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Cosmos The Old South & Florida with Mardi Gras in New Orleans (8690)

13 days from New Orleans to Orlando 
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the South on this wondrous vacation through the heart of Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida. This southern U.S. tour starts with three nights in New Orleans and ends with two nights in Orlando. In between, you’ll stay two nights in Nashville and Savannah, and one night in Natchez, Memphis, and Atlanta. You’ll also spend time in Baton Rouge, Louisiana’s capital; Chattanooga, home of the Chattanooga Choo Choo; and St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States.

A highlight of this southern U.S. tour is the time you’ll spend in New Orleans enjoying world-famous Mardi Gras. Marvel at the grand parades and flamboyant costumes, and enjoy a themed Mardi Gras dinner. Also enjoy sightseeing in New Orleans, with its clanging streetcars, stately mansions, and French Quarter.

Music fans will be delighted by the included visits to Graceland, Elvis Presley’s lavish home; Studio B, Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio; the Country Music Hall of Fame, with its rare instruments and glittering costumes; and the world-famous Grand Ole Opry, where you’ll have reserved premier seating for an unforgettable show. History buffs will enjoy a visit to a pre-Civil War home in Natchez, featuring fine collections of period furniture and paintings. In Atlanta, stop at the grave and eternal flame dedicated to preserving the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. A trolley tour in Savannah highlights many attractions of this historic seaport, including Madison Square, designed in the 1830s.

You’ll also enjoy seeing the countryside between cities. You’ll drive through the heart of Cajun Country from New Orleans to Baton Rouge and through rural Mississippi from Natchez to Memphis. Between Chattanooga and Atlanta, you’ll drive through Chattanooga National Forest.

If you want to experience the charm of the South, this value-minded vacation is for you!

Cosmos Promotions & Special Offers

  • Book early and save $50 per person on 2018 Cosmos vacations (excluding Cuba).*
    Must be booked between 06/21/17 and 10/17/17 - for Travel Dates between 01/01/18 and 12/31/18
Restrictions May Apply

Cosmos Highlights & Sightseeing

Sightseeing:
In New Orleans and Nashville; orientation tours in Atlanta and Baton Rouge, Memphis, and St. Augustine; Blaine Kern’s Mardi Gras World, Mardi Gras parade, Savannah Trolley Tour, pre-Civil War home, Graceland, Studio B, Country Music Hall of Fame, and reserved premier seating at the Grand Ole Opry. Inside visits as shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description, including admission charges where applicable.

Cosmos Hotels

NEW ORLEANS Sheraton New Orleans (SF)
NATCHEZ Hampton Inn & Suites (ST)
MEMPHIS Crowne Plaza Memphis (MF)
NASHVILLE Inn at Opryland (MF)
ATLANTA Holiday Inn Express and Suites Atlanta Buckhead (MF)
SAVANNAH Fairfield Inn & Suites Savannah Downtown/Historic District (ST)
ORLANDO Courtyard by Marriott Lake Buena Vista at Vista Center (F)

Itinerary (2017)

Day 1New Orleans.
 Welcome to New Orleans! Your Tour Director is on hand late this afternoon to answer any questions.
Day 2New Orleans.
 The morning is dedicated to the sights and sounds of this Old World city. First, visit the French Quarter, including St. Louis Cathedral and Jackson Square. Next, learn about the city’s unique burial customs at an above-ground cemetery, followed by a leisurely drive down historic St. Charles Avenue to enjoy its stately mansions and clanging streetcars. Sightseeing ends with a must do visit to BLAINE KERN’s MARDI GRAS WORLD. Your guided sightseeing tour shows you where Mardi Gras magic is made. Walk among towering figures of fantasy. Marvel at the skill and technology that animate mega-floats. Acquire an insider’s appreciation of the history and traditions of Carnival. The remainder of the day is at leisure.
Day 3New Orleans.
 Today, experience the colorful parades, floats and costumes of "Fat Tuesday"! Try to catch colorful doubloons as they are thrown from the floats - but watch out, the competition is fierce! Try the famous King Cake with coffee, and don the traditional Mardi Gras colors of green, gold and purple in preparation for New Orleans' most renowned and exciting day of celebration. Tonight the celebrations continue with a delicious MARDI GRAS themed dinner at the Court of Two Sisters with its picturesque old-world courtyard with original gas lights and flowing fountains adding to the unique history of this French Quarter building. (D)
Day 4New Orleans–Baton Rouge–Natchez.
 Drive through the heart of Cajun Country to Baton Rouge for an orientation tour that features the Governor’s Mansion and the State Capitol. Next, on to elegant Natchez, a thriving port in the golden years of the cotton trade. Visit a gracious PRECIVIL WAR HOME featuring fine collections of period furniture and paintings. In the evening, relax and perhaps sip a refreshing mint julep as the sun goes down.
Day 5Natchez–Jackson–Memphis.
 Drive a portion of the Natchez Trace Parkway to Jackson, then north through rural Mississippi to Memphis. On arrival, acquaint yourself with the town during an included orientation tour. For your first night in the “Home of the Blues,” why not visit one of the famous music clubs on Beale Street, immortalized in WC Handy’s famous songs? (B)
Day 6Memphis–Graceland Visit–Nashville.
 A trip to Memphis would not be complete without visiting GRACELAND, the palatial home of “The King,” Elvis Presley. Our guided platinum audio tour focuses on the splendid garden and the opulent 15,000-square-foot mansion. Afterward, the “Capital of Country Music,” Nashville.
Day 7Nashville.
 Its association with country music has made the name “Nashville” world famous, but it’s not just music fans who will find this charming Southern city a delight. Start your day with a visit to STUDIO B, Nashville’s oldest surviving recording studio and one of the country’s most important. Afterward, enjoy a sightseeing tour of the famous landmarks, including the Parthenon, the State Capitol, Bicentennial State Park, and the recording studios of Music Row. Then, visit the COUNTRY MUSIC HALL OF FAME with its glittering costumes, rare instruments, and Elvis Presley’s “solid-gold” Cadillac. This evening you have reserved premier seating for an unforgettable show at the world-famous GRAND OLE OPRY, a mecca for country musicians since 1925.
Day 8Nashville–Chattanooga–Atlanta.
 First stop today is Chattanooga, home of the Chattanooga Choo Choo. Then, enter the “Peach State” of Georgia and continue through Chattahoochee National Forest to the fast-growing metropolis of Atlanta, former home and burial place of civil rights leader, Martin Luther King Jr. Enjoy an orientation tour, followed by a short visit to the grave and eternal flame dedicated to preserving his legacy.
Day 9Atlanta–Savannah.
 Head south through rich, rolling farmland to the historic seaport of Savannah for a 2-night stay. On this afternoon’s TROLLEY TOUR, your tour highlights attractions such as the City Market, Forsyth Park, Mercer House, Madison Square (where General Sherman concluded his “March to the Sea”), Colonial Park Cemetery, and the world-famous River Street. This evening is free to explore this charming city on your own. (B)
Day 10Savannah.
 A day at leisure. Shop on cobblestoned River Street or stroll among the many squares surrounded by elegant homes and gardens. Don’t miss the impressive Ships of the Sea Maritime Museum to learn about Savannah’s important role in maritime history. (B)
Day 11Savannah–St. Augustine–Orlando.
 Travel into the “Sunshine State” of Florida, stopping first at St. Augustine, the oldest city in the United States. You will see the Oldest Government House and the Spanish fortress, Castillo de San Marcos, on your orientation tour. Then, drive to the magical city of Orlando. (B)
Day 12Orlando.
 A full day to relax and explore the many sights in the Orlando area. Your Tour Director will suggest a varied and exciting selection of optional outings, such as Disney’s huge entertainment parks, including the Magic Kingdom®, Animal Kingdom®, Epcot®, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios® (formally MGM Studios).
Day 13Orlando.
 The trip ends today with guests departing on individual schedules. Transfers to Orlando International Airport are included. You can extend your vacation with extra nights and explore the “Sunshine State” further with a variety of exciting optional activities.

Included Cosmos Meals

4 breakfast, 1 dinner

Related Cosmos Tours

8290 - The Old South & Florida

Cosmos Pricing Details

Gratuities for Tour Director and driver are available for pre-purchase.

Prices based on double room occupancy.

Single Room Supplement:
$1,150

Triple Room Reduction per person:
$280

Additional accommodations before or after your tour may be available.

Cosmos Notes

NOTE:
This special departure includes all activities on our regular departures, plus a themed Mardi Gras dinner. Itinerary and prices are subject to change for the February 11, 2018 departure.

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