John was a secondary school music teacher for 23 years (taught Kylie Minogue). He and his twin brother, Graeme, perform as The Howie Brothers. John has been leading successful music tours and music cruises for 25 years.DECK PLANS
The largest steamboat ever built, the grand American Queen is a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. Although filled with today’s modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian era. While on board, you can select a volume from the vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, the boat’s library, or enjoy a sing-along in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap your toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon. Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady of the river epitomizes the grace and grandeur that has made River Cruising a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries. One voyage and you’ll see why.VIEW ITINERARY
DAY 1 Friday 18 October 2024 Houston, Texas
Depart Australia on your flight, arriving Houston same day. Transfer to our hotel after going through customs. Overnight: Fairfield Inn & Suites. (–)
DAY 2 Saturday 19 October 2024 Breaux Bridge
Morning: After a short panoramic tour of Houston, Texas, travel to Breaux Bridge, in the heart of Cajun country, Western Louisiana. Afternoon: Enjoy swamp tour, by boat. See amazing wildlife (alligators, turtles, birdlife) and distinctive swamp vegetation. Evening: Enjoy a Cajun dinner, including live Cajun music. Overnight: Breaux Bridge. Accommodation TBC (to be confirmed). (B,D)
DAY 3 Sunday 20 October 2024 New Orleans
Morning: Travel through the beautiful western Louisiana swamp country to New Orleans. Afternoon: Enjoy a comprehensive coach tour of New Orleans, with local guide, including visits to an above ground cemetery, and the area where engineering flaws in the flood protection system caused New Orleans to be flooded during Hurricane Katrina (2005). Also, see the beautiful mansions in St Charles Ave. Evening: Enjoy a creole group dinner. Then explore the French Quarter (N.O.’s historic precinct), including colourful Bourbon Street. You will find excellent jazz music in places like Fritzel’s Jazz Club, Preservation Hall, and various venues in Frenchmen Street (all optional). Overnight: TBC. (Hotel complimentary, as part of American Queen Voyages package.) (B,D)
DAY 4 Monday 21 October 2024 Embarkation
This morning we board the American Queen to begin our fabulous voyage. In the evening enjoy your first dinner aboard our luxurious river boat. (B,L,D)
DAY 5 Tuesday 22 October 2024 Nottoway, Louisiana
This morning we arrive at the port at Nottoway, located in White Castle, LA, on the south bank of the Mississippi River, near Baton Rouge. Visit the estate of sugarcane magnate Randolph Nottoway – including the largest pre-Civil War mansion in the South (51,000 sq ft) – an intricate building with impressive details. White Castle was established as a town in the 1880s with the influx of people and business brought by the logging industry in the cypress swamps of the area. When the cypress wood was depleted, the main economic activity reverted to the sugar cane industry which had been established in the latter part of the 18th century.
DAY 6 Wednesday 23 October 2024 St. Francisville
St. Francisville is a testament to the lifestyle of a bygone era, with its cache of charming pre-Civil War homes and striking architecture. Located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, St. Francisville has been called “one of the 200 most beautiful small towns in America.” Enjoy a stroll through the town’s historic centre. Also, visit two restored antebellum mansions – Rosedown and The Myrtles. (optional)
DAY 7 Thursday 24 October 2024 Natchez
Today we visit the town of Natchez, Louisiana, known for its elegance and impressive preservation of historic homes. It has over 1,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. We will take a self-guided tour of Rosalie Mansion. This magnificent mansion, an outstanding example of Federal style architecture, was built by a wealthy cotton planter in 1823. We will also visit The Old South Trading Post.
DAY 8 Friday 25 October 2024 Vicksburg
Today we visit the city of Vicksburg (western Mississippi). Vicksburg was the site of a key Civil War battle. Tour Vicksburg on our hop-on-hop-oﬀ Steamcoach. Visit the impressive Anchuca Mansion, the Old Court House Museum and the historic Church of the Holy Trinity.
DAY 9 Saturday 26 October 2024 Greenville, Mississippi
Greenville is a major Mississippi port city, due to its location in a fertile cotton growing region. It is also an historically important Delta blues city. In the mid-1900s Nelson Street, Greenville, was the equivalent of Beale Street, Memphis, as a social & blues music hub for black people. John Howie will take the group around this colourful town, visiting the Greenville History Museum and some of the city’s important blues music sites.
DAY 10 Sunday 27 October 2024 River Cruising
Enjoy a wonderful day of sightseeing, as the stunning scenery of the Mississippi River glides by. Afternoon: John Howie will host a fun-filled Music Quiz. Excellent prizes for the winning teams.
DAY 11 Monday 28 October 2024 Memphis
Morning: Arrive in Memphis, home of the blues and birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. After a fabulous 7 days & nights, cruising the Mississippi River, we disembark the American Queen. Enjoy a sightseeing coach tour of Memphis, including the impressive Bass Pro hunting/fishing/camping superstore (in huge glass, pyramid-shaped building), and the famous Duck Parade at the historic Peabody Hotel. Afternoon: Visit National Civil Rights Museum (the motel – now museum – where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated). If you would prefer to visit the Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, or the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, instead of the Civil Rights Museum, please advise John Howie. Evening: Visit colourful Beale Street, including live music venues such as B.B. King’s Blues Club & the Rum Boogie Café (all venues optional). Overnight: Holiday Inn Downtown Memphis. (B)
DAY 12 Tuesday 29 October 2024 Memphis
Morning: Visit Graceland, Elvis Presley’s famous mansion. Our Elvis Experience Tour tickets allow admission to the mansion, wardrobe, his gold records, & Elvis planes and automobiles. Afternoon: Visit Sun Studio (famous recording studio, where Elvis, Johnny Cash, and others recorded). Evening: Further exploration of the live music venues in Beale Street. (B)
Day 13 Wednesday 30 October 2024 Branson
Travel through the state of Arkansas, and the picturesque Ozark Mountains, to Branson, Missouri. Branson is famous for its many live music ‘theaters’, some operated by entertainers like The Duttons, some featuring traditional country music/comedy shows, like the Baldknobbers Jamboree, and some featuring visiting country music stars like Gene Watson, Jimmy Fortune, & The Bellamy Brothers. On arrival enjoy a coach tour of Branson’s Las Vegas-like main ‘strip’, featuring awe-inspiring electronic billboards, tourist attractions, music ‘theaters’, & hotels. Evening: Attend one of Branson’s outstanding shows….The Duttons show. Overnight: Dutton Inn, Branson. (B)
Day 14 Thursday 31 October 2024 Branson
A free day for you to enjoy Branson’s many attractions. You may wish to attend morning and afternoon ‘theater’ shows, or spend part of the day visiting Old Branson Town (Branson’s traditional shopping centre). Evening: Attend a show of your choice (there are about 70 shows to choose from!). You may wish to attend Dolly Parton’s Stampede (fabulous arena show, including dinner), featuring spectacular horse riding, buffalo and/or longhorn cattle, etc. Admission to all shows, today, is optional. (B)
Day 15 Friday 1 November 2024 Paducah, Kentucky
Depart Branson and travel to Paducah, Kentucky, three-quarters of the way to Nashville. On the way visit the fascinating, largely abandoned, town of Cairo, Illinois. Situated at the confluence of the Mississippi & Ohio rivers, Cairo was an important strategic town during the Civil War. Also, for many years Cairo was an important inland port. In the 1920s the population was over 15,000. The population is now about 1,600. See many impressive buildings from a bygone era. Near Cairo we cross two huge bridges that provide wonderful views of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. Evening: John Howie will host an informal fun-filled singalong/music session. Please bring your voices and instruments and join in! Overnight: Paducah, Kentucky. Accommodation TBC. (B)
DAY 16 Saturday 2 November 2024 Nashville
Morning: Travel to Nashville, home of country music. On arrival, visit the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Centre. This amazing hotel features a huge glass atrium and 9 acres of beautiful indoor gardens. We will then visit the Opry Mills Shopping Mall (excellent shopping & food court [for lunch]). Afternoon: Sightseeing tour of Nashville, with local guide. Evening: Attend the Grand Ole Opry show, featuring country music’s biggest stars. Overnight: Embassy Suites by Hilton Nashville at Vanderbilt. (B;Manager’sDrinks[free drinks at our hotel, approx.. 5pm-6.30pm])
DAY 17 Sunday 3 November 2024 Nashville
Morning: Visit the excellent Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. Early afternoon: Free time. You may wish to explore the honky-tonks in Nashville’s downtown Broadway district (excellent country music in venues like Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge). You may also like to visit the Ryman Auditorium (Grand Ole Opry venue, 1943 – 1974), the Johnny Cash Museum, the Patsy Cline Museum, or the historic RCA Studio B recording studio. Note: Except for the Country Music Hall of Fame, all entrances, today, are ‘optional’. Late afternoon: Enjoy a performance by the outstanding French Family Band (Camille, Stuie, & Sonny French). Evening: Free time. (B,AfternoonTea;Manager’sDrinks)
DAY 18 Monday 4 November 2024 Departure
This morning we will be transferred to the airport for our flights back to Australia. (B)
DAY 19 Tuesday 5 November 2024 In flight
DAY 20 Wednesday 6 November 2024 Arrive Australia
We arrive back in Australia today and tour arrangements conclude.
|Cabin||Description||Deck||Twin Fare||Single Fare|
|SD||Single Deluxe Inside Stateroom||4||$-||$14,895|
|D||Deluxe Outside Stateroom with Bay Window||2||$13,995||$21,895|
|C||Outside Stateroom with Open Veranda||3,4||$14,495||$22,595|
|Air taxes to be added to invoice||$270||$270|
You can stay longer in the USA for minimal extra cost. Please contact 1800 630 343 for more information.
International touring can involve a considerable amount of walking and stair climbing in the places visited and it is important that all tour participants have a level of physical fitness that allows them to take part in this activity without the need of assistance from others.
Tour Operator: Travelrite International Pty Ltd. ACN 005 817 0781 (Travelrite) is the tour operator.
Tour Costs: The tour costs are based on airfare, general transport, accommodation costs and foreign exchange rate at 1 November 2023. Travelrite reserves the right to alter the costs if any of these factors change, giving any passenger that has booked the right to withdraw with full refund of monies paid or modify arrangements. No alterations to costings will be made within 90 days of departure from Australia.
Deposit and Payment: A non-refundable deposit of $900 per passenger is required at the time of booking. Full payment will be required 120 days before departure. A 1.5% administration charge will be added to payment by Visa, Mastercard and America Express.
Air Taxes: Air taxes are an indication only. If air taxes change due to government and airport regulations and currency fluctuations Travelrite International reserves the right to charge additional amounts.
Cancellation Charges:Number of days before sailing.
|Days prior to Departure||Cancellation Fee|
|Over 120 days||$900|
|120 – 91 days||35% of full fare|
|90 days or less||100% of full fare|
|Non appearance/no written notice||100% of full fare|
Minimum Tour Numbers
The tour has been costed on the basis of a minimum number of passengers having booked 120 days prior to departure. Travelrite reserves the right to cancel the tour, giving a full refund of all monies paid or offer arrangements to proceed with the tour at a modified cost if the minimum number is not achieved.
The tour is based on arrangements which do not allow for any refunds in respect to sightseeing, accommodation, meals, airfare or other services not utilised after the tour has commenced.
All passengers will require a valid passport. If on non-Australian passport, an Australian Re- entry Permit is required.
All passengers qualify for the 20kg (44 lb) free baggage allowance.
Responsibility: Travelrite International Pty Ltd. (ATAS number A10538) is the tour organiser. Travelrite acts only as agents in making of arrangements with carriers, hoteliers and others for the tour. As a result we cannot accept liability for any act or omission whatsoever, whether negligent or otherwise of those carriers, hoteliers or other persons providing services in connection with the tour over whom we have no direct or exclusive control. We do not accept responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, delay, change of schedule or any other events which are beyond our direct control, such as, but not limited to, war, flood, fire, civil disturbance, terrorism, acts of God, acts of government, or any other authorities, accidents to or failure of machinery or equipment, or industrial action. The passage contract in use by the carriers concerned, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the transportation companies or firms and the purchasers of these tours and the passengers. Baggage is at own risk throughout the tour. The contract shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Victoria and any legal action must be undertaken in Victoria.
Delays and unforseen events: You engage Travelrite International to book this tour on your behalf and you acknowledge that Travelrite International acts as your agent for the purpose of making contracts between you and the various providers of accommodation, transportation and other services that comprise the tour. Travelrite may without reference to you provide or make available to you, or may as your agent engage any third party to provide or make available to you, any good or service which Travelrite reasonably believes is necessary for your benefit to maintain the tour itinerary, repatriate you or otherwise accommodate, transport or sustain you in circumstances in which the tour itinerary fails wholly or partly for any reason. You appoint Travelrite International your attorney for this purpose. You agree to pay Travelrite any cost thereof and you indemnify Travelrite in respect of any cost it incurs in this regard. Travelrite advises you to obtain travel insurance generally including in respect of the risk that any such good or service may become required.
How to Book: Bookings can be made by sending full names and addresses of intending tour members with a deposit of $900 to:
Travelrite International Pty Ltd
423 Whitehorse Road Balwyn, Victoria 3103
Further information can be obtained by telephoning
About Travelrite International: Travelrite International Pty Ltd (ABN 64 005 817 078) is a well-established travel company which has been marketing throughout Australia for over 40 years. It is accredited with IATA. As such it directly represents the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators. Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.mpany which has been marketing throughout Australia for over 30 years and operating in Victoria for more than 40 years. It has a fully licensed (ATAS No. 10538) office at Balwyn which is accredited with IATA. As such we directly represent the major airlines of the world and all major domestic and international hotel, tour and transport operators. Travelrite International Pty Ltd is a full member of the Australian Federation of Travel Agents – AFTA.
“One of the best tours we have ever done. Great program and lovely people.”
“Well organised tour that ran smoothly. Very impressed with Wayne Horsburgh, intelligent, talented and caring.”