Posted March 1, 2013 by Sean Blackmore in Travel

Exploring America: Mississippi steamboat cruises take travelers through the heartland of history

They say that travel is about the journey, not the destination. While there&rsquos plenty of space to argue that destinations actually do matter, there&rsquos no disputing that going on a journey is a single of the most enriching experiences you can have. When it comes to travel in America, maybe the greatest journeys to be taken are steamboat cruises on the Mississippi. Riding the current of this outstanding artery through America&rsquos heartland will show you an unfolding story that covers centuries of history, considerably of which has played a central part in generating the country what it is today.

For a journey down the Mississippi, how you travel is an essential aspect. Traveling by steamboat on the river itself gives not only spectacular views, but an element of history. Instead of driving roads adjacent to the river, you&rsquoll be plying the same waterways that river visitors has followed for hundreds of years.

To add to the atmosphere, there&rsquos nothing at all that can quite evaluate with a steamboat cruise. These floating pieces of architecture can instantly transport you back in time, as you travel the same way folks did during the heyday of Mississippi river cruises. One of the most distinctive vessels travelers can choose is the American Queen, the largest flat-bottomed paddlewheel steamboat ever constructed. It&rsquos the boat of option for Tauck&rsquos Life on the Mississipi encounter, which was planned and produced in partnership with filmmakers Ken Burns and Dayton Duncan.

Mississippi steamboat cruises can take in a lot of territory, but a single of the best sections to explore takes you down river from Memphis, Tennessee, to New Orleans, Louisiana. These are just some of the sights and experiences to enjoy as your riverboat churns down the &ldquoMighty Miss&rdquo:

* Memphis, Tennessee: This city&rsquos complex history tends to make it a wonderful place to get context for a southward cruise on the Mississippi. Understand about the role it played in the course of the Civil Rights era, with a check out to the National Civil Rights Museum. Memphis is also a blues mecca, and you can discover how it shaped the early beginnings of rock &lsquon&rsquo roll at Sun Studios, exactly where Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis and B.B. King produced popular recordings.

* Vicksburg, Mississippi: This popular trading port was of outstanding importance for the duration of the Civil War in truth, President Lincoln said that it was a &ldquokey&rdquo without having which the Union couldn&rsquot win the war. Vicksburg National Military Park requires you back in time to the July 4, 1863 battle that gave the Union handle of the Mississippi River. The U.S.S. Cairo, a Union ironclad gunboat sunk in 1862 and later raised from the Yazoo River, makes for a fascinating visit as effectively.

* Natchez, Mississippi: Natchez is residence to some 500 pre-war buildings, which tends to make it easy to immerse your self in a bygone era. Tauck&rsquos steamboat cruises involves a lecture and go to to Forks of the Road, site of a single of the South&rsquos most notorious slave markets, providing added insight into a complicated era of American history.

* New Orleans, Louisiana: There&rsquos no spot in America really like New Orleans. A go to to the city brings with each other history, art, music and culinary delights to showcase the special culture that make it so unique. Stroll down Bourbon Street, take walking tours of the Waterfront and Warehouse Districts, and get pleasure from jazz and creole cooking at famed establishments like Arnaud&rsquos.

By booking a Mississippi steamboat cruise, you&rsquoll get unique access to experiences like these, as effectively as saving as significantly as 40 percent over the cost of booking it all on your own. If you&rsquore eager to see some of America&rsquos most unique sights and historical locations, a journey down the Mississippi river is one particular of the quite ideal ways to do so. For far more info and an ebrochure, pay a visit to Tauck on-line.

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Sean Blackmore