Beginning in New Orleans, our 8-night itinerary offers an unparalleled taste of the American South. Last November I boarded the American Duchess to find out for myself what you can expect on this truly unique cruise, with other ports-of-call including Nottoway, Vicksburg and Memphis.
My journey began in New Orleans – and what a city it is! Filled with beautiful people and beautiful music, this wonderful destination definitely lives up to its nickname of ‘The Big Easy’. You could spend days here walking the streets without ever getting lost, finding arts and crafts shops, cafes and restaurants, lunching on the balconies of the French quarter, listening to a blues band playing on the street. Sunny, friendly and incredibly easy going, this is a place that calls you back for another visit.
Embarking the American Duchess, no words can describe her beauty. In the afternoon sunlight, she positively shimmers. Once aboard I was greeted with a glass of champagne by the most friendly and professional staff, before I entered a truly blissful atmosphere of world-class luxury and indulgence.
On the first day I recommend having a good wander around the vessel to uncover its secrets. There’s so many corridors and corners to discover, you’re bound to find a quiet spot to relax in, or a lively common room for socialising with fellow passengers. Passing the main bar in the beautiful grand lobby, if the mood suits there’s time to enjoy a cocktail or two, served by friendly, smiling bartenders.
In the evening the ladies among you may like to put on a little mascara and some nice dress shoes for a sumptuous meal in the Grand Dining room. With such a wide choice of fresh and delicious meals available, there’s always something to satisfy the taste buds.
Then comes my favourite part of the day, the entertainment, when the talented on-board team of performers will have you off your seats, dancing and clapping along to their amazing shows, which are performed every night in the Show Lounge. To keep the party going you will also be invited to a classy Jazz evening in the Lincoln Library for another delicious cocktail perhaps.
Next morning and I’m up at first light, ready to enjoy another stunning day on the river. Sipping my morning coffee, I’ve time to marvel at the beautiful view of the Mississippi sunrise from my balcony before enjoying a hearty breakfast in the dining room and hopping on a bus for a tour of the Mississippi River area, in the company of our friendly bus driver and guide. The towns here are so full of history, and each has their own unique facts and quirks. If you like to walk or simply prefer to enjoy the view from the bus, there’s a little something for everyone to enjoy.
There’s so much to see and do on a river journey aboard the American Duchess, or on board any of our paddlewheelers for that matter. Whatever you wish to gain from your voyage, I believe you most certainly will. This is a luxurious adventure you will be talking about with friends for years to come, and who knows, perhaps returning to one day once again.