The Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast have seen the canoes of Native Americans, the flotilla of French and Spanish explorers, and the flatboats of settlers. Yet to most travelers today, this is undiscovered territory. Now we invite you to join us on a cruise to explore both waterways-the gracious plantations, historic cities, and Civil War battlefields along the Mississippi; and the historic and cultural sites of the Gulf Coast.
Our voyage takes us to New Orleans' French Quarter, the heart of this vibrant city. Famous for its cuisine, its native jazz music, and its romantic French colonial architecture, New Orleans possesses an irresistible charm. In Mobile, a city that also has deep French and Creole roots, we will visit architectural treasures that are among the finest along the Gulf Coast. Cruising along the Mississippi River, we stop in one of the loveliest and oldest towns in the South, Natchez, and also will have the opportunity to tour a select few of the grandest historical plantations in the region. Civil War enthusiasts will enjoy Vicksburg, the Confederate stronghold besieged for 47 days by General Ulysses S. Grant, and Helena, site of an 1863 battle in which the Confederates attempted to drive the occupying Union forces out of the town.
Joining us on this voyage will be popular W&L Alumni College guest lecturer and noted Civil War historian, James "Bud" Robertson, who will enhance our appreciation of this region's deep history with his engaging lectures and discussions. Additionally, we will be treated to onboard concerts from the talented jazz trio Bill Messenger, Tim Camp, and Joe Ercole.
For this idyllic voyage we have the ideal vessel. Yorktown is an American ship, staffed by American crew and officers. It accommodates 138 passengers in 69 exterior cabins. With its large sun deck, comfortable lounge, and spacious dining room, Yorktown offers its guests the finest small-ship experience.
Dr. James I. (Bud) Robertson, Jr. is a noted Civil War historian, scholar and author. A native of Danville, Virginia, he was educated at Randolph-Macon College and Emory University. Last spring he retired from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University after 44 years of service and has been given the honor of being named the Alumni Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus. The recipient of every major award given in the field of Civil War history, Dr. Robertson was executive producer of the documentary, "Virginia in the Civil War," which aired on PBS.