Cruising the USA with Jane McDonald (2020) - Travel Documentary
I'm Jane McDonald, and I love to cruise. It's massive! For 20 years, the sea has been my home - first, below deck, as a cruise ship singer, and now above as a passenger. I've learned the ropes, and now it's your turn.
I want to show you how to cruise with confidence. It's very, very wet! We'll explore famous landmarks... San Francisco! ..and uncover unique hideaways... Fancy having a house like this. ..so come on board with me for a journey of discovery, as I invite you to join me cruising the USA! On this trip, I'm going to take you to the cold northern snow fields of Alaska.
This is huge. This is what's huge. Look. Then across to the Great Lakes, straddling the border between the US and Canada. Every house has its own story. Every house has its own island! Delving down to the Deep South and along the Mississippi river... You feel like you're going to meet Clark Gable on there.
..and finally, we're Hollywood-bound as we finish up on the west coast in the California sunshine. Look at that sea and the sun and the sand, and... Oh, look! It's gonna be epic! The United States of America is made up of 50 states that stretch from the snow-capped peaks of Alaska down to the sun-drenched beaches of California. Covering just under 4 million square miles, the UK could fit into America nearly 25 times.
Now, that's big! Cruising the USA will take me to four different parts of this epic American continent. It's just over 14 hours flying time from my Wakefield home to Vancouver, over on the west coast, for the start of my tour. My first cruise will sail around the far northwest corner of Alaska. Then I'll travel 3,553 miles west to the Great Lakes in north Chicago. Then 1,040 miles down to the Deep South and Mississippi.
And finally, 1,942 miles across to California. Phew! Now, that's an adventure! The first leg of cruising the USA is actually starting in Vancouver, Canada, with my plan being to gradually make my way down to the sunshine. Which is just as well, as it's raining here! This is actually my first-ever cold cruise. I have never, ever booked or even worked on one that's been cold. When I worked for Celebrity all them years ago, as soon as it stopped doing the Caribbean, I used to go home and do the clubs. Because I knew it were going off to Alaska and yet everyone used to rave and get excited about going to Alaska.
Due to the extreme weather, the Alaskan cruising season runs from May to September. And with winter temperatures averaging minus 30 degrees, I can see why! Here's my home for the next eight days, the Nieuw Amsterdam. Which has 1,500 cabins, staterooms and suites for up to 2,100 passengers. Wow - that is a beautiful ship. It's got nice lines, great colour. A handsome ship, I would say.
Handsome. It looks like it's going to be nice and classy on there. It's lovely... I'm looking forward to getting on now - yay! Alaska has been a cruise destination for more than 100 years, and last year 1.4 million tourists visited the area. Hello, there. Welcome to the Amsterdam. Thank you, thanks very much.
Hello. I hope you have a wonderful cruise. I am sure I will. You're all set to go right that way. It's exciting, now, innit? It's raining like mad but it doesn't matter, cos we're going on us holidays. Everyone in Canada has been so polite - it's just lovely.
I'm a bit sad to be leaving... No, I'm not - I'm off to Alaska! Come in here! I love getting on a new ship and finding my cabin. It's always exciting, cos even though you've seen it in the brochure, you never know what it's going to like till you get in there and check it out. Ah - nice comfy bed.
Look at all this. Isn't that lovely? Thank you. Like to give you a quick tour. Yes, please do.
Come on. SHE CHUCKLES Wow, you've got Elemis in here! Yeah. Elemis is like one of the best! Oh, really? Yeah. I love this. Oh, look at that - you can get your smalls on there. It's nice to have a line, you know? Not everybody does that.
Oh, it is posh. This is nice, I like it. Setting off from Vancouver, The Nieuw Amsterdam will sail up the Inside Passage - ooh, Matron! - to Juneau, the capital of Alaska, and then on to Skagway - the furthest point of our journey. We then head into to Glacier Bay and finally south to Ketchikan and back to Vancouver.
As we sail out of Vancouver, it's time to head to the sail-away party in the crow's nest bar. Oh, it's a lively little place, this, isn't it? These parties are a great way to meet your fellow passengers. Every cruise has one, so don't feel shy, just go and mingle and say hello to everyone - remember a stranger is just a friend you haven't met yet. What are you looking forward to most about Alaska? I think some of the wildlife we might see up there. Yeah? And, obviously, the scenery.
Is this a holiday of a lifetime, then, for you? Oh, it must be nice. It's a lovely to be retired! Oh, it's lovely. I mean, look how open-plan it all is. There is a bar, you've got your coffee shop. This looks like it could be a dance floor as well. It looks like it's going to be a lively crowd, this.
I quite like it, don't you? They're a young bunch on here. Everybody is sort of up for a party. And, erm, you can tell cos they're all drinking and it's only half past five! Coming up - I take a helicopter... Oh, wow! Look at that! ..to go sledding... And later, I get swept off my feet.
In all my years of cruising, either working on the ships or just me on me jollies, I've never been on a cold water cruise - till now. As I sail around Alaska on my four-stop cruise adventure round the USA. Good morning! Hello, how did you sleep? Really well, actually. I sleep like a log on here. I'm on my way to Alaska. The scenery is breathtaking and I'm wondering why I never did this before. The sun was coming through the window at ten past six this morning.
It was when I saw that and I thought, whoa! So it was like the sun was knocking on the door going, "Come on! You're in Alaska, come on!" Our first stop is Juneau, the capital of Alaska. A unique place, as it's only accessible by air or sea, and sits at the foot of the Mendenhall glacier. At this time of year, the temperature can be anything between three and ten degrees. So perfect weather and location to go dog-sledding.
And there's only one way to get up to the dog camp on top of the glacier - and that's by a 15-minute helicopter ride. I can't say I'm not really nervous - cos I am...but it looks so cool to do! Hey-hey! Right, I'm ready. This ice field, which covers 1,500 square miles, was first formed over 3,000 years ago. It is invaluable to scientists studying climate change. By drilling into it, they can discover how weather patterns have evolved over thousands of years.
This cruise has just turned into one of the best things I have ever done. Very exciting. I am a very lucky singer from Wakefield. That's all I can say. Wow. Every day, 12 helicopters ferry a maximum of 200 people up to the glacier for dog sledding or just the chance to walk here and discover the majesty of these mountains.
Ooh! Wow - just look at this, just look at this. I can't tell you and I have been really rather blase all day, thinking, "Yeah, I am going dog sledding or whatever it is, yeah." And then I saw the helicopters coming in, and I swear I nearly wet my pants, I nearly did. It's just... so...exciting! It's brilliant.
BARKING People have been using dogs to pull sleds since around the time the glacier formed. Nowadays, skidoos are faster and easier to keep, so most dog camps like this are for tourists like me and to keep the tradition alive. This camp is 3,300 ft up on the glacier - the handlers and their dogs, huskies, malamutes and some cross breeds - live and work up here until winter starts in September or October. My guide today is Matt. This is our team today. Hello. This is Black Sabbath.
Oh, hi, there. And this is Motorhead. Motorhead? I got... There is a theme here. I know. You liking that? We got the heavy metal band and the crowd pleaser, Mr Led Zeppelin. Oh. Mr Led Zeppelin. Are you going to take me on a Stairway To Heaven? DOGS BAY AND YAP Ready to go bonkers? Yeah. Right, here we go. Right, here we go... Three, two...
hey! JANE WHOOPS AND CHUCKLES OK, you're going to have to lean to the left... right about here. # Dashing through the snow... # Very good. So they get pretty excited like that...
Yeah, I can imagine, yeah. They love to go. Sleds are pulled by teams of up to 16 dogs. The dogs are paired to work together by personality type. The older, stronger and more experienced dogs are at the front with the younger ones behind watching and learning. When we approach an option in the trail, I'll just talk to the lead dogs and tell them which way I want them to go.
They know that? Yeah. Wow. Yeah, I speak dog language. H-A-W means go to your left and the letters G-E-E mean go to the right. There you go. All right.
Gee! To the right, there you go. So all of these dogs will eventually one day run in the Iditarod which is a world famous dog sled race. Yeah. And that's what we train for specifically, just for that race. The Iditarod course is 1,049 miles long...
..and Matt has entered seven times. His best effort was in 2014, when he was placed 15th. It took him 9 days, 16 hours, 42 minutes and 30 seconds. Ooh, very good, you guys.
Oh, wow. Well, how was your ride? Oh, I loved it. You liked it? Absolutely loved it. Thank you so much. Having the most handsome man in the world just look after me and drive me around and then just come and put a blanket on my knees and get me a heater... This cold Alaskan adventure, we got to keep you...
Oh, really...? Yeah... Thank you. Stay warm... I will, my darling, thank you very much. Think I am in love... He's gorgeous! He's too young, anyway - bless him. From Juneau, we steam 102 miles north, up the Inside Passage to Skagway.
Once the gold rush capital of the Klondike, Skagway is entertainment-focussed for the passing cruise ships. However, you can still try your hand at gold-panning as well. You never know your luck! And now it's full steam ahead to our next destination, Glacier Bay. Despite their size and might, glaciers are fragile things and to protect them and their environment, only two cruise liners a day are allowed in here.
Good grief, that's a view you don't see every day, innit? This is the Margery Glacier. It's 350 feet tall and stretches back 21 miles into the mountains in the distance. Just look at that, it's just breathtaking.
It's like being in Game Of Thrones, innit? RUMBLE Oh, I heard that, then! WOMAN: It was like breaking ice. It was, wasn't it? The noises were the icebergs creaking and a lot of them fall, so that's what the big thunder claps were. Ooh. When you see something as grand as this and nature's force, you realise how insignificant you are, compared to the... the wonderment of what you are surrounded by.
This is huge, this is what's huge, look. This is nature at its finest. This is... such an experience.
This is definitely not my typical cruise holiday and I'm mad with myself for missing out on such great trips. I want experiences and adventures in life, and this has been the start. Been fantastic. We've travelled 1,400 miles so far and are now heading to Ketchikan and I am quite excited because I have heard it's the lumberjack capital of Alaska. Ketchikan used to be at the heart of the Alaskan timber trade, but nowadays its biggest money-spinner is tourism and catering for cruise passengers just like me. And who can say no to a lumberjack show? I never thought I'd be interested in wood or timber - how wrong could I be? These guys are all proper working lumberjacks as well as great entertainers.
AUDIENCE CHEER And this show is based on things they really do when they're... well, lumberjacking. Oh, my God, he just fell and he... astride... Bang! Right on his...nuts. ..a logger's worst nightmare. How does it feel? It's not good, there's a huge crack.
LAUGHTER Good fun. I enjoyed that. This is a family business, and Cassandra has just got married to one of the lumberjacks. Which one is yours, then? Um... He is on the far left in the silver hat... I know. Yeah. It's Thomas. Damn.
Those biceps could be a little bigger, but we won't hold that against him. He looks fine to me. He is so funny! What is the attraction of a lumberjack? I think it's the fact that you get the athletic side of someone who is in great shape, gets out there and does a dangerous job every day... Erm, they are always fun, they are always really good-looking.
Just like an all-round man's man, in my opinion. Yeah, yeah, and you married one, didn't you? I did. Yeah. My mistake.
Hello, boys. That was absolutely great. Thank you very much. Thanks. I'm Jane. Really nice to meet you. How are you doing? Nice to meet you. Hi, Thomas, nice to meet you too. Hi, Julian, really nice to meet you. How's the, erm...? Oh, you know, the water is cold, so, erm...
Yeah... Wedding tackle - not great. Great to meet you. Hi. So you're all athletes and everything, aren't you? Yeah, we all keep track of when we win, when we lose what events we're winning and losing and everything... Nobody likes to lose. No. So we're out here, we're trying, yeah.
So how do you keep so fit, then? Do you have a routine or a special diet? We're doing this four times a day. That will keep you fit. And you just got married to Cassandra. I did, yes. And the broken hearts - there is people with broken hearts...
I am so sorry. ..all over the nation... Are you all married? No. So, hey, girls and boys, there is still single - still some lumberjacks just up for grabs. Once you lumberjack, you never lumber back.
God, you're real, sort of, men, aren't you? LUMBERJACKS: Yeah! I want to be her. Left hand on top, right hand on the bottom... Anything to stay a little longer, so I agreed to see if I had what it took. It's almost like taking a step up. Hey! SHE LAUGHS That's how it works! There you go. Now pull that rope up... Right.
THEY CHEER Careful. You're trying to use that rope to pull yourself across from the tree. CHEERING CHEERING There you go.
THEY CHEER SHE WHOOPS SHE SQUEALS It's not for me, it's a bit too manly. HORN HONKS Ooh, morning. It's almost time to say goodbye to this beautiful scenery and landscape. I have never imagined in a million years that I would see the sights that I have seen on this trip. It's something I never would have booked but it's something I am so glad that I have done. Coming up, I head west across the States to start my next cruise around the Great Lakes.
Right on the Canadian-US border. It is unbelievable! It's amazing. I'm cruising the USA on four separate cruises and starting my second leg in the Great Lakes. Straddling the border between the US and Canada, these natural wonders are roughly the size of the entire UK. But, despite being so vast, only a handful of cruise lines sail them. For those that do, one of the favourite departure points is Detroit.
It's a 9-hour flight from Vancouver to the home to America's auto industry. And the world's legendary record labels. Hi, I'm Jane. Jane McDonald. Hang on one second, ma'am.
McDonald, Jane - you're in room 407. Yep. OK, you got it on your tag here? I have. All right. We'll have the baggage handlers take the bag for you, ma'am. Go ahead and enjoy your cruise. Thank you so much. You're welcome. Bye. Bye-bye. Nice fella, in't he? The Victory II is 20 years old and feels like a cross between an ocean liner and a traditional river cruiser.
She's got five decks and 101 cabins for up to 200 passengers. I've also heard she's just been spruced up, so I can't wait to check her out. Hi! Welcome on board. Nice to see you! And you! How are you doing? Now, sea cruise, river cruise, lake cruise, whichever one you go for, it's the same deal.
Oh, this is nice, in't it? Step one, check in and collect your room key. OK, here is your room key. The Wi-Fi password is on the back. Step two, go to the purser's office. This is where you register your credit card, so then it's not real money - all you use is that. Don't be fooled. So, everything that you get, goes on your credit card, so don't think it's like Monopoly cos it's not. It comes out of your bank account.
Miss Jane McDonald. That's the one. Step three, check what's actually included in your package, and remember, even if your food and drinks are covered, you will probably have to pay for any extras like a posh bottle of wine... ..or three. Gorgeous day. Step four, find your cabin. 409...
407, here we go. Oh, it helps if you use your key. Right.
Oh, wow, this is lovely and cosy! Aw, this is really nice. There's all the mod cons you'd expect - air conditioning, satellite TV and a fridge with free sodas. The Great Lakes are made up of five sometimes freezing stretches of water. I'll be taking in the sights of two of them, Erie and Ontario. We'll be cruising down to Cleveland, before nipping over the Canadian border at Niagra.
And after taking in Toronto, up the coast by Kingston, and then catch the sights in Quebec. We'll then head back down the Saint Lawrence River before making our final call in Montreal. 10pm and sail away. Say what you like about American cities, but the skylines illuminated at night and reflected on the water really are spectacular. But, for me, with nine days of action-packed cruising ahead, I think it's time for lights out. We've sailed 87 miles south on Lake Erie overnight, and now we're in Cleveland! Once a factory town, it's enjoying a resurgence with a host of attractions for the tourists, including the West Side Market which we're off to visit today.
Thank you very much. You're welcome. I've got my red ticket. I'm off. Good morning. Good morning. Welcome aboard Lolly the Trolley.
My name is Rosalind and I will be your driver and guide today. Don't worry, blue skies are coming. You don't have to be part of a cruise to book this, as Lolly and the other trolleys do public excursions.
They start at £13 for an hour - a snip when you've got Rosalind to share her local knowledge. Well, Cleveland was founded in 1796 by a Connecticut Yankee named Moses Cleaveland. The city's position on the lake made it ideal for manufacturing and transporting goods. In the 1800s, it became a magnet for eastern European immigrants looking for work. The West Side Market was built to cater for them and other communities and, a century on, it's still a hotbed of diversity.
This 44-feet-high tiled arch is a masterpiece. No wonder the market's been voted one of America's ten great public places. This says this popcorn is hot.
How hot is it? Let me try one. Ooh. Ooh, it is hot. It is hot? Oh! Oh! Oh-ho-ho! That is really spicy. Whoopsy! And outside the market is where you'll apparently find the best comfort food you'll ever taste. The Polish Boy sausage. Seti and wife Marsha launched their Polish Boy 20 years ago, and it's since been voted one of the best sandwiches in all of America.
Oh! Right, I'm sorry, I'm going in. Oh, she's going in. Oh, my God. There's a lot of fries on there. Yeah. Mm! Oh, my goodness. Mm. It's really bad...
But it's really good. After years of decline, Cleveland's a city on the way up, and this is one of the reasons why - the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, now attracting nearly 600,000 visitors each year. Now loads of American cities are linked to music, but, here's why they plonked the Hall of Fame in this one - the term "rock and roll" was born right here by a guy called Alan Freed, who was a DJ. He was also one of the first broadcasters to play R&B on his radio show back in the '50s. Not only that, he hosted the world's first rock and roll concert - the Moondog Coronation Ball, right here in Cleveland.
True, it ended in a riot when 20,000 teens turned up, but it did cement the city's place in popular music history. To get into the Hall of Fame, you have to have been in the music business for at least 25 years or if, like me, you're a fresh-faced wannabe with all your career still ahead of you, then you can queue up and pay around twenty five quid to get in like everybody else. Hi! Hi, Jane! Hi. So good to see you. Good to see you. My guide Anwaka is taking me on a tour of seven floors, all of them rammed with memorabilia. So, this is... Jane, this is Aretha Franklin's dress.
This is her gown. This is what she wore at her Radio City performance. Wow. You know, you don't realise what impact that has, just looking at that. Right.
Because you can just picture her in it. The exhibits are arranged by artist, style, city and era. I think Anwaka's guessed my favourite. Dusty Springfield's jacket! Yes. Here, on this side, we have a beautiful gown from Petula Clark. Petula Clark! Petula! Yes, absolutely, I mean...
Such a star, Pet Clark. Right? Right? Amazing songs. Well, what a treat that was and what a shrine to some of the greatest names in music. So, after saying cheerio to Ohio, we're now heading 180 miles north on Lake Erie to the Niagara River. Here, we'll sail through Welland Canal, then hop on a bus to one of the great natural wonders of the world.
Right. It's an hour's drive from the ship to Niagara. But what a drive.
And what a first impression of Canada. So exciting. I've just been waiting for this, for such a long time. And I am finally here. Our excursion of the Falls comes as part of the cruise package. There's so much to see, if you are doing the Great Lakes, but I wouldn't miss this one for the world.
Are you ready for this excitement? Do you know, I am, I am really excited about this. Wait till you get under that rush. We're booked on the Hornblower Catamaran which will take us right up to the base of the Falls, all for an £18 ticket. One thing to remember, is more than 12 million people visit here every year, so, plan your trip well in advance, and consider booking ahead online. Wow, look at that! Look at that! The catamarans leave every 15 minutes, they hold up to 700 passengers, who all get the complimentary ponchos. Fetching, eh? Ooh! Everybody has made their way upstairs, because they think that's the best view.
It isn't, it's here. Exactly the same view, but there's a lot more protection. The Falls were formed at the end of the Ice Age, when masses of melting glacier water gushed through the Niagara River, cascading over cliffs, into Lake Ontario.
And it was the water's force, that gave the Falls their renowned horseshoe shape. You know, Niagara was an Indigenous word. Aha. From "Onguiaahra", which means "thunder of waters". Wow. That's why we have... It's the roaring water, from the Falls.
Thunder of waters. Amazing. Now we are going to get really wet. Going to get wet.
Let's just go in there. SHE LAUGHS We're getting wet. We're getting wet! You know what, I am just going to go out there and embrace it, I am going to go out. Look at this. Look at this! Wow! It's very, very wet, but it is unbelievable. It's amazing! This has been fascinating, I have come to the Falls numerous times.
Really? Never taken the boat over. Wow! It's the power of nature. It is the power of nature. Fantastic.
SHE LAUGHS Oh, my gosh! I am absolutely wet through, it was like being in a car wash. It was... Or a big tumble dryer. But it was exhilarating, to see nature like that and the force of water.
It was so exciting. Just loved every single minute! And, you know what, there's an equally spectacular way to see it! A few years ago, some bright spark came up with a novel idea. Put a zip wire across the Niagara River, he said.
Well, in 2016, they did it, and in 2019 I'm going to try it. Like the catamarans, it's wise to book the zip wire ahead, to avoid the queues, because the longer the wait, the more frayed the nerves. Must admit, my mouth and my throat have gone really dry.
Because I, erm... My adrenaline is going like mad. When I saw it online, I thought, "Oh, gosh, that looks great, "let's have a go," but actually, I am here waiting to queue up and it's... It's a long way down. 220 feet, or 67 metres down, to be exact. And the zip wire stretches nearly 700 metres.
And if that's not scary enough, I'll be flying through the air at 40mph. I think I'm going to be fine, I'm just going to watch a couple of people. My mouth is so dry I can't even begin to tell you. I don't know why... ..why I'm doing this but... I'll be fine. Pull it up, and then over your shoulders like a backpack.
Ah-ha. Are you nervous? Yes. Don't be, it's not that bad. I know. Whoo. All right, can you put your left leg up for me? Yeah. Right. Oh, hello.
Oh, that chafes a bit. All right, sit down. It's going to be the comfiest thing you ever sit on. Oh! Yeah. Lean back a bit. Yeah. All right.
Why am I doing this? Oh, my God. Aaaah! SHE LAUGHS Whoo! Oh, my God, this is amazing! Oh, wow! Oh! Oh, this is fabulous! Look at me! Whoo! Aaaah! Yay! Wow! Look at this day! Oh, whoa! Yes! Yes, here we go! Oh, my! Aaaah! SHE LAUGHS Oh, God. OK, it may not have been the most graceful landing in the world, but who cares when you're having so much fun! Oh, my God! Oh. How was your flight? Oh, it was brilliant. It was so good.
It was much better than I thought. Bye, Niagara. I've definitely fallen for you. Coming up, a very British tradition in the heart of French Quebec. I presume the Changing of the Guards is all about the guards changing over! And a bit of ooh-la-la thrown in.
SHE LAUGHS I'm on the second leg of my trip cruising the USA, and now exploring the Great Lakes of North America. During the night, my ship, Victory II, left the splendour of Niagara Falls, and headed north on Lake Ontario, to hip and happening Toronto. To help us get our bearings, the cruise line's laid on a city bus tour and given us a lovely guide named Phil.
It's my job to tell you probably more than you need to know, over the next few hours about Toronto. Canada was part of the British Empire for over 100 years. And Toronto was originally named York! Now I do feel at home.
It's just stunning. Absolutely stunning. This is a place I could live. Especially in one of them houses! Please. The architecture here is so varied, from the futuristic CN Tower, once the world's tallest, to this Gothic style castle, Castle Loma. Thank you.
But there are more great sights off the usual tourist trail, like this. It's a fountain of dogs! Berczy Park was an old parking lot, until it was brought to life with the unveiling of its canine fountain, in 2017. It's called Jacob's Ladder and there's 27 dogs, plus one lonely cat. I like the fact they've got a bone on the very top. The local artist was commissioned to design the piece after winning a public competition.
He gets my vote, too. I think it's really quirky, and I think it's really great. Time for a farewell cocktail, and maybe an early night.
Ta-ra! And au revoir! Toodle-ooh, Toronto, what a fabulous day. It's exceeded all my expectations, I've had a fabulous time. Cheers, everyone.
OK, hangover successfully avoided. I'm on the next leg of my journey. After leaving Toronto behind overnight, we're heading north towards Kingston. It's where we'll join the Saint Lawrence River and say bonjour to Canada's French province, Quebec. Two days it'll take us, but then, there's a lot of water to cover. It's really hard to believe that I am on a lake cruise, because it's so big, it feels like I'm on the ocean. It feels like I'm at sea, but all that water is fresh.
And, it was all frozen at one point. So, all the lakes, the US lakes and the Canadian lakes, come from a glacier. Which is quite incredible, really, isn't it? We're now cruising up the Saint Lawrence River, where you will find The Thousand Islands. Sound familiar? Well, yes, the dressing really did get its name from here - thanks to a fisherman's wife, who made the sauce to serve with her husband's fish supper. Or so the story goes. What's definitely true is that the islands have been a retreat for the American and Canadian rich since the nineteenth century, and they're still home to some of the most elaborate mansions.
Every house is different, every house has its own story. Every house has its own island. The Saint Lawrence river is 740 miles of waterway connecting the Great Lakes to the Atlantic Ocean. And taking in our next destination, Quebec.
I'm heading out to explore the old part of the city. It was originally a fur trading post, and the French were the first Europeans to settle here, way back in 1608. Now it says here on Interweb that Place-Royale - which is this, Old Quebec - is one of the oldest cities in North America, and the birthplace of French Canada.
This really is a handsome city, and though it may be 3,000 miles from France, there's an unmistakably Parisian vibe. SHE LAUGHS Now, I know I've been saying this place is very French, but there is also something very, well...British. TRUMPET PLAYS I never thought I would travel to Quebec in Canada to watch the Changing Of The Guards.
The Citadelle of Quebec is Canada's oldest military barracks, and home to its only French-speaking regiment - the Royal 22nd, or Van Doos. Created just after Canada left the British Empire, it took inspiration from our own Grenadier Guards, right down to the bearskin hats. Its colonel-in-chief is the Queen, who even stays here whenever she's in town, and every day, you can come and watch the guards changing, just like Buck House. I presume the Changing Of The Guards, is all about the guards changing over. SHE LAUGHS What's lovely about this is that so many French Canadians turn out to watch, even though it conjures up thoughts of Britain. Still, I've said it before, wherever you are in the world, there's something about men and women in uniform.
Over the last nine days, I've been blown away by the beauty and splendour of North America's Great Lakes. But like all adventures, this one has come to an end. Overnight, my ship headed back down the Saint Lawrence River to make its final stop, in Montreal.
So I could go and explore some of the city's great sights, like the Olympic stadium, or this giant snow dome. But no, I'm a sucker for punishment. I'm off on a boat ride across the rapids! And I've been warned, like Marti Pellow used to say, it'll be wet, wet, wet! Are you ready to get wet, wild and crazy? Oh, am I going to get wet? Oh, for sure. This is like a submarine ride in a convertible.
Oh! We guarantee you're going to be wet, otherwise we throw you overboard. Oh, dear. I booked this ride in advance online. More fool me. They show you a video which, quite frankly, frightens the life out of you. Then, you get to put on your safety gear.
I've opted for as much of it as possible. Hiya. INDISTINCT Banana! SHE LAUGHS I don't suppose this is the best look I've ever had. Other more flattering safety outfits are available, as demonstrated by my fellow passengers. OK, you look so... But I look like a minion! SHE LAUGHS That's funny.
This is not funny, is it? I mean, you look really buff and gorgeous, I look like something that the cat dragged in. Ooh. Right, I haven't even set off yet, and I've got white knuckles. This boat was specially designed to cope with the rapids and can reach up to 50mph, which is fun! Apparently. SCREAMING Now, usually, at this point, I'd give you an interesting fact or two about what I'm doing, but not now - not when I'm stuck on a spin cycle. And just for the record, the yellow poncho doesn't keep the water out.
Finally, it's all over. It's been an experience, and while I'm not quite sure I'd do it again, it's taken me out of my comfort zone, which is what adventures are all about. You know, before I booked this trip, I could see it was geared towards the older cruiser, who likes a gentle pace. But, if you plan ahead, you can add some action-packed stops and enjoy the best of both worlds. It's an eight-hour flight from Montreal to New Orleans in the Deep South, and that's where I'll be starting the next chapter in my great American adventure. A cruise up the Mississippi.
I'm starting my adventure down in New Orleans, the largest city in Louisiana. The French first founded it 300 years ago. It's here in the French Quarter where we'll find our Southern belle.
That's me, by the way. And it's fair to say that these streets are right up my... Er, well, street. What is it? I'd love to show you my moves but I've got to get off. I've got me a date! This river fairing beauty recalls the golden beginnings of southern cruising.
Pleasure boats have been transporting tourists along the Mississippi for more than 200 years. Wow! Look, just look! She's just everything that you want it to be. You feel like you're going back in history. It's like going on that film, Showboat.
And for anybody who is under 40, you haven't got a clue what I'm talking about. It was an epic tale of singing and dancing, gambling and gallivanting, all set around a century ago. And this boat looks like she's come from that same era. She's six decks high but only a modest 127m long, so, for once, I shouldn't be getting lost. She still squeezes in four bars, though.
So staying sober might be trickier. Instantly recognisable by her black smoke stacks and red paddle wheel, the American Queen is straight out of vintage Hollywood. You feel like you're going to meet Clark Gable on there, you know, and he's going to come up and go, "Frankly, Jane, I don't give a damn."
And talking of movies, who fancies a musical? BAND PLAYS PROUD MARY # And we're rolling, rolling # Rolling on a river... # Whoo! # Big wheels keep on turning # Proud Mary keep on burning # Ba-da-ba-ba-ba-ba-ba-da-da... # Hiya! Welcome aboard. It's good to see you. Hey, y'all, it's the Mississippi River. That's four S's and two P's.
It's officially the longest river in North America, running for over 2,000 miles. Jazz hands at the ready as we leave New Orleans. First, we steam into the best and worst of American history at Oak Alley Plantation. Then we carry on through swamp country to Natchez and across the heartland of the American Civil War. Finally, to complete the 500 mile journey, we power on northward to the home of the little-known singer in Memphis.
Oh, come on, give the lad a chance. Thank you. Welcome to New Orleans and welcome aboard. Thank you. My name is Adam and I'm going to be your butler, my dear. Oh, I've got a butler? Yes, ma'am.
I've got a butler! It's exciting. That's wonderful. Come on in, please. Thank you. You're welcome. I start from shining the shoes all the way to get you the cab going home. I can bring you breakfast to your room, I can do your laundry.
I can unpack your clothes if you wanted me to. Honestly, that's a lot of clothes. That is a lot of clothes, but thank you.
Imagine your face when you saw that thinking, "Oh, God, I hope she doesn't want me to open her clothes." In a rush for anything, you need it, leave me a love note. Oh, a love note. Say, "Adam, I need this, I need that, and something." Lots of love... Lots of love and when I see it, I will not be mad, I just look at it. Thank you so very much, ma'am. Thank you. Thank you very much.
You are welcome. Bye. I've got my own butler. Isn't he lovely? Anything I want, as long as I leave him a love note, I can have it. I'm loving this cruise already. SHE LAUGHS Look at it, look at it! Now, though, time for a nosy round.
PIPE ORGAN PLAYS Come and have a look at what all the racket is. PIPE ORGAN PLAYS It's really loud! Can you imagine if you lived in that flat? It's called a calliope. Its whistles are powered by steam and I could listen to it all... Well, for about five minutes, actually. Get me inside. ORCHESTRA MUSIC PLAYS Gosh, look at this, look at this, look at this! This is like a proper ship, ship. A ship, ship, ship.
You know like you see on... Look, it's got all wooden panels and it's just gorgeous. Library. I'll tell you what it has got, it's got proper furniture. Hey, Adam. I'm just having a look around the ship. All right.
Cool, I can show you the balcony. Yeah? Yes. Is that right? Let's have a look at the balcony. Come on in, guys. Look at this, look at this, look at this! SINGING And they are her rehearse-ling. Rehearse-ling? Marvellous. Fabulous. Woo! Hi! Hi, there. I'm right at home here. I'm right at home.
Coming up, I visit a stunning plantation house with a dark history. I love the windows, though. I mean... To have a bedroom and look out to that every morning? That just is...
Fantastic. You do feel like Scarlett O'Hara. And walk in the footsteps of the king of rock and roll, Elvis Presley. Look at that! I just love the chandelier.
I'm on the trip of a lifetime cruising the USA. And today we're sailing up the Mississippi in the Deep South. Overnight, we've wound 60 miles along the river to a classic slice of Louisiana history, Oak Alley Plantation. They call Oak Alley Grand Dame of the Great River Road and I can see why. This place might look familiar to you. More than a dozen films and music videos have been filmed in this Greek revival style mansion and in its 25 acre grounds.
Feel like I've stepped out my cabin straight into a movie scene. Morning. Morning. Morning. 28 Southern live oak trees create an 800 foot long alley... That'll be a path. ..leading up to the mansion which was built way back in 1839. Oak Alley is a testament to the turbulent history of the South.
Utter breathtaking beauty at the front but with a dark and hidden past. Fancy having a house like this. Thank you. OK.
Hi. Look at this. We're going to start in here. Hi. Oh, my goodness me. The family who lived here were wealthy plantation owners.
In this cabinet, we have here some of the original china. Look at that for a cup, though, that's a proper decent cup. Yes. I don't like these piddly little cups.
Oh, they weren't playing with those. No. Absolutely not. That's enough coffee to give you rocket fuel, isn't it? It's very easy to get carried away. It's just sheer opulence, isn't it? I love the windows, though. To have a bedroom and look out to that every morning. That just is fantastic. You do feel like Scarlett O'Hara.
And you don't even know who that is, do you? CAMERAMAN: Sorry. I can't believe that. I can't believe he doesn't know who Scarlett O'Hara is. You just can't get the staff.
Oh, just look at that. Oh, my goodness me. SHE SIGHS It's just absolutely beautiful, isn't it? Now, about the dark past. The money that built this stunning estate all flowed from sugar cane profits fuelled by slavery which was rife in the American South.
It's a harrowing story and one they don't shy away from telling. It's funny because I feel quite naive about American history. I've only seen it on films. All this opulence and beauty is only possible because of what we're going to see here. Let's go and have a look. Come on.
How many people would've lived in these houses? It would've varied from house-to-house. Could be four people in a cabin, there could be 16 people in a cabin. It just depended. These are replica cabins, here as a reminder of the slaves that worked on the plantation. More than 200 of them are commemorated on this wall.
Each one of these names is more than just a statistic. They're more than just names on a wall. These are living, breathing humans. This is the sad, shameful parts of history. But it's important to talk about it because to not do so is a disservice to the 220 men, women and children. Not just these 220, but hundreds, thousands, millions of people who have ever been enslaved.
Looking back is pretty uncomfortable sometimes. But this is an American history cruise and we can only understand the present by knowing what's gone on in the past. It's certainly been an eye-opener. We've arrived at our next stop, Natchez. Named after the Native American tribe that first settled here, Natchez came to prominence back when cotton was king. It was an industry that made fortunes.
Around half the millionaires in the USA lived right here. And you can still see the evidence of it today. Where we have stately homes and stockbroker belts, America has Natchez and its sprawling mansions. Look at this street! I wouldn't mind a bit of this! IN US DRAWL: Sitting on the front porch.
With yer cup of coffee. Is that the right...? Glass of sweet tea. A glass of sweet tea. See, in England I'm a northerner but I think in America I'd be a Southerner.
Some of these properties have been owned and occupied by the same families for over 150 years. And they do love their traditions. Since 1932, southern belles have been opening their doors to travellers in an annual custom known as the Natchez Spring Pilgrimage.
And if you're going to make that pilgrimage, it just wouldn't be complete without meeting Ginger Hyland. She is a legend around these parts. Think Hyacinth Bucket, except she's actually got money. Talking to someone on the ship and I said, "Tell me a little bit about Ginger," and they said, "She's very eccentric, she has more money than God "and she likes collecting things." I thought, "That's my type of girl." How are you doing? Hello. Good afternoon.
Good evening, London. How are you? You're not Ginger Hyland. No. How fabulous is that house! Outside there's over 20 bronze statues but it's inside that we're all here to see.
GASPS It's wonderland! Oh, my goodness me! Look at this! GASPS Look at this place! Well, this is the Blue Parlour and this is my favourite room in our house... If Ginger's the southern belle, hubby James must be the southern beau. The walls are actually covered in Scalamandre silk fabric, a great illusion to the eye.
It makes it look like that corner might match that corner because as you know in these old homes, nothing is level, square or plumbed. You're not going to believe that, but that fabric on the wall I've got in my lounge. Yes! That means I'm posh! Oh, yes. Over the years, Ginger's expanded her collection of costume jewellery. It now includes antique laces, purses, tiaras and trinkets from the 1800s. Outrageously expensive and impossibly glamorous.
See the wonderful green necklace that's on the centre? We have one that belonged to Elizabeth Taylor. These three necklaces came from the Titanic movie. This is actually one of the Heart Of The Ocean necklaces that was used in the filming, so it's great to have those wonderful pieces. Not half! That alone is worth more than my house. Do you think they'll notice if I walk out with it? You'll find out on my tours that I collect friends and Ginger collects everything else. If Ginger don't own it, it probably ain't worth having.
Wonder Woman, eat your heart out! Come on! And they're just fabulous, but they're not made for comfort. But if it's beautiful, who cares? If it's glitzy, I'm going to have it. She's like the oracle. Huge, huge belt here by Kenneth Lane in the '70s and the biggest brooch I have ever seen. So you would wear it on a heavy winter coat and it also doubles as a weapon if need be.
This has been a true southern treat. You've got all these beautiful things and you're letting people like me come in and see them. People don't get a chance to see many of these things. And so here they can see the beautiful creations from yesterday. I love the fact also that you've got a shop. I know! I know! But if I'm going to collect all of this, it's an outlet for me.
I can always say, "I'll put it in the shop." You've been one of the most favourite people I've ever met in my life. Come out and spend a day with us and sit in the yard and have a glass of champagne. I'm never leaving. She has an open invitation. JANE LAUGHS Thank you so much. You're welcome. You're a joy. Thank you. Can I have a hug? Yes. Yes indeed.
What a pleasure it's been. You're gorgeous. Absolutely stunning as well. You and your husband, a perfect match. Well, I think I've found my fairy godmother. Anyways, back to the real world. And around these parts it's only too real.
Our cruise takes us through Vicksburg, site of one of the American Civil War's fiercest battles. The Confederate defeat here marked the beginning of the end for slavery across the whole nation. For history buffs, there are old battle sites all over the state of Mississippi. As for me, I've got something else to explore. Hello, how are you? I'm great. How are you? Are you having a bit of a steam there? You can call it that.
IN SOUTHERN DRAWL: Boys, I need a proper southern drink. I would definitely do a mint julep. I think it's a must-have. All right. You give me a must-have, Anthony. Just crushing the ice up, just the traditional way that a mint julep is served. OK. Would it be quicker to just put it in a whizzer? You could do that but it loses some of the love.
I'm liking making it with love. You're in the south, where everything's made with love. I'm ready for it. Janet, this could be a long night. A mint julep is the traditional drink of the Kentucky Derby.
Around 80,000 are served during the event. Got some fresh mint right here. The method is simple but effective. Place the mint and sugar into a julep cup - your fanciest glass will do - muddle well to dissolve the sugar and to release the oil and aroma of the mint. So now you're caressing it, really, aren't you? Yeah. OK. Next, add the bourbon.
Then add a bit more. LAUGHS That's a heck of a drink! And serve to an over eager English lady. There you are, my dear. Thanks. Tell me what you think. Oh, that's nice. That's lovely. It's the love. I told you. It's made with love.
It isn't bad having two gorgeous men serving me drinks. I'm having a lovely time. Cheers, boys. BOTH: Cheers. This cruise has been chock-a-block with strange yet fascinating cultural tours but towards the end we're in more familiar territory. Because it's Sunday and we're in the South I thought, what about...
..the church? Let's hear a gospel choir. You just can't escape Mississippi's deep music culture. It trickles through to every street corner, every shop front and every church. THEY SING So many great singers began their careers in places just like this.
Right, we have sailed on up to Memphis, a city that does more than just attract tourists, it draws pilgrims. Blues, Country and Soul smash together here thanks to its proud African American heritage. This cruise has taught me so much about the Deep South, a bit of the world I'd only seen in movies. But now it's time for my specialist subject. # Well, I quit my job down at the car wash, I left my mama... # The King, the Big E, the Country Cat, Fire Eyes, Wiggle Hips, Tiger Man, Mr Dynamite, Memphis Flash, Sir Swivel Hips, Mr Wiggle And Shake, the King Of Hearts.
The King Of Love, the King Of Swoon, ladies and gentlemen, it's only Elvis blooming Presley! I'm so excited, so excited, so excited! I'm at Graceland. Elvis bought this place when he was only 22, shelling out $102,000. That is knocking on for a million in today's money.
But still pretty modest for the man who invented rock and roll. We're nearly there. I can already spot a fantastic chandelier. Now, 10,000 fans visit his home every week and I am one of them. Wow. Look at that. I just love a chandelier. Look, white carpet, it is very me.
This is going to sound silly but it is amazing how normal the house feels. Just frozen in time in 1977. I'm really so happy that they've kept it as he lived in it because it gives you an insight into who he really was. And I love him even more just being in his house.
This is the dining room. Another chandelier. Just gorgeous. And look at that for a punchbowl. I bet that were filled a few times. This is so exciting. Just have to put the camera down. OK.
There is a no camera policy upstairs so welcome to Jane FM broadcasting live from Elvis's spare bedroom. Oh, look at this with mirrors. That's a bit kinky, isn't it? I like that. That is brilliant, isn't it? Sorry, I am a bit of a fan.
Look - carpet on walls. It's great. He's even cooler than I thought. I never expected this. I love it. Did I say it was normal earlier? Let's upgrade that to a bit quirky. I could move in now, it's right on my taste now.
It says a lot about me. Fancy having a house like that because you've been blessed with the gift of singing and entertaining. Wow. Just wow. I wonder who did all his grass? I wonder who mowed the lawn? There's a lot of upkeep, isn't there, in things like this? I love seeing how other people live. Of course, the pinnacle of any Elvis pilgrimage is located out back.
This is the meditation gardens. # A very old friend came by today... # What I was expecting Graceland to be like, I was expecting it to be very extravagant, very over the top, but actually it was a normal home. What a finale to the cruise.
I never thought I'd get to pay my respects to such an incredible man. This really has been an unbelievable musical and cultural journey. It's opened my eyes to both the good and the bad in this amazing country. It's been so different to any other cruise. In fact, I have been embraced by it.
Never in my wildest dreams would I have chosen a history cruise but what a mistake that would have been. Good afternoon, steamboaters. On behalf of the American Queen, we would like to thank Jane McDonald for coming on board and sailing with us this week and we hope that she comes back soon. That says it all.
Coming up, we leave the Deep South behind and head to the boulevards of Hollywood. I've actually got my own star in Wakefield. It's outside Yorkshire Bank. Plus, a taste of some classic American cuisine.
Look at this. I've got onion rings, fries, a root beer, chilli dog with onions. I'm going to have terrible wind, aren't I? I'm cruising the USA and ending my amazing trip on the west coast. Welcome to LA, in the US of A! We've got everything here. We've got blue skies, palm trees and the sea. The queen of cruising, that's me, by the way, meets the Princess of the Seas! Which is her! Let's go cruising! Whooooo! It just looks so nice, doesn't it? I know that you all think I am bonkers, but I really do get so excited just as I see the vessel.
You're almost running. I know, I can't wait to get on. Aah, we're nearly there! We're nearly there. I'm on the ship.
Everything's bigger in America and the Ruby Princess is no exception. Over a thousand crew, three times as many passengers, and more than enough bars and restaurants to satisfy anyone. Even me. Then there's the four swimming pools, an outdoor cinema and even a theatre.
Ooh, wonder what the singer's like. I love the feel of the ship. Oh, my goodness, look at this, it's like a ballroom.
Wow. You know, loads of people say that all ships are the same, they are not. Every single one of them has their own personality, their own magic, their own speciality, and this is beautiful.
Everybody has their own favourite ship. But don't ever say that they're all the same, because, trust me, they're not. One slight problem with a ship this size, it can take ages to get to your cabin. Hope the long walk's been worth it. Oh, look, I'm nearly there.
Nearly there. Ooh, look, my cabin. Oh, love it, love it, love it, love it. Look at me cabin. It's so bright and airy and gorgeous and... ..wine! Ha-ha. Red roses, how sweet is that? Aaaah, they're real as well.
I've got chocolate covered strawberries. I've got Champagne. Ooh, look at this, I've got a balcony.
There's LA. Los Angeles. You know what, this is my first time in LA. So, I am going to do a bit of you know, stuff that people do in LA. I am going.
I'll see you later, bye! I've got a full morning to explore the home of the beautiful people. But where do you start in a city as big and exciting as this? You see. We've arrived, we're in La La Land. I suppose it has to be Hollywood.
The place where wannabe actors, entertainers and directors, have been coming to follow their dreams for more than a century. The lucky ones have found themselves immortalised on the world famous mile-long Hollywood Walk of Fame. Which is very impressive - if you're not used to this kind of thing. I've actually got my own star in Wakefield. Its outside Yorkshire Bank. Snoopy.
Gloria Estefan. The Simpsons. Kenny G. Saxophonist.
I feel quite special really. Because, these people... Kim Basinger and Pierce Brosnan, they haven't got one in Wakefield, have they? I 'ave! When Hollywood stars are feeling peckish, they not only head for the smart restaurants of Beverly Hills. They come here, for that time honoured American belly buster, the hot dog. Thank you very much. You're welcome. What have you got, Jane?
Oh, ha-ha! Look at this. I've got onion rings, fries, a root beer, chilli dog with onions. I'm gonna have terrible wind! It's a good job I am in that cabin on me own. Hi. Hi, Jane, welcome to Pink's. I am Gloria Pink. Gloria, nice to meet you. Nice to meet you.
Please have a seat. I will, thank you very much. We put up these celebrity photos on our wall. Ah. Got Sharon Osbourne. You see James Corden? James Corden, yeah.
We've got everybody. We've got Dolly Parton. Aaaah! Aretha Franklin. Wow! Where do they all come from? Well, you know, we've been here 78 years, but back in the day, upcoming actors who wanted to be discovered would just tack their photo on the wall in hopes that a producer or a director would come by, and see that photo and contact them. That's such a good idea. It is. Jane, have a seat and enjoy your meal. I will,
thank you so much. Sure. Oh, lovely. I can't believe, there is Sharon Osbourne, Michael Jackson, there is... There is everybody here. I really am in the presence of greatness.
Absolutely. Mm. Mm. Right, I've had my fix of land, now it's time for sea. Hollywood, I'll be back in a few days. But between now and then, I'm exploring a few other great things California has to offer. From Los Angeles I'll be sailing north, to the steep and funky streets of San Francisco.
We're then travelling back down south, to San Diego, near the Mexican border. And finally, we'll return to the bright lights of LA. It's our first morning after leaving LA. And we've got another 24 hours sailing before we get to San Francisco. So, no rushing around today, just relaxation.
Which for me means a chocolate body scrub at the spa. Deliciously indulgent. Ready? Yeah, go on, then. Slap it on me. Oooh.
Oh, this just feels wrong. Of course, I could have gone for one of the other 42 treatments, the spa offers but this is just too luxurious to miss. D'you know what it feels like? It feels indulgent. And, erm, it feels slightly naughty. But also... ..fabulous. And that's because it rehydrates and mineralises the skin.
At least, according to Andrea. I have never been smothered in chocolate and things like that. Saying that, we were lucky to get Pond cream in the chemist in my day. Mm.
My old man's in for a treat. I'll get the Nutella out when I get 'ome. Yeah. Other sweetened hazelnut chocolate spreads are available. Right, I am feeling like a new woman, so I am off out to celebrate at Captain's Cocktails.
I love parties like this, at the start of a cruise, they're a great excuse to dress up, and enjoy a few drinks. And if you're travelling on your own, it's the ideal way to make new friends for the rest of the journey. We're fellow UKs so we want to say hello. Oh, how are ya? Fellow northerners.
Oh, where you from? Blackpool. Blackpool. I love Blackpool! Are you enjoying yourselves? Yes, yes. Yeah, it's fabulous, innit? Oh, got to do it, haven't you? Yeah, you have, actually. Look I've got a young fan and everything! Can you take a picture of us? POP! Wow! Hey! D'you know, I love that sound, don't you? Sounds great, doesn't it? Cork popping.
Everyone 'ere looks like they're having the time of their lives. I'm not doing so bad myself. Life is a lot shorter than we think, and if you feel like you wanna go on a cruise, or visit a part of the world that you've always wanted to go - do it now! Make some memories. Let's say, cheers, happy holidays. Cheers. Cheers. Happy holiday.
Ah, brilliant. Cheers, everyone. Here we go. It's a new day in Californ-I-A. And nearly 40 hours after leaving LA, we arrive at our first stop, in San Francisco. This is a city built on hills, with some of the steepest streets in the whole of the USA.
San Francisco! Oh, my God. It's like an episode of CHiPs. They just look really cool. The cruise company offers so many excursions around the city, I am a bit spoilt for choice, and sometimes, the simplest tours are the best.
I don't really know what to go and have a look at, so I thought, I tell you what, I am going to get on a bus. And have a look at it all. You do learn so much on these tours.
I never knew the Golden Gate Bridge is painted orange so it stands out in San Francisco's famous fog. Or, that these cable cars have been running for nearly 150 years. Hippies made this place their home, in the '60s, and it seems to have featured in songs and on screens forever.
I have seen all this on movies, I have seen it on telly. And now, I'm in it. I'm in it for real. Have to say, this is one of the best places I have ever seen. It's just full of old and new, and excitement and beauty and architecture. And this is the perfect way to see it. Can't stay on a bus forever though.
It's time to hit the streets of San Francisco on foot. It's lovely, but it's hilly. Flippin' 'eck. I thought I could live here at first but you can't just go out for a walk 'ere, it's like climbing Everest. I mean, look at this. I could do with a rope - look at that.
I've loved my short time in San Francisco. And I could honestly stay here and keep exploring for days. But I can't. The Princess is about to sail. So it's bye to the bridge, and out to the bay. Coming up, an audience with a TV icon. Look who's got a backstage pass.
Camomile tea. Camomile tea, you're an angel. Do you want that? And I head to the coastline of sunny San Diego. It's just...gorgeous!
I'm on a sailing adventure, cruising the USA. And today, it's a sea day on the California coast. Morning! You all right? This is the best part of cruising, personally for me.
Balcony, cup of tea, seeing the vastness and beauty of the ocean. I love it. Love it. And what makes it even better. Breakfast in your cabin, looking out over your balcony. Ah, pure bliss.
But you can't stay in your cabin all day. And what better excuse to venture out than to see the legendary actress, Linda Gray, giving a talk. Yes, THE Linda Gray.
The Linda Gray who played Sue Ellen in Dallas. I've been given a backstage pass. I just hope I don't get lost for words.
So, Sue Ellen I think was a gift to a lot of women. Cos you played it so well. And, I think you were probably one of the first women to have an alcohol problem on television.
As an actor, erm, I adored when Sue Ellen went down with the drink. And, erm, because it gave me major amount of freedom as an actor. I had that, that freedom to just be.
Hey, tell me about panto, you did panto. Oh, I loved panto. Erm, to go from Sue Ellen Ewing to the Fairy Godmother in Cinderella, you know, with the tiara. Yeah. And the wand. Heaven. Yeah. And, you know, I just, I absolutely loved it,
and I had no idea what to expect, I thought, "Oh, my gosh, "what am I doing doing panto?" Any plans to come back? I don't know. I love the UK, I have many, many friends there. And, erm, you never know. Ah, you should. Keep it open, always open. You have saved my life. I don't think so. No, it was a long day. It was. Thank you. My pleasure. Thank you.
And cheers for the camomile. Cheers, my love. Thank you so much. My pleasure. Really is. Ah, wasn't she lovely? Certainly deserved better than JR.
Our last few days at sea have taken us all the way south to San Diego. Perched just above the Mexican border, the temperature here rarely drops below the 70s. Even in winter.
That means fun in the sun all year round. Look at that sea and the sun and the sand. And... Oh! Look.
It's just... ..gorgeous! Oh, leave me here. SHE SIGHS I'm in paradise right now. I think this is probably one of the best cruises I've ever done, without a doubt. Just, just everything about this coastline for me, I just love it.
You just take in the California way of life. You've got absolutely everything in San Diego. You've got the city life and then you've got this beach. I am jealous. Look, there is a funfair 'ere.
Oh, I do love a good ride, me. I just thought that said all riders must be at least 50. I thought, well I'm in there, then. Don't you just love a funfair with palm trees? It's lovely, this. This is the thing that me dad always brought me on as a child.
So I am feeling very nostalgic and as if me dad's sat with me. Yeah. Ha-ha-ha! Yes! I won a banana with a monkey. What am I going to do with that? The climax of any funfair though are the ups and downs of the roller-coaster. Wahey!
Aaaah! Oh, we've got to do it, haven't we? Let's do it. Okey dokey. Quite excited I've got front as well.
What am I doing at the front? I should... Oh, what am I sat here for? "We are not responsible for items lost on this ride." And that includes your lunch! Woohoo! SHE SQUEALS Oh! SHE SCREAMS Oh, my God. Oh, oh.
Oh, that were a bit scary, wasn't it? Ooh. I think that was all right, I am still in one piece. Having cruised up to San Francisco, then down to San Diego on my American adventure, I have now returned to where it all began. I am back in LA! And you can't come to LA without checking out that Pacific playground to the stars. Santa Monica, famous for its beach and its pier, it's also the place to buy kooky gifts. And you know what?
It's about time I did some shopping. Ooh, I've found a shop. I'll see you later. Oh, I just love sunglasses.
These are... ..really nice. They're only 16 bucks. Oh, 1