Southern Soul: New Orleans to Nashville

Southern Soul: New Orleans to Nashville

10 Days



Southern Soul: New Orleans to Nashville

10 Days Starting in New Orleans and ending in Nashville

Visiting: New Orleans, Mississippi River, Natchez, Clarksdale, Memphis, Graceland, Nashville, North America

Tour operator:


Tour code:


Group size:

5 - 13

Physical rating:


Age range:

16 to 99


Sightseeing, Walking

$6273 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$177
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Tour Overview

Discover the cultural landscape that gave birth to the blues, country and rock ‘n’ roll on this tour along the mighty Mississippi. Days move a little slower in the South, as you pass time with a sweet tea or a Jack and Coke, taking in the sights and sounds of Music Row in Nashville, Beale Street in Memphis and along Bourbon Street in New Orleans. You also savour authentic cuisine and enjoy Southern hospitality as you float down the Mississippi on a riverboat cruise. Join us to celebrate Exodus' 50th anniversary! Select departures of this trip feature extra inclusions to mark the occasion: entry to the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag. For departure dates, see the Dates & Prices tab or to see other trips with Special 50th Anniversary Departures click here.


  • Spend three nights in New Orleans and the colourful music scene of Bourbon Street

  • Uncover Cajun culture and cuisine on a Mississippi riverboat dinner cruise

  • Explore Memphis including Elvis' Graceland and Sun Studio

  • Discover Nashville, the country music capital


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Day 1 : Start New Orleans
Location: New Orleans

Welcome to the cultural melting pot of the Deep South, New Orleans, otherwise known as the Big Easy. The eclectic mix of European, Creole and Cajun cultures manifests in every aspect of the architecture, cuisine and musical scene.

Depending on the group flight arrival time, a welcome briefing may be held this evening or tomorrow morning.

Accommodation: The Blake Hotel (or similar)

Day 2 : Historical Walking Tour, Mississippi River Dinner Cruise
Location: Mississippi River
Meals Included: breakfast, dinner

This morning, our leader takes us on a guided historical walking tour around the French Quarter, the oldest neighbourhood in New Orleans. We’ll walk down historic streets, seeing different architectural styles of iconic homes, Jackson Square and listen to jazz as we learn about the history of this unique city.

The afternoon is free for individual sight-seeing, then we come together in the evening to enjoy an included dinner cruise on the Mississippi River, dining on delicious local cuisine influenced by the myriad cultures that make up Louisiana.

Accommodation: The Blake Hotel (or similar)

Day 3 : Optional Activities In New Orleans
Location: New Orleans
Meals Included: breakfast

Today is free for you to take in the sights and sounds of Bourbon Street, relax in the Garden District or absorb more of the ambience of the French Quarter. There are several optional tours available, including a thrilling alligator swamp tour, during which you travel north to the town of Slidell to board the swamp boat for two hours, navigating on the West Pearl River and into the Honey Island Swamp. There are over a million alligators in Louisiana, so keep an eye out! You may also see turtles and exotic birds among the cypress trees of the swamp. Your tour leader will be able to help with any reservations you wish to make.

There is plenty to do in New Orleans come evening, not least enjoying some of the many live performances that take place nightly. This includes Preservation Hall, where top-drawer jazz musicians play every evening to a small audience in an intimate space – be prepared to wait in line. There will also be the chance to step out of the city and explore the wild river swamplands of Louisiana, where you can head out by boat beneath the cypress trees in search of alligators.

See the Extra Expenses section of our trip notes for more information about optional activities.

Accommodation: The Blake Hotel (or similar)

Day 4 : Melrose Estate And On To Natchez
Location: Natchez
Meals Included: breakfast

This morning, we visit Melrose Mansion within Natchez National Historical Park, completed in the mid-1800s and now one of the best-preserved estates in the Deep South. A guided tour of the mansion and self-guided tours of the grounds, which includes slave quarters, stables and a carriage house, provide an in-depth understanding of the region's deep-rooted links to slavery.

Departing the estate, we follow the river road north to the first established settlement on the Mississippi. Natchez, the original capital of the Mississippi Territory, was at the heart of the trade in enslaved people and is the birthplace of the Mississippi riverboat. There is free time to wander the historic district where there are more than 50 antebellum homes and historic churches. Also worthy of a visit is the Under the Hill area made famous by Mark Twain or discover one of the most interesting cemeteries in the South.

Accommodation: Guest House Natchez (or similar)

Day 5 : To Clarksdale
Location: Clarksdale
Meals Included: breakfast

Next up is Clarksdale and the Hopson Plantation, the former home of legendary blues pianist Pinetop Perkins. It is also where they tested the International Harvester automated cotton picker. Your leader will tell you the history, explaining the system of sharecropping and the evolution of the cotton industry. Clarksdale is also home to the Crossroads, where legend says blues musician Robert Johnson sold his soul to the devil. Within the town itself is the Delta Blues Museum, a shrine of blues artefacts and memorabilia, plus actor Morgan Freeman's Ground Zero Blues Club. Red's is definitely worth a visit for live music: an authentic juke joint showcasing the real heart of the South.

Accommodation: Hampton Inn Clarksdale (or similar)

Join us to celebrate Exodus’ 50th anniversary!

Select departures of this trip feature extra inclusions to mark the occasion: Entry to the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag. For departure dates, see the Dates & Prices tab.

Day 6 : On To Memphis, Visit The Civil Rights Museum
Location: Memphis
Meals Included: breakfast

Today we cross into Tennessee. Near the Mississippi River, Memphis has a long and colourful past. Legendary forefathers such as Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters and BB King put Beale Street on the musical map.

Outside of music, the National Civil Rights Museum is located in the former Lorraine Hotel, at the site where Martin Luther King was assassinated. We pay a visit to understand better this vital part of US, and global, history.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown or Comfort Inn Memphis (or similar)

Day 7 : Elvis' Graceland And Sun Studio
Location: Graceland
Meals Included: breakfast

A highlight of your stay in Memphis is an included excursion to Graceland, the home of Elvis Presley. We spend several hours taking an audio-guided tour of the mansion, seeing the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’s gold records, jewelled jumpsuits and famous Jungle Room with its green shagged carpets. We can pay our respects in the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest.

We also stop by Sun Studio, which opened in 1950 and is where many great names have passed through, from Howlin' Wolf to Johnny Cash.

Accommodation: Crowne Plaza Memphis Downtown or Comfort Inn Memphis (or similar)

Day 8 - 9 : Nashville, Tennessee
Location: Nashville
Meals Included: breakfast

We make our way to Nashville, the undisputed capital of country music. Home to the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Wildhorse Saloon, Nashville is the perfect opportunity to try line dancing (select nights only). Broadway is lined with honky-tonks and intimate live music venues playing all genres of music.

It is also the capital of Tennessee and the largest city in the state. Situated on the banks of the Cumberland River, it was established as a major port by settlers in 1779. Our time in Nashville is free for you to indulge in your choice of the many music and entertainment options available (entrance fees apply). The Grand Ole Opry is the longest running radio show in the world and a recommended highlight. You can enjoy performances at the Grand Ole Opry House, 15mi (24km) east of the city. Book before you arrive to avoid missing out as these shows are popular.

See the Extra Expenses section of our trip notes for more information about optional activities.

Accommodation: The Capitol Hotel Downtown Nashville (or similar)

Day 10 : End Nashville
Location: Nashville
Meals Included: breakfast

Our tour of the Deep South ends in Nashville. If you’d like to spend extra time exploring this country music Mecca, please speak to your sales representative.

What's Included

  • All accommodation

  • Nine breakfasts and one dinner

  • All transport and listed activities

  • Tour leader throughout

  • Arrival and departure transfers are available

What's Not Included

  • Travel insurance

  • Single accommodation (available on request)

  • Optional activities

  • Visas or vaccinations


There are nine breakfasts and one dinner included.

To help you budget for these meals, average costs are:

Hotel breakfasts: US$12-US$17
Lunches: US$15-US$20
Dinners: US$20-US$35, not including alcoholic beverages

Drinks cost on average (higher than listed in New Orleans):

Wine: US$7-10 per glass
Beer: US$5-8 per bottle

A tip of approximately 17%-20% is added to group meals in North American restaurants. Applicable taxes will also be added to all listed menu prices.

Please make sure we are aware of any special dietary requirements before travelling. We do all we can to accommodate various dietary requirements but in parts of North America certain food types can be limited.


We spend nine nights in hotels.

The accommodation on this itinerary is clean and comfortable, chosen for its friendly atmosphere and proximity to the highlights.

Single rooms can be booked for a single supplement at the time of booking (subject to availability).

Check out our Q&As

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    If you wish to make any changes to your booking, particularly if you need to alter any flights booked through us, please let us know as soon as possible. There is a booking or flight amendment fee of £40 per change and flight amendments often incur extra airline costs depending on the changes to be made and if the ticket has been issued or not.

  • How long has the tour company been trading?

    Exodus has been trading since 1974

  • What documents will I receive before I travel?

    Your final joining instructions and flight details, if booked with us, will then be sent out 2 to 3 weeks before departure. If you would like a hard copy posted, or if you require these any earlier, please contact the customer operations team. We advise that if you are booking connecting travel before receiving these, please ensure you leave plenty of time.

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    Travellers are welcome to opt to share a room with a tour member of the same gender for no additional charge. If you'd like your own room, we can request a single supplement so that you will have your own room throughout.

  • Can I join the tour once it has departed?

    You are welcome to meet the group after the tour has departed however there is no reduction in rate for joining a tour after the departure date.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Deep South - the story of the Blues and music of America

If you're into music (especially The Blues) and want to understand where it all started and developed, this is the trip for you. Starting with the background of the Civil Rights movement and visiting iconic sites such as the bridge at Selma and the museums in Atlanta and Birmingham, we followed the development of the Blues from New Orleans through Clarksdale, Memphis and finally Nashville. We experienced a wide range of live music - gospel, blues, jazz, country, rockabilly, bluegrass etc and saw the places where it all began. It was a truly entertaining and memorable trip from the beginning to the end made even more special by our awesome guide, Jay.

A wonderful trip across five states that immerses you in the music, cuisine and culture of America’s Deep South.

This trip promised a lot on paper, and delivered so much more in reality, exceeding my expectations. Our group leader managed to cram so much in, while at the same time allowing a nice degree of freedom for us to do our own exploration and choose our own optional activities. The tour began with a deeply moving and affecting look at the civil rights movement, covering the life of Martin Luther King Jr (where he was born, the church at which he preached, his memorial garden and tomb; later on we would visit the place where he was assassinated); the slave trade and its role in creating wealth for the plantation owners and the country as a whole; and the continued oppression of the freed slaves after the Civil War and their struggle for basic human rights. As we went on, the focus shifted toward the music that was created on the plantations, the way it developed and seeped into mainstream culture in America before spreading across the world. While this was very informative and educational, there were plenty of lighter moments too and we were a great group who had a lot of laughs along the way. As well as visiting sites that were significant to the music history, there were opportunities to hear live music - jazz, blues and country - at many locations from New Orleans to Nashville. A wonderful experience that we will continue to savour for a very long time.

Good music trip

This is a great trip if you’re keen to experience the USA Deep South Music and history. Great experience of New Orleans, Martin Luther King and the civil rights movements, Elvis and the music history of Memphis and Nashville. The trip is with Grand American Adventures- Exodus sister Company. You travel in a small tour bus driven by your guide. We were lucky we had 9 people on the trip as any more would have been a squeeze. A few early starts and longest drives on the road were 5-6 hours but had plenty of rest stop breaks. There’s a lot to see and do plus the music & dvds on the van helped get us in the mood and educate us to each area.

Dates & Availability

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Instant Booking Available

Monday - Wednesday

Sep 02, 2024 - Sep 11, 2024
$6450 $6273 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$177 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Monday - Wednesday

Oct 14, 2024 - Oct 23, 2024
$6450 $6273 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$177 (USD)

Celebrate Exodus' 50th anniversary! This departure includes complimentary entry to the Ground Zero Blues Club in Clarksdale, a local birthday celebration and a special edition Exodus kitbag.

Monday - Wednesday

Nov 11, 2024 - Nov 20, 2024
$6450 $6273 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$177 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Monday

Apr 19, 2025 - Apr 28, 2025
$7050 $6856 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$194 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Monday

Jun 21, 2025 - Jun 30, 2025
$7050 $6856 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$194 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Monday

Aug 16, 2025 - Aug 25, 2025
$7050 $6856 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$194 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Monday

Oct 11, 2025 - Oct 20, 2025
$7050 $6856 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$194 (USD)

Instant Booking Available

Saturday - Monday

Nov 08, 2025 - Nov 17, 2025
$7050 $6856 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: -$194 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Exodus allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform exodus, 43 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Exodus requires a minimum deposit of 25% or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 90 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of exodus charges.

    Up to 42 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 20 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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