Goin’ to See Ol’ Man River.
I will be traveling again, starting today. This time will be especially enjoyable because my wife will be coming with me. We’ve talked for years about a Mississippi River cruise and we’re finally going to do it.
The first surprise, once we started looking into it, was the number of river cruises available. There are several companies offering a surprising variety of itineraries on several different boats. It took quite a lot of time to sort it all out.
We finally decided on a nine-day cruise aboard the American Queen, starting in Memphis and ending up in New Orleans. Of course, it took me a while to realize how the American Queen Steamboat Company stretches six actual days on the river into a “nine day cruise”.
Day One is arriving in Memphis and checking into a hotel, the cost of which is included in the package. Day Two is for seeing Memphis, with actual embarkation on the American Queen in the late afternoon.
There are daily stops on the way down river—I’m particularly interested in seeing Natchez and Vicksburg—and we finally arrive in New Orleans at 6:00 in the morning on Day Nine.
I’m fine with that, by the way. They can tally up the number of days any way they want and I’m still looking forward to this trip.
And, yes, there will be train travel involved. We’re flying from here to the West Coast, taking the California Zephyr to Chicago and the City of New Orleans from there to Memphis. Once the cruise ends and we land in New Orleans, my wife will fly directly home to Maui since our house sitters have to leave. I’ll be taking Amtrak back to Chicago and the Southwest Chief from there to Los Angeles, with a 24-hour stop in Dodge City.
There will be gaps, I’m sure, but I’ll do my best to post reports along the way.