Day 1: Louisville, KY
Departure 5:00 PM
Day 2: Madison, IN
Enjoy Louisville at your leisure or consider a pre-cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the American Countess.
This quaint river town is sure to win your heart. Madison’s culture and heritage is weaved into nearly every stop, ensuring you a a glimpse of the beauty and history of antique machinery at the Schroeder House, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, where the stunning Greek Revival architecture is sure to impress each of its visitors!
Included Shore Excursions:
Schroeder Saddletree Factory
This factory is America’s very last 19th century saddletree factory. For 94 years, workers at the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Company crafted tens of thousands of wooden frames for saddle makers throughout the United States and Latin America. It was the nation’s longest lasting, continually operated, family owned saddletree company. After his death, Ben’s family kept his dream alive by adding stirrups, hames for horse collars, clothespins, lawn furniture and even work gloves to their line of saddletrees. The factory closed in 1972 and was left completely intact.
One of Madison’s landmarks, the original Broadway Fountain stood in the middle of Broadway for almost 100 years before it was dismantled and replaced with the 1981 bronze copy or reproduction. The original Janes, Kirtland, and Company cast iron fountain was displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The only part of the original fountain that is still present in Fountain Park is a stone plinth that supported one of the original triton figures; it is set into the concrete at the south end of the central path as a base for a tablet that commemorates the replacement fountain.
Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
This Greek Revival style abode was built in 1844 and is often referred to as the “Crown Jewel of Madison’s Historic District. Tour this home adorned with historic architectural features and catch a breathtaking glimpse at the of Ohio River from the south portico beneath the colossal Corinthian columns. (only first floor is ADA, but guests have access to all 3 floors) Lanier Mansion is one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country and is considered to be the "Crown Jewel" of Madison’s Historic District. Designed by architect Francis Costigan, the mansion exhibits many original Greek Revival features including its square plan, the full façade porch on the south elevation, the Corinthian columns on the south portico, the Doric pilasters that appear on several locations on the exterior, the massive exterior entablature and dentilated cornice, the ornamental anthemia, the ornamental pediments over the windows and doors, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor.
History Center and Railroad Museum
The History Center and Railroad Station Museum are owned and operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society. The History Center offers visitors a permanent exhibit gallery devoted to the history of Southern Indiana and the mid-Ohio Valley. It also contains a research library and archives. The Railroad Station Museum is a historic representation of an early 20th century passenger station. It features an octagonal waiting room that is two stories tall.
Jeremiah Sullivan House
Built in 1818 and considered Madison’s first mansion, this stately federal style structure was home to one of Madison’s most distinguished leaders, Jeremiah Sullivan. e house’s interior features most of the original woodwork and whitewashed plaster, as well as a full basement, an unusual feature in Madison during the mid-1800s. Trail Interactive exhibit!
Doctor Hutchings Office & Museum
The Dr. William D. Hutchings Office and Museum is one of the most authentic 19th century medical history restorations in the U.S. Built c. 1850 and originally used as a law office, Dr. Hutchings healed and comforted the sick here from 1878 until his death in 1903. Hundreds of the Dr. Hutchings medical records, surgical tools, books and other artifacts, including early electrical healing devices, fill the Office. Next door in the museum enjoy a sampling of Hutchings family treasures found in the Office when it was donated to Historic Madison, Inc. in 1968.
Day 3: Brandenburg, KY
Once in Brandenburg and Meade County, enjoy the stunning scenery of a city perfectly situated along the Ohio River. The quiet community features two golf ranges, countless outdoor activities, and hunting and fishing abound. The relaxing nature of Brandenburg has pasted its name onto tourist’s maps as a quiet, rejuvenating vacation destination.
Included Shore Excursions:
Today we will trace the life of the sixteenth president of the United States - Abraham Lincoln. Beginning at The Lincoln Museum, full of three-dimensional wax figures, life-size dioramas, exhibits, and campaign posters that will build the background of Lincoln’s story. From there, we will make our way to Lincoln Square where an impersonator will stand in front of a six-foot brass Lincoln statue and continue telling the story of his life. We will finish the day at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, where we will discover Lincoln’s humble beginnings.
Please Note: There will be a $50 fully refundable deposit placed on each stateroom for each guest who books this tour. The deposit will be removed once the tour has been taken.
Day 4: Owensboro, KY
The first European descdant to settle in Owensboro was frontiersman William Smeathers or Smothers in 1797, from whom the Riverfront park is named. The settlement was originally known as Yellow Banks from the color of the land beside the Ohio River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered at what is today's Owensboro prior to departing on their famous travels. In 1817, Yellow Banks was formally established under the name Owensborough, named after Col. Abraham Owen. In 1893, the spelling of the name was shortened to its current Owensboro. There have been several distillers, mainly of bourbon whiskey, in and around the city. Owensboro is also home to famous actor Johnny Depp, as he is a member of an old and prodigious Kentucky family.
Included Shore Excursions:
O.Z. Tyler Distillery
The tour of the O.Z. Tyler Distillery covers every aspect of whiskey production, from grain to mash to beer to distillate to barrels of whiskey. A visit to the distillery includes an overview of this patented technology and how it builds upon traditional barrel aging. And after you’ve seen how it’s made, you’ll get to taste the end products—O.Z. Tyler Bourbon Whiskey, O.Z. Tyler Rye Whiskey, and O.Z. Tyler Honey Flavored Bourbon Whiskey—in their speakeasy-style tasting room. Finally, no visit would be complete without a stroll through their on-site gift shop! Featuring O.Z. Tyler whiskey products, branded hats, shirts, glassware, and much more, you’re sure to find a perfect gift for any bourbon lover.
Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
Conceived from the dust of a cornfield in 1993, the Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens were the idea of a local horticulturalist. Today, six gardens have been established including; a butterfly garden, rose garden, iris garden, herb garden and a fruit and berry garden.
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art presents traveling exhibitions from major museum, galleries and private collections and rotating exhibitions from the permanent collection. The facility includes two structures listed on the National Register of Historic Sites: the 1909 Carnegie Library and the John Hampden Smith House, a pre-Civil War era mansion which serves as a decorative arts wing. The permanent collection features American, European and Asian fine and decorative arts dating from the 15th century to the present, a stained glass gallery of late 19th and early 20th century German stained glass windows; a collection of contemporary studio art glass; a major collection of American Folk Art with emphasis on the works of 20th century Appalachian artists and craftsmen; and a collection of works by artists and craftsmen with Kentucky connections from the early 1800's to the present.
Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Owensboro, Daviess County and the surrounding region are home to an impressive array of well-known celebrities from motorsports, movies, television, sports, music, and government. The Hall of Fame is located in the Convention & visitors Bureau, where visitors can freely browse to learn more about the accomplishments of its members. Visitors may also pick up more information about the history and attractions of the area.
International Bluegrass Music Museum
The International Bluegrass Music Museum is the world's only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of the international history of bluegrass music. Bluegrass is the official State Music of Kentucky. The International Bluegrass Music Museum is located in the River Park Complex at the foot of "the blue bridge" in downtown Owensboro, Kentucky. As you draw near, you'll hear the sounds of bluegrass music emanating from the museum's radio station, RBI, with audio speakers taking the music to the streets. Only a few hundred feet from the museum's entrance, the sounds of music drifts downstream via the mighty Ohio River, the subject of more than a few memorable bluegrass songs.
Day 5: Henderson, KY
Framed by nature, the area comprising Henderson, Kentucky, originally known as the great hunting and fishing mecca of American Indians, was first seen by a group of men including Thomas Walker and Daniel Boone, who found their way into the area through the Cumberland Gap. Henderson’s wooded hills and lush vegetation attracted legendary naturalist, John James Audubon, who operated a mill on the riverfront from 1810 to 1819, just one block from the center of the present business district. Thousands of people annually visit Audubon State Park and Museum, boasting the largest collection of John James Audubon original art and artifacts. A vibrant downtown, river up close, and with nature and history as its backdrop, Henderson is a progressive, small Southern town that also has its heritage deeply embedded within its borders and embraced by its citizens.
Included Shore Excursions:
The Depot Community Center
Find visitor’s information and The Community Room, which exhibits the Kentucky tobacco industry, blues musician W.C. Handy and a working train set. The Depot is a replica of the original 1901 train depot and stands as an example of the city’s commitment to preserving the past, while embracing Henderson’s future. Explore the museum’s newest addition – the Veteran’s Exhibit, which commemorates America’s veterans through stories and interviews, photographs, plaques, and trinkets. Then explore one of the most popular exhibits, Nooks and Crannies, which highlights antique artifacts of all kinds that have their own place in history, all coming together to create a timeline of history.
Historic Henderson County Library
Home of the Rotunda Gallery and rotating art exhibits, photography and fine art featuring local and regional artists. This institution first opened its doors to the public on August 1, 1904, after years of hard work by the publisher of the Henderson Journal, Edward Jonas. Mr. Jonas first began his campaign to bring a library to Henderson over a game of golf with the well-known philanthropist, Andrew Carnegie. Mr. Carnegie agreed to give the community the funding needed to build the library, if the community would purchase a suitable lot and would enact a tax that would cover the expenses related to running a library. It took Mr. Jonas until 1902 to get the backing of the local government, but soon things began to fall into place. Visitors may also notice the lettering on the outside of the building shows the word “Pvblic” rather than “Public,” suggesting that the people involved with the design of this building, more than likely would have known the Classic Roman alphabet used the symbol V for both U and V.
The center of a vibrant downtown shopping and business center, offering a variety of shops for everyone’s interest. Simon’s Shoes, is a full service fitting shoe store, which carries the largest selections of shoe sizes in the Midwest.
John James Audubon Museum
Located in the picturesque John James Audubon State Park, the staff will provide a guided tour of the Museum. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, guests can explore original oil and watercolor art by Audubon, as well all personal memorabilia in this world-class facility. Enjoy a “Birds of Prey” program presented by the park naturalist. After touring the Museum, explore the scenic grounds. On October 3, 1934, the Commonwealth of Kentucky dedicated the John James Audubon State Park, years later provided money to create the addition of a museum to the grounds. Today, the park is filled with beautiful and interesting stops for everyone. Bird watchers have some of the best views of native bird species from the wooded areas and benches of the park. Trails wrap around the park with incredible views of Kentucky and a nice walk can be enjoyed with the comfort of benches placed along the paths.
Audubon Mill Park
This scenic park, located right off of the Ohio River, offers the perfect opportunity for guests who wish to spend the day enjoying and exploring the beauty of Kentucky. The park offers a beautiful, paved trail perfect for a stroll down the river and has plenty of spots to take a rest on the benches or to relax and soak in the beauty of the outdoors. Guests may want to utilize this location to enjoy a lunch from a local eatery at one of the tables or pavilions for the perfect outdoor picnic. The park is used annually to hold a series of festivals, concerts, and events and is a frequent destination for Blue Grass and local artists to vocalize their talents to the community and visitors.
Day 6: Paducah, KY
Paducah embraces their harmonious history between the European settlers and the Padoucca Indians native to the area. The city is located at the confluence of the Ohio and the Tennessee Rivers and because of this, it is often called the Four-Rivers Area due to the proximity of the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers. This prime location has played a major role in Paducah’s history, as transportation was easily accessible – the economy was strong and travelers were frequent!
Included Shore Excursions:
National Quilt Museum
Celebrating 25 years in 2016, The National Quilt Museum is the largest of its kind in the world. It is the portal to the contemporary quilt experience - exhibits and workshops by renowned quilters who are implementing creative approaches to fiber art. The 27,000-square-foot contemporary structure features three galleries highlighting a collection of contemporary quilts and changing thematic exhibitions that celebrate the talent and diversity of the global quilting community. Workshops taught by world-class fiber art instructors are offered year-round. The Museum Shop & Book Store offers Kentucky Crafted items and quilt-related instructional and collector books.
Lloyd Tilghman House
This historic Greek Revival house was built in 1852 for Lloyd Tilghman, a new member of Paducah’s community at the time. After the house was completed, Tilghman did not purchase the property. Instead, the builder, Robert Woolfolk became the sole owner of the house and grounds. Tilghman, his wife, their seven children, and five slaves resided in the home until 1861. It was then that Woolfolk and his family moved into the home. Their family was pro-South and proudly flew a Confederate flag causing many uproars in the community and with the Federal Troops who located their headquarters just across the street from the home. Eventually Woolfolk and his family were banished from Paducah and the United States, forced to live in Canada on August 1, 1864.
Paducah Railroad Museum
The original Freight House (across the parking lot from the Museum) was built in 1925 by the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway. In 1996, the Freight House was sold and the Museum moved to a building one-half block away. Here, learn the history of the railroad and those who used it, explore the authentic train models, and enjoy the memorabilia showcased for guests.
River Discovery Center
In 1988 Mayor Gerry Montgomery and her committee pursued the development of a museum to showcase the Four Rivers Region’s maritime heritage. The River Heritage Center was planned in 1992 as the very beginning stages of the mayor’s dream. Years later the museum was relocated by Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and renamed the River Heritage Museum before finally receiving its current name, the River Discovery Center in 2008. Here explore artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that share the history of marine life and the history of the river.
The Moonshine Company
Explore, taste, and purchase traditional and international award-winning Kentucky moonshine and moonshine flavors at The Moonshine Company in historic downtown Paducah. Located only blocks from the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, The Moonshine Company offers complimentary guided museum tours and moonshine samples that are distilled on-site in our 108-year-old building. Get a glimpse into the rich Kentucky moonshine history with their collection of historic moonshine stills and purchase that same moonshine secretly produced and bootlegged by our family over 80 years ago to bring home with you!
Day 7: New Madrid, MO
New Madrid was founded in 1776 by Spanish Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró who welcomed Anglo-Saxon settlers but required them to become citizens of Spain and live under the guidance of his appointed impresario, Revolutionary War veteran, Colonel William Morgan of New Jersey. Some 2,000 settled in the region. In 1800, Spain traded the territory to France in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, who promptly sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The city is remembered as being the nearby location for the Mississippi River military engagement, the Battle of Island Number Ten, during the Civil War. The city is famous for being the site of a series of over 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by what is called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Today, explore this quaint river town that will surely steal the hearts of all guests.
Included Shore Excursions:
New Madrid Historical Museum
Located in the former Kendall Saloon off of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum shares the history of this river town from the Mississippian period through the 20th century. Here, guests can explore the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, documented with seismographic recordings, Native American artifacts, Civil War artifacts, early family life in the city of New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries and the gift shop!
New Madrid County Courthouse
In 1812 New Madrid was a vast county extending south through much of Arkansas. The area was cut roughly in half during the following year, and even further reductions came by 1816. New Madrid County, located by the Mississippi, was one of Missouri’s earliest counties. The town of New Madrid was founded in 1783, and the county was organized in 1812. First courts met in New Madrid, but county records previous to 1816 are missing. After the devastating earthquake of 1811 and repeated flooding of the Mississippi, the court chose an inland site for the county seat. For the 20th century courthouse, New Madrid County purchased a new site north of the original town in March 1915. From architects who presented plans, the court selected those from H. G. Clymer of St. Louis. Clymer's plan was for a brick building 107 by 75 feet with stone trim. Additional funds for finishing the courthouse and jail were authorized early in 1917, but no bids were received. World War I was beginning, and the labor force was reduced. Finally, W. W. Taylor, a master builder from Cape Girardeau, superintended final interior work, which was completed in January 1919. Final costs exceeded $100,000. This courthouse continues in use as New Madrid's seat of justice.
Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site
Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site preserves a now-vanished part of Missouri: The stately Bootheel Mansion. Filled with original pieces and furnished in the style similar to its heydays of the 1860s-1880s, this ornate mansion provides a history lesson in every corner. Most of the original furniture, purchased by the house’s first owners, Amanda and William Hunter, are still in the house today.
Restored to the one-room school that operated at Higgerson Landing in 1948, the Higgerson School is a window to the educational practices that shaped and served rural America from the early 19th century. Experience the typical school day of children attending all eight grades in one room with one teacher. Relive the days of playing “Wolf Over and River” and “Caterpillars,” a trip to the outdoor facility and crossing the fence on the stile. Visit Higgerson Landing Gift Shop before heading to your next stop.
River Walk Gallery
The oldest home in New Madrid, the Hart-Stepp House was built by Abraham Augustine in 1840 and moved to its present location in order to escape the encroaching waters of the Mississippi River. It is now home to the River Walk Gallery and the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce. The Gallery features the works of local photographers and artists.
Day 8: Memphis, TN
Arrival 8:00 AM
Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy Memphis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.