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Kentucky Derby Cruise 2020
(American Duchess)

9 days with American Queen Steamboat  Rating: Deluxe

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  • Enjoy free shore excursions on every sailing. Click here for eligible departures.

Offers subject to change or withdrawal, availability is limited. Some discounts are not combinable.

River Cruise Itinerary
Day 1: Hotel Stay - Cincinnati, OH
Enjoy your complimentary pre-cruise hotel stay in Cincinatti. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the foodie culture, unique shops and ever-changing entertainment throughout the city.
 
For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel between 2:00 and 7:00 p.m. It is there that our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about the upcoming voyage to reservation of premium experiences. American Duchess and local representatives will be available to provide suggestions on dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time in Cincinnati.
 
Day 2: Cincinnati, OH
Take a stroll through Cincinnati – the birthplace of baseball and a unique style of chili. The city is filled with downtown destinations that flaunt shops and amenities. Bound by the many parks; each district has its own personality, and you can meet them all – because the city’s compact downtown area is anchored to the river, where American Duchess awaits. New hot spots and long-lasting classics give this oasis of commerce its colorful character. Seize the day in this old-fashioned urban jewel on the Ohio.
 
Day 3: Madison, IN
Tucked away between Cincinnati and Louisville is Madison, a quaint river town rich in character. This charismatic port flaunts its personality throughout the streets where a 130-block historic district showcases its collection of classic architectural artistry. Admire the antique machinery at the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. The downtown shopping district is a unique showcase of unbeatable hospitality – each shop locally owned and operated. Madison’s heritage is woven into every stop, ensuring a glimpse of beauty and history. Join us to discover all the hidden treasures of Madison.
 
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.
 
Broadway Fountain
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 4: Louisville, KY
The Louisvillian tradition that lives within images of Derby hats, Old Fashioned bourbon spirits and the 120-foot Louisville Slugger that towers over the friendly city is better lived than seen. The most exciting event today is the unique opportunity to be aboard the American Duchess during the Kentuky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race. This historic race is the oldest festival event - dating back to 1963. Cheer on the captain and wave in pride to the onlookers who line the riverbank as we race to take back the golden antlers.  
 
Day 5: Brandenburg, KY
The essence of Kentucky radiates in everything from the oaky finish of its bourbon to tableau of rolling farmland. Soul-stirring river views and Southern warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Journey through the manicured farm lands and unique river topography of Brandenburg to the United States Army’s Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armory. Spend the day experiencing this fascinating museum that centers on the inspirational leadership of historic American heroes. 

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 6: Owensboro, KY
The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro. Each of its spaces is a lovely ballad that tugs at the heartstrings of visitors – from the notes of bourbon distilleries to bumbling butterfies in the botanical garden. The tawny banks of this river jewel extend a warm welcome and invite you to experience the beauty in bluegrass.
 
Included Shore Exursions:
 
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 7: River Cruising / Transfer to Kentucky Derby
Consider purchasing a Kentucky Derby Experience Package. This premium event will send you off to the races - providing the opportunity to check off a bucket list item and participate in the greatest two minutes in sports. Don a Derby hat and test your luck in live betting while kicking back in undercover seating positioned perfectly along the final stretch. Cheer for your favorite, and feel the thunder of the horses as they approach the finish line. In addition to coveted seats, you will receive a VIP Fast Access Pass, the Affirmed Gourmet Buffet, access to the open bar, American Queen Steamboat Company on-site trip directors and an exclusive jockey meet-and-greet.
 
Day 8: Louisville, KY
This authentically quirky port is a muse to artisans of mixed media – from sidewalk chalk to street fare – and home to cultural diversity that quickly captivates the heart of its visitors. Discover the talent and creativity of Louisville locals in a number of art galleries, theatrical performances and museums throughout Derby City. Explore the red penguin-peppered Main Street. Embrace oddity. Experience Louisville.
 
Included Shore Excursions:
 
The Frazier History Museum
A world-class museum that provides an unforgettable journey through more than 1,000 years of history with ever-changing and interactive exhibits, daily performances by costumed interpreters and engaging special events and programs. The permanent collection includes items from across the globe, famous world leaders, and one of the country’s largest toy soldier displays. Explore all three floors of this expansive museum!
 
Mark Payton Glass Center
Visit this multi-use facility located in the heart of downtown Louisville that is dedicated to the art of glass. Tour the flame working and glassblowing studios and learn about the extensive variety of artistic glass working techniques through the demonstrating artists. “Be certain to mention your American Queen cabin number to receive a special surprise! Visit this glass blowing studio and tour the amazing techniques and artwork created by professional. The tour will pass by artists in action as they flamework, sculpt, cast, and blow glass. Make sure to stop in the gallery to explore finished products or the gift shop where you can purchase some unique and beautiful souvenirs. Or choose to be your own artist at the walk-in-workshop where you can flame your own art with the help of a professional, for a small fee.
 
Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company
After purchasing the Worsham Distillery in Henderson, Kentucky, in 1889, Henry K. Kraver founded the Peerless brand. He and his son-in-law, Roy Taylor Sr., ran the business together, producing about 8 barrels of rye whiskey bourbon per day. Production increased drastically by 1913, when the Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company employs 50 workers and pushes out 10,000 barrels per year. By 1917, the company was running at peak production, producing a staggering 200 barrels per day, more than 23,000 barrels a year, and 63,000 barrels in storage! But in this same year, the 18th Amendment was passed and the era of Prohibition moved in, closing the distillery. After that, the facility fell off the map until Kraver’s great grandson, Corky Taylor, and his son, Carson, bring back the family brand in Louisville, Kentucky, where it resides today!
 
The Kentucky Show! (Showtimes at 10AM, 11AM & 2PM)
Choose to spend some time at one of Louisville’s famous Kentucky Show! Located on West Main Street. Experience the people, sights, and sounds of the state in a high-definition production that will keep you just as entertained as you are informed. This multimedia show runs for 32-minutes and explores the ways Kentucky’s past, present, and choices for the future converge to create a unique and engaging destination.
 
Seelbach Hotel
The Seelbach Hotel is a historic hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, founded by Bavarian-born brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach. It opened in 1905 as the Seelbach Hotel, envisioned by the Seelbach Brothers to embody the old-world grandeur of European hotels in cities such as Vienna and Paris. To do so in early 20th century Louisville, they employed a French Renaissance design in constructing the hotel. e hotel was quickly regarded among the finest hotels in the United States and throughout its long history has been frequented by many notable Americans such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, who took inspiration from the Seelbach for a hotel used in the Great Gatsby. e hotel is part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts chain. Trail Interactive exhibit!
 
Fourth Street Live! 
Fourth Street Live began as a downtown revitalization project to redesign and modernize the former Louisville Galleria, a similar but unsuccessful project opened in the early 1980s with the same goals of revitalizing downtown. Fourth Street itself had long been the main shopping and entertainment destination in Downtown Louisville. Today, the 350,000-square-foot entertainment and retail complex is located on 4th Street, between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Restaurants and entertainment venues in the complex include Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Hard Rock Cafe, T.G.I. Friday’s, Sully’s Irish Pub, The Sports & Social Club (bowling alley and restaurant),tavern on 4th street, The Fudgery, and the first-ever Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge.
 
Day 9: Louisville, KY
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 Louisville at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.
Tour Map
All This Included
KENTUCKY DERBY CRUISE: The first weekend of May is an exciting time to celebrate the honored tradition of the Kentucky Derby.® This thoroughbred race has taken place under the iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs every year since 1875. Dress to the nines, sip a mint julep and sport an extravagant hat while betting on your favorite horse or jockey. From general admission to Millionaire’s Row, this event brings out the best in all.
 
Because Louisville is home to American Queen Steamboat Company's chairman and CEO, John Waggoner, and his wife, Claudette, we wanted to give our guests the special opportunity to join in the tradition and celebrate in style aboard the lavish American Duchess. In addition to a week filled with exciting events such as the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race, you can delight in the thrill of the Kentucky Derby at Churchill Downs with an optional Kentucky Derby Package. This package will afford you the rare opportunity to experience the most exciting two minutes in sports and other related events leading up to the big race. Join the merriment, and reserve your spot on our Kentucky Derby cruise. We’d love to share this sensational racing tradition with you!
  • Complimentary Hop-On Hop-Off shore excursions in each port of call
  • Complimentary hotel stay the night before your voyage – includes breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfers to the vessel
  • All onboard meals, including both fine dining and casual cuisine
  • 24-Hour Room Service
  • Complimentary unlimited beer, wine by the glass, spirits and cocktails up to $12 in value aboard the ship
  • Complimentary cappuccino, espresso, specialty coffees, tea, bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage
  • Complimentary prepaid gratuities
  • Gracious service from a friendly, all-American staff
  • Acclaimed entertainment worthy of Broadway
  • Our own dedicated fleet of deluxe motorcoaches
Accommodations on this Tour
Cruising: Cabin onboard American Duchess
Notes
  • Cabin upgrades are available.
  • Guests may purchase a Kentucky Derby Experience package for an additional fee with tickets included to the Kentucky Derby. 
  • Port charges of $199 per person are additional and not included in the fare.
  • Please ask your Vacations To Go travel counselor for more information.
Terms and Conditions

* The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.



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