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Memphis Riverboat Cruise Tips

Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license
Credit: Wikimedia Creative Commons license

A riverboat cruise stop in Memphis, Tennessee, is a chance to explore some famous periods in American history.

Cruise passengers who walk right off their boats at the Beale Street Landing can take a stroll along the Mississippi River or check out some nearby parks. Otherwise, they can take a shore excursion to some of the city’s most famous points of interest or venture off on their own with the help of a taxi or rental car.

Memphis is a popular destination with lower Mississippi river cruises. They often last eight to nine days and often begin and end in New Orleans. Sometimes they begin and end in Memphis.

Attractions and Shore Excursions

Memphis Cruise Port Map

Anyone who begins or ends their river cruise in Memphis as part of a lower Mississippi cruise might want to take advantage of shore excursions that combine a hotel or airport transfer with some of the city’s major attractions.

One of the most famous attractions is Graceland, the home of rock legend Elvis Presley. It is nine miles south of the cruise docks on Elvis Presley Boulevard. An eight-hour shore excursion including lunch costs $100 per person. Anyone who goes on their own will pay $41 for access just to the mansion plus transportation costs.

The National Civil Rights Museum, 450 Mulberry St., is in the converted hotel where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated in 1968. The museum, about two miles northeast of the docks, showcases the struggle for improving civil rights in America.

Sun Studio, three miles north east of the docks on Route 51, is known as the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll for discovering the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Tickets are $14 for anyone 12 and older; admission is free for children.

River Cruise Weather

Memphis is a bit chilly in the winter and rather hot in the summers. Daytime temperatures in winter hover in the upper 40s Fahrenheit, according to the U.S. National Weather Service. They often reach 90 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer.

That means late spring and early fall are better times to go for anyone who likes their temperatures comfortable but not extreme.

Precipitation is moderate throughout most of the year. It is highest in May and December with an average of about five to six inches of rain or snow per month. It is lowest in August and September with about three inches a month.

Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas. He is the author of four books about cruising in the Caribbean, Alaska and Mexican Riviera.
March 20, 2023

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