New Year’s on the American Queen
Celebrate on the Mighty Mississippi from New Orleans
Ring in the New Year cruising the mighty Mississippi River aboard an iconic steamboat! Begin with an overnight stay in New Orleans; explore the essence of the French Quarter, listen to live jazz, and dine on Creole and Cajun classics. Then board the American Queen, elegantly adorned for the holidays and displaying all the magnificence of the Victorian era. As you travel along, soak in the romantic spirit of the antebellum era from the perspective of the river. Visit St. Francisville and Natchez, offering an atmosphere of Southern comfort and an impressive preservation of history. Opulent pillared mansions and Civil War battlefields will transport you back in time, and the soul of this region’s rhythm and blues culture can be found around every bend. The centerpiece of this journey is a New Year’s Eve gala, with a toast to new beginnings among newfound friends, and the melodic lines of “Auld Lang Syne.”
The steamer American Queen offers one of the greatest values in all-American vacations. Meals aboard are included, as are spirits, wine and beer, bottled water and soft drinks, professional showboat-style entertainment, enthralling calliope concerts, and complimentary shore excursions. Onboard cuisine features selections by the famed American chef Regina Charboneau. Enjoy multiple specialty dining options at no extra charge. From beignets at breakfast to savory grits with Gulf shrimp, you’ll savor the tastes of the South. The steamboat is richly appointed and offers the contemporary amenities of a luxurious boutique hotel. Daily lectures by the “Riverlorian” — an onboard river historian — increase your understanding of the Mississippi River and its settlements. From the deck and onshore, you can be explorer, adventurer, history buff, antique or art enthusiast, or bird-watcher.
Daily sightseeing is included in each port. Additional costs apply for optional premium excursions.
Fri, Dec 29: Fly to New Orleans, Louisiana and enjoy lunch on your own at the French Market District before embarking on a city tour of “The Big Easy”. This afternoon, settle in to your hotel and spend the remainder of the day exploring at your leisure. Visit the French Quarter or the Garden District, dine on Creole and Cajun classics, listen to jazz, and let the good times roll in the Crescent City!
Sat, Dec 30: A pre-cruise shore excursion will be offered in the morning, or you may choose to spend the morning as you wish. In the afternoon, transfer to the American Queen. Kick off the start of your cruise with a Welcome Aboard Dinneras you set sail on the Mississippi River. Additional premium tour offered (fees apply): The Big Picture of the Big Easy: Uncovering the Complete Story of New Orleans or similar.(Meals: Breakfast, Dinner)
Sun, Dec 31: Today visit Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest, most glorious remaining antebellum mansion with a rich history dating back to 1859. With a fabulous location along the great River Road overlooking the grand Mississippi River, this “White Castle” of the South transports visitors back to an era of glory and grandeur. Set amongst a natural backdrop of vibrant gardens and two-hundred-year-old-oak trees, Nottoway Plantation captivates all with a brilliant blend of true Southern hospitality, history, and mystery. Enjoy a guided walking tour as you explore within the pristine walls of the plantation, followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens. Additional premium tours offered include (fees apply): Stories of the Great River Road or similar. (B,L,D)
Mon, Jan 1: Spend New Year’s Day in St. Francisville, Louisiana. St. Francisville today is a testament to the lifestyle of a bygone era, with its cache of charming pre-war homes and striking architecture. With over 140 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, sprawling estates nestled in the countryside and bustling Main Street shops, this quaint port situated on the Mississippi has a style all its own. The included hop-on/hop-off tour will take you around town to visit several stops including Old Market Hall, built in 1819 and now used as a market center for the town’s local artisans. Other stops include the West Feliciana Historical Society Museum, which displays many artifacts, photos and more portraying the history of St. Francisville and the Grace Episcopal Church. Additional tour offered (fees apply): Plantations of the Back Roads or similar. (B,L,D)
Tue, Jan 2: Step into the lifestyle of the antebellum South in Natchez, Mississippi. There’s no shortage of excitement in this small town. Today’s hop-on/hop-off tour stops at Rosalie Mansion and The Old South Trading Post. Be sure to bring your taste buds to this unique stop! Sample Southern muscadine juice, dips, salsas, jellies, cappuccinos, and coffees. Add another important dimension of Natchez history by stopping by the Museum of African American History and Culture. Explore the Grand Village of the Natchez Indians, or visit historic Jefferson College. Additional premium tour offered (fees apply): A Jeweled Christmas in Natchez or similar. (B,L,D)
Wed, Jan 3: Discover a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg. Take in the diversity from National Historic Landmarks to the Waterways Experiment Station. Billed as the “Red Carpet City of the South,” Southern hospitality is alive and well, and awaiting your arrival! A hop-on/hop-off tour of Vicksburg will introduce you to a city bursting at the seams with local culture, character, art, entertainment, and outdoor adventure. Visit the Church of the Holy Trinity. This incredible church spans over 125 feet long, 52 feet wide, and reaches 61 feet high to the apex of the ceiling, which was built of southern white pine to emulate Noah’s ark. Then on to Washington Street for shopping or discover some of the other museums of Vicksburg on your own, including the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum, the Old Depot Museum, Jesse Brent Lower Mississippi River Museum or the Vicksburg Civil War Museum. Additional premium tours offered (fees apply): On the Front Lines of the Civil War or similar. (B,L,D)
Thurs, Jan 4: Spend today cruising along the river. Relax on deck with a copy of Huckleberry Finn or another imaginative selection borrowed from the ship’s revered Library. Enjoy some quiet time in the Ladies’ Tea Parlor, or recruit your travel companions for an exciting board game in the Card Room. For a remarkable one-of-a-kind experience, take a guided tour of the American Queen’s Engine Room to explore the inner workings of this classic, steam-powered vessel. Consider booking an indulgent, stress-relieving massage in the American Queen’s spa. Browse The Emporium gift shop for that perfect keepsake or take part in onboard activities. There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river! (B,L,D)
Fri, Jan 5: Disembark in New Orleans and return to Indianapolis. (B)
American Queen. Christened in Memphis in 2012 by Godmother Priscilla Presley with a bottle of champagne, the American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built- spanning 418 feet. Although filled with today’s modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian era. Highlights: cozy staterooms to opulent suites • 3 restaurants • complimentary 24-hour room service • unlimited beverages • Library & Card Room • entertainment in the two-deck tall Theatre • spa • fitness center • complimentary shore excursions • optional shore excursions (fees apply).
* Subject to change due to fuel surcharge.
**Call for additional stateroom category and occupancy pricing.
Documents Required: U.S. government issued I.D.