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Tastes and Sounds of the South with Mardi Gras

10 Days 1 Country 6 Cities

Journey through America's south, hear soothing soul music or simply savour a Southern style reception.

"We were treated to a fabulous vacation"


About this trip

This trip gives you time to enjoy the South's music and food – from Elvis's Graceland to Creole cooking in New Orleans and grand antebellum hospitality in Natchez.

You'll enjoy Insider moments like... experiencing Southern hospitality at two period homes in one amazing evening. Joe Stone plays the piano for you as you sip cocktails, while Esther Carpenter – once listed among America's top 20 female chefs – invites you to dinner. It's getting to know the home of Rock n' Roll with our passionate Memphis expert, and learning about the city's role in the civil rights movement. And it's learning about ‘white gold' and the stark contrasts between life on a modern and pre-Civil War cotton plantation.

Trip type: At Leisure i

Trip code: DTSS

9 Nights


14 Meals
  • 9 full breakfasts.

  • 5 dinners (including Be My Guest).

On-trip Transport

All transport shown.

Tastes and Sounds of the South with Mardi Gras

Your Itinerary

1. Arrive Nashville (3 nights)

Welcome to Music City. Get settled at your hotel and enjoy some time on your own this afternoon to explore. At 6 p.m., gather at the hotel with your Travel Director and fellow travelling companions for a Welcome Reception.

Welcome Reception
Renaissance Nashville

2. Nashville Sightseeing

Today brings your choice of sightseeing with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum where you'll see memorabilia from stars such as Hank Williams, Loretta Lynn and Garth Brooks. Get a unique look into the life and music of Johnny Cash during a private performance and discussion with Johnny and June's son, John Carter Cash, a Cultural Insight. John (or a member of his family) entertains with his own original music, as well as a few numbers made famous by his legendary family. Ask your own questions about the legend at a meet and greet. Your other choice is awash in musical history with a tour of the Ryman Auditorium where country music's biggest stars play to cheering audiences today. Next is a visit to RCA's Studio B, one of the world's most successful recording studios where musicians such as Elvis Presley recorded their iconic sounds. Tonight, enjoy a Regional Meal.

Full Breakfast
Regional Meal

3. Nashville At Leisure and Sightseeing

The day is yours to discover Nashville. Perhaps enjoy some live music at a honky tonk on Broadway street. This evening, head to the Grand Ole Opry, home to America's longest-running live radio program. Dinner is on your own tonight to venture out and sample delicious Southern cuisine.

Full Breakfast

4. Nashville – Memphis (2 nights)

This morning, hit the highway to Memphis along the Mississippi Delta. Upon arrival in Memphis, visit the National Civil Rights Museum before joining a Local Specialist who shares stories about Beale Street and Sun Studios, the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll. See the hotel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically assassinated. Then get an in-depth look at the rich music history of Memphis with a tour of the legendary Rock 'n' Soul Museum. Enjoy the evening at leisure.

Full Breakfast
Sheraton Memphis Downtown

Optional Experiences

Memphis Sun Records Studio Visit

Experience a guided tour of the legendary Sun Records Studio, the “Most Famous Recording Studio in the World.” Learn how the blending of Blues and Country music came together in the Big Bang of Rock N’ Roll. Hear the outtakes from sessions, see loads of memorabilia, and re-live the history of the studio that launched the musical careers of Johnny Cash, B.B. King, Charlie Rich, Little Milton, Roy Orbison, Howlin’ Wolf, Carl Perkins, Rosco Gardon, Jerry Lee Lewis, Elvis Presley and many other music legends! Approx. Duration: 1.5 hours.

Adult Price: US$15.00

5. Graceland Excursion

Graceland is as much an object of pilgrimage as a museum dedicated to the late, great Elvis Presley. Marvel at the Jungle Room and walls full of gold and platinum records. Stroll the grounds and you just might find yourself humming “Blue Suede Shoes.” If so, don't worry, there's leisure time this afternoon to pick up a pair before embarking on a your choice dining experience where you choose from a selection of local eateries for the evening's meal.

Full Breakfast
Your Choice

6. Memphis – Natchez

This morning, depart for Natchez. Founded by the French in 1716, Natchez was home to a flowering antebellum culture. Tonight, enjoy an incredible evening highlighting Southern hospitality at a Be My Guest dinner. Explore the private residence of Joe Stone, whose home, built in the 1850s, contains a gallery collection of rare maps, a quaint billiards hall, and exquisite ornamental glasswork. Joe performs on his 1903 Steinway grand piano and delves into the meaning and inspiration behind each piece of music as you enjoy a cocktail. Later, head over to the residence of Esther Carpenter, built in 1804, to hear the stories, past and present, about this historic estate. Esther, a former Four Seasons chef and once named one of the Top 20 female chefs in America by USA Today, hosts a four-course dinner with wine featuring a true taste of the Deep South.

Full Breakfast
Be My Guest Dining
The Grand

7. Natchez – Oak Alley – New Orleans (3 nights)

After breakfast, stop at Frogmore Plantation and Gins to learn about the white gold of the Mississippi Delta. With your costumed hosts, Local Specialists, on a visit to a reconstructed 19th century cotton plantation and compare it to the modern-day operation that produces more than 900 bales each day. From Natchez, travel to the countryside to marvel at Oak Alley Plantation. This classic antebellum home sits on the Mississippi River and amazes visitors with its quarter mile canopy of 300-year-old live oak trees. Late this afternoon, arrive in New Orleans. This evening, visit the New Orleans School of Cooking located in the heart of the French Quarter. Discover the flair of Creole cuisine during a fun cooking class before enjoying your culinary creations during a Regional Meal.

Full Breakfast
Regional Meal
Astor Crowne Plaza

8. New Orleans Sightseeing and At Leisure

Delight in a hearty New Orleans breakfast and coffee before today's exploration of the Crescent City. Join a tour with a Local Specialist and see the atmospheric French Quarter and Jackson Square, originally called Place d'Armes when it was the centre of the old city, and tour one of the city's above-ground cemeteries. This afternoon, enjoy some leisure time.

Full Breakfast

Optional Experiences

Steamboat Natchez Jazz Dinner Cruise

Enjoy your evening in New Orleans aboard the authentic Steamboat Natchez for a jazz dinner cruise on the Mississippi River. Enjoy a freshly prepared dinner while taking in lovely views of downtown New Orleans all while enjoing the sounds of the Grammy nominated "Dukes of Dixieland". A full bar is also available for your pleasure. Duration: 2 hours.

Adult Price: US$90.00

9. New Orleans At Leisure and Mardi Gras

Enjoy a leisurely day to explore this vibrant city and partake in one of the city’s most famous events with your included tickets to the Mardi Gras Parade (Note: For guests on the 02Feb departure, this event will take place on Day 8 of the Tastes of Sounds itinerary instead). This evening, join your Travel Director and travelling companions for a Farewell Dinner at the famed Court of Two Sisters.

Full Breakfast
Farewell Dinner

Optional Experiences

Swamp And Bayou Tour

After a short motorcoach ride across the Mississippi River, take a fascinating boat trip into the Louisiana swamps and bayous through part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park – Barataria Preserve. Native guides will reveal the mysteries of the swamps and bayous and you will discover how the seafood from these bountiful waters provides a wide assortment of delectable local dishes! Observe the nesting grounds of alligators, egrets, raccoons, nutria, and many species of snakes. Transportation included. Duration: 2.5 hours

Adult Price: US$49.00

10. Depart New Orleans

Extend your stay in New Orleans Marriott or say ‘Au Revoir' to the Big Easy this morning with a transfer provided to New Orleans International Airport.

Full Breakfast

The Trafalgar Difference

  • Hidden Treasures
    Enjoy at least one surprise Hidden Treasure.

  • Be My Guest
    in true Southern style featuring two beautiful private homes in Natchez.

  • Local Specialists
    in Memphis, the birthplace of Rock 'n' Roll, on a reconstructed cotton plantation and in New Orleans.

  • Cultural Insights
    Meet a member of Johnny Cash's family and learn about his life and iconic music.

Find out what makes Trafalgar different.

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What's Included

Sightseeing Highlights

    • City tour in Memphis and New Orleans

    • Orientations of Nashville and Natchez

    • Visit Graceland, Oak Alley Plantation, Frogmore Plantation, Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame

What's Included


    • 9 full breakfasts.

    • 5 dinners
      (including Be My Guest).

What's Included

Travel Highlights

    • Luxury air-conditioned coach with WiFi in most countries or alternative transportation (such as rail journeys)

    • Hand-picked 4 and 5 star accommodation

    • Hand-picked Insider Experiences

    • Optional Experiences and free time

    • All porterage and restaurant gratuities

    • Must-see sightseeing and surprise extras

    • An expert Travel Director and separate Driver

    • All hotel tips, charges and local taxes

    • Airport transfers on the first and last day of your guided holiday

    • VIP entry to many sights

    • Audio Headsets for flexible sightseeing

    • 9 nights First Class accommodation

    Airport Transfers

  • Specific transfer information can be found on the airport transfers page

Why Trafalgar?

The Trafalgar Experience


Enjoy the wonder of travel, crisscrossing the globe through the seasons. On effortless adventures in breathtaking new horizons, forge lifelong friendships and memories. Our lovingly crafted itineraries are a fascinating mosaic of cultures, flavours, festivals and local stories. We’re with you all the way, guiding you and ensuring you experience the real thing: the sheer love of travel, entirely hassle-free.

sunset heart

Love... Travel

"Is simply the best way to position what our guests love to experience and what we love to deliver" - Gavin Tollman CEO


Meet warm-hearted locals and like-minded travellers. Along your journey of discovery, stop to share stories and flavours with local farmers, chefs and winemakers. Pause to admire the handicrafts and rich traditions of amazing artisans. Explore the essence of Europe through captivating accounts shared by expert historians and savvy local guides.


Travelling with your tastebuds, treating them to new flavours, spices and textures along the way. From the very first breakfast to the last nightcap, travelling through Europe indulges your palate, with every meal an opportunity to discover regional fare. Savour each new flavour, try the local tipple and take home fresh culinary inspiration. Let us share our love for food and hospitality with you.


Once you've packed your suitcase, we take care of the rest, removing all your concerns so that you can be secure in the knowledge that an award-winning global company with an impeccable reputation has taken care of every little detail. We arrange everything you'll need along your journey - meals, accommodation and travel logistics, because we are with you all the way. Travel the world with peace of mind, knowing you’re in the hands of Trafalgar.

Guest Reviews and Ratings

  • Guest Service Rating from 46 Reviews

  • Trip:


    The layout of the tour was excellent!!!!Emilly and Josh were fantastic and couldn't be faulted

  • Trip:


    Service rating : While the overall experiences were good, buses need to provide more comfortable seating including more legroom. A seat rotation process ought to be applied fairly and consistently and not appear to favor a few. Where visits to dining experiences are required, transport ought to

  • Trip:


    the tour guide worked very hard to please everyone on the trip. During our free time , she was available to suggest sites to see and how to get there

  • Trip:


    Service rating : The tour director and the bus driver were outstanding, especially Emily.Product : It was well planned out and everything went smoothly.

  • Trip:


    Guide was not able to provide enough leisure time options; i.e. Restaurants, sight seeing opportunities, etc.

Tastes and Sounds of the South with Mardi Gras

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10 Days, 1 Country, 6 Cities

Tastes and Sounds of the South with Mardi Gras

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i Please read our Trip Notes before booking

    Subject to date, price and itinerary changes. Final details will be confirmed in the 2017 brochure.
  • Trip prices are per person, land only, based on double occupancy and reflect applicable discount. Discounts are subject to availability and may be withdrawn at any time without notice.
  • Trip prices are correct at the time of the products going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however are subject to change - please confirm all details at time of booking.
  • For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Website Terms of Use page.
  • Twin-share option not available for trips to South America, Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey. It's also not available on Small Group trips.  Guided Vacations included in this restriction are Newfoundland and Labrador (DNLA) as well as Panama, the Canal & Beyond (LPAN).  
  • For trips that are part of our Guaranteed Room Share, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 

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