Mississippi river cruises
Mississippi cruises suggest romantic scenes of paddle steamers, jazz bands and tree-lined avenues leading to extravagant antebellum houses in pristine white. And it’s all true.
North America’s second-longest river divides several states geographically, yet unites them through recreation and trade. Taking a Mississippi river cruise along this important waterway takes you on a historical journey – one that’s often been told in books, film, music and documentaries.
Aboard an authentic steamboat, you can play cards or sip cocktails like a 1900s maverick; or imagine the eventful story of runaway Huckleberry Finn, hiding on islands and skipping through towns as he seeks out his independence. Step onto the Mississippi’s banks and you can pretend you’re a cotton picker or lord/lady of an elegant mansion.
Make yourself at home in Elvis’ Graceland, catch a country star performing at The Grand Ole Opry (America’s longest-running scheduled music show), and sit at the very piano Elvis used to record more than half his songs at RCA Studio B, Nashville.
History and heritage
Native Americans, the Civil War, Cajun and Creole cuisine, the St Charles Streetcar… Mississippi river cruises offer plenty of opportunities to learn more about what makes the Deep South what it is today.
If music is your thing, then start with a couple of days in Memphis – a city known for a mixture of pop, country, R&B and gospel, before Elvis Presley came along and changed music as we know it. Then, cruising down through America’s Deep South, you’re met with deep rooted county music in Nashville; and the smooth melodies or challenging polyrhythms of jazz in New Orleans.
Jazz, cocktails and scenic sailing
After a day of exploring, you can’t go wrong with an evening on the deck of a steamboat, decorated with the filigree metalwork of Victorian opulence, drifting along the Mississippi through the nation’s finest farmland, bird-filled woodlands and wildlife-rich floodplains. If you still have some energy left, you’ll often find a band on board, striking up a toe-tapping jazz, blues, ragtime, bluegrass, country or rock ‘n’ roll tune long after the sun has set.
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