Journey through the heart of the American South aboard a modern riverboat. From spirited New Orleans to lively Memphis, learn about the region's complex history and its enormous influence on American history and culture.

Starting at: $6,940 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Mississippi River near Memphis  Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis  Famous Beale Street in Memphis  Oak Alley Plantation, with its famous oak trees and Greek Revival mansion  The elegant new <i>American Harmony</i>  Old Governor's Mansion in Baton Rouge  Baton Rouge, Louisiana   USS <i>Cairo</i>, one of the first American warships built at the start of the Civil War  Civil War cannons  Crescent City Connection Bridge, New Orleans

Voyage on the Mississippi

From New Orleans to Memphis

9 days from $6,940

Journey through the heart of the American South aboard a modern riverboat. From spirited New Orleans to lively Memphis, learn about the region's complex history and its enormous influence on American history and culture.

or Call 855-330-1542

Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

InterContinental New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana , United States

Enjoy luxurious accommodations in a quiet location steps from the city’s French Quarter, the InterContinental New Orleans is renowned for its impeccable service and elegant ambiance. Local artwork can be found throughout the public areas, and wrought iron dominates the atrium dining area, where fresh flowers grace every table, and intimate lighting softens the atmosphere. The spacious guest rooms are in a classic style, with hardwood furnishings and beautiful appointments, flat-screen TVs, big oval mirrors and traditionally framed artwork. Amenities include complimentary Wi-Fi.

Number of nights: 1



Activity Level

Activity Level 2: Moderate

Expectations: River cruise that docks at a pier for disembarkation via gangway. Morning and afternoon excursions off-ship via motor coach or guided walks from pier. Moderate pace. Excursions can be over uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, absence of elevators); some longer walks and extensive walking at museums and historic homes.

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Special Air Rates/Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
River Cruising

Guidance on water levels and itinerary modifications

Your ship is designed with state-of-the-art flexibility in navigating rivers. On rare occasions, river cruising is subject to challenges due to unannounced river lock maintenance and/or weather-related increases or decreases in river depth. Extreme conditions may render a portion of a river itinerary unnavigable.

Should your river cruise be affected: 

  • You will receive a revised schedule outlining any changes prior to your departure either by regular mail or email. 
  • Any additional transportation, hotel accommodations, meals or special events, as a result, changes to the published itinerary will not increase the price of your trip. 
  • All ports of call and trip highlights contained in your original itinerary will be included in your revised schedule.  Under these extreme circumstances, additional motor coach travel, ship changes and/or hotel nights may be required to ensure participants experience the trip safely and as advertised.
Ship

American Jazz

American Jazz began her inaugural season on the Mississippi in the fall of 2020. Like her sister ships, American Jazz has the contemporary styling and modern amenities that make the river cruising more attractive and comfortable than ever before. Featured will be a gorgeous five-story glass atrium, private balconies in all of its spacious staterooms, and spectacular views from everywhere on the ship. American Jazz will also feature the same advanced opening bow and retractable gangway. Ranging from 250 to 800 square feet, the staterooms aboard American Jazz are the finest on any cruise ship. Guests will enjoy ample living space, full-size bathrooms, plush seating, and the ideal place to unwind after an enriching day of discovery. The brand new Grand Suites also include two glass walls and a wraparound private balcony, plenty of space to host small cocktail parties, or private dinner events.

American Jazz

American Jazz began her inaugural season on the Mississippi in the fall of 2020. Like her sister ships, American Jazz has the contemporary styling and modern amenities that make the river cruising more attractive and comfortable than ever before. Featured will be a gorgeous five-story glass atrium, private balconies in all of its spacious staterooms, and spectacular views from everywhere on the ship. American Jazz will also feature the same advanced opening bow and retractable gangway. Ranging from 250 to 800 square feet, the staterooms aboard American Jazz are the finest on any cruise ship. Guests will enjoy ample living space, full-size bathrooms, plush seating, and the ideal place to unwind after an enriching day of discovery. The brand new Grand Suites also include two glass walls and a wraparound private balcony, plenty of space to host small cocktail parties, or private dinner events.

Reading List

Highly Recommended

Life on the Mississippi (Illustrated Classic): 100th Anniversary Collection
By: Twain, Mark
Starving the South: How the North Won the Civil War
By: Andrew F. Smith
A historian’s new look at how Union blockades brought about the defeat of a hungry Confederacy In April 1861, Lincoln ordered a blockade of Southern ports used by the Confederacy for cotton and tobacco exporting as well as for the importation of food. The Army of the Confederacy grew thin while Union dinner tables groaned and Northern canning operations kept Grant’s army strong. In Starving the South, Andrew Smith takes a gastronomical look at the war’s outcome and legacy. While the war split the country in a way that still affects race and politics today, it also affected the way we eat: It transformed local markets into nationalized food suppliers, forced the development of a Northern canning industry, established Thanksgiving as a national holiday and forged the first true national cuisine from the recipes of emancipated slaves who migrated north. On the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Sumter, Andrew Smith is the first to ask “Did hunger defeat the Confederacy?”.
Wicked River: The Mississippi When It Last Ran Wild
By: Lee Sandlin
A riveting narrative look at one of the most colorful, dangerous, and peculiar places in America's historical landscape: the strange, wonderful, and mysterious Mississippi River of the 19th century. Beginning in the early 1800s and climaxing with the siege of Vicksburg in 1863, Wicked River brings to life a place where river pirates brushed elbows with future presidents and religious visionaries shared passage with thieves. Here is a minute-by-minute account of Natchez being flattened by a tornado; the St. Louis harbor being crushed by a massive ice floe; hidden, nefarious celebrations of Mardi Gras; and the sinking of the Sultana, the worst naval disaster in American history. Here, too, is the Mississippi itself: gorgeous, perilous, and unpredictable. Masterfully told, Wicked River is an exuberant work of Americana that portrays a forgotten society on the edge of revolutionary change.
The Majesty of Natchez (Majesty Architecture)
By: Brooke, Steven

Also Recommended

DK Eyewitness New Orleans (Travel Guide)
By: DK Eyewitness
Moon Nashville (Travel Guide)
By: Littman, Margaret
The Mississippi and the Making of a Nation: From the Louisiana Purchase to Today
By: Stephen E. Ambrose, Douglas Brinkley
On a map, the Mississippi River cuts America neatly in half coursing from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico and separating East from West. But the Mississippi is in fact the “spine of our nation,” says Stephen Ambrose. It knits the nation together and connects the heartland to the world. It is our great natural wonder, a priceless treasure bought for a fledgling America by the visionary Thomas Jefferson just 200 years ago.   Distinguished historians Stephen Ambrose and Douglas Brinkley, with acclaimed National Geographic photographer Sam Abell, explore the length of the Mississippi—from its mouth at Delacroix Island, Louisiana, to its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota. The result is this lavish, entertaining, engrossing chronicle of the “father of the waters,” which has shaped the history, the culture, and the very landscape of America.   Highlighted by Sam Abell’s evocative contemporary photographs and wonderful period illustrations, artwork, documents, and maps, this extraordinary panorama of America’s heartland offers a lively, informative journey through the history and the landscape carved by the mighty Mississippi.
The Civil War: The complete text of the bestselling narrative history of the Civil War--based on the celebrated PBS television series
By: Ward, Geoffrey C., Burns, Kenneth, BURNS, RICHARD
The Beleaguered City: The Vicksburg Campaign, December 1862-July 1863 (Modern Library)
By: Shelby Foote
The companion volume to Stars in Their Courses, this marvelous account of Grant's siege of the Mississippi port of Vicksburg continues Foote's narrative of the great battles of the Civil War--culled from his massive three-volume history--recounting a campaign which Lincoln called "one of the most brilliant in the world."
Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery
By: Charles Johnson, Patricia Smith, WGBH Series Research Team
A riveting narrative history of America, from the 1607 landing in Jamestown to the brink of the Civil War, Africans in America tells the shared history of Africans and Europeans as seen through the lens of slavery. It is told from the point of view of the Africans who arrived in shackles and endured the terrible dichotomy of this new land founded on the ideal of liberty but dedicated to the perpetuation of slavery. Meticulously researched, this book weaves together the experiences of the colonists, slaves, free and fugitive blacks, and abolitionists to present an utterly original document, a startling and moving drama of the effects of slavery and racism on our conflicted national identity. The result transcends history as we were taught it and transforms the way we see our past.
Coming Back: New Orleans Resurgent
By: Brand: Umbrage Editions
Mario Tama's moving body of award-winning pictures documents Hurricane Katrina's shocking disaster and the resilience of recovery, hope, and change. It won the 2011 Nautilus Silver Award and was a finalist for Pictures of the Year Best PhotoBook Award.As a news photographer for Getty Images, Tama's powerful imagery of events like September 11th, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the funeral of Pope John Paul II, and the earthquake in Haiti have appeared in major magazines and newspapers internationally. His numerous honors include the prestigious Cliff Edom's New America Award at the NPPA Best of Photojournalism Awards, POY Year International, White House News Photographers Association, NPPA's Best of Photojournalism, UNICEF Photo of the Year, and Care International Award for Humanitarian Reportage. In 2008 Tama was nominated for an Emmy Award for his Coney Island series, and his work on Baghdad's orphans was exhibited at Visa Pour L'Image in Perpignan.Features an introduction by Anderson Cooper, who joined CNN in 2001 and has anchored Anderson Cooper 360 since 2003. Previously a correspondent for ABC News and Channel One News, his many awards include four Emmys for his comprehensive and impassioned coverage of world events.
It Came From Memphis
By: Robert Gordon
Robert Gordon begins where most chroniclers of the music world end and spins a magical fairy tale peopled with Delta bluesmen, a peanut vendor, a matinee cowboy, a professional wrestler, and a manic deejay. It Came From Memphis doesn't focus on Elvis, Al Green, or the Sun/Stax studios. Instead it creeps into the shadows cast by those institutions, concentrating on artists like Jim Dickinson and Alex Chilton, and bands like the MarKeys and Big Star. Gordon limns, with respect and the fascination born of true devotion, the story of white teenagers caught in the middle of an extraordinary confluence of music, entrepreneurship, to usher in an exciting new musical form. The result is a rock 'n' roll and Memphis -- its alma mater.
The Barber of Natchez
By: Edwin Adams Davis, William Ransom Hogan
The diary, letters, and business records of an ex-slave reveal his personal thoughts concerning the social, political, and economic conditions of the antebellum South.In The Barber of Natchez, Edwin Adams Davis and William Ransom Hogan tell the remarkable story of William Johnson, a slave who rose to freedom, business success, and high community standing in the heart of the South--all before 1850. Emancipated as a young boy in 1820, Johnson became a barber's apprentice and later opened several profitable barber shops of his own. As his wealth grew, he expanded into real estate and acquired large tracts of nearby farm and timber land. The authors explore in detail Johnson's family, work, and social life, including his friendships with people of both races. They also examine his wanton murder and the resulting trial of the man accused of shooting him. More than the story of one individual, the narrative also offers compelling insight into the southern code of honor, the apprentice system, and the ownership of slaves by free blacks. Based on Johnson's two-thousand-page diary, letters, and business records, this extraordinary biography reveals the complicated life of a freedman in Mississippi and a new perspective on antebellum Natchez.
Around the Bend: A Mississippi River Adventure
By: C. C. Lockwood
In the Summer of 1997, renowned nature photographer C.C. Lockwood embarked on a remarkable adventure. First by canoe and then by Grand Canyon-style pontoon raft, he journeyed the length of the Mississippi River - 2,320 miles - from its source at Lake Itasca, Minnesota, to its mouth at the Gulf of Mexico. Armed with his camera and computer equipment to transmit stories and pictures to school children, this high-tech Huck Finn trained his lens on spectacular scenes, creating images that vividly depict the life pulsing in and near this vital artery - water and lands that touch the lives of every American.
Louisiana Rambles: Exploring America's Cajun and Creole Heartland
By: Ian McNulty
After Hurricane Katrina laid bare the fragility and environmental peril of South Louisiana, author Ian McNulty set out on a series of daytrips to delve into the area's diverse cultural landscapes. He explored communities staked up and down the Mississippi River, nestled into the teeming bayous, braced along the edge of the Gulf, and planted out on the golden prairie stretching to the west. Louisiana Rambles is his richly evocative guide to those journeys.McNulty delivers an inimitable take on Cajun and Creole Louisiana-the siren call of zydeco dance halls pulsing in the country darkness; of crawfish "boiling points" and traditional country smokehouses; of Cajun jam sessions, where even wallflowers are compelled to dance; of equine gambits in the cradle of jockeys; and of fishing trips where anyone can land impressive catches. In South Louisiana, distilled European heritage, the African American experience, and modern southern exuberance mix with tumultuous history and fantastically fecund natural environments. The territories McNulty opens to the reader are arguably the nation's most exotic and culturally distinct destinations.McNulty quests for the heart of these places and people. Much more than a travel guide or collection of travel narratives, Louisiana Rambles is a seasoned writer's witness to an epic locale that is very often joyous, sometimes heartbreaking, and always vital and stimulating. An extensive, chapter-by-chapter appendix filled with travel tips and notes from the road (or the bayou) will let visitors explore well beyond the beaten tourist paths and help Louisiana residents appreciate their own terrain in a new light.
The Moviegoer
By: Walker Percy
Winner of the 1961 National Book AwardThe dazzling novel that established Walker Percy as one of the major voices in Southern literature is now available for the first time in Vintage paperback.The Moviegoer is Binx Bolling, a young New Orleans stockbroker who surveys the world with the detached gaze of a Bourbon Street dandy even as he yearns for a spiritual redemption he cannot bring himself to believe in. On the eve of his thirtieth birthday, he occupies himself dallying with his secretaries and going to movies, which provide him with the "treasurable moments" absent from his real life. But one fateful Mardi Gras, Binx embarks on a hare-brained quest that outrages his family, endangers his fragile cousin Kate, and sends him reeling through the chaos of New Orleans' French Quarter. Wry and wrenching, rich in irony and romance, The Moviegoer is a genuine American classic.
National Audubon Society Regional Guide to the Southeastern States: Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, ... (National Audubon Society Field Guides)
By: National Audubon Society
The most comprehensive field guide available to the American Southeast--a portable, essential companion for visitors and residents alike--from the go-to reference source for over 18 million nature lovers.This compact volume contains:An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the state's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more;A complete overview of the southeastern region's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns, and the night sky;An extensive sampling of the area's best parks, preserves, hiking trails, forests, and wildlife sanctuaries, with detailed descriptions and visitor information for 50 sites and notes on dozens of others.The guide is packed with visual information -- the 1,500 full-color images include more than 1,300 photographs, 13 maps, and 16 night-sky charts, as well as more than 100 drawings explaining everything from geological processes to the basic features of different plants and animals.  For everyone who lives or spends time in Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, or Tennessee, there can be no finer guide to the area's natural surroundings than the National Audubon Society Field Guide to the Southeastern States.
Twain at Sea: The Maritime Writings of Samuel Langhorne Clemens (Seafaring America)
By: Twain, Mark
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Laminated)
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Travel Guard provides an on-tour Insurance Plan. On-tour emergency evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only). It also includes up to $25,000 medical and up to $500 dental expense coverage, and 24-hour worldwide travel and medical assistance. Please click here to view complete coverage details.

Please visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1-800-208-6142 to learn about additional (optional) coverage.