Fly into Nashville International Airport, pick up your rental car and make your way to the historic Hermitage Hotel. Enjoy the day at leisure as you get acclimated to your new surroundings.
Tour the historic RCA Studio B, once graced by Eddy Arnold, Dolly Parton, Elvis Presley and Willie Nelson. Enjoy lunch and the afternoon at leisure before your evening excursion to Nashville’s longest-running country music stage show, The Grand Ole Opry. As a VIP, take a behind-the-scenes tour and watch the beginning of the night’s performance backstage.
After a scenic drive, discover the history of whiskey making and try some samples on your private distillery tour. Afterwards, eat at a classic country cafe. Back in Nashville, take a backstage tour of the Ryman Auditorium before following in the footsteps of Hank Williams and sneaking through the back door to a Nashville honkytonk establishment. Meet a local singer/songwriter guide to tour the Nashville Strip. Finish with a hot chick dinner and musical accompaniment by up-and-coming country stars.
Travel to the Memphis, birthplace of soul music and rock‘n’roll. Tour a palatial estate once owned by Elvis Presley, sampling Elvis’ favourite meals for lunch. Admire his Jungle Room and other opulent living spaces, all restored exactly to the way they looked in 1977. You also have full access to Presley Motors Automobile Museum, his two private jets and the artefacts, memorabilia and costumes of the Career Museum. On checking into the Peabody Hotel, look out for the famous Peabody ducks.
Visit the National Civil Rights Museum at Lorraine Motel, infamous site of Martin Luther King’s death. Next, meet your music-historian guide and discover where Elvis grew up. At the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, musical home of Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, observe more than 2,000 soul artefacts.
Follow the Mississippi Blues Trail to New Orleans. This series of historic markers traces the growth of Blues music in the Mississippi Delta. Stop for private touring at Blues landmarks such as the “Crossroads of the Blues”, the first town to put blues on the radio and the B.B. King Museum. Your hotel in Natchez is a 19th-century plantation mansion converted into a luxurious historic inn with 10 hectares of perfectly manicured garden.
Meet your expert guide in New Orleans. You can focus today’s tour on anything from voodoo to piracy, or simply let your guide take the reins. Feast on tasty creole cuisine accompanied by a musicologist and a prominent local jazz performer, and join your guide to visit historic jazz venues. At Preservation Hall, enjoy reserved seating and expedited entry to a brief performance by the legendary Preservation Hall All-Stars. Head back to your hotel or stay out to see more of the Big Easy.
Today begins at Mardi Gras World, a 300,000-square-foot warehouse and museum where dedicated artists construct spectacular parade floats for Mardi Gras, and set pieces and props for Disney World and Universal Studios. Then venture deep into the Louisiana Bayou by high-speed airboat with your Cajun naturalist guide and captain. With your knowledgeable guide on hand, get up close and personal with wild alligator, turtle and many exotic birds.
This morning, check out of your hotel and make your way to Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport where you will drop off your rental car in time for your flight home.