Delve into American music and the life of the international King of Rock 'n' Roll - Elvis Presley - on this exciting behind the scenes tour of America's musical landmark cities.
Free single supplements on selected departures - subject to availability
9 days from
(based on 16/03/2015 departure date)
Elvis Aaron Presley is one of the USA's greatest popular music icons, whose influence on other performers has been profound and long lasting. He has sold more than one billion records worldwide - more than any other artist. His premature death in 1977 has done nothing to lessen the enthusiasm of his legions of loyal followers. This highly enjoyable holiday is for all fans of the 'King', as well as devotees of the rich musical legacy that he and his fellow Southerners have given the world, including rock 'n' roll, blues, bluegrass, rhythm 'n' blues and country music. You'll visit Elvis Presley's Birthplace in Tupelo, the humble two-room house where the 'King' was born, the adjacent museum which contains rare photos and memorabilia, and Memphis, the 'home of the blues', where he grew up and cut his first disc. You'll be able to trace the musical influences which affected the young aspiring singer, including country music, gospel and the blues he heard on Beale Street. You'll also visit locations which featured prominently in Elvis' life and work, including Sun Studio and Graceland, his impressive mansion - today a famous pilgrimage site for fans. The mansion tour consists of the living room, music room, Elvis' parents bedroom, the dining room, kitchen, TV room, pool room and 'jungle den' in the main house. You will also see his trophy building, which houses his enormous collection of gold records, awards and career mementos. Don't miss the section of the mansion which features an extensive collection of Elvis' stage costumes. The tour ends with a quiet visit to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis and members of his family have been laid to rest. Besides discovering more about Elvis, you will experience the soul roots of Memphis and visit revered country music sites in Nashville. In Nashville, the home of country music, you'll have an extra special private performance with John Carter Cash, the only son of John and June Cash. Enjoy a performance at the renowned Grand Ole Opry, the world's premier country music venue since 1925. You'll also visit the Country Music Hall of Fame, which houses classic memorabilia such as Elvis' gold Cadillac and illustrates the roots and development of Bluegrass, Cajun, cowboy and western-swing music.
Fly to Memphis where you will transfer to your hotel.
During your sightseeing you will get a unique, 'behind the scenes' perspective from your expert guide. Discover the hard to find, 'hidden' Elvis sites such as his Lauderdale Courts apartment, Humes High School and Overton Park Shell Theatre amongst others. Next visit the Stax Museum of American Soul Music, which celebrates great Memphis soul music made famous by Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin and Booker T. and the MGs to name just a few. Then it's on to the Rock 'n' Soul Museum, which traces Memphis' cultural and musical past. End the day with a visit to Sun Studio, probably the most famous recording studio in the world, where Rock 'n' Roll was first recorded. Hear the outtakes from sessions, touch Elvis' first microphone, see memorabilia and re-live the history of the studio that launched the careers of Johnny Cash, BB King, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis and many other music legends.
Today, travel to Tupelo, Mississippi, the birthplace of Elvis Presley. This humble 2-room house is where Elvis was born; the adjacent museum, Times and Things Remembered, contains rare photos and memorabilia. Return to Memphis "Home of the Blues" where the evening is free for independent activities. The next two nights are at Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel.
Today sees one of the real highlights of your tour - a guided audio visit of Graceland. Experience life as Elvis did by walking through the decadent and quirky rooms where he felt truly at home. You'll also be able to board the 'King's' private jet. Finish your tour of Graceland with a visit to the Meditation Garden, where Elvis often went to reflect on life, and where he is now laid to rest along with members of his family.
Today head to Nashville, 'Music City USA'. Visit the Johnny Cash Museum where you will see never before seen historical documents, awards, costumes and instruments. Then settle in for a private performance and discussion with Johnny and June's only son, John Carter Cash. John Carter will entertain you with his own original music, as well as a few numbers made famous by his legendary family and even be available for photographs and autographs.
Nashville is the ideal destination for all kinds of visitors: music fans, history buffs and southern lovers. Start your day with a visit to Studio B, Nashville's oldest surviving recording studio, and one of the most important in the USA. From 1957-1977 there were more than 35,000 songs recorded here including 262 Elvis Presley recordings. You will even make a recording to take home with you. Afterwards enjoy an orientation tour of the city, passing the famous recording studios of Music Row, the centre of the recording industry, which first developed in the 1950's. Go behind the scenes of the music industry on a visit to the Country Music Hall of Fame and see glittering costumes, rare instruments and the solid gold Cadillac that belonged to Elvis Presley. Tonight you have reserved premiere seats for an unforgettable show at the world-famous Grand Ole Opry.
Today is at leisure. Visit the historic Ryman Auditorium, restored home of the Grand Ole Opry from 1943-1974, or the Hermitage, home of Andrew Jackson, seventh President of the United States.
Transfer to the airport for your flight to the UK, or extend your stay in Nashville or Las Vegas.
Maximum elevation on this tour is 1,160 ft.
Special Departure - 12 August 2015
If you are only planning one visit to Memphis and Graceland make sure you're there for Elvis Week to commemorate the 38th anniversary of his death. Every August, fans of all ages from around the world are drawn to Memphis for Elvis Week - a commemoration of the music, magic and memories associated with the legacy of Elvis Presley. Join us on this special departure and be at Graceland for the famous Candle Light Vigil, when fans are invited to Elvis' gravesite in the Meditation Gardens carrying a candle in quiet remembrance. You will also enjoy all the activities on our regular departures, including a platinum guided audio tour of Graceland, a visit to Elvis' birthplace in Tupelo, and a private performance with John Carter Cash, the son of Johnny and June Cash. This really is the ultimate Elvis experience, as well as the perfect opportunity to discover more about the history of music in Tennessee.
Special Departure - 18 November 2014
Experience Graceland during Elvis' favourite time of year. You will be at the front gates of Graceland to witness the annual lighting of the Christmas decorations, including hundreds of blue lights along the driveway, a nativity scene and Santa in his sleigh. Join in the countdown as millions of lights are turned on, signalling the start of the Christmas season at Graceland. The interiors of Graceland will also be decorated for the holiday season with traditional Presley family Christmas artefacts on display, some of which were chosen by the King himself. In addition, you will see Nashville's ICE, an incredible attraction comprising interactive exhibits and colourful ice sculptures, hand carved from nearly two million pounds of ice by skilled Chinese artisans from Harbin, China. You will also have the chance to see the famous 'Peabody Marching Ducks' at the historic Peabody Hotel - a tradition which dates back to 1933.
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