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New Orleans Holiday & The Spirit of the Antebellum South

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On this elegant river cruise, you’ll discover the traditions of the Cajun and Creole cultures and experience what remains of the grand Antebellum South.

This tour is no longer on sale as an independent tour. Alternative similar tours are listed below.

Travel on your own following a well-planned itinerary

2023 Tour code: GC-NOHS-23

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Day 1 - Arrive in Chicago

Welcome to The City of the Big Shoulders! Visit one of the cities many breweries, or spend the day surrounded by masterpieces in The Art Institute of Chicago. Overnight Chicago.

Day 2 - Depart Chicago for New Orleans

Today's hop-on/hop-off tour will bring you to the doorstep of Chicago's most popular landmarks. This evening, make your way to Union Station for your 8:05 pm departure aboard Amtrak's City of New Orleans. Settle into your comfortable onboard accommodations and look forward to warmer temperatures. Overnight train.

Day 3 - Arrive New Orleans

Take in all the sights and sounds of New Orleans today as you explore the city at leisure. Nosh on beignets at the famous Café du Monde, explore the French Quarter or admire the lights decorating City Park. Overnight New Orleans.

Day 4 - Board the American Duchess

Make the most of your morning in New Orleans walking along the riverfront or riding the streetcar to some of the city's distinctive neighborhoods. In the afternoon, you'll board the American Duchess to begin your voyage. Kick off with a welcome dinner. Overnight vessel.

  • Dinner
Day 5 - River Cruising

Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers. Overnight vessel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6 - St. Francisville, LA

St. Francisville is a quaint town located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. With over 140 buildings on the National Register, beautiful plantation homes nestled in the rolling countryside, and bustling Main Street shops, you'll find plenty to see and do. Hop on our deluxe motor coach, and begin your sightseeing tour at Royal Street. Choose to enjoy the park or shop for holiday gifts in Grandmother's Buttons, a unique southern boutique. Next, we will visit the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum on Ferdinand Street and the Grace Episcopal Church, enjoy a self-guided tour of the church and the grounds and make sure to check out the organ located inside - it dates all the way back to 1860!. Overnight vessel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 7 - Natchez, MS

Visit the Natchez Visitors Center for their gift shop, bookstore and exhibits including a film about this historic port. A narrated tour of the city includes admission to the antebellum mansions: Magnolia Hall, Stanton Hall, Rosalie Mansion and the William Johnson House. We make a stop at King's Tavern and Charboneau Distillery where we take an an exclusive tour of the distillery, followed by a guided tour of the bar, located just next door, with a complimentary custom drink. Admission to the Natchez Museum of African-American History and Culture is also included. Don't miss this illuminating look into the hard lives of the people that built the opulent mansions of Natchez. Overnight vessel. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 8 - Vicksburg, MS

In the "Key to the South," Southern hospitality is alive, well, and waiting for your arrival. With sweeping views of the Mississippi River, Vicksburg blends its Southern heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. Our tour today begins in Vicksburg's shopping district. Then, we will stop at the Church of Holy Trinity: a place of spiritual refreshment to Vicksburg for over 125 years. The next stop, Anchuca Mansion, named from the Choctaw word meaning "happy home," is one of the most significant homes in Vicksburg. As we come back into the downtown area, we will continue to the Old Court House Museum, which showcases thousands of artifacts from pre-Columbian times to Civil War implements. There will be a stop at Washington Street for some more shopping as well as an included admission to Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum. Afterward, enjoy the Lower Mississippi River Museum, where we can find out how different communities, farming families, and the US Army Corps of Engineers have all utilized the river. Finally, visit the Old Depot Museum, a preservation museum run by the Vicksburg Battlefield Museum, which highlights the Siege of Vicksburg. Overnight vessel. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 9 - Baton Rouge, LA

American Queen Steamboat Company features an exclusive port at Nottoway. While the boat is docked, visit the sugarcane estate - the largest standing antebellum mansion in the South. Nottoway is an intricate building with impressive detail. Original furnishings mingle with era-appropriate antiques to create an atmosphere that does justice to the home's original ambiance. It is fascinating history and luxurious aesthetic packaged in Southern hospitality - an experience that you will not want to pass up. Overnight vessel.

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 10 - Nottoway, LA

Enjoy a tour of Nottoway Plantation, the South's largest remaining Antebellum mansion. The pillared house and sprawling grounds, once maintained by an enormous slave workforce, stand today as the embodiment of the opulent plantation lifestyle. Enjoy a guided tour of an American Castle as we explore within the pristine walls of Nottoway followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens. Overnight vessel. 

  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 11 - New Orleans

Your tour comes to an end today as you tie up near historic Jackson Square in New Orleans and bid your steamboat adieu. Depart New Orleans on your own. You may wish to extend your stay for another couple of nights to indulge in all that the Big Easy has to offer.