Journey to the heart and soul of America aboard our modern riverboat, American Harmony. From lively Memphis, to antebellum Natchez and spirited New Orleans, learn about the Mississippi’s enormous influence on American history and culture.

Starting at: $6,340 * Price includes special offer Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Oak Alley Plantation, with its famous oak trees and Greek Revival mansion  Exhibit at the National Civil Rights Museum, Memphis  Famous Beale Street in Memphis  Mississippi River near Memphis  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

Memphis to New Orleans

9 days from $6,340

Journey to the heart and soul of America aboard our modern riverboat, American Harmony. From lively Memphis, to antebellum Natchez and spirited New Orleans, learn about the Mississippi’s enormous influence on American history and culture.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

I would highly recommend Smithsonian. They are a high quality tour organization. They organize the tour in a highly efficient manner. I would travel again with them.

- Victoria B.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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SPECIAL OFFER

Save $500 per person when you book by July 3, 2020!

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. Visit the Tour Details tab and click on "Special Air Rates/Services" drop down. 

Overview

Learn about the origins of blues and jazz, trace the stories of the Civil War and learn about the people who inhabited the towns and plantations along the river on this special exploration of the American South.

Highlights Include

  • Civil Rights Movement: Begin your journey with an overnight in Memphis, enjoy an overview tour of the city then visit the National Civil Rights Museum, a Smithsonian Affiliate, and view the robust collections that trace the culture of slavery, African-American history, and the American Civil Rights Movement.
  • Civil War Sites: Learn how the Union controlled the Mississippi River when you tour Vicksburg National Military Park, where more than 1,400 monuments and memorials dot the landscape and visit the restored ironclad gunboat USS Cairo.
  • Historic Towns and Plantations: Stop in Natchez, renowned for its 19th-century prosperity and more than 500 stately antebellum homes. Visit Longwood Plantation, the largest octagonal house in the U.S. with its imposing onion-shaped dome.
  • Small Ship Experience: Feel the spirit of cruising this historic river as you listen to traditional music and savor the finest in southern cuisine aboard the elegant new American Harmony. Introduced in 2018, this contemporary riverboat features a modern aesthetic and spacious staterooms and suites, each with a private balcony.

I would highly recommend Smithsonian. They are a high quality tour organization. They organize the tour in a highly efficient manner. I would travel again with them.

- Victoria B.

Itinerary

Day 1 — Depart for Memphis

Depart from your gateway city to Memphis. Upon arrival at the airport, transfer to The Guest House at Graceland where overnight accommodations have been reserved. The balance of the day is free to explore on your own. This evening, enjoy an exclusive Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception at the hotel. Your Smithsonian Journeys Expert will offer a welcome and orientation briefing.(R)

Day 2 — Memphis

A full buffet-style breakfast will be served at the hotel. The city of Memphis has a deep-rooted history that incorporates many of the most important aspects of American culture. During a city tour, you’ll visit the National Civil Rights Museum and see St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, and the world-famous Sun Studios the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll. As you discover the city, you might hear the music of up-and-coming artists on famed Beale Street. After the tour, transfer to the ship for embarkation on the luxurious American Harmony. A buffet luncheon will be served after boarding. In the early afternoon, the ship departs for Vicksburg. Later, join your Smithsonian Journeys Expert in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for a casual discussion about the day’s discoveries.  This evening, enjoy a festive welcome dinner onboard. (B,L,D)

Day 3 — River Cruising / Vicksburg

After arrival, explore Vicksburg’s oldest neighborhood with a resident guide on a drive to Christ Episcopal Church (circa 1839). Sit in the pews and marvel at the remarkable Tiffany windows as the Rector tells you about the people who worshipped here amidst cannon fire during the Civil War. Learn about the diversity of the early settlers, and the ongoing preservation efforts of this historic neighborhood from long-time residents. Take a short walk on the brick streets that showcase two centuries of American architecture. You will be afforded true southern hospitality as you are welcomed into an antebellum mansion by the owner, who will offer a personalized tour. Relax and enjoy southern-inspired refreshments in the parlor of the mansion. As you return to the ship, you’ll see many of the unique highlights of Vicksburg. (B,L,D)

Day 4 — Vicksburg / Natchez

Enjoy an excursion to Vicksburg National Military Park which commemorates the campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg in 1863. See the restored ironclad gunboat USS Cairo and the battlefield where the siege on the city took place. Next, stop at the Visitors Center where fascinating exhibits and artifacts are showcased. The excursion concludes with a brief coach tour of downtown Vicksburg and its riverfront murals. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Natchez

Depart the ship for a visit to Longwood Plantation, one of the elegant historic houses that grace the historic district of Natchez. This octagonal house epitomizes the rise and fall of the Old South. As the Civil War began, the workmen stopped construction and the house was never completed. Tour the finished first floor with the original family furnishings and the upper five stories that are still a work in progress. After returning to the ship, gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for lively conversation about the day’s discoveries.

Day 6 — Baton Rouge / St. Francisville

After a hearty southern breakfast, depart the ship for a tour of historic Baton Rouge. Explore Capital Park Museum and learn about the diverse aspects of Louisiana history, industry and culture. Take a narrated tour through the historic streets of Baton Rouge, passing iconic landmarks like Governor’s Hall, the New and Old State Capitol, and Magnolia Mound, a French creole plantation house built in 1791. Before returning to the ship, you may want to make an independent visit to see the USS Kidd known as the “Pirate of the Pacific”. This Fletcher-class destroyer is a memorial to the men and women who served in WWII. The ship is named after Rear Admiral Isaac C. Kidd who died on the bridge of his flagship USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor. (B,L,D)

Day 7 — St. Francisville

Today you’ll visit Rosedown Plantation where you will be met by your resident guide. During the tour, your guide will talk about the family history of Daniel and Martha Barrow Turnbull in the 1830s and how they built a plantation with its Great House and Gardens. At the conclusion of your tour, time is set aside to explore the grounds on your own or relax in a rocking chair on the front porch with cold drinks and freshly made cookies. (B,L,D)

Day 8 — Houmas House / Oak Alley

Today, the ship will tie-up at the Houmas House dock. There, you’ll have the option of visiting Houmas House, also known as Burnside Plantation, or the Oak Alley Plantation. Houmas House is an elegantly-styled Greek revival mansion with magnificent gardens built in 1840. Your tour will offer a glimpse of plantation life as guides in period dress use the artifacts, furniture, artwork and stories of past owners to explain how this manor home grew into the grand estate it is today. Please note: A 30-minute transfer by coach is required to reach Oak Alley. One of the high points of a visit to Oak Alley is the perfectly aligned 300-year-old oak trees that form a canopy creating a particularly grand entrance. You’ll be met by guides, in period costume, who will take you through this antebellum plantation house with its beautifully appointed rooms and see why it has earned the title of “Grande Dame of The Great River Road.” After the tour, you’re invited to join a gathering for Mint Juleps on the west lawn. After returning to the ship, enjoy a farewell reception and dinner on board ship. (B,L,D)

Day 9 — New Orleans / Departure to Gateway Cities

Following breakfast, disembark the ship and transfer to the New Orleans International Airport for flights to your gateway city. (B)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)