Day 1: Hotel Stay - Pittsburgh, PA
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: Pittsburgh, PA
Pittsburgh is located at the confluence of three rivers. At one time a trading camp, it grew into a major manufacturing center, and served as the jumping-off point for the golden age of steamboat travel. Its Gilded Age sites, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, speak to its history as an early-20th-century industrial capital.
Day 3: Wheeling, WV
Wheeling was established in 1795, and became a popular frontier town by the early 1880s. In the late 19th century, it served as a prime industrial center, with thriving factory business in iron, steel, glass and tobacco. Walk across the 150-year-old Wheeling Suspension Bridge, and gaze at the graceful waters of the Ohio River. Better yet, take a walk through Victorian Old Town, and visit breathtaking homes of the stylish Victorian era.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
West Virginia Independence Hall
Nearly six years before President Lincoln signed the proclamation making West Virginia the 35th State in the Union, construction had begun on the Wheeling Custom House, headquarters for federal officers for the Western District of Virginia. Its completion, coinciding with the Civil War provided a facility for political discussions and constitutional conventions. The grand architecture of the building’s interiors have been restored to be authentic to the time period in which it portrays. Guests can view an interpretive video, “For Liberty and Union,” and take a self-guided tour of the building.
Built in 1892 by wealthy banker George W. Eckhart Jr., the Eckhart House was considered to be one of the residential building achievements of the year by the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer in October 29, 1892. With most of its original architectural features well preserved, it has earned the title of Victorian Wheeling’s ‘Crown Jewel’. The three story Queen Anne town home is nestled in the heart of Victorian Old Town and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides tours, the Eckhart House has a Tea Room and a Gift Shop.
The Capitol Theatre is the largest theatre in West Virginia and a landmark building in the national historic district of downtown Wheeling. For many years, it has served as the home of Jamboree USA and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. The Capitol Theatre opened its doors for the first time on November 29th, 1928 for four different shows with each seat costing sixty cents. The building originally had a copper marquee with a large and electric neon sign at the entrance and was composed with a color scheme of mulberry, delicate green tones, ivory and various shades of gold russet.
The Centre Wheeling Market is a historic public market located along Market Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets and was built in 1853. The market is older than the state itself. The Upper Market House is the eldest market house in the country. Local business owners in and around the Centre Market square strive to bring back the comfort of home. The Centre Market has a wide arrange of shops and restaurants including hand crafted jewelry and pottery and a fish market. There is something here for everyone!
Day 4: Marietta, OH
Marietta vaunts a stout mix of museums, walking tours and historic sites to broaden the landscape of the mind. Take part in a farmers’ market and ghost stories alike as you wander the town. Shaded, hand-laid brick streets pervade its charm, and fringing them are dollhouse homes featuring stained glass, intricate woodwork, lofty towers and ornate turrets. All that and more plays a vital role in the visual and spiritual pleasantries of this place. The past fuels the present, keeping pace and pushing forward with the same gusto as the paddlewheel.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
The Mound Cemetery was developed around the base of a prehistoric Adena burial mound known as the Great Mound or Conus in order to preserve it from destruction. In its early years, the Mound Cemetery saw the burial of more than twenty-five Revolutionary War soldiers and has the highest number of burials of officers in the country.
The Castle was the home of some of Marietta’s most prominent and influential citizens and was the site of grand business, community and family functions throughout Marietta’s history. Only a total of five familys have lived on the property between 1808 and 1974 and was later donated to the Betsey Mills Corporation who completed repairs and opened it for tours in 1994. Tour this historical house museum furnished with antiques from the Bosley family and the historical furniture from the other Marietta families who resided in the home.
Campus Martius Museum
Campus Martius Museum was built on the site of the original stockade, built by the Ohio Company between 1788 and 1791. Known by the early settlers as the stockade or Campus Martius, the original fortification was built to house and protect the members of the Ohio Company during the Ohio Indian Wars of 1790 to 1794. By 1795, after the signing of the Treaty of Greeneville, the stockade was no longer necessary and torn down. In 1953, the Ohio Historical Society restored the museum and moved it to the present site of the Ohio Company Land Office. Explore the many exhibits including the Ohio’s First Peoples, Marietta Pioneers and Fort Harmar.
Ohio River Museum
This museum features exhibits recounting the history of the Ohio River and the many different types of boats that have been transporting people and cargo for hundreds of years. Three buildings of exhibits focus on the history of the Ohio River and its importance relating to the expansion of our country. The Golden Age of the steamboat recalls the romance and luxury as many people traveled the river in style. The pride of the museum is the W.P. Snyder, Jr., the last of the steam-powered, stern wheeled towboats in the United States and a National Historic Landmark. Docked on the Muskingum River and open for guided tours since 1955, the Snyder takes visitors back to a different era of work boats on the river.
Children’s Toy & Doll Museum
Located in the historic Harmar Village of Marietta, this museum features unique dollhouses, teddy bears, dolls, games, stores and offices furnished to their respective periods. They also have antique metal banks and a reproduction carousel horse that represents a gentler time of county fairs on summer nights. Take a step back into the past.
The Henry Fearing House Museum
The Henry Fearing House was built in 1847 for Henry Fearing, a successful business man who owned and developed property along with interest in a steamboat. He later donated the land for a Woman’s Home. This museum provides a glimpse of what life was like in Marietta during the 19th century and houses a large collection of artifacts from the era.
Day 5: Huntington, WV
Huntington is in full bloom year ’round. Art and nature blend harmoniously. Fresh murals spring to life and greenspaces – walking paths and rose gardens – flourish. As the largest inland river port in the United States, this progressive, growing and accomplished city is an intercultural stomping ground for river and railroad commerce. Visitors who seek a cultural experience will not be disappointed by the many riverfront parks, eclectic locally owned shops and refined museums of this energy-infused city.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
Old Central City
Before settlement, Central City was an area where people would gather and assemble for family gatherings and hunting parties. Around 1890, a group of investors bought up several farms turning this area and the resulting town into Central City. Today, Old Central City is known as the “Antique Capital” of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia. There are multiple shops and restaurants to enjoy even a bakery that started in 1905. There are also multiple nearby museums, including the Heritage Farm Museum & Village.
Ritter Park Rose Garden
The Ritter Park Rose Garden has been voted one of the country's best rose gardens numerous times and features over 3,000 roses. Each year several AARS winning roses are planted in the Rose Garden as we work to continue its beauty and award worthiness. Normally achieving "full bloom" status in late May to mid-June, the Rose Garden is a favorite destination for weddings, baby and bridal showers and family get-togethers all season long. This perfectly manicured rose garden, features cobblestone walkways, white gazebos, and stone bridges.
Marshall University Special Collections Library and Campus
At Marshall’s University, spend the afternoon exploring their expansive museum, showcasing exhibits of West Virginia and its surrounding counties throughout history. Their rotating exhibits highlight collections of artifacts, news clippings, memorabilia, artwork, and literature. Explore the museum at your leisure.
Instead of displays mounted on the wall or behind the walls of a glass box, this museum is much different. These actual train cars are open to visitors to get a hands-on experience! Climb in and explore the interior and exterior of different train models throughout history and learn what set them apart. You will have the opportunity to explore the H-6 Baldwin Steam Locomotive, Operation Lifesaver Caboose, C&O Caboose, H.K. Porter 0-4-0 Saddle-Tank Switcher, CSX Diesel Cab, and the C&O Speeder Car!
Touma Medical Museum
The Touma museum is a private medical history museum in downtown Huntington, West Virginia. It was created by Dr. Touma, a resident of Huntington who still works as a medic. The museum features weird, antiquated doctor’s equipment, such as foot-driven dentist drills and tonsil guillotines.
Day 6: Augusta, KY
Named Most Picturesque Town in Kentucky by USA Today, Augusta is a pearl – continually refined by the rush of its river traffic. From the inland fields of this Kentucky treasure, cabin-and-cottage-speckled hills invite its visitors to forget about the busyness of life for a while. Stops in time-honored shops lead to peaceful strolls through town. Longtime residents are always willing to recount the past – especially the famous Clooney family. Let the us deliver you to this Kentucky hideaway – best accessed and experienced by river.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
Rosemary Clooney House Museum
This non-profit foundation lead by Dr. Steve Henry and his wife Heather French Henry, was established to preserve Rosemary Clooney’s house and to open it to the public so they could see memorabilia from her life and career. This home, located on Riverside Drive, was her retreat from the demands of her career. Today, the home features artifacts depicting the life of an extraordinary woman.
Mohrfield Home & Main Garden
This beautiful, privately owned and maintained garden is open to the public year-round and is just one of Augusta’s many stunning gardens and parks!
1811 Jail & Appleman Park
The old Bracken County jail was was built in 1811, located in Appleman Park and housed prisoners well into the 1970’s. The courthouse burned in 1848. The jail survived the fire and was used by the City of Augusta until 1967. The upper floor of the jail was where the jailer and family lived and the bottom floor was the jail. The jail's history is tied to the Underground Railroad and prior to 1838, slaves were captured and sold here. In 2009, the jail was restored and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Shopping and Dining District
If you are looking for a unique shopping and dining experience, a stop at Augusta’s downtown district is the stop for you! As you make your way up and down Main Street, explore the shops filled with Kentucky products, antiques, and art.
Baker Bird Winery
The Baker Bird Winery is the oldest commercial estate winery in America with its original land. It was built by German immigrants that settled in the area and produced fine wines of the America’s Rhineland in the mid-1800s. Here, you will enjoy wine tastings, historical tours, and the beautiful atmosphere of this historic winery.
Day 7: 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).
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.
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: 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.
Cruising: cabin onboard the American Queen or American Duchess