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Bucket List Itinerary: Enjoy the South by rail and river

Take a leisurely trip down the Mississippi River to fully soak in the region’s Southern charm on the 11-day Memphis – New Orleans Rail and River Journey. The new itinerary by Chicago-based Vacations By Rail takes groups on a train ride aboard Amtrak’s City of New Orleans train from Chicago to Memphis. From Memphis to New Orleans, passengers will cruise down the river aboard the American Queen.

In Chicago, guests can utilize a Chicago Hop On/Hop Off pass to explore the Windy City’s most famous landmarks, including Millennium Park, the Art Institute and Navy Pier. Then the overnight train lets passengers travel in style to Memphis, where they will spend the day discovering the city on their own.

Memphis begins the cruise portion aboard the 436-passenger steamboat. Highlights include a Civil War battlefield in Vicksburg, Mississippi, antebellum restored mansions in Natchez and the well-preserved historic plantations of St. Francisville and Plantation Road. The faster-paced Baton Rouge lets passengers meander through one of the South’s fastest-growing cities.

The tour ends in New Orleans, where groups can depart either by train or by air. Guests can also choose to extend their trip to explore New Orleans. Vacations by Rail supplies accommodations and access to the Sightseer Lounge when aboard the City of New Orleans.

For more information on this Bucket List Itinerary, visit