New Orleans, Louisiana
Known as the Big Easy, New Orleans is a vibrant city known for its round-the-clock nightlife, live-music scene and spicy Creole cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures. 2018 marks the city's 300th Anniversary of when Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne, Sieur de Bienville founded New Orleans in 1718. The French ruled the city until 1763 when it was taken over by the Spanish. The French regained their control in 1803 before selling it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. Much of the French and Spanish culture and architecture is very relevant to the city today. Must do's in New Orleans - sample beignet and po-boys, ride the streetcar, visit one of the many famous cemeteries, take photos in front of St. Louis Cathedral and of course blues and jazz clubs along Bourbon Street.
Oak Alley, Louisiana
Once serving as an antebellum sugar cane homestead, Oak Alley Plantation is named after its most distinguishing feature, a row of 300 year old oak trees. This leafy canopy forms a quarter-mile path leading to the Mississippi River. Restored to its 19th century grandeur, this classic Greek Revival-style antebellum mansion is breathtaking. The property was designated a National Historic Landmark for its architecture and landscaping, and for the agricultural innovation of grafting pecan trees, performed there in 1846-47 by an enslaved gardener, listed as "Antoine". Antoine was a master of the techniques of grafting and he produced a variety that could be cracked with one's bare hands.
Natchez is a city full of history and southern hospitality and located on the highest bluff of the Mississippi River. It's the oldest settlement on the Mississippi River, and has more antebellum houses than any other place in the United States. Visit its gardens, historic homes and museums with American Cruise Lines' guided tour. While here, you will be treated to a special concert in the music room of the historic J.N. Stone House, where rare antique maps adorn the walls.
The city of Vicksburg served as a pivotal turning point during the American Civil War and was the setting of a bloody 47 day siege. Join American Cruise Lines' informative historian through the National Military Park which commemorates the campaign, siege and defense of Vicksburg. See the battlefields, the USS Cairo - an ironclad gunboat that once prowled the waters of the Mississippi River, and the most significant historic places throughout the city. Vicksburg is also the place where Coca-Cola was first bottled, a fact that is happily immortalized at the Biedenharn Coca-Cola Museum.
St. Francisville, Louisiana
Established in 1809 and overlooking the Mississippi River, St. Francisville is a quaint southern town that offers a glimpse into history. One of the largest shipping ports on the Mississippi prior to the Civil War, St. Francisville is a small town with grand appeal. Called " the town two miles long and two yards wide" because it was developed atop a narrow ridge above the river, it was the commercial and cultural center of the surrounding plantation country. Experience this town's rich history as you tour historic plantations, including the famous Rosedown built in 1835 and known for its extensive formal gardens and The Myrtles with a reputation as being "One of America's Most Haunted Homes".
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Baton Rouge is French for "Red Stick" and features all the history and wonder you would expect in a state capital, but with an added down home flavor that makes it truly unique. in 1846, the state legislature designated Baton Rouge Louisiana's new capital to replace "sinful" New Orleans. Tour the cities' most famous attractions including the castle-like Old State Capital & the New State Capital with its vast tower, the interactive Louisiana State Museum and the USS Kidd, a retired WWII destroyer that is now a museum on the river.
Houmas House, Louisiana
Become acquainted with the Houmas House and its history as well as its 38 acres of gardens, ponds, and majestic live oak alley during this port stop. Houmas House was once the largest sugar producer in the country, make sure to explore the southern splendor of "The Sugar Palace" through 16 rooms filled with period antiques and Louisiana artwork. In 1963, the defining Bette Davis film "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte" was shot on the property.