During your travels across the world, you will rarely encounter anything as wonderful as a cruise down the Mississippi River. The chief river of North America’s largest drainage system and bordering and cutting through ten of the 48 states in the continental United States, the Mississippi river has been an inspiration to many for centuries.
Boarding a paddle boat in Memphis, Tennessee is the start of a mystical journey on the river. Memphis is the largest city on the Mississippi river and is famous for being the birthplace of several genres of music including Memphis Soul, Blues, Gospel and Rock and Roll. Famous musicians who started their careers in Memphis include Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, B.B. King, Roy Orbison and the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley, whose Graceland mansion still attracts millions of tourists every year.
Leaving the sound of Memphis behind, you can travel on the luxurious paddle boat Queen of the Mississippi which will be your transport for an 8 day journey to New Orleans, Louisiana. As you cruise on down to the next port of call your eyes will be drawn to the marshy brown banks of the Mississippi, which give their name, but thankfully not their taste, to the world famous Mississippi Mud Pie. This treat is likely to have originated in the state of Mississippi and on the Queen of the Mississippi, you may want to indulge yourself after the evening meal.
A stop in Helena, Arkansas will transport you back in time to experience the Mississippi Delta region. This wonderful town can conjure up images of the Indian tribes, the Civil War soldiers and the steamboats that graced the Mississippi in those halcyon days. A visit to the museums will teach you about the 1863 Battle of Helena where General Prentiss led his troops to victory against the Confederacy during the Civil War.
After Helena, you can travel to Vicksburg in the state of Mississippi, which is another town bursting with Civil War history, nicknamed ‘Gibraltar of the Confederacy’, the siege by Union troops and the ultimate defeat of the Confederate troops there is considered the turning point of the Civil War.
After leaving Vicksburg you can again enjoy a cruise down to Baton Rouge. Baton Rouge sits proudly in the state of Louisiana on the banks of the Mississippi and it’s name is french for “Red Stick”, as you may know, the French colonized much of Louisiana in the early 1700s and Baton Rouge reflects that with its mixture of European and American styles and has seen a fast growing population which temporarily exploded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 when it accepted thousands of displaced residents. It has a vibrant mix of Louisiana cultures which has given Baton Rouge it’s motto of “Authentic Louisiana at every turn”.
After leaving Baton Rouge you may feel like your Mississippi river experience can’t be bettered until you get to your final port of call on this cruise.The port of New Orleans is everything that you have heard about. The wonderful French Quarter with it’s original jazz and delicious Cajun and Creole dishes make New Orleans the perfect end to a cruise down the Mississippi river.