3 Fast Facts About our Racing on the River Cruise

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog

When you picture taking a riverboat cruise, do you imagine yourself drifting down the Mississippi River at a languid, relaxed pace? For many, that's their idea of paradise. However, if you're in the mood for a faster-paced, more adventurous experience, you may want to take our
Racing on the River Cruise. This journey on the American Duchess follows a new itinerary starting in Memphis and ending in Pittsburgh.

Start the fun early with a pre-cruise Memphis city stay. This includes three nights' accommodation at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel. You'll be given an admission pass that lets you into three of Memphis's most popular attractions including legendary Sun Studio, the Rock N Soul Museum, and the National Civil Rights Museum.

Transportation, luggage handling, and some meals are included, letting you experience the best of Memphis without stress or hassle. Once you've gotten a taste of this hub of culture and cuisine, come aboard the riverboat to start your adventure on the river.

1) Horse Racing at Churchill Downs in Louisville

One week in, you'll have a chance to explore America's most famous horse racetrack. Churchill Downs, which was originally founded by the grandson of famous American explorer Meriwether Lewis, hosts the Kentucky Derby every year. Do you know who's the last person to win the six-race card at Churchill Downs? That would be James Lee, who accomplished this amazing feat in 1907. His record has never been beaten.

After checking out the horse racetrack, there are a lot of activities to explore in Kentucky's largest town. Like all of our American river cruises, this voyage includes a wide array of shore excursions for each stop. If you want to find out more about the history of the Bluegrass State, be sure to check out the Kentucky Show!, which is a half-hour educational experience on the area. Meanwhile, if you're in the mood to sample Kentucky's famous bourbon, you can't miss a trip to the Kentucky Peerless Distillery Company (founded 1889).

2) 5k Run in Augusta

On day 10 of the cruise, disembark from the American Duchess and stretch your legs in Augusta. There's a 5k Run you can participate in, either joining in the friendly competition, strolling along the route at your own pace, or cheering other passengers on. While you're having fun at this themed racing event, you can enjoy views of this lovely, history-rich town including local architecture and views of green spaces and the river.

Whether you're walking or running, try to catch a glimpse of Augusta's picturesque historic buildings, some of which were built as far back as 1811. Augusta also prides itself for stunning parks and gardens, so you may come across a display of colorful blooms around any corner.

3) Take the Boat Race Challenge

There's a lot to do on the American Duchess, including exploring our library, experiencing Broadway quality entertainment productions, and savoring fine dining. However, riverboats like ours also enjoy shaking off the daily routine with some friendly competition with vessels like the Belle of Louisville. If you've never seen a riverboat race, you're in for a treat.

Take a Vacation on a River Cruise

American Queen Steamboat Company offers a river cruise for everyone. If you like a shot of racing excitement in your vacations, our Racing on the River cruise combines our signature five-star service and relaxed onboard atmosphere with some exciting shore excursions for the active at heart. On the Racing on the River cruise, you can:
  • Check out the Thoroughbred racecourse at Churchill Downs in Louisville
  • Hit the pavement with a 5k run in Augusta
  • Experience the heart-pounding excitement of a friendly race between rival riverboats
If this sounds like your kind of vacation and you’ve always wanted to try United States river cruises, check out our website to see what river cruises dates and berths are available.