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Visit historic Memphis, Tennessee

Heart of the Delta

New Orleans to Memphis - Example 12 Day Cruise aboard Viking Mississippi
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Immerse yourself in the history and heritage of the Mississippi River on this 12-day voyage from New Orleans to Memphis. Soak up the rich French and Acadian cultures that infuse the Lower Mississippi, and be inspired by the stories of famed musicians and Civil Rights heroes. Savor delicious Cajun and Creole cuisine, as well as Memphis’s famous BBQ. Stir your soul with the rhythms of Dixieland jazz, Delta blues, and gospel music. This journey connects you with the rich, diverse culture of the Mississippi River region.
Enjoy vibrant nightlife and live musicLegendary Sun Studios in Memphis, TNView a Civil War battlefields in MississippiView monuments from the Civil War in MississippiEnjoy the colorful architecture of New OrleansVisit New OrleansVisit historic Memphis, Tennessee
Highlights
  • Enjoy the musical culture of Memphis, home of blues and rock'n'roll
  • Get a taste of Cajun and Creole cuisines in New Orleans
  • Discover Civil War history at the battlegrounds near Vicksburg
  • See the preserved historic homes of Natchez, Mississippi
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)

  • 1 Dinner
Arrive and check in to your hotel. The birthplace of American jazz, New Orleans exudes a festive atmosphere along the balcony-lined Bourbon Street. Here, in the heart of the French Quarter, soulful rhythms lift the spirit, especially during the city’s Mardi Gras celebration. Founded by French colonists in 1718, New Orleans served as a territorial capital before the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Its distinctive St. Louis Cathedral—named for King Louis IX of France—is the oldest cathedral in the country. The city’s French, African and other influences flavor its vibrant culture and tantalizing Creole cuisine.

Day 2: New Orleans, Louisiana (USA)

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Often referred to as “The Big Easy,” the city of New Orleans radiates charm and is renowned for its Southern hospitality. Steeped in a proud musical tradition, some of the finest jazz and blues musicians can be seen performing each night at the many historic venues found throughout the city. New Orleans is also home to the oldest continuously operating streetcar line in the world, and its four classic lines offer a convenient way to explore the city’s historic homes, parks and museums, which include the New Orleans Museum of Art and the National WWII Museum.

Day 3: New Orleans, Louisiana (USA) | Embark

The celebrated cuisine of New Orleans is a melting pot of culinary traditions, combining African, Native American, European and Cajun influences. Its hearty dishes are renowned for their bold flavors and creative use of spices and seafood. Regional favorites include gumbo, a thick stew made with okra, seafood and sausage; and the po’boy, a sandwich filled with fried seafood or meat. The city is also famous for its spicy Creole fare, which features mouthwatering dishes such as shrimp Creole, crawfish étouffée and jambalaya, a rice dish with sausage, chicken and seafood. Transfer to your ship and settle into your stateroom.

Day 4: Darrow, Louisiana (USA)

The Lower Mississippi region is dotted with historic mansions; Darrow is the gateway to these grand homes, meticulously kept to preserve the memory of early Southern American history. Here, imposing houses share the riverscape with moss-draped oak trees and farm fields. It is easy to imagine steamboats and other vessels delivering supplies and materials to these stately front doors. Today, several properties are designated National Historic Landmarks for their architecture, their landscaping, and the contributions of those who maintained the houses and the lands.

Day 5: Baton Rouge, Louisiana (USA)

The capital of Louisiana, Baton Rouge paints a historic picture on the eastern bank of the Mississippi. Its early success was due to its flood-free location upon the first natural bluff north of The Delta. French explorer Pierre Le Moyne, Sieur d’Iberville, named the city after a red-hued pole that marked the area’s tribal hunting grounds. Its cultural diversity—from its Cajun and Creole music and cuisine to its arts offerings—reflects the European immigrant settlers and the African people brought as slaves. The city boasts the tallest capitol building in the United States.

Day 6: St. Francisville, Louisiana (USA)

Boasting more than 140 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, St. Francisville is set along one of the most historic bluffs of the Mississippi. The town is said to be “two miles long and two yards wide” because it was originally built on a narrow ridge overlooking the river. Founded in 1809, it is the oldest town in Louisiana’s Florida Parishes. Remarkably, many of St. Francisville’s structures are not its own; rather, were moved upriver from Bayou Sara in the 1920s after the small settlement was destroyed by years of flooding.

Day 7: Natchez, Mississippi (USA)

Natchez has one of the highest concentrations of historic Southern estates in the country. More than 200 perfectly preserved homes line its avenues. It is the oldest city on the Mississippi, established in 1716 by French colonists and named for the Natchez tribe who once called it home. With its ideal locale, the city became a crossroads among Native American and European cultures. Famously, Natchez was the southern terminus of the Natchez Trace, the overland route to Nashville that allowed traders to bypass the strong upriver currents. Today, it evokes small-town America.

Day 8: Vicksburg, Mississippi (USA)

Located on a high bluff where the Yazoo River flows into the Mississippi, Vicksburg is the epitome of Southern heritage and charm. It was incorporated in 1825 and, with its prime locale on the Mississippi, grew into an important port. During the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln called it “the key to the South.” And it indeed proved to be the site of the conflict’s most pivotal battle, the Battle of Vicksburg, after which the Confederates surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant. The Vicksburg National Military Park preserves the battle site’s rolling green fields and grand monuments.

Day 9: Greenville, Mississippi (USA)

Greenville is Mississippi’s largest river port, set atop the highest point along the Mississippi River between Vicksburg and Memphis. Its rural setting belies a diverse artistic heritage. The Muppets creator Jim Henson was born here, and the city has been home to numerous authors, including noted historian Shelby Foote. Greenville is also steeped in the blues; famed songwriter W.C. Handy was inspired to popularize the genre after seeing pioneering musician Prince McCoy perform at a nearby dancehall and neighboring Indianola was the hometown of the legendary B.B. King.

Day 10: Rosedale, Mississippi & Memphis, Tennessee (USA) | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Rosedale is in Bolivar County, where the surrounding Delta region is known as “the land where the blues began.” The town was immortalized in Robert Johnson’s 1937 recording “Traveling Riverside Blues.” The song—as well as the rest of Johnson’s recorded repertoire—had a major influence on rock ’n’ roll; Cream incorporated the mention of Rosedale in their remake of another of Johnson’s classics, “Crossroads.” Today, the town has become associated with the legendary bluesman, and as such, features a commemorative marker in his honor on the historic Mississippi Blues Trail. After breakfast, disembark your ship and transfer to your destination.

Situated on the Chickasaw bluffs overlooking the Mississippi River, Memphis is revered for its blues music and barbecue. Some of the most famed names in blues, including B.B. King, got their start in Memphis, and the city has a well-deserved reputation as the home of this classic American music genre. Memphis is also celebrated for its culinary heritage and is renowned for its traditional barbecue restaurants serving flavorful dry rub ribs. Rich in history and culture, Memphis’s many notable museums include the National Civil Rights Museum and Elvis Presley’s Graceland. Arrive and check in to your hotel.

Day 11: Memphis, Tennessee (USA)

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The “Queen City of the South” is the birthplace of Memphis blues, popular in vaudeville shows of the early 20th century. With its strong trade in agricultural goods and other natural resources, it grew into one of the South’s largest commercial centers. Memphis famously boasts a wealth of civil rights history, much of it along Beale Street and at the Lorraine Motel, site of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination. It is also the home of Graceland, the mansion where Elvis Presley, “the King of Rock ’n’ Roll,” lived.

Day 12: Memphis, Tennessee (USA)

  • 1 Breakfast
Memphis played a pivotal role in the early years of rock ‘n’ roll. During the 1950s, the city was home to several influential record labels, including Sam Phillips’s Sun Records, which released what is arguably the genre’s first song—Ike Turner’s Rocket 88. The label was also home to legendary artists such as Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Memphis also had a vibrant club scene, with venues like the Cotton Club and the Palace Theater hosting performances by African American musicians, many of whom had a profound influence on the genre’s nascent development. After breakfast, check out of your hotel and journey home.

Ship/Hotel

Viking Mississippi

Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises
Viking River Cruises

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$5,499 2-3 travelers
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.

Please confirm embark/disembark locations before reserving flights, as this itinerary operates in reverse on alternating departures.
 
Veranda stateroom
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Veranda Stateroom (V)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand . Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers
French Balcony
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French Balcony Stateroom (FB)
Stateroom Size: 301 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda 4
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Deluxe Veranda (DV4)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda3
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Deluxe Veranda (DV3)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda2
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Deluxe Veranda (DV2)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Deluxe veranda1
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Deluxe Veranda (DV1)
Size including private veranda: 268 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
penthouse veranda2
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Penthouse Veranda (PV2)
Size including private veranda: 336 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows.42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Penthouse veranda1
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Penthouse Veranda (PV1)
Size including private veranda: 336 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows.42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries; plush robes & slippers.
Penthouse Junior suite1
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Penthouse Junior Suite (PS2)
Size including private veranda: 400 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Two 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TVs with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries.
penthouse junior suite 2
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Penthouse Junior Suite (PS1)
Size including private veranda: 400 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Two 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TVs with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror. Premium Freyja® toiletries.
Terrace suite
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Terrace Suite (TS)
Size including private veranda: 425 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Two 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TVs with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand. Large private bathroom with spacious glass-enclosed shower, double-sink vanity, heated bathroom floor & anti-fog mirror Premium Freyja® toiletries.
Explorer suite1
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Explorer Suite (ES2)
Size including private veranda: 657–1,024 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Large private bathroom. Premium Freyja®. Well-appointed living room & dining area.
Explorer suite2
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Explorer Suite (ES1)
Size including private veranda: 657–1,024 sq ft. King-size Viking Explorer Bed (with optional twin-bed configuration); luxury linens & pillows. Large private bathroom. Premium Freyja®. Well-appointed living room & dining area.

Notes

Stretching for 2,350 miles down the United States, from Minnesota's Lake Itasca to the Gulf of Mexico, our new cruises on the "Mighty Mississippi" offer a different type of cross-country journey for the curious explorer—one that allows you to be immersed in American history and culture.

Step on board the newest and most modern ship on the Mississippi with all outside staterooms, private verandas, spacious public areas and our signature, clean Scandinavian design, reimagined for the Mississippi River.

Hosting 386 guests in 193 all outside staterooms, the new state-of-the-art Viking Mississippi is inspired by our award-winning Viking Longships® and ocean ships and will feature clean Scandinavian design, as well as public spaces that are familiar to guests but that have been reimagined for Mississippi River voyages. Purpose-built for the Mississippi, the ship’s cutting-edge design, expansive windows and comfortable amenities will make it the first truly modern cruise ship in the region.

Viking Mississippi Features
  • 193 comfortable all outside staterooms (128 Veranda & Deluxe Veranda Staterooms, 8 French Balcony Staterooms, 24 Penthouse Veranda Staterooms, 16 Penthouse Junior Suites, 7 Terrace Suites, 10 Explorer Suites)
  • All suites feature two full-size rooms with large veranda
  • Sun Terrace with Infinity Plunge Pool
  • Aquavit Terrace, a revolutionary indoor/outdoor viewing area for al fresco dining or an American barbecue experience
  • Stroll the full 360-degree promenade deck for views of scenic landscapes and regional wildlife
  • River Café, a new way to dine featuring American classics and Mamsen's Norwegian specialties
  • The Explorers' Lounge and Bar with two-story panoramic views of the Mississippi
  • The Bow, a quiet sitting area at the front of the ship
  • Elevators throughout the ship
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Self-service launderettes and laundry service
  • Intelligent energy-efficient propulsion systems produce less vibrations for a smoother ride
  • 42" flat-screen, interactive LCD TV with intuitive remote & complimentary Movies On Demand

A Mississippi River cruise offers the rare opportunity to sail through America's heartland on the world’s #1 river cruise line. Explore picturesque towns and boom cities; take in views of pastoral farms and towering bluffs; and immerse yourself in the region's rich history and culture with an included excursion in every port. Here are a few highlights Viking reveals to you:
  • Festive French Quarter and Creole cuisine in New Orleans
  • Cajun heritage in Baton Rouge
  • Civil War history at Vicksburg National Military Park
  • Memphis BBQ, Graceland and appreciation of the Delta Blues
  • Steamboat sailings with diverse wildlife sightings
  • Mark Twain's boyhood home and America’s literary history
  • Up close look at America’s national symbol, the bald eagle
  • Gateway Arch in St. Louis and the pioneering spirit of the Midwest
  • Norwegian cultural experience at Vesterheim
  • Intricate locks and dams of the Upper Mississippi
Included
  • 11 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners
  • 11 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Beer, wine & soft drinks with onboard lunch & dinner
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • 24-hour specialty coffees, teas & bottled water
  • Free Wi-Fi (connection speed may vary)
  • Visits to UNESCO Sites
  • Enrichment lectures & Destination Performances
Excluded
  • Gratuities
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Additional excursions during free time
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Excess baggage charges
  • Drinks, beverages and meals not included in the package
  • Optional shore excursions/tours/concerts

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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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