Greetings from my super comfy cabin on the American Queen steam-powered paddle wheeler! I've just finished lunch and am enjoying a relaxing afternoon to rest my brain from all the information imparted yesterday on a premium American Queen Voyages shore excursion in New Orleans, where about 20 of us went beyond the flood gates and levees to see, do, taste, and learn some extraordinary things well off the beaten path and interact with locals like oystermen (who weren't shy about their politics but dang it they made tasty grilled oysters - something I had no idea I loved until this trip). If all you know about New Orleans is downtown and the French Quarter, an excursion outside the city is filled with eye-opening insights into the intimate and fragile relationship it has with water and the complex ecosystems around Lake Pontchartrain, the bayous, canals (more than Venice - some now covered and running under roadways), the Gulf of Mexico, and of course, the Mississippi River.
I started posting some trip photos and videos on Facebook and Instagram, so click the social media links below to follow along as we sail up the Mississippi to Memphis, stopping along the way for tours filled with local history and culture. With every American Queen Voyages trip, the first night hotel before embarkation is included, which is such a great way to start your journey - with a taste of the departure city and plenty of time to relax after a travel day to have a stress-free embarkation experience. One of the reasons I chose my excursion yesterday was because it was an all day experience, and they dropped me off right at the ship. AQV takes care of your luggage too; you just leave your luggage inside your hotel room door, and the next time you see it is inside your cabin!
While in port, AQV includes a hop-on hop-off bus tour with entrances included and multiple departures all morning, as well as premium shore excursion choices from adventures like an ATV tour and a Cajun swamp float trip and ones that are historic like Vicksburg battlefield's national park and culturally engaging like visiting BB King's hometown on a music-filled day. Even if you skip the premium tours, there's still plenty included in port. For example, after a leisurely morning writing Muse News, I joined today's included excursion to Nottoway Mansion, the South's largest remaining mansion from the pre-Civil War era before coming back to rejoin my small group of Gifted Travel Network advisors sailing with me this week. We're having so much fun already, and it's a blast sharing this journey with them!
I hope you enjoy following along too on Nine Muses Travel's social media. And if you're getting any FOMO feelings, drop me a line so I can include some extra perks and amenities on your own American Queen Voyages sailing. They're not just on the lower Mississippi; they sail along the Columbia River, upper Mississippi, and between Pittsburgh and St. Louis, plus they have small ships on the Great Lakes, in Alaska, and all along the East Coast. I get back to NYC on Monday, and I'd love to tell you all about my personal experiences sailing with American Queen Voyages if you're thinking you'd like to get out on the water again!
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