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Explore historic New Orleans

Minneapolis to New Orleans

Example 16 Day Cruise aboard American Queen
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Watch landscapes, cultures and even language transform as you cruise along the Mississippi river from Minneapolis to New Orleans aboard the American Queen. Board this 16-day cruise to sail nearly the full length of the mighty Mississippi. Along the way, visit historic port cities and laid-back small towns to get a taste of the culture that has developed along the river's banks. Immerse yourself in the rich arts culture of St. Louis, the "Gateway to the West"; explore the history of distinctively American musical styles like Blues and Rock 'n' Roll in Memphis; discover Civil War history in Vicksburg; wander the streets of New Orleans and admire the city's mix of architecture and cultures. This cruise offers an unforgettable experience of the river at the heart of America. 
Visit historic MinneapolisVisit historic St. LouisVisit historic Memphis, TennesseeCivil War memorial at VicksburgNew orleansExplore historic New Orleans
Highlights
  • Enjoy the musical culture of blues and rock 'n' roll in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Admire the mix of architecture and cultures in New Orleans
  • Discover the monuments and museums of St. Louis, the "Gateway to the West"
  • Explore the history, arts, and culture of Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • Learn about Civil War history at a battlefield in Vicksburg, Mississippi
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Minneapolis, Minnesota

Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Both American Queen Steamboat Company and local representatives will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.

Day 2: Minneapolis, Minnesota | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Did you know that Minneapolis is where Scotch tape, the bundt pan, Bisquick and pop-up toasters were invented? Even a healthy natural wonder, like the Honeycrisp apple, was conceived by a program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. The most populous city in Minnesota, Minneapolis is known for its parks and lakes and many cultural landmarks like the Walker Art Center, a contemporary art museum, and the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden, famed for Claes Oldenburg’s “Spoonbridge and Cherry” sculpture. St. Paul, its sister city and the state’s capital, has a historic feel with classic architecture, neighborhoods, and traditions. The Port of Minneapolis, the northernmost port on the Mississippi River System, is 17 nautical miles upriver of St. Paul. Minnesota’s state motto is “The Land of 10,000 Lakes” and Minneapolis is without question the “City of Lakes.” In warmer months, locals, and visitors head to one of the 13 sizable lakes in the city’s borders for kayaking, paddle boating, sailing, and swimming. However, the city’ thriving art scene and outdoor culture – even in winter – make this Midwest metropolis a desirable place to explore year-round. In fact, it’s nicknamed the “Mini-Apple” because it has a New York City vibe with a host of museums and art galleries, restaurants, nightclubs, and entertainment venues. With a finite time to experience the city, visitors can wander galleries at the Institute of Art, admire the cityscape from a atop the Guthrie Theater, uncover local history at the Mill City Museum and still find time to stroll along the Mississippi. 

Day 3: Winona, Minnesota

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore one of the most beautiful places in the country. Nestled in the covered limestone river bluffs of the Mississippi River, Winona is full of culture and Americana. This historic city – filled with incredible museums, galleries and parks – is also where J.R. Watkins has produced its fine natural products for over 150 years. Take a trip to the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, and fall even more in love with the maritime lifestyle.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Winona Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Minnesota Marine Art Museum
The Minnesota Marine Art Museum engages visitors through education and exhibitions that explore the ongoing and historic human relationship with water. Initially, the museum's collections focused on traditional marine or maritime art, however, through a collection on long-term loan, today the Minnesota Marine Art Museum is home to a large variety of the greatest European and American masters. Along with galleries highlighting artwork by contemporary artists, this fine art museum features extensive American and European collections by such masters as Pablo Picasso, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and Georgia O'Keefe, as well as Emmanuel Leutze's iconic Washington Crossing the Delaware. 
Suggested Visit: 45 minutes - 1.5 hours

Day 4: La Crosse, Wisconsin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This river town has a long-standing romance with the steamboat era, and as our paddlewheeler kisses its port, guests are welcomed by its eye-catching vistas and expansive waterfront park. Within its depths, La Crosse harbors a vibrant community; the cultural exchange among it and its six sister cities showcases a deep appreciation for enrichment through diversity. Influences from far-off destinations such as Bantry, Ireland, and Bavaria, Germany, woven into the history and charm of this scenic port, will certainly stir a traveler’s soul. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: La Crosse Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Dahl Auto Museum  
Take a stroll down memory lane and immerse yourself in the rich history of the most widely used mode of transportation, the automobile. The Dahl Auto Museum celebrates the Dahl family's involvement as automotive dealers, with a history spanning over 100 years and five generations. It also features the history of the automobile through the eyes of Ford Motor Company, an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles from the turn of the century to present.
Suggested Visit: 30 - 45 minutes       

Hixon House   
This beautiful Victorian house is filled with nearly all of the original furnishings, making it stand out from many other historical homes. With 90 percent original furnishings, this nearly hidden downtown gem offers a window into early La Crosse life and the Victorian era around the country. 

Day 5: Dubuque, Iowa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Dubuque, the roots from which Iowa sprouted. It’s brimming with opportunity for river travelers to experience an All-America City. Check off your outdoor bucket list in the perfect nature getaway for any adventure, and explore historic districts peppered with preserved history. From the architectural delight of Tiffany-designed windows in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church to the exhibits of the Dubuque Museum of Art, this city captures artistry. Victorian meets bohemian in this ever-growing Mississippi River gem that’s sure to leave dazzling memories. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Dubuque Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Historic Millwork District  
This repurposed warehouse district is now home to niche retail stores, cafes, coffee shops, apartments, and offices. Offering authenticity and character, the Millwork District shows the importance of sustainable urban design strategies. At the start of the 20th century, the area was the innovative and entrepreneurial center of the region and was the backbone of the regional economy.
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 minutes

Dubuque Museum of Art  
Founded in 1874, the Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) is among Iowa's oldest cultural institutions and a Smithsonian affiliate. The permanent collections and loans include more than 2,400 works reflecting the unique artistic and cultural heritage of our region, including one of the largest collections of works by internationally renowned Iowa artist Grant Wood.
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour

Day 6: Bettendorf, Iowa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Bettendorf is but the beginning of this quest to the Quad Cities. Our deluxe motorcoaches bridge the gap between the distinctively different urban areas that, without friction, blend into the melting pot that the region celebrates. Whimsical architecture in Rock Island complements the eccentric gardens of the Quad City Botanical Center. The varied heritages and customs of the area come to life through the multiform dexterity of local artisans. A collection of riverfront vistas and metropolitan communities meet Midwestern neighborliness at the mighty Mississippi in this multifaceted port.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Bettendorf Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Isabel Bloom Studio & Demonstration   
Isabel Rose Scherer was raised in the city of Davenport and began her artistic lifestyle early. In the early 1930s Isabel attended Grant Wood's Stone City Art Colony where she learned how to carve limestone sculptures flawlessly. Her legacy lives on in the city of Davenport as her art pieces and influences are seen throughout the city, as well as her protégé, Donna Young, who works to help preserve Bloom's legacy. During the 45-minute guided tour, enjoy behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. Get a glimpse of some of her original art and photos and then visit the gift shop where you can purchase exclusive sculptures available only to tour guests.
Suggested Visit: 45 minutes - 1 hour     

Day 7: Burlington, Iowa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Charm indwells this city. Swaggering trails showcase flourishing vegetation, neighborhood hangouts offer upscale dining options and steepled churches rich in architecture abound. Pleasure awaits each visitor in this city of contrasts. Quiet strolls through courtly streets in historic districts are juxtaposed by boisterous thespian artistry inside Capitol Theater; the drumming heart of the city is soothed by the scenic backdrop of the Mississippi River. Lover of all seasons, connoisseur of culture, friend to foodies: Welcome to Burlington. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Burlington Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Des Moines County Heritage Center   
The museum opened in 2009 in the former Burlington Public Library, which was built in 1898. There are nine galleries on three levels in the museum, each one addressing a different aspect of county history. The 19th Century Gallery illustrates the growth of the small frontier territory into a lively and bustling city of the gaslight era. The 20th Century Gallery on the upper level displays changing exhibits that address the events and social changes of the 1900s. Military, agriculture, and music are all also showcased throughout the museum, as they are all very influential and important aspects of the county's history.
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour
 

Day 8: Hannibal, Missouri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hannibal could be described as ordinary, but the father of American literature would beg to differ. The town, with style and dignity, comes to life in the writings of Mark Twain. People, entities and livelihoods of Hannibal’s past endure within the pages of masterpieces such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Life on the Mississippi,” and the town’s preservation efforts allow our quests to step right onto the page where Twain left off. Today, the river stretches north toward country that’s almost as wild and beautiful as it must have been then, and, still enlivened by the coming and going of rivercraft, this exuberant port marks the start of adventure for all who visit. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Hannibal Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Big River Train Town  
This Hannibal gem is packed with more toy trains than you have probably ever seen. Enjoy authentic replicas as they move swiftly along the tracks or learn the history of the models and the trains they are made after. As you walk around, relive your childhood and learn the stories of the railways' past as you view some authentic memorabilia.    

Haunted House & Wax Museum  
This Wax museum features wax figures of Mark Twain and his characters which include real human hair and finger nails! There will be a guide there to tell you all the stories and talk about each one of the wax figures. Don't forget to stop by the haunted house or the gift shop for some unusual finds!

Day 9: St. Louis, Missouri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
St. Louis, famously referred to as the Gateway City, is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultural traditions each one brings forth. The city is typically associated with its 630-foot stainless steel monument, the Gateway Arch, which stands on the banks of the Mississippi River to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: St. Louis Full Day
Old Courthouse / Gateway Arch  
Embrace this prime example of mid-19th century federal architecture. The Old Courthouse is known not only for its classic architecture, but also the notable cases presented in the courthouse, such as Dred Scott, who sued for his freedom from slavery. The Gateway Arch is symbolic of St. Louis. This iconic structure was completed in 1965 and has since provided millions of visitors with stunning views of up to 30 miles from east to west. Please note: Admission inside the Gateway Arch is additional.  
Suggested Visit: 30 min - 2 hours     

Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis  
Completed in 1914, this stunning cathedral was designed to meet the grandeur of European cathedrals. One of the most notable traits of the structure is its domed ceiling covered in mosaics portraying saints and milestones of the Catholic church in St. Louis. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of this structure dubbed by locals as the "New Cathedral."
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes

Day 10: Scenic River Cruising

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.

Day 11: Memphis, Tennessee

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Memphis has a plethora of places to visit and things to do for all guests. Embrace the city that has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Boogie on down to Beale Street – alive with quirky places to indulge in some Southern barbeque, purchase souvenirs for friends and family (or a little something for yourself) and sip on a Blue Suede Tini. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for our guests to experience. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Memphis Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
National Civil Rights Museum 
Located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., chronicals key episodes of the American Civil and human rights efforts globally, through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs (Admission Additional).

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum 
See the complete story of Memphis music history, as researched by the Smithsonian Institution. This museum tells of the musical pioneers and legends of all racial and socio-economical backgrounds who, for the love of music, overcame obstacles to create the musical sound that changed the world.

Day 12: Cleveland (Terrene Landing), Mississippi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the heart of the Mississippi Delta lies the town of Cleveland, one of the two county seats of Bolivar County. Named for President Grover Cleveland, the town began formation in 1869. Bolivar County has deep roots in the civil rights movement. Amzie Moore, a civil rights pioneer, opened a gas station, beauty shop, and grocery store on Highway 61 in Cleveland. His business also served as headquarters for the area’s civil rights efforts. His home was declared a historical landmark on May 13, 2008. Because of the Louisville, New Orleans and Texas Railroad that ran through the middle of town, people were drawn to Cleveland from outlying areas. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Terrene Landing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
GRAMMY Museum Mississippi  
Journey through the history of music at the GRAMMY Museum Mississippi. A new, innovative museum that spans all genres of music. Here you will enjoy a self-guided tour through the museum, which showcases more than two dozen cutting-edge exhibits that explore the best music from many genres including Rock, Hip-Hop, Classical, Latin, R&B, and Jazz.     

Downtown Shopping  
Enjoy some of the many shopping opportunities in downtown Cleveland. Here, you will find an array of restaurants, boutique shops, a pharmacy, and more. 

Day 13: Vicksburg, Mississippi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern attractions. As a major battle site during the Civil War, this Southern town carries a history unlike any other. Learn about the historic conflicts of the city, taste its cuisine, visit the many museums and pick out the perfect souvenir. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Vicksburg Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Church of the Holy Trinity  
This incredible church spans over 125 feet long, 52 feet wide, and reaches 61 feet high to the apex of the ceiling, which was built of southern white pine to emulate Noah's ark.  The church was constructed in Romanesque Revival style and finished in red brick. It also showcases zigzag tracery, which was highly unique to the style at the time. The Belgian slate roof is another amazing feature of the building, which began construction with the laying of the cornerstone in 1869. The 34 stained-glass windows, however, may be the main draw.  They were given as memorials and six of them were created by Tiffany Studios in New York under the supervision of Louis Comfort Tiffany. 

Day 14: Natchez, Mississippi

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
It seems as if history fell asleep and awoke unscathed by the changing of times in this magical port. This charming river town was founded in 1716, making it the oldest city on the Mississippi River. It’s known for its elegance, hospitality and impressive preservation of history – found on every street corner. Enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, museums and historic homes, all of which inspired Hugh Bayless to include Natchez in his book “The 100 Best Towns in America.” 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Natchez Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
The Old South Trading Post  
Be sure to bring your taste buds to this unique stop! Sample Southern muscadine juice, dips, salsas, jellies, cappuccinos, and coffees— all while you browse the huge assortment of items for sale. There's something for everyone here, including a wide selection of books, candies, one-of-a-kind shirts, hats, souvenirs, drug store items, and even alligator items!
Suggested Visit: 15 minutes    

Rosalie Mansion  
This magnificent mansion, an outstanding example of Federal style architecture, was built by a wealthy cotton planter in 1823. The Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution have since gained ownership and have been maintaining the house and grounds since 1938. On this self-guided tour, discover the history of the house and the artifacts found throughout.
Suggested Visit: 30 - 45 minutes    

Day 15: Nottoway, Louisiana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
American Queen Steamboat Company features an exclusive port at Nottoway. While the boat is docked, visit the sugarcane estate – the largest standing antebellum mansion in the South. Nottoway is an intricate building with impressive detail. Original furnishings mingle with era-appropriate antiques to create an atmosphere that does justice to the home’s original ambiance. It is fascinating history and luxurious aesthetic packaged in Southern hospitality – an experience that you will not want to pass up. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Nottoway Resort Included Mansion Tour
Enjoy an included tour of Nottoway Resort, the South's largest remaining antebellum mansion. This stunning historical plantation lies between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and offers a view of a truly grand plantation. The mansion flaunts three floors, 64 bedrooms, and displays an incredible 22 white square columns which contribute to its nickname and the "White Castle of Louisiana." The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white and displays elaborate gold décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster and mud and are all original to the house. And as if that weren't enough, this immaculate mansion was constructed with 365 openings, one for each day of the year.

Day 16: New Orleans, Louisiana | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home -- your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you.

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Early Booking Savings
Book by January 1, 2023, and enjoy up to 20% Early Booking Savings on select 2023 cabin categories.

Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability. Contact us for more details.
 
Applies to all departures

Advance Payment Savings
Pay-in-full at the time of reservation and receive an additional 5% Advance Payment Bonus Savings, combinable with All-Inclusive Fares and Early Booking Bonus savings. Available on all voyages when booked and paid in full 120 days or more prior to sailing.

Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability. Valid on new bookings only. Savings may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures

Per person starting at
$5,399
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Category E
Surrounded by wonderful period details, accompanied by every modern convenience, these cozy havens will make your cares disappear. Ample shelving and storage spaces keep necessities out of the way yet easily accessible. Has 132 sq. ft..
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SI-Single Inside Stateroom
These intimate cabins with ample storage space are slightly scaled down to accommodate the independent traveler, and feature a single bed. Has 80 sq. ft.
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SD- Single Deluxe Stateroom
Greet the day in your cozy stateroom, relaxing before breakfast, or simply enjoy a leisurely morning in bed with room service. Has 140 sq. ft.
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Category D
An expansive bay window overlooking the scenery of America’s heartland is the main draw of this spacious category. Curl up in front of the window with a new novel, and savor a moment that belongs to only you. Has 190 sq. ft. with bay window.
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Category C
Open your French doors, and enjoy the fresh air. Sit on the deck outside your stateroom, and take in the gently changing views of the landscape, or indulge in a leisurely morning in bed with room service Has 140-160 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category B
Can you imagine opening French doors to a sweeping river vista and the sweet scent of magnolia trees? Sit on the deck outside your stateroom and greet early-morning strollers, relax in bed with your favorite book or soak in a hot bath. Has 190-205 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category A
With a private veranda, these staterooms are so enjoyable that you might decide to extend your journey. Relax in a cozy armchair and enjoy the view as you anticipate the activities of the day. Has 190 sq. ft. with 40-sq.-ft. private veranda.
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Category JS
Settle into your sitting area, open the French doors to the deck, and greet the day as the banks of the river majestically slip by. Some staterooms in this category offer a view of the paddlewheel, while others provide expansive views of America’s heartland. Has 210 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category PS
These spacious retreats offer unmatched views, each with a 6-foot-square viewing window that overlooks the paddlewheel, for a truly authentic steam boating experience. Stateroom 383: 342 sq. ft. Staterooms 385 and 386: 302 sq. ft.
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Category DS
You will feel right at home on the river in our magnificent suites. Indulge in a soothing soak in your tub, then retire to your cozy armchair or sofa, prop your feet up on the ottoman and read through the River Times – our daily program – to discover the delights that await. Has 230 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category LS
Our spacious, elegant suites are furnished to provide the warm ambiance of a fine Southern estate. Open your French doors and delight in sweeping river views as you sip a beverage and share conversation in your cozy sitting area. These suites are the ideal choice for family and friends vacationing together. 353-363 sq. ft. with private or open veranda
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Category OS
Open French doors and step out onto your veranda to unwind on your amply furnished patio. Adorned with 11- foot vaulted ceilings, overhead lighting and a cozy interior lounging area with a sofa-bed and cocktail tables, these expansive suites can accommodate up to three guests, and epitomize luxurious river cruising. 348 sq. ft. with 690-sq.-ft. exclusive veranda
Included
  • 15 Breakfasts, 13 Lunches, 14 Dinners
  • 15 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Beverages
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • One Night Pre-Cruise Hotel
  • Open Bars and Lounges
  • All-Day In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Unlimited Included Expedition Adventures by Zodiac or Kayak (For Expedition Cruises Only)
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Port Fees
  • Optional Premium Shore Excursions - highly recommend booking these in advance. If interested, ask us for a detailed list of premium excursions for your cruise as these vary depending on your departure date.
  • Mandatory Gratuities

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The trip might have been the absolute best of our lifetime (thus far). We particularly want to commend our guide Peter in the Guilin area-he was so incredibly attentive, energetic, enthusiastic-and absolutely dedicated to ensuring that our meals were 100% vegetarian.
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