Day 1: Hotel Stay - St. Louis, MO
Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Both American Queen Steamboat Company and local representatives will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.
Day 2: St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, famously referred to as the Gateway City, is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultural traditions each one brings forth. The city is typically associated with its 630-foot stainless steel monument, the Gateway Arch, which stands on the banks of the Mississippi River to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.
Day 3: Cape Girardeau, MO
Cape Girardeau has shown hospitality to the likes of Mark Twain, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, and now greets our guests in the same vein. Peeking through the long-standing architecture and handsome panoramas are moments that will mature into golden memories. They say sometimes the little things make the biggest impact, and here, a million little things have built an empire. Take time to dance among the light of day or pedal along the sliver of bike lanes that strip along city streets. Embrace legends, discover a simpler time and relive the wonders of the past. Here, exploration of young America is at your fingertips.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
Mississippi River Tales Murals
The Mississippi River Tales Mural is the largest and most dramatic of Cape Girardeau’s murals and is located on a portion of the downtown floodwall. Covering nearly 18,000 square feet, this 1,100-foot-long mural features 24 historically-themed panels that vividly portray Cape Girardeau’s rich history and heritage; descriptive markers provide an explanation of each panel. The Missouri Wall of Fame Mural features 47 individuals who were born in Missouri or achieved fame while living in the state.
Red House Interpretive Center
The Center commemorates the life of community founder French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier, as well as the visit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in November, 1803. The Interpretive Center houses an early 1800s exhibit that reflects the lives of the early settlers of the old Cape Girardeau district. In addition, a rendering of Lorimier’s Trading Post displays authentic items that would have been sold at the turn of the 19th century. The gardens on the north side of the house show the types of garden you might have seen in 1803 with flowers, vegetables, cooking herbs, and medicinal herbs.
Old St. Vincent’s Church
The Renaissance architecture, referred to as English Gothic Revival style, is not only beautiful but also extremely rare, as very few churches of this style exist in America today. Explore the many artifacts preserved in the church as you admire the arches and woodwork lining the interior of the chapel. Discover this fully restored beauty as it transports you back in time.
Completed in 1883, the Glenn house is a fully restored historic museum in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It is a prime example of the Victorian period lifestyle including the architecture, furnishings, clothing, and décor. The Glenn House was built for David A. Glenn, who was an influential figure in the city’s history. He and his family occupied the home until 1915. Before they vacated the home, it was renovated in 1900 to the Queen Anne Style. The house is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Many of the furnishings and features of the home have been restored to their original beauty and have been kept authentic to the Victorian time interior.
Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts River Campus
Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts is composed of departments covering the history and science of art, music, theater, and dance. Visit the beautiful campus and explore the unique styles and subjects taught here. Walk around and discover impressive pieces of art, in many different styles, showcasing the talent and hard work of local students.
The Crisp Museum collects in three thematic areas: archaeology, history, and fine art. The Archaeology collection has several collections of prehistoric Native American artifacts, which illustrate aspects of the daily and ceremonial lives of the indigenous peoples who lived in southeastern Missouri from 13,500 B.C. to 1400 A.D., highlighting some very rare and exotic artifacts. The museum’s historical collections cover a wide range of artifacts with strengths in the areas of militaria, firearms and their accessories, clothing, and hand tools.
Cape River Heritage Museum
Since its founding in 1981, the Cape River Heritage Museum has focused on local history while preserving a historic building at the corner of Frederick and Independence streets. Located in an old fire house, the museum offers events, tours, and exhibits on steamboats, education, commerce, the Missouri mule, the state flag, the Show-Me slogan, Native American culture, and fire and police memorabilia. Snap a picture of yourself in the model steamboat or in the cab of a tall-ladder fire truck from the 1950s!
Day 4: Paducah, KY
In the hands of artists, modern Paducah was thrown into form. Fingertips muddied with passion and eased by the vision of river water glided along the surface to pull up the community and create the National Quilt Museum. Residents backstitch past into present, then bind appreciation for culture – ensuring that the seams of history will not soon come undone. The people of Paducah have taken great care to orchestrate every crevice of its community into a symphony of craft and color. Life is a work of art, and the town of Paducah certainly is alive and well. Feast in this foodies’ fantasy. Uncover mastership. Catch a glimpse of Paducah.
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 5: Henderson, KY
Capture your inner artisan in the home of James Audubon and W.C Handy. Hospitality flows freely through a vibrant downtown that kisses the rolling river. Wide streets welcome guests and showcase historic preservation that awakens a classic ambiance in storefronts and homes. Discover nature fingerprinted with humanity in the many parks and trials that showcase artistry throughout the town. Greetings from Henderson – a walkable community wrapped in warmth.
Day 6: River Cruising
Because history plays such a large part of your river cruise experience, spend some time with our onboard Riverlorian to gain insight into our nation’s history and heritage. Relive a tale from Mark Twain, or simply enjoy fascinating stories, facts and fables about the very stretch of river on which you are cruising.
Day 7: Louisville, KY
This authentically quirky port is a muse to artisans of mixed mediums – from sidewalk chalk to street fare – and home to cultural diversity that quickly captivates the heart of its visitors. The local tradition that lives within images of Derby hats, Old-Fashioned cocktails and the 120-foot Louisville Slugger that towers over the friendly city is better lived than seen. 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.
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 8: 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 House, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. The downtown shopping district is a unique showcase of unbeatable hospitality, with 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.
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 9: Cincinnati, OH
Take a stroll through Cincinnati – the birthplace of baseball and its own distinctive chili recipe. 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 is anchored to the river, where our guests meet the shore. New hotspots and long-lasting classics give this oasis of commerce its colorful character. Seize the day in this old-fashioned urban jewel on the Ohio.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
This iconic fountain is in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio. Located at the corner of Fifth and Vine Streets, Fountain Square is a public space where Cincinnatians gather, celebrate and connect as a city.
National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
This interactive center is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, a museum of ideas, a site of conscience, a museum of American history, and museum of African American history. (Admission additional).
This greenhouse contains multiple floral plants, displayed in the palm house, desert house, the Hinkle Magnolia Garden including a bonsai and orchid displays. Krohn Conservatory was built in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco era. It’s what’s inside those aluminum and glass walls that make Krohn Conservatory truly special. You’d have to travel a good distance from Cincinnati to visit a rainforest or a desert – or come to Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Parks’ nationally recognized showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world.
The Eden Park Observation Point
Here, you will view some landmarks within the park including a picturesque gazebo, where a breathtaking view of the city is offered to all of its visitors. This stop is the perfect place for those who love nature and scenery to hop-off.
Cincinnati Art Museum
This impressive museum harbors an unparalleled art collection consisting of more than 60,000 works, spanning over 6,000 years throughout history. It also hosts several national and international traveling exhibitions each year. Today, spend your afternoon exploring the art work from many talented artists from across the world.
Newport on the Levee
Take advantage of this centrally located stop, where many unique boutiques, restaurants, and attractions are within walking distance. Here, find the perfect souvenir to bring back home, grab a bite to eat for lunch, or just enjoy the stunning scenery around the beautiful city of Cincinnati, Ohio!
Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
A place where the story of Reds baseball comes alive each day. Explore the facility and all of its exhibits and discover the history of this iconic Ohio baseball team, including information about the Reds’ best players, historic games, and Hall of Famers. (Admission additional).