Day 1: Hotel Stay - Nashville, TN
Enjoy your complimentary stay at the iconic Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with all that this legendary "Music City" has to offer.
Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. It is here that our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving Premium Shore Excursions. An American Queen Steamboat Company representative, as well as a local representative, will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing suggestions so that you may maximize your time in Nashville.
Day 2: Clarksville, TN (Nashville)
Departure 5:00 PM
Today is the day you have been waiting for! Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey through history.
If you haven’t gotten your full dose of Nashville yet, visit the AQSC Hospitality Desk for ideas about how to spend your day. The official Voyage Check-In will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. During this time, our representatives will arrange for your transfer to the vessel and answer any questions you might have. The process is simple and will have you back to exploring in no time. If you have any additional questions, the Hospitality Desk will be at your service until the complimentary vessel transfers begin.
Day 3: Clarksville, TN
Clarksville is the fifth fastest growing city in the United States while keeping their small town charm. Founded in 1784 and incorporated as a town in 1785, Clarksville was named for Revolutionary War hero General George Rogers Clark. The town is lined with history ranging for centuries and can be seen through prime examples of Victorian and Roman styles of architecture that are prevalent throughout the city.
Included Shore Excursions:
Built in 1858 by wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith, this majestic antebellum home overlooks the Cumberland River. Constructed during the troubled pre Civil War era, the architecture reflects Greek Revival and Italianate styles. The home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a “widow’s walk” on the roof. This beautiful home overlooks the Cumberland River. It was designed by Adolphus Heiman in 1858 for a wealthy tobacconist by the name Christopher Smith. The home reflects the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, which were very popular at that time. Although not as large as some, the home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a “widow” walk" on the roof. The original main building consisted of four large rooms on each of the two floors, opening onto both the hallways and the balconies. The kitchen was attached to the back of the house, but there was no connecting door. Of the many outbuildings that must have been on the property at this time, only the slave's quarters remains.
Montgomery County Courthouse
Originally constructed in the 1800’s, the Courthouse and Courts Complex is a blend of state of the art technology and historic charm. Restored after the 1999 tornado, this architectural beauty is the symbol of Clarksville’s historic downtown. Adorning the corridors of both buildings are 150 photographs illustrating the history and heritage of Montgomery County.
Customs House Museum and Cultural Center
Built in 1898 as a US Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade, this architecturally fascinating structure is among the most photographed buildings in the region. The state’s second largest general museum, the center features rotating shows, galleries and a sculpture garden. This center, located in the center of downtown Clarksville, is the State’s second largest general museum. The 1898 portion of the Museum was originally designed for use as a Federal Post Office and Custom House to handle the large volume of foreign mail created by the city’s international tobacco business. It measures 62 feet, 2 inches by 62 feet, 2 inches overall and is built on a smooth stone foundation. The brick exterior has decorative terra cotta around all openings and on the corners. The hipped roof with flared eaves is made of slate over long leaf pine, with the roof framing being of steel construction. The floor is of Knoxville, Tennessee marble, and the plastered walls feature extensive natural white oak trim. The building contains three vaults. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. With over 35,000 square feet of exhibit space, hands-on activities and special events, this museum can keep everyone busy. Explore the expansive museum visiting galleries displaying fine art, science, and history. Enjoy the museum’s collection of model trains that ride around the tracks each day.
Fort Defiance Interpretive Center and Park
In April of 2011, the Fort Defiance Civil War Park opened its doors to the new interpretive center, kicking off the 150th anniversary of the war that defined a century and changed the country. Fort Defiance overlooks the Red and Cumberland Rivers and has a breathtaking view of the Downtown. Visitors are encouraged to walk the trails and enjoy the history that the location represents. Displays, cannons and the occasional re-enactors are just some of things you can enjoy on your visit to Fort Defiance. In November 1861, Confederate troops began to build a defensive fort that would control the river approach to Clarksville. They mounted three guns in the fort. On February 19, 1862, Federal gunboats came up the river from Fort Donelson and reported the fort displayed a white flag and was deserted. The Federals took over the fort and enlarged it so that it would control traffic on the Hopkinsville Pike. Clarksville was left with a small garrison of Union Troops. In April 1862, this small garrison was made up of the 71st Ohio Volunteers commanded by Col. Rodney Mason. During July and August 1862, there was an increase in guerrilla activity around Clarksville. On August 18, 1862, Clarksville was recaptured by Confederate Calvary. Union soldiers were sent from Fort Donelson to retake Clarksville in September 1862. Battles were fought at New Providence on September 6, 1862 and at Riggins Hill on September 7, 1862. The town and fort were reoccupied by Federal troops who remained for the rest of the war. Col. Bruce was placed in command at Clarksville and Fort Defiance was renamed Fort Bruce.
Day 4: Dover, TN
Stewart County is a small county enriched with history, picture-perfect scenery, and welcoming citizens. Guests are greeted with nature's beauty and wildlife surrounding the city. Located at the county's heart is Dover, its county seat and the home of Fort Donelson National Park. This peaceful, picturesque town is the location of one of the most historic battles of the Civil War - a battle that changed the direction of the war for the North. Today, bald eagles call this park their home as and soar through the skies; a true symbol of freedom. Although small and rural, Dover has much to offer her visitors who can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many local restaurants or take in the comforting hometown charm found throughout the city. Dover and Stewart County are the perfect gateway to a simple, cozy, quiet, country experience.
Explore the battlefield where Union and Confederate soldiers fought in February of 1862. Discover the history of the past displayed inside the Visitor Center or scattered across the battlefield, where monuments, plaques, and canyons portray the battle that ultimately ended with the Union forces capturing Fort Donelson. The construction of the Fort Donelson started in the year 1861 by Daniel S. Donelson and was named after him. During the Civil War of the 1860s, the Union forces were heading south to fight the Confederacy. Fort Donelson was key because of its location on the Cumberland River. When Fort Donelson was captured by the Union in February 1862, it was their first major victory for the Civil War. With the fort under Union control, they now had the door open to the Confederacy, ensuring that Kentucky would stay in the Union and opening up Tennessee for a Northern advance along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. At Fort Donelson, visitors can learn about the battle, view the earthworks and cannons, and take a walk through the area on one of two trails. There also are areas for picnics, parking, and strolls along the Cumberland River, as well as a Visitor Center, where guests can learn the history of the war leading up to this battle and the events that occurred after it was finished.
Fort Donelson National Cemetery
The Fort Donelson National Cemetery in Dover, Tennessee was established in 1867 as a burial ground for Union soldiers killed in a significant early Civil War battle. Today, the cemetery contains the graves of veterans representing the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Fort Donelson National Cemetery is one of 14 national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service and is a part of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield. In July 1862, Congress passed legislation giving the President of the United States the authority to purchase land for the establishment of cemeteries “for soldiers who shall die in the service of their country.” The legislation effectively began the National Cemetery System. In 1863, the Union Army abandoned the Confederate works and constructed a new fortification on the ground that became the cemetery site. A freedmen's community developed around the new Union fort. Four years later, this same site was selected for the establishment of the Fort Donelson National Cemetery and 670 Union soldiers were reinterred here. These soldiers (including 512 unknowns) had been buried on the battlefield, in local cemeteries, in hospital cemeteries, and in nearby towns. These totals include five known and nine unknown soldiers from the United States Colored Troops. In 1867, Fort Donelson Cemetery was established as the final resting for Union soldiers and sailors initially buried in the Fort Donelson area. Today the national cemetery contains both Civil War veterans and veterans who have served the United States since that time.
The Surrender House/Dover Hotel
This 1850s building was originally the Dover Hotel and was a popular stop for travelers of the time. During the Battle at Fort Donelson, General Buckner and his staff used the hotel as their headquarters during the battle. It also served as a Union hospital after the surrender. After Buckner accepted Grant's surrender terms, the two generals met here to work out the details. Today, the building is restored and showcases historical artifacts and galleries. Built between 1851 and 1853, the Dover Hotel accommodated riverboat travelers before and after the Civil War. The Dover Hotel was the site of the "unconditional surrender" of General Buckner to General Grant, on February 16, 1862. Grant's terms of "unconditional and immediate surrender" were described by Buckner as "ungenerous and unchivalrous.” This was the Union Army's first major victory of the Civil War, setting the stage for invasion of the south and eventual capture of the Mississippi River Valley. The structure was originally built in 1851, and still stands in the heart of Dover. The structure had served as General Buckner's headquarters during the battle. The Fort Donelson House Historical Association and the National Park Service restored the house in the 1970s, and today the exterior looks much as it did at the time of the surrender.
Stewart County Visitor Center
Explore the Stewart County Visitor Center to learn about the history and future of the city of Dover. Walk through the Gallery located inside to get a visual representation of the city’s culture and history or talk to a resident at the Visitor Information Desk to hear their own piece of Dover history! Stewart County proudly opened its Visitor Center in October 2010. It has been a beautiful addition to the county and serves the community on multiple facets. The Center includes a Visitor Information Desk, where guests can discover the history of the county, hear about how the city is changing and improving through future plans, and even get tips on the best local eateries and stores. Take a tour through the Gallery, where the history and culture of Stewart County is highlighted through interesting articles, incredible art pieces, and rare artifacts, and then relax in the comfort of the fireplace.
Stewart County Historical Society Museum
This historical building showcases the history, culture, and customs of the city of Dover. Guests can explore many displays of local art, artifacts, and photographs as local experts recount the stories of this historical county. The museum houses an abundant collection of rich information on the county’s history, culture, and customs. While visiting the Historical Society Museum, guests have the opportunity to explore the county’s one-room schoolhouse and the history found inside, the beautiful Stewart County quilt showcased for all to see, and many more displays that demonstrate the local history. The building is also used to host many local events from charity dinners and dancing nights to educational seminars and talent shows, the Stewart County Historical Society Museum works hard to bring the community together.
Day 5: 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!
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 6: Cape Girardeau, MO
Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River lays the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It’s a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. Stroll along the riverfront, where the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army in the historic downtown, and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Lewis and Clark while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth on their Corps of Discovery to explore the Louisiana Purchase will be prominent.
Included Shore Excursions:
Tennessee River Museum
Here, exhibits chronicle prehistoric times, life of the Mississippi Mound Builders, the tragic story of the “Trail of Tears,” the Civil War on the River, the Golden Age of Steamboats and the Tennessee River today. This museum was founded in 1992, located in an old post office building in downtown Savanna that was constructed in 1939. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, exhibits and collections are dedicated to preserving the history of the Tennessee River Valley so that future generations have an accurate depiction of their heritage and history. The museum features seven permanent exhibits such as “Paleontology,” filled with more than 200 fossils, “Archeology,” comprised of antique pottery and tools, “Pioneers,” exploring the Chickasaw Treaties, “Trail of Tears,” portraying the historical Native American travels to Oregon, “War on the River,” explaining the battles of Union invasions, “The Golden Age of Steamboats,” highlighting the historic Tennessee Riverboat trade, and “Musseling,” featuring the story of the historic pearl button industry.
Savannah Historic District
Get a unique view of more than 40 homes and several styles of architecture to experience on a two mile strip in downtown Savannah. This two mile stroll passes 42 historical homes accurately portraying the architectural styles from across Savannah’s history. Many of the homes are privately owned so are not open to tour, but are just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the interior. Featured homes include Cherry Mansion, U.S. Grant’s Headquarters, the Churchwell-MicGinley-Taylor House, a former women’s college from the 19th century, and Irwinwood which was named after the owner who was credited for acquiring the land for Shiloh National Military Park in the 1890’s.
The Cherry Mansion
Explore the private residence used as General U.S. Grand headquarters during the Battle of Shiloh. See artifacts, photos, and learn the history of this period of time in Grant’s life. This beautiful mansion was the headquarters for U.S. Grant during the Battle of Shiloh. Hear the stories of Grant during his time within the property and hear about some of the Battle of Shiloh history. Admire the unique fireplaces, desks where Grant would sit to construct plans of battle, hand-made stone fences surrounding the property, and views of the Tennessee River off of the back porch.
Spend a relaxing day outdoors with a beautiful view of the Tennessee River as you stroll down the paths or lounge on the seats facing the river. Enjoy a day in the Tennessee sunshine in this 44 acre park overlooking the Tennessee River. Relax in front of the water at any of the pavilions or benches, take a brisk walk on the paved walking trails wrapping around the banks of the river. The park also the public with tennis courts, baseball fields, disc golf, a playground, and restrooms.
Williams-Shutt House (White Pillars)
Constructed in 1874 and remolded about 1910, this colonial revival has a two story frame with an Ionic portico, wrap around porches, Palladian pediment windows, headlights, and sidelights. The exterior has remained unaltered since about 1910. While still retaining the earlier floor plan, White Pillars was altered early in the 20th century when an outsized portico and matching wrap around porch were added. The home was remolded and transformed into a colonial revival mansion during this time. It is now home to Savannah Mayor Bob and wife Janie Shutt, and hosts annual out door venues including a songwriter’s gala during the Tennessee River Run festival hosted by hometown country artist Darryl Worley.
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.
National Quilt Museum
25 years in the making- the National Quilt Museum supports quilters and aims to advance the art of quilting by displaying exceptional quilt and fiber art exhibits. This museum celebrates the work of today’s quilters and offers a variety of unique exhibits that change throughout the year. Forget what you think quilting is—the National Quilt Museum isn’t full of dated simple block quilting, but exhibits works of art with a quilt as a canvas. Be certain to stop by, this museum is a must see! 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.
Lowertown Arts District
Paducah’s oldest neighborhood is famous for the award-winning Artist Relocation Program that prompted its colorful revitalization which continues today with the expansion of the Paducah School of Art & Design campus. The Arts District is populated with working artists, students and artists-in-residence who add to the City’s vibrant artistic landscape.
The Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum
Prepare to be amazed at the significant influence Paducah had on the outcome of the Civil War. Generals U.S. Grant, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and others made their astounding contributions to history here. Hear this untold story inside the 1852 Greek revival home of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman. 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. They family was pro-South and proudly flew a Confederate flag causing many uproars over 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.
The Paducah Railroad Museum
A project of the Paducah Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society showcases equipment and memorabilia from the romantic past of America’s railroads. New simulator gives the sensation of riding a locomotive cab. 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
Celebrate Paducah’s maritime legacy and lore with interactive, water-filled exhibits, including a working model of a lock and dam. Captain a towboat, pleasure watercraft or Coast Guard buoy tender through various scenarios in the new pilothouse simulator. Take a turn behind the pilot wheel to experience river traffic at the Port of Paducah. In 1988 Mayor Gerry Montgomery and his committee pursued the development of a museum to showcase the Four Rivers Region 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 located 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.
Day 8: Leisurely River Cruising
There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river and today is the perfect day to enjoy the many public spaces and activities that are available to you onboard. Gaze at the beautiful landscapes and small river towns as you mingle with fellow guests and discuss the unique aspects of river life. If you fancy a moment for yourself, retreat to The Lincoln Library adorned with ornate bookcases stocked with an imaginative selection. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish every moment of serenity. Our fitness facility, business center, movie theater and grand lobby offer a more stimulating day on the river for those who wish to indulge in more energy-infused activity. However you wish to spend your day, make it your own and revel in every moment.
Day 9: 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.