Day 1: Hotel Stay - Louisville, KY
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: Louisville, KY
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and in the top 30 most populated cities in the United States. The metro area exudes an authentic culture and diversity that visitors quickly learn to adore. Discover the talent and creativity of Louisville locals in a number of art galleries, theatrical performances and museums. Everyone can find something to love among Louisville’s treasures.
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 3: Brandenburg, KY
The essence of Kentucky radiates, from its bourbon traditions to a tableau of rolling farmland. Soul-stirring river views and Southern warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Mysteries of the Civil War enlist lifelong learners on the battlefield while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation. The grass is bluer in Brandenburg and all the surrounding areas.
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 4: 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 butterflies 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 EXCURSIONS
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.
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.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
The Depot Community Center
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. Inside the Depot Community Room you will find historical artifacts about Henderson’s train history, tobacco and agriculture history, war history, and much more. Chat with local historians, view the permanent and rotating display exhibits, learn about famous historical figures from Henderson including world renowned artist and naturalist John James Audubon, “Father of the Blues” W.C. Handy, and Mary Towles Sasseen, the originator of Mother’s Day.
Historic Henderson County Library
In 1894, Lila Ripley Barnwell donated some books to the township, convincing the commissioners to give the “Library Club” a room in the City Hall. After years of slowly expanding and eventually relocating, Andrew Carnegie invested into the funding for a brand new library in 1908. The community donated their books and slowly they filled the new building until they finally opened their doors in 1914 with 600 books total.
John James Audubon Museum
On October 3, 1934, the Commonwealth of Kentucky dedicated the John James Audubon State Park and 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.
Day 6: 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 7: New Madrid, MO
New Madrid is known for being near the military engagement the Battle of Island Number Ten during the Civil War. The city is also famous for being the site of a series of more than 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by what is called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Explore the history of earthquakes, documented with seismographic recordings, in addition to Native American artifacts, Civil War artifacts and family life in New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
New Madrid Historical Museum
Located in the former Kendall Saloon off of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum shares the history of this river town from the Mississippian period through the 20th century. Here, guests can explore the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, documented with seismographic recordings, Native American artifacts, Civil War artifacts, early family life in the city of New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries and the gift shop!
New Madrid County Courthouse
In 1812 New Madrid was a vast county extending south through much of Arkansas. The area was cut roughly in half during the following year, and even further reductions came by 1816. New Madrid County, located by the Mississippi, was one of Missouri’s earliest counties. The town of New Madrid was founded in 1783, and the county was organized in 1812. First courts met in New Madrid, but county records previous to 1816 are missing. After the devastating earthquake of 1811 and repeated flooding of the Mississippi, the court chose an inland site for the county seat. For the 20th century courthouse, New Madrid County purchased a new site north of the original town in March 1915. From architects who presented plans, the court selected those from H. G. Clymer of St. Louis. Clymer's plan was for a brick building 107 by 75 feet with stone trim. Additional funds for finishing the courthouse and jail were authorized early in 1917, but no bids were received. World War I was beginning, and the labor force was reduced. Finally, W. W. Taylor, a master builder from Cape Girardeau, superintended final interior work, which was completed in January 1919. Final costs exceeded $100,000. This courthouse continues in use as New Madrid's seat of justice.
Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site
Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site preserves a now-vanished part of Missouri: The stately Bootheel Mansion. Filled with original pieces and furnished in the style similar to its heydays of the 1860s-1880s, this ornate mansion provides a history lesson in every corner. Most of the original furniture, purchased by the house’s first owners, Amanda and William Hunter, are still in the house today.
Restored to the one-room school that operated at Higgerson Landing in 1948, the Higgerson School is a window to the educational practices that shaped and served rural America from the early 19th century. Experience the typical school day of children attending all eight grades in one room with one teacher. Relive the days of playing “Wolf Over and River” and “Caterpillars,” a trip to the outdoor facility and crossing the fence on the stile. Visit Higgerson Landing Gift Shop before heading to your next stop.
River Walk Gallery
The oldest home in New Madrid, the Hart-Stepp House was built by Abraham Augustine in 1840 and moved to its present location in order to escape the encroaching waters of the Mississippi River. It is now home to the River Walk Gallery and the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce. The Gallery features the works of local photographers and artists.
Day 8: River Cruising
Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.
Day 9: Memphis, TN
Memphis has a plethora of places to visit and things to do for all guests. Embrace the city that has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Boogie on down to Beale Street – alive with quirky places to indulge in some Southern barbeque, purchase souvenirs for friends and family (or a little something for yourself) and sip on a Blue Suede Tini. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for our guests to experience.
INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS
National Civil Rights Museum
Located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., chronicals key episodes of the American Civil and human rights efforts globally, through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs (Admission Additional).
Memphis Rock ‘N’ Soul Museum
See the complete story of Memphis music history, as researched by the Smithsonian Institution. This museum tells of the musical pioneers and legends of all racial and socio-economic backgrounds who, for the love of music, overcame obstacles to create the musical sound that changed the world.
Is a significant location in the city’s history as well as in the history of the blues. Step into the center for Southern Folklore, a non-profit organization that show cases and celebrates the culture- the foods, the music, the arts, the traditions, and the stories of the South.
Auto Zone Park & Peabody Hotel
AutoZone Park is home of the minor league baseball team, the Memphis Redbirds. The Peabody Hotel is a luxury hotel in Downtown Memphis; it is well known for the famous “Peabody Ducks” that live on the hotel rooftop, but make a daily trek at 11:00 AM to the hotel’s lobby in a “March of Ducks” celebration.
A recording studio opened by rock pioneer Sam Phillips. It is widely known as the birthplace of Rock & Roll. Blues and R&B artists like Howlin’ Wolf, junior Parker, Little Milton, B.B. King, James Cotton, Rufus Thomas, and Rosco Gordon recorded there in the early 1950’s (Admission Additional).
Mud Island Monorail, walkway and River Park
Don’t miss the opportunity to experience great views of downtown, Memphis, the Mississippi River and Mud Island River Park. Swiss-made monorail or use the walkway across the harbor to Mud Island River Park (Admission Additional)
Memphis Music Hall of Fame
More than a century ago, music began pouring into Memphis, Tennessee. Musicians of all races and backgrounds came together and, for the love of music, created a sound that changed the cultural complexion of the world forever. America’s music exploded out of Memphis. Today, the Memphis Music Hall of Fame honors many of the greatest musicians of all time, who created this city’s musical legacy, and who shook our planet to the core!