This tour is no longer being offered. A variety of other spectacular train tours and vacations are available.
Gracious Southern charm is abundant on this one-time leisurely and elegant passage through the old south, appropriately by Riverboat and classic Streamliner train. Your holiday begins in The Crescent City with two nights in the heart of downtown, just two blocks from the French Quarter right on the famous St. Charles Streetcar Line. After three days in New Orleans, you will board a beloved bit of American history, the Steamboat American Queen for a rare seven-night passage up the Mississippi River to Memphis. Upon arrival in Memphis, a sightseeing tour on the Memphis ‘Ducks’, odd LST-type vehicles that take you not only around town but across the Mississippi River is included along with a special luncheon in Beale Street of what is possibly the best barbeque in America.
- Two- night First Class hotel stay in New Orleans
- New Orleans French Quarter tour including a visit to famed Café du Monde and the new D-Day Museum.
- 7-night Steamboat cruise through the Old South aboard the Steamboat American Queen between New Orleans and Memphis with all meals & entertainment provided while aboard.
- Natches Spring Pilgrimage visit including Mansion tours and special welcome luncheon during our port call in Natchez, including a special lunch, overseen by our close personal friend and cele- brated chef Regina Charboneau.
- Overnight hotel accommodations in Memphis at the legendary Peabody Hotel
- A visit to Oxford, Mississippi, one of the most historic and culturally rich destinations in the South, and a bastion of southern charm and gentility.
- Travel from Memphis to Chicago aboard our own vintage Streamliner train, the Steamboat Express. This will be an overnight journey over the Illinois Central Railroad. Guests enjoy ultra-comfortable ‘Sleeperette’ accommodations with roomy reclining leg rest coach seating with pillows, blankets, large windows and more. The Club Car Lounge is included with meals, wines & spirits while aboard.
Day 1 - New Orleans, Louisiana
Guests arrive in New Orleans and begin their two-night stay in the Crescent City. Your hotel has the choicest location in town, Carondelet Street on the historic St. Charles Streetcar Line, two blocks from the French Quarter and the Rue Royale, near enough to walk but blessedly far from the noise and chaos. Tonight is a special treat, your welcome dinner at one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the Big Easy, the superb Palace Cafe, the perfect entree to New Orleans. Overnight at Hampton Inn. D
Day 2 - New Orleans, Louisiana
All day to enjoy New Orleans and French Quarter followed by the ultimate New Orleans treat, beignets and cafe au lait at fabled Cafe du Monde. You have all afternoon and evening to enjoy New Orleans at your own pace. Overnight at the Hampton Inn. B
Day 3 - Welcome Aboard American Queen
All morning to sleep in or explore the great antique stores of the Rue Royale at your own pace before the afternoon visit to the simply overwhelming D-Day Museum. Here you will have plenty of time to take in this marvelous newly re-opened site before your five minute transfer to the nearby American Queen. At 6pm the steam calliope sounds, the big red paddlewheel turns and you depart for Memphis! B D
Day 4 - Oak Alley Plantation, Louisiana
Magnificent 300-year-old oak trees frame the entrance to the mansion at Oak Alley. B L D
Day 5 - St. Francisville, Louisiana
Southern belles in huge hooped skirts danced under Baccarat crystal chandeliers in spectacular plantation homes like The Myrtles. Reportedly one of America's most haunted homes, the plantation figures large in local tales of southern romance. B L D
Day 6 - Natchez, Mississippi
Today, at the height of Spring Pilgrimage, historic Natchez welcomes us into normally not open mansions and great homes and more significantly, their gardens, ablaze in springtime glory. You will want to have your camera handy. A visit to the elegant Monmouth Plantation is also planned. B L D
Day 7 - Vicksburg, Mississippi
Historic Vicksburg ("The Gibraltar of the South") with its epic Civil War battlefield is the port of call today. Tonight is your special cocktail party aboard the American Queen as well, followed by the best jazz afloat in the Texas Lounge. B L D
Day 8 - Steamboating on the Mississippi
All day Steamboatin' on the mighty Mississippi, a perfect time to enjoy river travel at its best with time to fly a kite, catch up with a new book, enjoy lunch on deck or simply view the passing communities and dramatic scenery around every turn in the river. Today is also the wonderful "Southern Picnic" onboard with platters of fried chicken, baked ham, gumbo, mud pie and other southern specialties. B L D
Day 9 - Helena, Arkansas
Scenic Helena, Arkansas, considered by Mark Twain one of the three prettiest towns on the river welcomes you today with its quaint antique and curio shops and is the last port of call before Memphis. B L D
Day 10 - Memphis, Tennessee
After breakfast you arrive in Memphis and enjoy a sightseeing tour of this home to the Blues (and Elvis) aboard one of the unique Memphis Ducks amphibious vehicles. You then proceed to historic Oxford, Mississippi the capital of Southern literature, touring the home of William Faulkner and enjoying a truly superb lunch before our return to Memphis later today. In Memphis, more ducks await, this time at the grand Peabody Hotel, a fitting luxurious accommodation for your overnight stay. Beale Street with its famed Blues clubs is less than a five minute walk away as is BB King's great blues club. B L
Day 11 - Memphis, Tennessee
All day free to further explore Memphis before you board the Steamboat Express tonight after dinner for your ride north over the storied Illinois Central Railroad 'Main Line of Mid America'. Drinks in the club car beckon as we speed towards Chicago. Overnight on board. D R
Day 12 - Chicago, Illinois
After breakfast, we arrive Chicago Union Station at 8:30am.