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Bluegrass, Blues and Blue Suede Shoes: Nashville to Memphis

Program Number: 20262RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/1/2012 - 12/8/2012;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Tennessee
Price starting at: $3,699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Small Ship Cruising
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Kosher    

Tap your feet to the heartbeat of American music on a river voyage between two of the country’s great musical cities: Nashville and Memphis. Attend the Grand Ole Opry and delve into the evolution of country music. Learn about the pickin’ and strummin’ of bluegrass in Kentucky. Pay a visit to the home of the blues and the King, Memphis. Aboard the riverboat enjoy great concerts and expert presentations that bring these musical styles to life.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile per day.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Aboard Grande Mariner, 7 nights.



Days 1-2:
Arrival Nashville, Tenn. / embark Grand Mariner:

Step inside historic Ryman Auditorium for a performance of the Grand Ole Opry, “the show that made country music famous.” Continue exploring Music City with an expert-led visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and a walk highlighting the honky-tonks of Broadway and Printer’s Alley.



Day 3:
Clarksville:

Learn about the tobacco farming history of Tennessee on an excursion to the Customs House Museum and Cultural Center. In the evening, enjoy a live concert onboard the ship.



Day 4:
On River:

Discuss the Cumberland and Mississippi Rivers and their influence on the history and culture of the American South in onboard lectures.



Day 5:
Kuttawa, Ky.:

In the state from which it took its name, learn about bluegrass music, a uniquely American style of music featuring banjos, fiddles, mandolins and more. Discover the lovely lakes of this region with a noted local author and historian.



Days 6-8:
Memphis, Tenn. / disembark / departure:

Enjoy an onboard concert of the Memphis Blues by the city’s own Bluff City Jug Band to prepare for your own exploration. Experience Memphis’s deep musical identity at Graceland, Elvis Presley’s mansion, and the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum. Stroll along famous Beale Street. Get ready to boogie during another concert featuring great Memphis music.



Grande Mariner

This three-deck American ship was designed to fit in smaller areas that large cruise ships cannot navigate. At 183 feet long by 40 feet wide, it can carry up to 86 passengers on an exclusive sailing for Road Scholar. Public areas linked by stairs.


Meals and Lodgings
   Grande Mariner
  Nashville, TN
Memphis, TN
7 nights
 Grande Mariner
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: Bow ramp for landing on beaches. Shallow draft and collapsible pilothouse ensure that passengers survey the scenery close up. Dress code is casual throughout day and evening. BYOB rule with complimentary mixers, soda, glass, ice.
  Ship Information: Length: 184' Beam: 40' Draft: 6'6" Passenger Capacity: 86 Passenger Cabins: 48 Commissioned: 1997 Refurbished: 2009 Flag: United States Built By: Blount Boats, Warren, RI
  Contact info: Blount Boats
Warren, RI 02885 USA
phone: 401-245-8300
web: www.blountsmallshipadventures.com
  Room amenities: Daily maid service; daily fresh towels. Bed linens are changed twice during the trip. Sufficient stowage under the bed and in compartments. Mirrors, hanging space. Most cabins are too small to have a chair. Most cabins have a window or a port hole.
  Facility amenities: Each cabin ranges in size from 77 square feet to 120 square feet with private miniscule bathroom. Built-in stowage is adequate. Twin beds or queen bed. Some twins convert to queen. Most but not all cabins have a window or port-hole.They are on three decks, with most accommodations on mid and upper decks. A large comfortable lounge, which also serves as a lecture hall, is forward on the higher of the two upper accommodations decks. The dining room, one deck below, doubles as a card room and reading area. The American food is fresh, well prepared, and served family-style at one open sitting. Menus are posted in advance. The sundeck extends nearly the full length of the ship and has a viewing area covered by an awning. Considered Spartan in its simplicity, the Grande Mariner is nevertheless popular with many returning passengers.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Bathroom: Cabins have compartmented shower and separate toilet/lavatory. No tub in bathroom
  Additional nights prior: $250 To reserve a hotel room in Nashville, Tenn., for night of Nov. 30, 2012, before the program begins, or to reserve a hotel room in Memphis, Tenn., for night of Dec. 8, 2012, after the program ends, call program provider at 601-446-1208. Deadline to reserve a room is one month before the program. A check for $197 per room per night for Nashville or $170 per room per night for Memphis should be sent to Educational Travel Associates, Inc., PO Box 1307, Natchez, MS 39121. Put on check what it is for.
  Check in time: 1:00 PM
  Additional nights after: $250 To reserve a hotel room in Nashville, Tenn., for night of Nov. 30, 2012, before the program begins, or to reserve a hotel room in Memphis, Tenn., for night of Dec. 8, 2012, after the program ends, call program provider at 601-446-1208. Deadline to reserve a room is one month before the program. A check for $197 per room per night for Nashville or $170 per room per night for Memphis should be sent to Educational Travel Associates, Inc., PO Box 1307, Natchez, MS 39121. Put on check what it is for.
  Check out time: 9:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
12 p.m. You will be staying at Grande Mariner that night.
  End of Program:
9 a.m. You will be staying at Grande Mariner the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Those driving to Nashville should park at the Nashville International Airport. Fee is $8 per day. Take a taxi to the ship, docked in downtown Nashville on the Cumberland River, near Second St.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Nashville, TN
  Nearest city or town:  Nashville, TN
  Nearest highway: Interstates 40, 24, and 65
  Nearest airport:  Nashville International Airport.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Memphis, TN
  Nearest airport:  Memphis Int'l airport
Travel Details
 

Nashville, Tenn.

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$25
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

one-half hour 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Taxi rate is slightly more for two people

 

Nashville, Tenn.

 

From Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$10
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

one-fourth hour 

 

Distance:

 

1 mile

   

Choose from taxi queue. Cost for more than one person is slightly more than $10.

 

Memphis, Tenn.

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

included in cost of program
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

about one-half hour 

 

Distance:

 

15 miles

   

Those flying out of the Memphis airport should make flight arrangements leaving no earlier than 11 a.m. on final day. Those going to the airport to rent a car should make their own arrangements in advance to pick it up at the airport after 10 a.m.

 
Driving Directions
  Downtown Nashville and Points West To Nashville International Airport parking lot, take Interstate 40 East to Exit 216A.
  East To Nashville International Airport parking lot, take Interstate 40 West to Donelson Pike South to Exit 216 and turn left.
  North To Nashville International Airport parking lot, take Interstate 65 South to Interstate 40 East to Exit 216A or Interstate 24 East to Interstate 65 South to Interstate 40 East to Exit 216A.
  South To Nashville International Airport parking lot, take Interstate 24 West to Interstate 40 East to Exit 216A or take Interstate 65 North to Interstate 440 East to Interstate 40 East to Exit 216A
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Welcome aboard Grande Mariner. Bring your own beverage for happy hour. Dinner onboard the ship. Attend the Grand Ole Opry at historic Ryman Auditorium in downtown Nashville.
(Saturday, December 1)

Note: some walking



   
 Arrive To: Grande Caribe, docked at Riverfront Park at 1st Ave. in downtown Nashville
 Afternoon: Free time to enjoy downtown Nashville, a beacon of education, culture, industry, and recreation in the South, boasting fine arts galleries, antebellum mansions, and aculture-filled botannical gardens. Bring your own beverage; mixers provided for welcome aboard party at 5 p.m.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at 5:30 p.m. onboard the ship, leaving in time for 7 p.m. Grand Ole Opry performance
 Evening: Grand Ole Opry show at historic Ryman Auditorium, featuring an array of performances by new stars, superstars, and legends of country music as well as great bluegrass, comedy, and more. It adds up to an unforgettable evening of uniquely American entertainment.
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: "Cruisin' Down Mid-America's Rivers," about mid-America rivers. Exploration of the first-class Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Explore shops in downtown Nashville. After dinner, "Country Music in Story and Song," by a Nashville songwriter/historian.
(Sunday, December 2)

Note: Walking through the museum.



   
 Breakfast: Family style breakfast in ship dining room
 Morning: Get acquainted session. Mandatory safety session. A lecture on the Cumberland, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers in mid America that will be part of the trip by Dr. Charles Vahlkamp
 Lunch: Family style luncheon in ship dining room
 Afternoon: Exploration of the famed Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum with special exhibits and music shop. Free time to explore downtown Nashville and Printer's Alley. At 5:30 p.m. "Bluegrass, Blues, and...Welcome Aboard Pary," featuring Ttennessee sippin' whiskey, mint juleps, and other libations in ship lounge
 Dinner: Dinner in ship dining room
 Evening: Onbaord the vessel, "Country Music in Story and Song," an overview of country music and its power and pervasiveness for the past 100 years. Program presenter is Davis Raines of Nashville, a well-known singer/songwriter and historian/recording artist.
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Cruise to Clarksville, Tenn. "All Shook Up: The Deep South's Various Identities," an overview of Southern culture. Visit Customs House Museum, a link to the world's leading tobacco area. Rehearsal of those who perform later. Live music.
(Monday, December 3)

Note: Walking through the museum



   
 Arrive To: Clarksville, Tenn.
 Breakfast: Family style breakfast in the dining room
 Morning: Depart Nashville on the Cumberland River with time to enjoy the verdant sights along the shore. Lecture by Dr. Charles Vahlkamp, "All Shook Up: The Deep South's Various Identities," explaining the area's culture. Discussion of upcoming shore excursion in Clarksville, Tenn.
 Lunch: Lunch in the ship's dining room
 Afternoon: Shore excursion to Customs House Museum and Cultural Center to learn about the area's history as the world's leading seller of tobacco. Initial meeting of volunteer musicians who will perform in a show, "Rollin' on the River," at the end of the trip. Bring your own instrument! Or plan to sing along! Happy hour onboard the ship. Bring your own beverage; mixers will be provided.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the ship
 Evening: Live music show onboard the ship by Jon Byrd, a well-known Nashville musican, songwriter, and recording artist whose new album is attracting rave reviews.
 Evening: Live music show onboard the ship
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Program about famous authors of Tennessee and Kentucky by Sarah Vahlkamp. Screening of "Coal Miner's Daughter," the Loretta Lynn story. Arrive Kuttawa, Ky. A lecture/performance, "The Musical Heritage of Tennessee and Kentucky" by Dr. Jim Claypool of Ky.
(Tuesday, December 4)

Note: very little walking



   
 Breakfast: Family style breakfast onboard the ship
 Morning: "Tennessee and Kentucky Authors," a program by librarian Sarah Vahlkamp of Danville, Ky., with discussion. Informal birding session on the Sundeck. Rehearsal of "Sounds' Great," a group of volunteer musicians who perform later.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the ship
 Afternoon: Screening of "Coal Miner's Daughter," a film about country music star Loretta Lynn. Group session to prepare for visit to Kuttawa, Ky. Arrive Kuttawa, Ky. Happy hour.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the ship
 Evening: "The Musical Heritage of Tennessee and Kentucky," a musical and historical program by Dr. Jim Claypool of Ky.
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Overview of the formation of the beautiful lakes in the area. Explore Rose Hill Museum. Programs about Bluegrass music and naturalist/artist John James Audubon. Screening of film about famous banjo pickers.
(Wednesday, December 5)

Note: Walking through the museum.



   
 Arrive To: Kuttawa, Ky.
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the ship
 Morning: Overview lecture about formation of the beautiful lakes in the area by noted author and historian Bill Cunningham, author of five books about the region's history. Excursion to Rose Hill Museum in Kuttawa, Ky.; musical program about Bluegrass music of Kentucky by Dr. Jim Claypool.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the ship
 Afternoon: "John James Audubon: Artist, Ornithologist, and Naturalist with Ties to the Deep South," by Sarah Vahlkamp. Rehearsal of "Sound's Great," a volunteer musical group who perform later. Happy hour.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the ship
 Evening: Screening of "The Three Pickers: Earl Scruggs, Doc Watson, and Ricky Skaggs," famed banjo players who earned standing ovations from Grand Ole Opry fans
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Humorous program about Southern culture. Screening of PBS' "River of Song: Southern Fusion." Arrive Memphis. Captain's supper with toasts to anniversaries and birthdays. Concert, "Memphis Blues," by Bluff City Jug Band of Memphis
(Thursday, December 6)

Note: very little walking



   
 Arrive To: Memphis, Tenn.
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the ship
 Morning: Witness the dramatic confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. "What Is It about the South?" a humorous program by Sarah Vahlkamp. "Rollin' on the River," an informal show by volunteer performers. Session to get ready for Memphis.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the ship
 Afternoon: Screening of PBS "River of Song: Southern Fusion" and mandatory disembarkation session; captain's complimentary cocktail party
 Dinner: Captain's supper with toasts to anniversaries
 Evening: Concert, "Memphis Blues," by Bluff City Jug Band of Memphis, a group of musicians who trace the influence of old-time blues from the early 1900s to the present day, playing the jug, the washboard, the harmonica, and other simple instruments
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Program about Memphis musicians with live piano music. Excursion to Elvis Presley's Graceland. Film and tour of Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Stroll down Beale Street. Live show with dancing, "Blues and Boogie-Woogie," onboard the ship by the Kattawar brothers.
(Friday, December 7)

Note: Walking



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the ship
 Morning: "Tennessee, Memphis Artists, W.C. Handy, and Ragtime," a program by Dr. Richard Raichelson, author and musician of Memphis. Excursion to Elvis Presley's Graceland.
 Lunch: Lunch onboard the ship
 Afternoon: Field trip to Rock 'n' Soul Museum with film and exhibits. Exploration of Beale Street with its live musicians, shops, and museums.
 Dinner: Dinner onboard the ship
 Evening: Get ready to clap your hands and dance, dance, dance to an unforgettable beat by Jerry and Mike Kattawar of Memphis. You[ll think it's Jerry Lee Lewis at the piano! What a way to enjoy Memphis! The concert, "Blues and Boogie-Woogie," will make you HAPPY!
   
Accommodations: Grande Mariner
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: 9 a.m. disembarkation for those enrolled in the Nashville-Memphis trip. They are taken to Memphis International Airport to fly out or to rent a pre-arranged car. Flights should be booked no earlier than 11 a.m.
(Saturday, December 8)

Note: walking



   
 Breakfast: 9 a.m. disembarkation; all are taken to Memphis International Airport to fly out or to rent a car
 Breakfast: Breakfast onboard the ship
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


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