Just Back: Cruising the lower Mississippi from New Orleans to Memphis with American Queen Voyages


"The Mississippi Valley is as reposeful as a dreamland, nothing worldly about it... nothing to hang a fret or a worry upon.” — Mark Twain

I returned last night from sailing the lower Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis with American Queen Voyages (AQV) aboard the majestic American Queen, and while I'm fortunate to love my view from my Brooklyn home, I will miss waking up each morning and greeting the day with scenes from along the Mississippi and its high waters and to having breakfast delivered right to me. On all AQV itineraries, all meals and drinks are included - even room service. Y'all, the food was SO GOOD on the boat with lots of tasty, regional dishes too. I hope you'll check out the photos and videos of the trip I posted on Nine Muses Travel's Instagram and Facebook!

What I appreciated the most was learning so much more about the Mississippi River itself and feeling the presence of American history all around, in river towns I've never seen before. From talks and presentations with the Riverlorian (the historian aboard each AQV sailing) and the insightful premium excursions you can add onto your itinerary (extra cost) to the local commentary and selected stops along the very convenient hop-on, hop-off bus route included at each port, my head is full of fascinating facts and lore. Now I want to try all the routes with AQV! I hear Memphis to Chattanooga is spectacular in Fall. I have clients sailing the Columbia River this summer, and I'll be living vicariously through them. I also would love to bring Pittsburgh friends and family on a St. Louis to Pittsburgh trip too. I love river cruising and excited by how many options there are right here in our own country.

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A big part of the enjoyment was traveling with a group of travel advisor colleagues, and if you're looking for creative ideas for a group getaway - like a family reunion, friends trip, or any group who loves wine/whiskey/music/cuisine etc. - then you'll have a great time sailing and discovering these U.S. ports together. There's no kids club; these cruises are geared toward adults and maybe more mature, intellectually curious, self-sufficient children or teens who can handle that vibe. Off the rivers, AQV also has intimate ships designed to explore Alaska (small number of cabins on cruises that go deep into fjords the big ships can't), the Great Lakes, Canada, Northeast and Southeast U.S., and Mexico that even includes an overnight land tour right to Chichen Itza.

It actually felt exotic to immerse myself in the history of the lower Mississippi from the river point of view, and if you're looking for adventures like this close to home without jet lag and to see your own country in a new light, I'd love to chat with you about which ship and itinerary might most inspire you. There are even specialty sailings that focus on quilting, bourbon, the Kentucky Derby, American cuisine, Civil War history, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's, 4th of July, and more!

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Danielle Dybiec

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