Day 1: Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN
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: 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.
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.
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!
Day 3: 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 4: Columbus, KY
Columbus, Kentucky, located in Hickman County, is the oldest town in Jackson Purchase. First established on the Mississippi floodplain in 1804, the town was initially known as “Iron Banks.” This naming convention was due to the site’s name in French: les rivages de fer. The great Mississippi Flood of 1927 rampaged the town and caused its residents to move its location to the present-day site further inland. The town received its current name from the infamous Italian explorer, Christopher Columbus.
Day 5: Chester, IL
Let the us transport you back to the good ol’ days – an era of cereal and Saturday morning cartoons. Before he sailed the Seven Seas, Popeye the Sailor Man was but a twinkle in the eye of Elzie Segar, a Chester native. This is your opportunity to seize nostalgia in the birthplace of one tough gazookus. Chester not only groomed Segar’s creative talent, but also acted as a muse, providing character inspiration in the form of its own residents. So, enjoy the origin of this childhood classic and keep good behavior – that’s your one life-saver with Popeye the Sailor Man – toot-toot.
Included Shore Excursions:
Cohen Memorial Home
The Cohen home is located on a beautiful historical site on Harrison Street overlooking the Mississippi River. Its unusual blue storm windows make it a very visible landmark for boats on the river and travelers approaching the Chester Bridge from Missouri. Built in 1855, it was the home of the William Cohen family who lived there until 1983. The upstairs’ bedrooms contain furnishings and collections from several families of Chester including the Cohen family.
The Spinach Can Collectibles and Museum
As the only Popeye collectibles store and museum in America, this small shop located in Downtown Chester will surely bring back memories of the past as you explore. Walk around the front to see original and rare collectables featuring Popeye, Olive Oyl, Wimpy, Bluto, Swee’Pee, Jeep, and much more. Pick out the perfect unique book, toy, video, postcard, poster, or other memorabilia for someone back home or to keep for yourself. Then head into the back to see some rare and highly sought after Popeye collectibles.
The Courthouse and Randolph County Museum
The museum houses permanent displays as well as some artifacts that are temporarily on loan, and it hosts shows and exhibits which showcase specific treasures from the heritage and the long history of Randolph County. In addition, the newly established archives room will enable the museum to properly preserve and store documents, photographs, and other non-displayed artifacts for generations to come. Explore the history of Randolph County through collections of paintings, articles, photos, and artifacts that depict their past.
The Chester Welcome Center offers a lookout point which gives a fantastic vantage point to observe the majestic Mississippi River below. You won’t miss this building as a large statue of the iconic Popeye cast in bronze marks its location along the Chester streets. The Chester Welcome Center is located in Segar Park next to the Chester Bridge overlooking the Mississippi River. The new Welcome Center contains restrooms, an information center with displays and a large deck overlooking the Mississippi River and Missouri Bottoms. The bronze statue of Popeye the Sailor Man has been overlooking the Mississippi River in Segar Park for more than 30 years. This is the first of numerous Popeye & Friends Character Trail statues of Popeye characters placed in various areas in Chester.
Day 6: Grafton, IL
Grafton is the oldest city in Jersey County, and its history is openly depicted in every rustic home, its residents’ undeniable hospitality and the architecture that lines the streets. Discover museums that highlight the town’s history, explore unique shops and eateries downtown or sip robust wines from one of the many wineries across the county.
Day 7: Havana, IL
Nature lovers and history buffs will relish the day touring this beautiful scenic port.
Included Shore Excursions:
Lincoln’s New Salem
Tour the historical site of Lincoln’s New Salem.Including self-guided tours of recreated historic sites including 12 log houses, the Rutledge Tavern, 10 workshops, stores, mills and a school where church services were held complete with period furnishing from the 1830s. The furnishings, including many items actually used by the people of New Salem in Lincoln's time. The collection includes such early-nineteenth-century articles as wheat cradles, candle molds, cord beds, flax hackles, wood cards, dough and cornmeal chests and early American pewter. Upon arrival to the site, guests will be greeted by a New Salem guide dressed in period attire and will embark on a self-guided tour of the site.With complete leisure to spend as much, or as little, time as they would like guests can truly enjoy this historic site.Docents placed throughout the area will provide insightful information as well as interesting demonstrations of coopering, blacksmith or rifle shooting will be offered.
Day 8: Peoria, IL
The largest city on the Illinois River, Peoria is the oldest European settlement in Illinois. Named after the Peoria Native American Tribe, the city was settled in 1680 by French explorers. With a good blend of government and official buildings as the county seat – Peoria also offers a bustling art and culture scene and offers a robust historical story to entertain guests from around the world.
Day 9: Ottawa, IL
Ottawa is a city of intricacy: butterfly gardens and gardens mingle alongside its city streets. Elegant boutique shops and modern eateries satisfy the urban explorer. Explore treasures old and new in this delightful city.
The best of Mississippi and Illinois River small-town charm blends with metropolitan sensibilities on a cruise rich in diverse encounters. Home to climbing bluffs and verdant prairies, the span of the heartland on this route gave rise to legends. Learn their stories on this unique journey, slightly off the beaten path.
Complimentary hotel stay the night before your voyage – includes breakfast, taxes, porterage and transfers to the vessel
Complimentary Hop-On Hop-Off shore excursions in each port of call
All onboard meals, including both fine dining and casual cuisine
24-hour room service
Complimentary wine and beer with dinner
Complimentary cappuccino, espresso, specialty coffees, tea, bottled water and soft drinks throughout your voyage
Gracious service from a friendly, all-American staff
Acclaimed entertainment worthy of Broadway
Dedicated fleet of deluxe motorcoaches
The prices shown are U.S. dollars per person, based on double occupancy, and subject to availability. Prices quoted for land/cruise arrangements are subject to increase without notice. Once we have received your deposit, land/cruise prices are guaranteed. Air prices quoted via phone or email are subject to increase and are guaranteed only from the time that full payment is received. Also, air prices or air promotions mentioned on this site or on the phone do not include baggage fees imposed by airlines. Sorry, we are unable to offer air from countries other than the U.S. However, for those international customers who are able to arrange their own transportation to the trip origination city, we are able to offer the land/cruise portion of the package at the price quoted.