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20994
Louisiana/Mississippi/Tennessee

The Best of the Mississippi River: Voyage Into Southern Heritage

Explore the Mississippi River aboard a paddlewheel riverboat, attending jazz performances, learning about Civil War history and enjoying three nights in New Orleans!
Rating (5)
Program No. 20994RJ
Length
11 days
Starts at
5,499
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Louisiana/Mississippi/Tennessee

The Best of the Mississippi River: Voyage Into Southern Heritage

Explore the Mississippi River aboard a paddlewheel riverboat, attending jazz performances, learning about Civil War history and enjoying three nights in New Orleans!
Length
11 days
Starts at
5,499
Special Offer
Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
Program No. 20994 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Inside
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin with no window, porthole or balcony.
Ship Out
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.
Ship Balc
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin featuring a verandah, or balcony, that allows you to step outside without going to a public deck.
Sep 17 - Sep 27, 2021
Ship Inside 5,499
Ship Outside 7,199
Ship Balcony 7,999
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Queen.

Oct 1 - Oct 11, 2021
Ship Inside 5,499
Ship Outside 7,199
Ship Balcony 7,999
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Queen.

Oct 15 - Oct 25, 2021
Ship Inside 5,499
Ship Outside 7,199
Ship Balcony 7,999
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Queen.

Oct 21 - Oct 31, 2021
Ship Inside 5,499
Ship Outside 7,699
Ship Balcony 7,999
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Countess.

DATES & PRICES

Ship Inside
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin with no window, porthole or balcony.
Ship Outside
Details
Accommodation Details
A cabin with a window or porthole to view the outside.
Sep 17 - Sep 27, 2021
Ship Inside 6,999
Ship Outside 10,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Queen.

Oct 1 - Oct 11, 2021
Ship Inside 6,999
Ship Outside 10,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Queen.

Oct 15 - Oct 25, 2021
Ship Inside 6,999
Ship Outside 10,499
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Queen.

Oct 21 - Oct 31, 2021
Ship Inside 6,999
Ship Outside 9,999
Special Offer

OFFER EXTENDED: Enroll by March 31, 2021 and receive free round-trip airfare from many cities.

Itinerary Note

This departure sails on the American Countess.

At a Glance

On this classic Mississippi River voyage, board a magnificent paddlewheel riverboat and get a front-row seat to experience a working river. Immerse yourself in the music, food, natural beauty and architectural grandeur of Dixie, historic Natchez and Vicksburg and small river towns. Plus spend three days exploring incomparable New Orleans in depth.
Activity Level
Easy Going
Please note that this program may require embarking and disembarking from the boat up and down steep embankments. Assistance is available if needed in each port. The ability to stand for up to an hour during field trips may be required.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Experience the music, food and architecture of New Orleans with a local expert and enjoy a jazz show at Fritzel's Jazz Club.
  • Come ashore for field trips to historic southern plantations to learn about their complex history.
  • Meet members of the Natchez Gospel Choir and hear a private performance.

General Notes

Ships vary by departure date.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Brian Altobello
Brian is a native of New Orleans with a master’s in U.S. History and 29 years of experience teaching at the high school level. He is a U.S. Army veteran and author of two books: “New Orleans Goes to War” and “Into the Shadows Furious,” a narrative on the U.S. invasion of New Georgia Island. Currently, Brian is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Social Studies at Renew Schools, a five-school charter organization in New Orleans. He is married to a travel-writing English teacher.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Brian Altobello
Brian Altobello View biography
Brian is a native of New Orleans with a master’s in U.S. History and 29 years of experience teaching at the high school level. He is a U.S. Army veteran and author of two books: “New Orleans Goes to War” and “Into the Shadows Furious,” a narrative on the U.S. invasion of New Georgia Island. Currently, Brian is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction for Social Studies at Renew Schools, a five-school charter organization in New Orleans. He is married to a travel-writing English teacher.
Profile Image of Richard McMurry
Richard McMurry View biography
Richard McMurry is a historian, author and lecturer of Civil War history. He graduated from the Virginia Military Academy, earned a PhD in history from Emory University, and taught at Valdosta State University and North Carolina State University. He has written four major books on the western theater, one of which was awarded the Laney Prize. Dr. McMurry has been a frequent historian aboard the riverboats over the years due to his great knowledge of the western theater of the Civil War.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Tales of the Mississippi
by Ray Samuel, Leonard V. Huber, Warren C. Ogden
This book contains a collection of tales of the Mississippi in 19 chapters and more than 300 illustrations and photographs. The authors tried to write something new about the Great River instead of a conventional history book. So you will find deeper information about the discoverer Hernando DeSoto and the legendary Mike Fink, what made the Rob´t E. Lee and the Natchez race, the river gambler George Devol known as the hardest head on the Mississippi or the answer to the question what made the Mississippi River once flew upstream and a lot more.
Rising Tide
by John Barry
An American epic of science, politics, race, honor, high society, and the Mississippi River, Rising Tide tells the riveting and nearly forgotten story of the greatest natural disaster this country has ever known -- the Mississippi flood of 1927. The river inundated the homes of nearly one million people, helped elect Huey Long governor and made Herbert Hoover president, drove hundreds of thousands of blacks north, and transformed American society and politics forever.
Why New Orleans Matters
by Tom Piazza
In the aftermath of Katrina and the disaster that followed, promises were made, forgotten, and renewed. Now what will become of New Orleans in the years ahead? What do this proud, battered city and its people mean to America and the world? Award-winning author and longtime New Orleans resident Tom Piazza illuminates the storied culture and uncertain future of this great and neglected American metropolis by evoking the sensuous rapture of the city that gave us jazz music and Creole cooking; examining its deep undercurrents of corruption, racism, and injustice; and explaining how its people endure and transcend those conditions. And, perhaps most important, he asks us all to consider the spirit of this place and all the things it has shared with the world: its grace and beauty, resilience and soul.
Creole New Orleans Race and Americanization
by Arthur Hirsch and John Logsdon
This collection of six original essays explores the peculiar ethnic composition and history of New Orleans, which the authors persuasively argue is unique among American cities. The focus of Creole New Orleans is on the development of a colonial Franco-African culture in the city, the ways that culture was influenced by the arrival of later immigrants, and the processes that led to the eventual dominance of the Anglo-American community.
A Streetcar Named Desire
by Tennessee Williams
Widely considered a landmark play, A Streetcar Named Desire deals with a culture clash between two characters, Blanche DuBois, a relic of the Old South, and Stanley Kowalski, a rising member of the industrial, urban working class. American playwright Tennessee Williams received the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1948.
The Mississippi Steamboat Era in Historic Photographs
by Joan W. and Thomas H. Gandy
Great if you are looking for old pictures - not only of steamboats but also from the steamboat era at all. I like this book very much because it gives you a great overview over this time history.
Beyond the Bridges - Rediscovering America´s Waterways
by Jerry M. Hay
Are you planning to go on your first river cruise on a steamboat? This is the book you have to read! You´re an experienced river cruiser? Read it! Author Jerry M. Hay has spent more than 40 years on the rivers. He travelled the whole Mississippi river in a canoe. He explored the Wabash and White rivers for publishing river guide books. Jerry tried out nearly every kind of watercraft. And he spent a couple of years as a river historian abord the paddlewheel steamboats Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen. In this book Jerry does not only share his funny river stories we have listened to on the steamboats over and over always longing for more. Learn more about Gilligan Goose who became famous in a children´s book. Did you ever see a Boeing 727 in a river? What kind of important delivery did the John Deere tractor make during high water? The book also provides loads of valuable information about the history of travelling on the rivers from flatboats to modern towboats, about reading the rivers, about river navigation, about the anatomy of a river or about the language of the rivers. Jerry M. Hay´s favorite quote is, "I don´t make the same mistake twice. I´m too busy making new ones." This book is definitely not one of his mistakes but a wonderful resource of information combined with some of the most funniest river stories.
All the Kings Men
by Robert Penn Warren
All the King's Men traces the rise and fall of demagogue Willie Stark, a fictional character loosely based on Governor Huey ""Kingfish"" Long of Louisiana. Stark begins his political career as an idealistic man of the people but soon becomes corrupted by success and caught between dreams of service and an insatiable lust for power.
Steamboating on the Upper Mississippi
by William J. Petersen
William J. Petersons book is almost as comprehensive as the one above, but concentrating on the upper Mississippi. It is a doctoral dissertation about steamboats. The authors father was associated with the Diamond Jo Line Steamers in Dubuque, Iowa, so Peterson is familiar with steamboats business from boyhood days. Book was first published in 1937.
Upper Mississippi River History: Fact - Fiction -Legend
by Captain Ron A. Larson
Captain Ron A.Larson´s book starts with the early French explorers. He covers the history of paddlewheel steamboats from the first one until the last remaining steamboats of today on the Mississippi River. The book provides a lot of information about the upper Mississippi River such as paddlewheel steamboats, railroad bridges, log rafts, wing dams, locks and dams of today, river navigation aids and river towns. Added are river pilot stories about names or landmarks along the upper Mississippi River. You will find more than 200 pictures and illustrations. Captain Ron A. Larson, U.S.M.M. Ret., was working on the upper Mississippi River on towboats between St. Louis and St. Paul with an occasional trip on most of the other navigable rivers. Now during retirement he still does part-time piloting on river excursion boats as the Mississippi Queen, the Delta Queen, the Valley Queen, the Mississippi Bell, the Jubilee and the Mark Twain.
Life On The Mississippi
by Mark Twain
An invaluable companion to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Life on the Mississippi is Mark Twain's inimitable portrait of 'the great Father of Waters'. Part memoir, part travelogue, it expresses the full range of Twain's literary personality, and remains the most vivid, boisterous and provocative account of the cultural and societal history of the Mississippi Valley, from 'the golden age' of steamboating to the violence wrought by the Civil War.
Confederacy of Dunces
by John Kennedy Toole
A Confederacy of Dunces is a picaresque novel written by American novelist John Kennedy Toole, published by Louisiana State University Press in 1980, eleven years after the author's suicide. The book, published through the efforts of writer Walker Percy (who also contributed a revealing foreword) and Toole's mother Thelma Toole, quickly became a cult classic, and later a mainstream success. Toole posthumously won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 1981. It is now considered a canonical work of modern Southern literature, in the USA. The title derives from the epigraph by Jonathan Swift: "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." The story is set in New Orleans in the early 1960s. The central character is Ignatius J. Reilly, an educated but slothful 30-year-old man still living with his mother in the city's Uptown neighborhood, who, due to an incident early in the book, must set out to get a job. In his quest for employment he has various adventures with colorful French Quarter characters.
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11 days
10 nights
27 meals
9 B 1BR 8 L 9 D
DAY
1
Check-in, Registration, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
New Orleans, Louisiana
D
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 4:00 p.m.

Afternoon: Program Registration & Orientation: 4:30 p.m. After you have your room assignment, check the message board for the location to register with the Road Scholar program staff, which is also where the Orientation session will take place. You will receive a welcome packet containing your nametag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Ground travel and transfers will be via private motorcoach unless noted otherwise. In addition to Road Scholar exclusive lectures and field trips, you are welcome to enjoy activities and events separate from the Road Scholar program during free time aboard the American Countess. The vessel’s daily program will be delivered to cabins each evening with a schedule of the next day’s activities. Breakfast, lunch and dinner aboard the boat in the Grand Dining Room feature cuisine that blends local flavors and fine culinary traditions. There is a more casual atmosphere in The River Club & Terrace for breakfast and lunch. Dinners aboard include complimentary house wines, house-select beers, coffees, teas, soft drinks. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. As a special bonus, you will have vouchers to use at a popular jazz club and the Louisiana State Museum.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a lovely plated and served dinner with coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase. During dinner, we will have for a private performance of Dixieland jazz just for our Road Scholar group.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead. < br>

DAY
2
City Highlights, Garden District, Cooking School
New Orleans, Louisiana
B,L,D
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving about 26 miles, approximately 4 hours total. Walking approximately 8 blocks and standing during field trip; city street and sidewalks.

Breakfast: At the hotel, choose what you like from the extensive breakfast buffet.

Morning: We’ll take a field trip via motorcoach with expert on-board commentary for an overview of the city. We’ll make stops at highlights such as Lake Pontchartrain, Bayou St. John, City Park with its magnificent oak trees and Sculpture Garden, and one of the famed and mysterious above-ground cemeteries where the departed — from pirates to voodoo queens — are interred.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we will order from a select menu with beverage choices of coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll continue our field trip with our local expert and ride down famous St. Charles Avenue, under beautiful old oak trees. We’ll then go on a walking field trip in the aptly named Garden District, one of the loveliest neighborhoods in the country. It was laid out in 1832 for incoming, well-to-do Americans who were not interested in mingling with native New Orleanians. The feeling was mutual! Grand houses were built on large lots.

Dinner: At the world renowned New Orleans School of Cooking, an expert local chef will teach us how to cook Creole and Cajun, and explain the difference. We’ll see the preparation of traditional dishes, then have them for dinner. For dessert, we’ll sample the best pralines in town and other surprises. Recipes are included.

Evening: At leisure. Use your voucher for Fritzel’s, or take a walk through the Quarter and watch the people parade, where tourists can be more exotic than natives.

DAY
3
WW2 museum
New Orleans, Louisiana
B,L
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Walking and standing at WW2 Museum; walking according to personal preference during free time.free time.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We’ll ride to the National World War II Museum. Formerly known as the D-Day Museum, the National World War II Museum was founded by eminent historian Dr. Stephen Ambrose, author “Band of Brothers” and other best-sellers. A self-directed exploration will takes us through three buildings that house exhibits highlighting the role of participants from world leaders to the everyday men and women whose contributions helped to win the war, as well as those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Many items in the vast collection — such as uniforms, weaponry, vehicles, medals, diaries, letters, artwork, photographs, and other mementos — are on display while thousands of records and archives are available to scholars for ongoing research. We’ll also see the film “Beyond All Boundaries” narrated by Tom Hanks. Through first person accounts and amazing special effects, we’ll take a self-directed journey through the war that changed the world.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. You can use vouchers we’ve provided to explore the Cabildo and Presbytère — key components of the Louisiana State Museum — flanking St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square. All were constructed during the Spanish period (1795-1799). The Cabildo displays artifacts of American history as well as rarities such as Napoleon’s death mask. The Presbytère’s interactive exhibit on Mardi Gras traces our annual celebration from its origins to the present day with an exquisite collection of artifacts and memorabilia. Another exhibit expresses Louisiana’s saga of resilience in the face of disasters. You might also like to stroll along Royal Street with its antique shops, visit the Audubon Aquarium of the Americas, sit back and have café au lait and beignets at the 24-hour Café du Monde, or any of the many other opportunities to experience our people, cultures, and celebrations.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. From fresh seafood to Po’ Boys, our city is justly famous for its eats.

Evening: At leisure. Returning to the hotel, prepare for check-out and transfer tomorrow. Have luggage ready for pick-up and transport to the American Countess in the morning.

DAY
4
Court of Two Sisters Brunch, Riverboat Captain,Mardi World
New Orleans, Louisiana
BR,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: Walking approximately 4.5 blocks to/from restaurant. Getting on/off motorcoach, on/off riverboat. Standing at Mardi Gras Museum

Morning: We will have luggage ready for pick-up and transport to the American Countess before walking to brunch.

Brunch: At the celebrated Court of Two Sisters, we’ll settle in for a true New Orleans delight, the Jazz brunch. The elaborate buffet offers tasty hot and cold New Orleans favorites from eggs any style to Creole jambalaya, grits and grillades, gumbo, classic desserts, and much more; coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase. Tap your toes to the music of the restaurant’s resident Jazz trio.< br> We’ll then walk back to the hotel, where a retired riverboat captain will join us for a lecture on Paddlewheelers, packets, and floating palaces. Our Captain has probably seen more of the Mississippi River system than any other living boatman, having worked on nine rivers in seventeen states.

Afternoon: We will get our carry-on luggage and check out and walk 1 block to the motorcoach and ride to the Mardi Gras World, beginning with a film that documents the making of floats. A local expert will introduce some of the amazing floats that have appeared in Mardi Gras parades and some the artists are working on for the next year. We’ll also time to explore independently and take photographs. We will depart Mardi Gras world, ride to the Port of New Orleans, and board the Boat. After completing boarding procedures and getting your cabin, take some time to freshen up and relax. We will participate

Dinner: Our first dinner aboard the American Countess will be in the Grand Dining Room. Meals aboard ship feature cuisine that blends local flavors and fine culinary traditions. Shipboard dinners include coffees, teas, and soft drinks. Each participant will receive an onboard $100 credit towards alcoholic beverages or other purchases aboard the vessel.

Evening: The American Countess offers nightly entertainment with live performers in the majestic Show Lounge-Auditorium.

DAY
5
St. Francisville Lecture, Nottoway Plantation,
White Castle, LA
B,L,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: Golf carts available from boat across levee; walking to plantation through gardens and standing during field trip; 3-story house with elevator.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess. Your choice of a traditional plated and served breakfast in the Grand Dining Room or a buffet in the River Grill.

Morning: We’ll gather for a Road Scholar exclusive lecture on lovely, historic St. Francisville. The remainder of the morning is free to enjoy the relaxing beauty of the river as we roll along.

Lunch: Aboard the American Countess. Your choice of a traditional plated and served luncheon in the Grand Dining Room or a buffet in the River Grill.

Afternoon: We will have an expert led exploration of Nottoway — a literal “white castle” — with opportunities for taking pictures. Completed in 1859, it is the largest surviving antebellum mansion in the South and one of the most elegant. Its 64 rooms cover 53,000 square feet. Sugar planter John Hampden Randolph intended his home to be the finest anywhere and no expense was spared. Randolph filled Nottoway with extravagant features including running water, modern bathrooms, and gas lighting. The mansion sits about 200 feet from the Mississippi River levee surrounded by oaks, magnolias, and pecan trees. At a time when Greek Revival was considered the ultimate architectural style, Nottoway is distinguished by Italianate features, with square columns that reach all three levels yet look delicate from a distance. The east front of the house with its grand balconies faces the river, while the adjacent north front with its semi-circular portico overlooks gardens. The ballroom, accented by Corinthian columns and marble mantels, is all white including the floor.

Dinner: Aboard the American Countess in your choice of the Grand Dining Room or the River Grill that transforms into a reservation-only, specialty restaurant in the evening.

Evening: Enjoy great performances every evening.

DAY
6
Louisiana State Prison Field Trip, Natchez Lecture
St. Francisville
B,L,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: Golf carts available from boat to the steamboat company’s motorcoach, driving approximately 1/2 hour, getting on/off motorcoach several times.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess.

Morning: We will visit the Louisiana State Penitentiary, the state’s maximum-security prison on 18,000 acres in Angola, widely known as The Farm. We’ll be joined by a local expert who will tell us about this penitentiary that was once a plantation, its troubled history, and how it operates today. Aboard our motorcoach, we will ride through farmland where inmates harvest more than 4 million pounds of produce annually in addition to enterprises including a license tag plant, printing services, a mattress/broom/mop shop (including suicide prevention mattresses), and a herd of 1,600 cattle. Led by a warden, we will explore the prison museum, the Red Hat cellblock, and the largest chapel where we will have an opportunity to hear the enlightening stories from current inmates. The museum was the brainchild of a warden whose stated goal was to document the history of Louisiana’s prisons and not repeat the horrors of the past. After more than a century of terrible conditions, abuses, corruption, and real attempts at reform, Angola achieved accreditation in 1994 from the American Correctional Association. ACA accreditation acknowledges “policies and procedures necessary for the operation of correctional programs that safeguard life, health and safety of the personnel who work in juvenile and adult facilities and programs; as well as the offenders who are a part of the correctional system.” Angola has partnerships with the Louisiana Community and Technical College System, the New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary, Ashland University, and the Louisiana Department of Education that offer opportunities for inmates to participate in educational programs. Since 1965, the prison has held a professional rodeo to entertain its inmates, employees, and the public. A portion of the proceeds support the Louisiana Penitentiary Inmate Welfare Fund. Angola also has its own magazine and radio station.

Lunch: Aboard the American Countess.

Afternoon: Our Road Scholar exclusive lecture this afternoon will focus on the city of Natchez. Then take advantage of the on-board amenities, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, or simply relax and observe the passing scene.

Dinner: Aboard the American Countess

Evening: As always, more entertainment.

DAY
7
Natchez-MS, Longwood, Choctaw Mansion, Gospel Choir
Natchez, Mississippi
B,L,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: From the landing at Natchez-Under-the-Hill, there is a ramp up to the street; golf carts are available if needed. Short walks from motorcoach to mansions; standing inside, stairs and no elevators.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess.

Morning: The numerous antebellum mansions of Natchez recall a bygone era. With a local expert, we’ll take a field trip to Longwood Plantation and try to imagine the lifestyles of that earlier time. Longwood was an exotic departure from typical homes of the period, octagonal and in Oriental Revival style. Begun in 1860 but interrupted by the Civil War, only nine of its 32 rooms were finished. Those who wish to return to the ship after Longwood may do so. We’ll then ride to Choctaw, listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Neibert-Fisk House, was constructed in 1836. You will be guided through the house by the current owners. Choctaw was designed and built by Natchez builder James Hardie, a Scottish immigrant who supposedly came to Natchez to work for Neibert in the early 1830s. Choctaw has been home to several families throughout the years including a brief period from 1909-1915, it housed Stanton College, a girls school formed in 1894 at nearby Stanton Hall. In March of 1978, fire damaged the ground and first level of the portico façade. Don dePriest purchased the mansion and employed artisans to correct problems and restored it to its original beauty. After climbing Choctaw’s mirrored staircase, which frames stately Roman columns, the grandeur continues inside. The rooms lavishly display generations’ worth of custom-made curtains, table settings, artwork and more. The mansion also features an elliptical staircase, that showcases an unbroken handrail and leads you to the top floor.

Lunch: Aboard the American Countess.

Afternoon: We’ll have another Road Scholar exclusive lecture on the 1863 Battle of Vicksburg. As President Abraham Lincoln surmised, “Vicksburg is the key, the war can never be brought to a close until that key is in our pocket.” We’ll then ride to Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, where their gospel choir will perform just for our Road Scholar group. As they sing some of their favorite songs for us, get ready to join them in their love of music.

Dinner: Aboard the American Countess.

Evening: Nightly entertainment.

DAY
8
Vicksburg-MS, Vicksburg Nat. Military Park, Civil War Causes
Vicksburg
B,L,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach at several stops.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess.

Morning: We’ll take a field trip to Vicksburg National Military Park. The Vicksburg campaign was waged from March 29 to July 4, 1863. The Union victory was one of the decisive moments in the Civil War. Congress commemorated the battlefield as a national military park in 1899. There are 1,325 historic monuments and markers, 20 miles of reconstructed trenches and earthworks, 144 emplaced cannon, the restored Union gunboat USS Cairo and its museum, and the Vicksburg National Cemetery. Led by a local expert, we’ll make three stops: at the Visitor Center, where Park Rangers are ready to answer questions, one of the larger monuments; and the Cairo, sunk in 1862, raised from the depths of the Mississippi in 1964, and later reconstructed. Its museum displays artifacts including weapons, munitions, naval stores, and personal gear of the sailors who served on board.

Lunch: Aboard the American Countess.

Afternoon: Our lecture this afternoon will be on causes of the Civil War. The remainder of the afternoon is free to engage in the activities of your choice.

Dinner: Aboard the American Countess.

Evening: Nightly entertainment.

DAY
9
Greenville-MS
Greenville, MS
B,L,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess.

Morning: This morning’s Road Scholar exclusive lecture will provide details about the Flood of 1927. Then enjoy the river vistas.

Lunch: Aboard the American Countess.

Afternoon: In Greenville, we’ll have the opportunity to take advantage of the steamboats included excursion to Indianola, MS. We will be in the hometown of legendary blues artist, B.B. King and will have the opportunity to visit the B. B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center. From the cotton fields to the juke joints of the Mississippi Delta Region came a new kind of music- the blues. The museum was built to tell the story of B.B King, considered one of the most influential blues musicians of all time. This earned him the nickname “The King of Blues”.

Dinner: Aboard the American Countess.

Evening: Nightly entertainment.

DAY
10
Cruising on the Countess
Cruising on the Mississippi River
B,L,D
American Queen Steamboat Company's American Countess

Activity note: Walking on the boat

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess.

Morning: We’ll gather for another Road Scholar exclusive lecture. Then engage in the activities of your choice.

Lunch: Aboard the American Countess.

Afternoon: Our final lecture of the program will be on free people of color. This is the last afternoon of our program on the mighty Mississippi as we head to Memphis.

Dinner: Aboard the American Countess. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: One more evening of great entertainment. Then prepare for disembarkation after our arrival in Memphis, Tennessee, and final transfer in the morning.

DAY
11
Arrive Memphis-TN, Disembarkation, Program Concludes
Departure
B

Activity note: Check Out and disembarkation by 9:00 a.m., followed by motorcoach transfer to the Memphis Airport.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Countess

Morning: After disembarking, we’ll board a motorcoach and transfer to Memphis International Airport with arrival expected by approximately 10:30 a.m. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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We’re committed to making your experience as safe and enjoyable as possible.

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