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The South goes all out for the holidays, and American Cruise Lines has announced three themed cruises to celebrate: Cajun Christmas, offered on the Lower Mississippi River; Southern Christmas on the Historic South & Golden Isles itinerary; and Old Fashioned New Year’s Eve, offered on both trips. These newly developed cruises will offer onboard and onshore activities that showcase both the regions and the spirit of the holidays.
The seven-night Cajun Christmas is offered onboard Queen of the Mississippi, sailing roundtrip out of New Orleans on Dec. 21. The cruise takes guests to the Christmas Eve tradition of Bonfires on the Levee, a Christmas Concert at the JN Stone House in Natchez and Christmas decor and takes guests on Christmas lights tours at Oak Alley and Houmas House plantations. Onboard activities include a Reveillon Traditional Dinner (a New Orleans Creole tradition).
The seven-night Southern Christmas cruise on the Independence departs Dec. 21 from Jacksonville to Charleston and features an oyster roast on the beach at Sapelo Island, a tour of The Ritz-Carlton’s famous gingerbread houses on Amelia Island, Charleston’s Festival of Lights, a special holiday tour at the Jekyll Island Club and a decor mansion tour in Charleston. Gifts are provided for guests 18 and under.
Both ships follow these sailings with Old Fashioned New Year’s Eve cruises. The Historic South & Golden Isles cruise, leaving from Charleston, includes a fireworks display over Savannah, Ga., and the Lower Mississippi River sailing out of New Orleans offers Christmas decor and lights tours at Oak Alley and Houmas House plantations. Also included is New Year’s Eve champagne and dinner as well as a New Year’s Day brunch.
Other holiday-themed cruises are also planned for the 2013 season, including Thanksgiving and Hanukkah.