Welcome to New Orleans, also known as the Big Easy. This vibrant city is the perfect destination to begin your Mississippi River voyage. Arrive the day before your cruise and American Cruise Lines will handle the rest. With thoughtfully planned excursions encompassing the biggest attractions and cultural highlights of New Orleans, and complimentary transportation to the ship, we make sure your tour is as worry-free as possible.
New Orleans City Tour
New Orleans is a city full of history, intrigue, and colorful characters. After a Cajun inspired breakfast, we’ll begin your journey through the “Big Easy” with a private tour guide, who will give you a local’s look into the area’s most famous attractions. We’ll explore the most popular areas including the French Quarter, the colorful garden district, and the famous stately mansions which still remain in period form. We’ll allow plenty of time for you to enjoy the local flavors, like chicory coffee, sweet beignets, and famous New Orleans jazz music.
*Note: This tour is only offered on cruises ending in New Orleans, LA.
Once serving as an antebellum sugar cane homestead, Oak Alley Plantation is named after its most distinguishing feature, a row of 300 year old oak trees. This leafy canopy forms a path leading to the Mississippi River. Restored to its 19th century grandeur, this classic Greek revival-style antebellum mansion is breathtaking.
Oak Alley Plantation - Complimentary Excursion
The famous ancient oaks bordering your path to the mansion are your first sight upon stepping ashore. The perfectly aligned 300 year old trees form a canopy which set a particularly grand entrance for our arrival. Southern belles enjoying the shade of the leafy canopy greet us on arrival and are our guides for the day. In small groups, we bring you through the antebellum plantation’s many stately rooms and show you why it has earned the name “Grande Dame of The Great River Road.” After the tour, we invite you to join us for a special gathering with mint juleps on the west lawn before a visit to their popular gift shop which is known for their world-famous pralines.
Baton Rouge features all the history and wonder you would expect in a state capital, but with an added down home flavor that makes it truly unique. Our private guides will take you on a tour of the cities' most famous attractions including the Old & New State Capitals and the interactive Louisiana State Museum.
Historic Baton Rouge Tour - Complimentary Excursion
The vibrant history of Louisiana is evident throughout the state’s capital. After breakfast, you will be greeted at the ship by Philippa Blair and her visitor center representatives as they welcome you to Baton Rouge with vibrant Mardi Gras beads. Your first stop is the Louisiana Old State Capitol where you will experience a one-of-a-kind interactive film, made with the help of Disney, which will bring you face-to-face with the ghost of the castle, Sarah Morgan. Afterward, Baton Rouge native, Ira Bobin, will serve as our tour guide and will bring you to the Louisiana State Museum, a completely interactive museum with three floors of displays detailing each different region of Louisiana.
St. Francisville, LA
This southern town charms with simple pleasures and unique treasures. Located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, St. Francisville has been called “one of the 200 most beautiful small towns in America.” Take a stroll through its historic center with two centuries of architecture and lifestyles on display. Enjoy visits to restored antebellum mansions including Rosedown.
Rosedown Plantation - Complimentary Excursion
The affluent ambiance of the Rosedown Plantation is evident the minute you step on the property. As you walk down the flowered path lined with towering oaks towards the Main House, you will be greeted by our lively resident expert, Tammie Miller. As you tour the home, Tammie delves deep into the family history of Daniel and Martha Turnbull and how their experiences helped shape the Main House into a home. At the conclusion of your tour, time is set aside to explore the grounds on your own or relax in a rocking chair on the front porch with cold refreshments and some of Tammie’s freshly made cookies.
Celebrating its 300th year, Natchez, is a city full of history and southern hospitality. American Cruise Lines will take you on a guided exploration of this fascinating area with visits to its gardens, historic homes, and museums. While here, we will treat you to a special concert in the music room of the JN Stone House.
Historic District Tour - Complimentary Excursion
On our leisurely Natchez city tour, our expert local guide will build upon the lecture you received the night prior by our onboard historian and provide you with an insider’s perspective into the city’s rich history and the preserved influences of the Native American, European, and African cultures. We’ll be greeted at the landmark Longwood Plantation home, famously known for remaining incomplete to this day, as the Union workers left the structure unfinished to go fight in the Civil War. After the private tour, we’ll gather in the ship’s lounge for cocktails as the chefs prepare for a special southern-inspired dinner.
Frogmore Plantation Tour
Our onboard experts tell many stories about southern life on a plantation; today you’ll see first-hand what life was really like. Our insightful local guide will accompany you from the ship to the cotton gin, and will be your escort as you explore the 1,800-acre cotton plantation. In intimate groups, the plantation owners Lynette and Buddy Tanner will delve into plantation life, including the housing, music, and relationships between the owners and workers. You’ll have the opportunity to pick cotton directly from the field, participate in a live gospel performance, and witness the progress in cotton technology from Eli Whitney’s original gin to their modern 900 bales-per-day computerized plantation.
J.N. Stonehouse Tour and Concert
Upon arrival, you’ll be greeted by fourth-generation owner, Joseph Stone, whose family has owned the home for over 135 years. Mr. Stone will guide you on a personal tour of his unique antebellum-style home and cover the many different purposes it has served over the years. Here, you can explore his eclectic collection of period-specific artwork and one-of-a-kind antiques. The afternoon concludes in the music hall with wine and beverages as Mr. Stone performs an exclusive classical piano concert.
The city of Vicksburg served as a pivotal turning point during the American Civil War. Come with us as our informative Historian guides us through the National Military Park which commemorates the campaign, siege and defense of Vicksburg. Our expert guides and park rangers show you battlefields, the U.S.S. Cairo gunboat, and the most significant historic places.
Battle of Vicksburg Tour - Complimentary Excursion
As the paddlewheel laps gently against the water and the stars illuminate the night sky, our onboard Civil War historian gives a captivating lecture detailing all you are about to witness the next day at Vicksburg National Military Park. After a hearty southern-inspired breakfast, you will be greeted by our private tour guide who will stay with you throughout the day to answer questions and provide additional knowledge. Upon arrival at the park, rangers who are well-versed in Civil War history guide you on a customized tour that’s specific to the interests of the group. Your guides will take you through the restored ironclad gunboat, U.S.S Cairo, the battlefield where the Siege of Vicksburg took place, and the over 1,300 monuments dedicated to the brave souls who lost their lives.
Day of River Cruising
Enjoy the warmth of the Mississippi River sun as we cruise from Vicksburg to Memphis. Relax in one of the many spacious lounges or catch gentle breezes on the sun deck.
Memphis is home to many things; Blues, BBQ, Beale Street and, of course, the King of Rock 'n Roll - Elvis Presley. American Cruise Lines will explore this amazing city on a narrated tour as we visit the many highlights that make Memphis so captivating. You'll get to touch, taste and listen your way around Memphis as we celebrate its eclectic history.
Deluxe Graceland Tour
No trip to Memphis is complete without a trip to the home of the “King of Rock n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley. Before venturing just outside of the city to Graceland, our knowledgeable guide takes you on a brief tour of the historic downtown and riverfront area. American Cruise Lines offers the most in-depth experience available at Graceland, allowing you to explore fascinating exhibits such as Elvis’ museum, estate grounds, the jungle and trophy rooms, his gravesite, and much more.
* Note: Only offered on cruises ending in Memphis, TN
This is a Signature Shore Tour. Please call (800) 460-4518 for more information.
Memphis City Tour - Complimentary Excursion*
The city of Memphis has a deep-rooted history which spans many of the most important aspects of American culture. Your comprehensive tour starts onboard with an authentic Memphis BBQ before your private tour guide meets you at the ship and your journey through Memphis begins. We will visit iconic sites such as the National Civil Rights Museum, St. Judes Children’s Research Hospital, the Peabody Hotel – featuring the legendary Peabody ducks, and world famous Sun Studios – the birthplace of rock n’ roll. As you explore the city, the musical notes of up-and-coming artists on Beale Street emanate throughout.
*Note: Only offered on cruises ending in Memphis, TN