Uncommon Journeys Offers “Autumn in the Great Smokies,” 14-day Land, Rail & Riverboat Cruise

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Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Book by August 31 & Enjoy Pre-Paid Shipboard Staff Gratuities of up to $420 per Couple

Uncommon Journeys is offering “Autumn in the Great Smokies,” a unique 14-day land, rail and riverboat holiday November 7-20, priced from $4,895 per person/double occupancy.

Experience the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, small towns, bustling cities, fabled estates, a celebrated train ride and a 7-day voyage aboard the deluxe riverboat Louisiane. The intimate flagship of America’s newest river cruise line for a maximum of 150 guests with an attentive U.S. crew of 64 will explore regional food, music and culture along the Cumberland, Ohio and Mississippi rivers from Nashville to Memphis.

Deluxe riverboat Louisiane
Deluxe riverboat Louisiane

The journey begins with an overnight in Atlanta at downtown’s Atlanta Hilton and a welcome reception at Trader Vic’s. Depart in the morning for a scenic drive to Asheville, NC and two nights at the Doubletree Biltmore. Take a guided tour of the Basilica of St. Lawrence, Grove Arcade and Grove Park Inn, followed by a tour of the Vanderbilt family’s European-style Biltmore Estate and lunch on the estate. Marvel at the 250-room French Renaissance chateau that was constructed on what is now 8,000 acres of manicured gardens from 1889 – 1895 and contains more than four acres of floor space.

Great Smoky Mountains Railroad
Great Smoky Mountains Railroad

Then continue onto the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which straddles numerous forested ridges between the borders of North Carolina and Tennessee. Experience the striking scenery of these ancient mountains while exploring the remnants of Southern Appalachian mountain culture. Ride the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad through Nantahala Gorge along the Little Tennessee River with highlights that include Horseshoe Curve and Fontana Lake Trestle. After lunch, drive to Gatlinburg through the Great Smoky Mountains for two nights at the Park Vista Resort.

Tour Cades Cove, a beautiful 11-mile loop road through the Smokies, dotted with pioneer homesteads amidst blue-misted mountains, and for centuries, the preferred hunting grounds of Cherokee Indians. The first Europeans settled in the cove sometime in the early 1800s. By 1830 the population of the area had grown to 271. Cades Cove offers the widest variety of historic buildings of any area in the national park. White-tailed deer, black bears, coyotes, turkeys and other wildlife are frequently spotted in the open valley of Cades Cove.

Continue on to explore Gatlinburg, a small town with a rich mountain arts and crafts heritage that is proud to be the gateway to the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Enjoy the tranquil River Walk along the Little Pigeon River or browse the many artists’ galleries and workshops.

Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum
Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum

Then head to Nashville’s Grand Opryland Resort, with afternoon and evening at leisure to explore Music City USA. Music is the common thread that connects the life and soul of the people of Nashville, and served as the city’s foundation, beginning with fiddle tunes on the banks of the Cumberland River in the 1700s. The city grew to become a regional center for music publishing in the 1800s and is now known as the songwriting capital of the world. This legacy allows visitors to discover their favorite genres, be it pop, rock, bluegrass, Americana, jazz, classical, gospel, contemporary Christian, blues and soul in countless venues throughout the city, from honky tonk cafes and bars to grand auditoriums and concert halls. Nashville is also a delicious city, as its food scene has come to rival the diversity and breadth of its music, with great creativity on display from traditional Southern fare and signature “hot chicken” to haute cuisine that makes best use of the region’s farm fresh bounty.

After exploring the sounds and tastes of Music City, transfer to French America Line’s Louisiane for a remarkable 7-night voyage to Memphis, with all meals, house wines, beers and spirits, and nightly live entertainment in two onboard venues included.

Walk in the footsteps of 42,000 Civil War soldiers at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield in the tiny town of Dover, TN on the banks of the Cumberland. Visit the quirky Purple Toad Winery and see the Floodwall Murals and the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, KY at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. Enjoy two scenic days of cruising. Learn about the 1811 earthquake in New Madrid, MO that caused the Mississippi to flow backwards.

Beale Street, Memphis, TN
Beale Street, Memphis, TN

Conclude with a special overnight shipboard stay in musical Memphis, the birthplace of rock’ n’ roll and home to Elvis Presley’s Graceland, the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, the Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum and the colorful Beale Street historic entertainment district. Great food also beckons, as Memphis is known for casual Southern favorites from barbecue and soul food to award-winning fine dining.

Book by August 31 and receive pre-paid shipboard staff gratuities of up to $420 per couple.

To reserve or learn more, visit www.uncommonjourneys.com or call 800-323-5893; in Canada, call 800-543-2846.