Price includes return flights from the UK

      • Cruise and Stay
      • 2015 - Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec
        2016 - Mar, Apr, May, Jun, Jul, Aug, Sep, Oct, Nov, Dec

    • Exclusive Blue Water Holidays Package!

Visit columned mansions of plantation country; the poignant cemeteries and memorials of the Civil War; the early settlements of the French Acadians; and the bustling major riverports of New Orleans and Memphis.

Hear the music that was born of hardships and triumphs - Delta blues, Dixieland jazz, gospel and zydeco. Revel in local Creole and Cajun tastes like ‘red beans and rice’ and ‘cafe au lait’ and enjoy the spectacular sights along the river, which are much the same as they were over a century ago.

New Orleans, Louisiana

Life in the ‘Big Easy’ blends legendary jazz, fine architecture, laid back ‘laissez-faire’ lifestyle and world-renowned cuisine - Cajun to Creole, beignets to jambalaya.

Memphis, Tennessee

Home of the Blues, Elvis’ Graceland, fascinating Mud Island and the famed bomber aircraft, the Memphis Belle, this historic port city offers a combination of culture and charm.

Nashville, Tennessee

The vibrant city of Nashville, capital of the US state Tennessee, has been influenced by classical, jazz and rock'n'roll music. See the Grand Ole Opry where Elvis performed or the historical Fort Nashborough.

Chicago, Illinois

See the sights and sounds of the popular city of Chicago, famed for its theatres and enjoy spectacular views across Lake Michigan.

New Orleans Queen of The Mississippi Graceland

Charleston

The downtown area of the attractive city of Charleston is a step back in time. Some of its plantation houses are open for visitors, including Boone Hall which is still active and producing peaches, pumpkins and strawberries, and the merchant's mansions of National Russell and Heywood-Washington House. Tours through the town can be taken by horse-drawn carriage. Across Ashley River is Mount Pleasant, an old village of colonial houses.

Memphis

Memphis is the largest city in Tennessee and known as the Blues City. It has many attractions including Elvis Presley’s Graceland with its infamous décor and the Peabody Memphis, a legendary hotel famous for its Peabody Ducks which march to and from the Grand Lobby. Other highlights include Sun Studio where Jonny Cash, Roy Orbison and Elvis recorded music and the National Civil Rights Museum housed in the Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.

Memphis (USA)

New Orleans

With its atmospheric French Quarter, New Orleans, also known as the 'Big Easy', is situated on the Mississippi River. It's possible to explore this small city via the historic streetcars, taking in the French Quarter ' Royal Street for shops and the balconied Galliers House, the Jazz Historical Park and French Market. Pitot House is a typical Creole Plantation House on Moss Street, and paddlewheel steamboat trips can be taken from the harbour.

New Orleans (USA)

Savannah

The graceful town of Savannah has strong roots in America's colonial past, which can be seen in the peaceful squares and fine houses of the Historic District. The Roundhouse Railroad Museum traces the history of railroad construction from the 1830s onwards, and Old Fort Jackson was the HQ for the Confederate Savannah River during the Civil War. East of Savannah is Tybee's Island, which has a scenic shoreline, an 18th-century lighthouse and birdlife attracted by its dunes, sub-tropical forests and salt marshes.

St Francisville

The beautiful small town of St Francisville is located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. Its historic centre reveals two centuries of architecture and lifestyles. The town has many historic pklanatation homes, including Myrtles Plantation with its large veranda, impressive ironwork and beautiful stained glass. It is considered one of America’s most haunted homes.

St Francisville (USA)

Vicksburg

Vicksburg is rich in history and culture. The National Military Park is the city’s main attraction and has over 1000 monuments and markers including the Illinois State Memorial. The city is home to magnificent antebellum mansions, the most famous being Cedar Grove and offers sweeping views of the Mississippi River.

Vicksburg (USA)
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Everything went really well with our Mississippi river cruise holiday. We managed to get a lift with the flight crew to our hotel in Memphis which was a good start! Both hotels, were located in a good position. We had a great night in the BB Kings in Baele Street, Memphis, and the Jazz and Blues Club in Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

The boat was great with a nice room and the food was excellent. We had a great time in New Orleans as well.

Despite our reservations, there were no problems with the return connecting flights. All the security stuff at New Oreals which meant when we arrived at Washington Airport we could transfer easily to our connecting flight.

Thank you for all your help in arranging our holiday.

"Queen of the Mississippi" by R.Wakefield5 star

We thoroughly enjoyed this 7 day cruise down the Mississippi at the end of April. Before joining the cruise we spent two nights in Memphis, staying centrally at the Holiday Inn, Downtown, opposite the Peabody hotel, famous for the parade of ducks in the lobby each day. Nearby we visited the Civil Rights Museum, tastefully built behind the facade of the motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated. We also went to the river museum, took a trolley up and down Main Street, and in the evening spent some time in Beale Street, thronged with people, with the 'Blues' booming out from clubs and restaurants. We could also have visited Graceland, about 10 miles out of town.


We joined the boat mid-morning on Saturday. It is a replica of a traditional Steam/Paddle boat. As it was built in 2012 all the amenities are up to date. There were 150 passengers of which 6 were from the UK, 2 from Australia and 2 from Canada. The rest were American. Dining was open seating, the food was good, with complimentary beer and wine at lunch and dinner. The service from the crew was excellent. There were talks about the river in the afternoon and musical entertainment in the evening.

We set off on our 400 mile cruise on the winding Mississippi at lunchtime. The river is up to a mile wide the whole way, with a tree- lined embankment. In the afternoon we were fascinated to watch the commercial traffic going up- river. The largest we saw consisted of 42 large barges strung together in rows of 6 by 7 and pushed by a boat called a towboat.


The next day we arrived in Vicksburg and toured the famous civil war battlefield. Then it was on to Natchez and St Francisville, where we went past and also visited some beautifully restored antebellum homes as well as a working cotton plantation. After that we came to Baton Rouge, the state capital of Louisiana, where on a tour we went to the fascinating Louisiana State Museum and the old State Capitol. We had expected to pay for some of the tours, but at the end of the cruise they all turned out to be complimentary. The next day we came to what was probably the highlight of the cruise, a visit to Oak Alley Plantation, a former sugar plantation, with an imposing mansion, approached by a quarter-mile canopy of magnificent giant live oak trees, believed to be more than 300 years old. They are called 'live' oaks because they are evergreeen. Finally, before reaching New Orleans, we were able to do some kite flying from the open deck, taking care to avoid approaching bridges and passing barges.


We disembarked in New Orleans at 8.30am on Saturday morning for a two night stay. We went straight to our hotel, where fortunately our room was ready. Suggest staying at either of the two Marriott hotels in Canal Street close to the French Quarter. Then it was out for more sightseeing, first to Jackson Square, the hub of the French Quarter, a carriage tour round the Quarter, went into the cathedral and French Market and had coffee and doughnuts at the renowned Cafe du Monde. Later we took the hop-on-hop-off bus round this vibrant city, which included a stop at the Mardi Gras Museum, where the floats are made for the annual parade, and took a trolley round the Garden District, lined with more beautiful houses. In the evening we found two good restaurants near our hotel, Galatoire's and Dickie Brennan's and joined the crowds walking up and down Bourbon Street, with jazz being played everywhere, both on and off the street.

All in all a wonderful holiday, which we can highly recommend.