Holidays in the United States: a guide to river cruising …


Credit: Shutterstock

Travel to the United States reopens to Brits in November, so there has never been a better time to start planning a United States cruise vacation.

Cruise vacations to the United States have given residents the green light for several months – but now the country will soon welcome British travelers as well.

While the Caribbean may seem like the obvious choice for a happy American, the nation offers much, much more, especially when it comes to river cruises.

America can offer wonderful river cruise experiences. Mississippi is almost synonymous with Mark Twain, who once said: “Travel is fatal to prejudice”.

Whether you choose to cruise along the Mississippi or Columbia rivers, you’ll discover educational, cultural, and musical memorabilia ranging from the Civil War and slavery to blues and jazz.

Here are three of the incredible rivers you will discover on a cruise and the adventure that lurks along their shores.

Lower Mississippi River Cruises

The French Quarter of New Orleans is the city’s oldest neighborhood and is home to a number of jazz haunts, including Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, dating from the 1720s. Preservation Hall is another option, but you may need to. be in line. There is no bar or air conditioning, but there is a lot of authentic music.

This is plantation country and Oak Alley, with its magnificent quarter-mile canopy of 300-year-old holm oaks marking the path to a pre-war Greek Revival-style home is a case in point.

Another is Myrtles Plantation, considered one of the most haunted houses in America. Frogmore, a working cotton farm dating back to the 1800s, has the only computerized cotton gin in the country.

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The French Quarter of New Orleans is the city’s oldest neighborhood and is home to a number of jazz haunts. Credit: Shutterstock

Natchez and Vicksburg focus on the Civil War. The National Military Park is home to more than 1,300 monuments, monuments and battlefields.

Almost 40 years after his death, Elvis Presley continues to intrigue, and here is the opportunity to visit his home in Graceland and the Sun Studios in Memphis where the King has recorded so many hits. To make the most of the tour, opt for the audio-guided tour which features both the legend himself and his daughter Lisa Marie.

Another must-see is the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, set up in the former Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King was assassinated.

The exhibits trace five centuries of history – from the beginnings of resistance during slavery, through civil war and reconstruction, to the events of the late 20th century that inspired people around the world to defend the ‘equality.

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Memphis is where Elvis Presley was so successful. Credit: Shutterstock

Upper Mississippi Cruises

St Louis is famous for its 630-foot arch and the drive to the top – with its fantastic views stretching for 30 miles in all directions on a clear day – is a great way to see what lies ahead on a river cruise .

To wet your whistle, head to the Anheuser Busch Brewery and the stables built in 1885 to house the Clydesdale horses that were used to pull the wagons carrying beer. All this before getting on board and immersing yourself in the history of the river and the explorers, cowboys and Native Americans who helped forge the American nation.

In Hannibal, the obvious choice is the Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum where a visit to the Huckleberry Finn house and the renovated Becky Thatcher home.

Davenport is home to many music festivals, both jazz and blues; you might be lucky enough to arrive during one of them, but otherwise there is a lot to hear, see and do. From antique tractors to modern tractors at the John Deere Pavilion, tracing the agricultural history of the region, to the Hauberg Indian Museum which tells the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, there is something for everyone.

The National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque gives you the chance to pilot a barge, experience the devastation of a flood, and follow a 92-foot map of the river beneath your feet through simulators. It also traces the lives of the pioneers, explorers and artists who lived along the river.

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St Louis is famous for its 630 foot arch and the drive to the top. Credit: Shutterstock

Columbia River cruises

The names Lewis and Clark come out of the tongues of many Americans, and the Columbia River is the perfect place to learn all about them.

The couple were commissioned by Thomas Jefferson – one of the founding fathers and third president of the United States – to explore the region after the Louisiana Purchase whereby 828,000 square miles of territory was purchased from the French for a cost of only three cents an acre. .

After reaching the Pacific in 1805 and on the advice of the Clatsop Indians, Lewis and Clark established camp at Fort Clatsop where they wintered before returning east to St Louis in the spring.

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Mount St Helens, which last erupted in 1980 – with catastrophic consequences – is an awe-inspiring sight. Credit: Shutterstock

Besides its cultural history, the river is a place of natural wonder. The 80-mile canyon is filled with breathtaking scenery including mountain peaks, abundant wildlife, and waterfalls, including the 600-foot Multnomah Falls.

Hells Canyon is said to be the deepest and most remote in North America and it definitely is what it feels like. The 8,363-foot Mount St Helens that last erupted in 1980 – with catastrophic consequences – is an awe-inspiring sight.

There are over 30 wineries along the Gorge, with names like Scorched Earth Vineyards and Naked Winery. Try Naked’s Oh! Orgasmic if you get the chance.

Getting back to man’s efforts and for a bit of history combined with shopping, the Pendleton Woolen Mills are worth a visit. Founded by English weaver Thomas Kay, it is the only factory in the United States founded specifically to produce Indian trade blankets.

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