Day 1: Hotel Stay - Louisville, KY
Enjoy your complimentary stay at The Brown Hotel in downtown Louisville. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with the famed eateries, unique shops and lively entertainment of Louisville.
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 Louisville.
Day 2: Louisville, KY
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 Louisville 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 at 3:00 p.m.
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.
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.
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!
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: 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.
Stewart County Visitors Center/Fort Donelson Visitor Center & Museum
Set the scene for this battlefield journey at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield Visitor Center & Museum, the perfect place to get a background of the events leading up to the 1862 battle. Enjoy a short orientation film presentation, Fort Donelson: Gateway to the Confederate Heartland, which engages visitors with a storyline that draws on the lifelong friendship between Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Simon B. Buckner. Explore the facility’s many showcases, artifacts, and the Eastern National bookstore and learn some rare and interesting facts about the battlefield!
Fort Donelson Lower River Battery
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. ere 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.
W.D. Sykes Historical Museum
The W.D Sykes Historical Museum is in the heart of Dover, TN. 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 W.D Sykes Historical Museum works hard to bring the community together.
The Surrender House/Dover Hotel
Built between 1851 and 1853, the Dover Hotel accommodated riverboat travelers before and after the Civil War. Te 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.
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: Clarksville, TN (Nashville)
Arrival 8:00 AM
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.