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America's Civil Rights Movement, music heritage and space exploration all came to a head in the explosive and exuberant atmosphere of the nineteen sixties.
Your journey starts with a flight from London's Heathrow on the scheduled services of British Airways directly to Atlanta where our coach and tour director will be waiting to transfer you to your city hotel. Join your fellow travellers in the evening for a welcome dinner.
This morning, after breakfast, begin your day with a brief city tour of Atlanta and then head off to Nashville. Stop along the way at the historic Lookout Mountain with its fabulous views across terrain fought over during the America Civil War then later on visit the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg where the eponymous whiskey has been made since 1884. Interestingly Lynchburg, with its red brick courthouse and quaint general store has just one traffic light and is a dry county! After a break for lunch continue on through Tennessee to 'Music City USA' Nashville, a town set amidst rolling farmland known worldwide as the home of country music.
For music listeners, your tour begins here with a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame, a huge museum of all things Country and Western with films, videos, costumes and home to Elvis Presley's solid gold Cadillac. Next continue to the Johnny Cash Museum to admire never-beforeseen historical documents, awards and costumes. Your group will also have the chance to visit one of Nashville's famous honky-tonks playing live country music as well as the Ryman Auditorium and the impressive Parthenon - the only full scale replica of the Greek Parthenon giving reason for its nickname 'Athens of the South'. Whilst in Nashville you have the option of attending a country music concert at the famous 'Grand Ole Opry' at an additional cost.
Following breakfast begin the day with a visit to Studio B, Nashville's oldest surviving recording studio regularly used by stars such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Dolly Parton, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings and The Everley Brothers to name just a few. The tour will then head for Memphis, yet another highlight of this Southern Musical Medley tour. On arrival in Memphis you will take a trip to the National Civil Rights Museum built on the spot where Martin Luther King was assassinated in 1968. Telling the story of the black fight for freedom from slavery through to the Civil Rights Movement of the early fifties and sixties, prepare yourself for an emotional and unforgettable experience. This evening, after checking into your hotel we've arranged dinner at BB Kings Blues Bar for a great night of Southern food, musical sounds and hospitality amongst the lively atmosphere of Beale Street.
Today features another first for the music lover - a visit to Graceland the home of Elvis, one of the most iconic houses in America and final resting place of The King. Enjoy an audio tour through the decadent and quirky rooms including the 'jungle den' where he used to watch football games and Kung-fu movies. Next watch the famous Peabody Ducks march to and from the Grand Lobby at the Peabody Memphis Hotel, a unique tradition dating back to 1933! Then we move onto Sun Studio where Elvis recorded his first hit and where you can still see Jerry Lee Lewis' piano. Admire architectural landmarks such as Court Square Fountain, the Lincoln American Tower and Calvary Episcopal Church whilst your guide entertains you with entertaining tales about this rowdy riverside town and its inhabitants. Tonight is at leisure for you to explore and experience the many bars, restaurants and music scene of Memphis.
Today the tour leaves Memphis and follows the path of the mighty Mississippi River and travels deep into the heart of the Mississippi Delta via Jackson before crossing the border into Louisiana. Driving across Lake Pontchartrain on the longest causeway in the world you will arrive in New Orleans, a melange of European style and Caribbean flavours and a city full of flamboyance, festivities and a whole lot of soul. We've arranged to take you to the New Orleans School of cooking this evening for an entertaining demonstration from one of their Creole/Cajun experts with dinner included and the chance to try a New Orleans speciality such as Gumbo, Jambalaya and Pralines.
In the morning, after breakfast visit some of New Orleans highlights including the famous French Quarter taking in Bourbon Street, the art galleries and antique shops of Royal Street and Jackson Square with its many artists, museums and fortune tellers. The rest of the day and evening are for you to enjoy at your leisure, but make sure you live the New Orleans' motto 'Laissez les bons temps rouler' - let the good times roll!
Today is a free day for you to enjoy and relax in New Orleans in your own time. Stroll around the market in the French Quarter, stop for some lunch at one of the many oyster bars and restaurants, shop for antiques and trinkets or book yourself a tour through the Louisiana bayou aboard an airboat. This evening you can take your pick of the many excellent bars, eateries and music venues for where this laid back city, The Big Easy, is world renowned.
This morning it's time to leave New Orleans and travel to Houston to catch your return flight back to the UK the next day. There will be a stop along the way in Lake Charles for an hour or so for you to stretch your legs and have some lunch. Arriving in Houston in the early hours of the evening there will be a short orientation tour before returning to the hotel.
The final day includes a visit to Houston's Space Centre, home to N.A.S.A and the world's largest collection of moon rocks and lunar samples on public view. You'll also see Mission Control that guided the first moon landings as well as original Saturn, Mercury and Apollo rockets that have been at the forefront of space exploration since the early sixties. (We suggest you visit www.spacecentre.org for a full flavour of this fascinating experience). Sadly, your southern tour of music, culture and history is at an end and it is time to depart for the airport to catch your return direct flight back to Heathrow with British Airways.
A visa is not required for entry into the USA for UK passport holders. You will need a tourist card which you can get on arrival by completing an immigration form provided either on the flight or on arrival at the airport. You will need to obtain an ESTA visa This must be applied for at least 7 days before you are due to land in the USA. Please advise if you would like us to arrange this for you. All UK passport holders must have a Bio-metric ePassport and your passport must be valid for at least 6 months from the date you are expected to arrive back in the UK. Important note: if you do not have a Bio-metric ePassport, you will be refused entry into the USA. We work closely with The Travel Visa Company who will be who will be able to arrange the ESTA visa on your behalf. Please call them on 01270 250590 and quote 'Mercury Holidays'. The cost of the visa is approximately £25. If you wish to apply for the visa yourself, you can do so online by visiting the website. Further advice should be sought from the applicable tourist authority for other nationalities and for general queries. We strongly advise you to check with your destinations' Tourist Board or Embassy for the most up-to-date guidelines regarding required passport validity.
You must obtain suitable travel insurance prior to departure. Mercury Holidays is partnered with Holiday Extras which offer insurance at the following prices:
|Age in Years||Up to 64||65 - 74||75 - 85|
|Up to 17 days cover (including USA)||£51||£96||£166|
If booking more than 10 weeks before departure a deposit of £250pp will need to be paid at the time of booking with the full amount payable at 10 weeks prior to departure. The deposit applies to adults and children. If you are within 10 weeks of travel then the full balance of the holiday will be payable.
Your flight is to Atlanta International Airport with British Airways (BA), departing from London Heathrow Terminal 5. Each passenger is entitled to 23kg of hold luggage. There is also an allowance of one cabin bag not exceeding 56cm x 45 cm x 25 cm and one personal bag not exceeding 45 cm x 36 cm x 20 cm that you can take on the aircraft as hand luggage. Weight restrictions will be finalized on E-ticket receipt. Should you wish to take additional luggage you will need to pay extra at check-in. Check-in should be at least 3 hours before departure.
It is your responsibility to check any health and vaccination requirements applicable to your booked arrangements. We can only provide general information about this. Health and hygiene facilities and disease risks vary from country to country. You should take health advice about your own needs as early as possible and in good time before your departure. Sources of information include; www.fco.gov.uk, http://travelhealthpro.org.uk/, www.hpa.org.uk, your General Practitioner or a specialist clinic.
This tour is accessible to most people with an average level of fitness and normal mobility. It involves full days of sightseeing, often on foot and includes some climbing of stairs and getting on and off coaches. This tour is not suitable for anyone with walking difficulties.
The minimum number of travellers in your group will be 20, and the maximum will be 45. If in the unlikely event there are less than 20 people booked on your tour date then you may be asked to change to a different date. A full refund will be made available to you should this alternative not be suitable.
This is a fully escorted tour, meaning that you will be met on arrival and will be accompanied by a guide throughout your stay ensuring that you have first-hand knowledge at all times.
The currency in America is the United States Dollar (USD). You will be able to change currency both before you travel and whilst you are away. You will also have access to ATMs during your tour where you can withdraw money in the local currency.
You will need to take money with you to cover any personal purchases such as souvenirs, laundry and extra drinks and snacks. Approximately £500-£700 per person will be sufficient for the durations of the tour, depending on how much of a bargain-hunter you are!
It is customary to tip your guide and driver. This is at your discretion but we recommend you allow approximately £4 per person per day
|Depart UK||Arrive UK||Price|
|15 Jun 2017||24 Jun 2017||£2059pp|
|14 Sep 2017||23 Sep 2017||£2059pp|
|05 Oct 2017||14 Oct 2017||£1959pp|
|23 Nov 2017||02 Dec 2017||£1759pp|
We have a limited number of single places with no supplement on this tour. Once these have been sold, a single supplement will apply for single travellers on this tour. However, if you are happy to share with another passenger of the same gender, then let us know at the time of booking and we will endeavour to find you a travelling partner.
Weather can vary quite considerably throughout the year, so please familiarise yourself with the climate charts below.
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