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Antebellum South: Aboard the Luxurious ‘American Queen’ (March 14 – 22, 2014)

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Antebellum South: Aboard the Luxurious ‘American Queen’ (March 14 – 22, 2014)

Celebrate authentic Americana aboard the luxury riverboat the American Queen and let this unique Mississippi River voyage take you to a bygone era of sprawling plantations, lavish antebellum mansions, and lazy, front porch afternoons. Revel in the magic of steamboating — a true American pastime, while experiencing classic Southern elegance, captured in the beautifully preserved homes and storybook towns that fringe the iconic river.

Your adventure begins with a stay in colorful New Orleans, home to the famed French Quarter. Then board the American Queen and cruise to spirited river towns in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Arkansas, each destination steeped in distinct Southern flair and cultural heritage. Take your nostalgic trip ashore to Oak Alley Plantation, where the draping canopies of 300-year-old oak trees frame the prized mansion, and the lovely town of St. Francisville, home to 150 historic buildings on the National Register. Continue to Natchez, a cit of Southern charm and antebellum mansions, followed by Vicksburg, where its compelling Civil War history awaits. Take in the soulful Delta blues in Helena, before rounding out your journey in Memphis.

ford theater onboard
The Ford Theater onboard the American Queen.

Experience gracious Southern hospitality along with fellow alumni as you discover the timeless allure of the river aboard the graceful American Queen. Your cruise includes fine American cuisine, elegant accommodations and fascinating cultural shore excursions. Also on board is an extraordinary showplace, perfect for live entertainment.

Program Highlights

– 7-night voyage, including all meals, aboard the grand American Queen
– Complimentary hop-on, hop-off shore excursions with a dedicated fleet of luxury coaches
– The acclaimed cuisine of American chef Regina Charboneau
– Complimentary wine and beer with dinner
– Complimentary cappuccino, espresso, speciality coffees, bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage
– Gracious service from a friendly all-American staff
– Smart-casual attire throughout your voyage, no formal wear required
– Daily lectures by the Riverlorian, your onboard history and culture expert
– Professional showboat-style entertainment, dancing nightly and calliope concerts

For a downloadable Antebellum South travel brochure, click here.

Go Next Exclusive Benefits

1-Night Pre-Cruise Hotel Stay at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel or similar, breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfers to the American Queen
Private Go Next reception including hot and cold canapes, wine, beer and soft drinks
$100 Onboard Credit per stateroom
– Complimentary bottle of win per stateroom
Services of an onboard Go Next program manager
Exceptional value

Travel Itinerary

hilton riversideMarch 14 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Your journey begins with a one-night stay at the Hilton New Orleans Riverside hotel, a mere four blocks away from the renowned French Quarter. Experience New Orleans, from the transitional Southern oaks and Spanish moss of City Park to the French Quarters’ legendary Bourbon Street and Jackson Square.


March 15 – New Orleans, Louisiana
Morning at your leisure. Embark on your river cruise aboard the graceful American Queen in the afternoon.


oak alley plantationMarch 16 – Oak Alley, Louisiana
Located in Saint James Parish, Oak Alley Plantation combines architectural splendor and the natural wonder of 300-year-old oak trees. Spend time strolling beneath their spectacular canopy, and learn about the rich history of this Southern estate.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: Take a tour of the historic plantation and its beautiful grounds.

grace churchMarch 17 – St. Francisville, Louisiana
With out 140 buildings and plantation homes on the National Register, this quaint town is a window to history. Here are the legacies of the Butlers, the Forts, the Barrows, and the Turnbulls — families who helped build the South. Follow in the footsteps of the guests who stayed here, including Andrew Jackson and Jon James Audobon.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: The hop-on, hop-off motor coach tour takes you to historic and modern sites, including the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum, the Grace Episcopal Church and the Old Market Hall, where you can browse through art, jewelry and handmade items.


March 18 – Natchez, Mississippi
Step into the plantation lifestyle of the antebellum South in Natchez, one of the oldest European settlements in the lower Mississippi River Valley and the original capitol of Mississippi. With a history shaped by Native Americans and those of French, African, British and Spanish descent. Natchez is a charming and authentic Southern town with a rich heritage.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: Take in some historic Natchez mansions on a motor coach tour, which includes stops at the Natchez Visitors Center, Magnolia Hall, Rosalie Mansion, and the William Johnson House as well as a narrated tour of Stanton Hall, considered the grandest of the Natchez mansions.

natchez mansion
One of Natchez’s many grand mansions.

coca colaMarch 19 – Vicksburg, Mississippi
Billed as the “Red Carpet City of the South,” Vicksburg is a unique blend of old and new and displays its antebellum heritage with tremendous pride. The site of a dramatic siege and major turning point in the Civil War, Vicksburg is now a center of Southern hospitality with a vibrant downtown area.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: The Vicksburg tour makes stops at The Church of the Holy Trinity; Pemberton’s Headquarters, Confederate headquarters during the Siege of Vicksburg; the Old Courts House Museum, which showcases artifacts from pre-Colombian times to Civil War implements; and the city’s shopping district, including Washington Street, home to the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum.

March 20 – Steamboating
Discover steamboating — a lifestyle born of both restless ambition and the pursuit of pure relaxation. Aboard the American Queen, the richness of this timeless river culture comes with plenty of added modern luxuries as you cruise the day and night away at one of the distinctive dining venues, the impressive Grand Saloon, or your elegant stateroom.

March 21 – Helena, Arkansas
The queen of the Arkansas Delta, Helena is filled with fascinating architecture from before and after the legendary Battle of Helena. The Delta Cultural Center lays out Helena’s antebellum roots and is also home to King Biscuit Time — the nation’s longest-running blues radio program.
INCLUDED EXCURSION: Traveling by deluxe motor coach, visit notable stops including the Cherry Street Historic District, the Delta Cultural Center, Bubba’s Blues Corner and the Helena Museum. Also visit two stunning examples of late 1800s architecture a the Moore-Hornor House and the Pillow Thompson House.

delta cultural center
The Delta Cultural Center in Helena, Arkansas.

March 22 – Memphis, Tennessee
Disembark in the morning and bid farewell to the American Queen.

What You’ll Enjoy

Life on the Water
Life on the American Queen is as unique and enriching as the steamboating tradition itself. Night after night, music fills the majestic two-deck tall Grand Saloon, a stunning replica of the famed Ford’s Theatre. Showboat-style cabaret acts and old-fashioned radio shows add variety and charm to the evening lineup. By day, the Riverlorian, your onboard historian, offers lectures and river lore. The Ladies’ Parlor and Gentleman’s Card Room are meeting points for new friends. And the calliope, a steam-powered piano, beckons anyone inclined to play.

Southern Hospitality
Creating plates inspired by culinary classics of America’s South and utilizing the best of the season’s offerings from stops along the way, award-winning chef Regina Charboneau lends her expertise and Southern hospitality to the unique dining experience on the American Queen. Grab a simple snack at the River Grill, indulge in the elegance of the J.M White Dining Room, or satisfy your appetite any hour o the day at the Front Porch Cafe as you sample Charboneau’s delectable creations, from Pork Loin stuffed with Andouille Sausage to Corn Fritters and Bourbon Pecan Pie.

Opulent Comfort
Welcome to the grand American Queen, a breathtaking combination of modern comfort and Victorian charm. All suites and staterooms aboard the American Queen feature flat-screen TVs, extravagant bedding and find linens, and luxury hotel-style service. Sip sweet lemonade and partake in the convivial atmosphere of open verandas and the promenade, or enjoy a quiet respite in your elegant suite or deluxe stateroom, designed with all the comforts of home. Life aboard the American Queen flows like a gentle river — at your pace and according to your taste.

There’s never been a better time to rediscover America. And there’s never been a better way to do it. From New Orleans to Memphis on the fabled waters of the Mighty Mississippi, experience the grandeur of the American South. Enjoy casual elegance aboard the grand American Queen, the largest riverboat in the world, and your antebellum mansion on the water. Open French doors to sweeping river views and enjoy easy conversation on the promenade. And at the end of the day, retreat to the Victorian charm of your fine accommodation. Discover classic riverside America on a journey aboard the 432-passenger American Queen, newly restored in 2012. Experience the beauty, history and grand adventure unique to the steam boating tradition from the remarkable perspective of the river.