New Orleans to Red Wing (Minneapolis)

Fares from $6,999
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Cruise Summary

AUTHENTIC AMERICA ON THE MIGHTY MISSISSIPPI - Have you ever wondered what this country looked like to its early explorers and pioneers? Traveling on the Mississippi and its tributaries, you will be transported back in time to an era of leisurely and romantic travel. Storybook American towns and vibrant, bustling cities combine with the sweeping panoramas and deep blue lakes which inspired the works of Mark Twain. Authentic America is out there just waiting to be explored and after three fabulous weeks of historic discovery you will forever be changed.

Theme:
• The Mighty Mississippi: Full-Length Mississippi River Voyage*
 
Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours, special themed entertainment and events, and exclusive inclusions.

Premium Shore Excursions:
• See ports of call below for the options available to you. Click Here to learn more and to place reservations.

Pre-Cruise City Stay Package:
• Begin your journey with an unforgettable 3-day/2-night city stay package. Click Here for full details and package pricing.

Post-Cruise City Stay Package:
• Extend your journey with an unforgettable visit to Lake Itasca. Click Here for full details and package pricing.

*All themed entertainment, events and tours are subject to change without notice. 

Itinerary

Vessel: American Duchess™



Day 1: Boutique Hotel - New Orleans, LA

Boutique Hotel - New Orleans, LA

Enjoy your included, one-night stay at the historic Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with this culturally diverse city steeped in history and brimming with culinary legacies of flavor.

Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM. 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 New Orleans.

Day 2: New Orleans, LA

Departure 5:00 PM
New Orleans, LA

Today is the big day! Spend your last day here in the city of New Orleans before embarking on an unforgettable journey!

The official Voyage Check-in will be open between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM located in the Pre-Cruise Hotel. During this fast and easy procedure, our representatives will arrange 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 and, if you think of any more questions, the Hospitality Desk will be at your service until 3:00 PM, when the complimentary boat transfers will begin!

We would like to invite all guests to join us on a Premium Pre-Cruise Shore Excursion at 10:00 AM as we begin an exclusive adventure through New Orleans before continuing to the vessel Dock at 3:30 PM. Reservations are required, so stop in at the Hospitality Desk for more information.  

After you are comfortably aboard the vessel, wave “Au Revoir” to New Orleans as we set off on an incredible adventure up the Mighty Mississippi! 

Pre-Cruise: New Orleans Highlights Tour

Embark on an adventure through a city radiating an eccentric and authentic atmosphere and filled to the brim with history and culture close to the heart of America. Explore the history of New Orleans including the first settlers, religion, culture and Mardi Gras. On an exclusive New Orleans narrated driving tour, you will experience the city from an intimate first-person perspective. Relax in the comfort of our motorcoach as we glide past some of the most iconic attractions in the city including the French Quarter, Jackson Square and the Garden District, where elegant mansions stand as a testament to Greek revival, Italianate and Queen Anne Victorian styles.

A stop in Jackson Square will be the perfect location to treat yourself to authentic New Orleans styled lunch at one of the many cafes and eateries or to pick out the perfect souvenir of your visit to this iconic city. Then, we will travel down St. Charles Avenue, along the famous street car line, where New Orleans’ most prestigious and beautiful colleges, Tulane University and Loyola University are located.

Continue the day in New Orleans’ breathtaking City Park, a 400-acre park located in uptown between St. Charles Avenue and the Mississippi River, built on the site of the 1884 World's Fair. Here, we will take a short break to relax and soak in the awe inspiring scenery of “The Big Easy,” as you are treated to a complimentary coffee and a New Orleans’ signature Morning Call beignet. No trip to New Orleans would be complete without a stop at St. Louis Cemetery # 3, known better as the “The City of the Dead,” which is where we will conclude our complete journey through the city of New Orleans!

Note: Our experience ends at the vessel dock.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
5.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 3: Nottoway, LA

Nottoway, LA

Nottoway is the South’s largest, most glorious remaining Antebellum mansion with a rich history dating back to 1859. In a fabulous location along the great River Road overlooking the grand Mississippi River, this “White Castle” of the South transports visitors back to an era of glory and grandeur. Set amongst a natural backdrop of vibrant gardens and two hundred-year-old oak trees, Nottoway Plantation captivates all with a brilliant blend of  true Southern hospitality, history and mystery.

Enjoy an included tour of Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest remaining antebellum mansion. This stunning historical plantation lies between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and offers a view of a truly grand plantation. The mansion flaunts three-floors, 64-bedrooms, and displays an incredible 22 white square columns which contribute to its’ nickname—“The White Castle of Louisiana.” The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white and displays elaborate gold décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster, and mud and are all original to the house. And as if that weren’t enough, this immaculate mansion was constructed with 365 openings—one for each day of the year. Enjoy a guided walking tour of an American Castle as we explore within the pristine walls of Nottoway followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens.

Life in the Bayou Cajun Swamp Tour: Nottoway

Today we explore a true Cajun Experience in the back bayous and swamps of Louisiana. Just down the historical River Road that beautiful Nottoway Plantation resides on, lays an oasis. Flanked by cypress and lush greens, Manchac Swamp offers a glimpse into what settlers of this area found upon arrival to southern Louisiana.

Travel through plantation country as our local guide enlightens us on the affluent southern Louisiana lifestyle during the era when sugar cane was king. After our 45-minute narrated tour of the river, we will arrive in La Place, Louisiana; home to the 250-acre ecosphere called Manchac Swamp.

For the next hour and a half we will be guided through this ecological environment by our knowable Cajun Captain. Enjoy the picturesque sights of moss-draped cypress trees and lush, exotic vegetation cover the wetlands as our tour boat navigates the swamp.

Because our boats are exclusive to this river, the swamp critters have even learned to recognize them as part of their own habitat. At the beckon of the Captain’s call, they emerge from the draping mossy Cypress trees to greet us. This ecosphere harbors American alligators, nutria, ibis, turtle, herons, raccoons, egrets, and species unique to Southern Louisiana. Get up close and personal with baby alligators as they come aboard the boat.

*While Louisiana’s Manchac Swamp is uniquely beautiful year-round, it is possible that alligators and other native wildlife may not be as active throughout these colder months. Please take this into consideration while booking this tour on dates October through December, as well as, February through March.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests
Laura...A Creole Plantation: Nottoway

Our day begins at Laura Plantation, where we will enter the fascinating world of true Louisiana Creoles who, at this historic site, lived apart from the American mainstream for over 200 years. Surrounded by fields of sugarcane and featuring 12 buildings on the National Register, your guided visit takes you through the newly restored Big House, the grounds, the formal French Parterre, the vegetable & fruit gardens, the Banana Land grove and the 170-year-old slave cabins where the west-African folktales of Compair Lapin, known in English as the legendary “Br’er Rabbit,” were recorded.

Laura’s acclaimed tour, named the “Best History Tour in the US,” by Lonely Planet Travel (UK), is based upon personal, compelling accounts found in the French Archives Nationales as well as from Laura Locoul’s own Memories of the Old Plantation Home; of the plantation’s Creole owners, women, slaves and children. Before leaving, be certain to stop in at the Laura Plantation gift shop to pick out the perfect souvenir of this exclusive trip!

To conclude this intimate day of exploration, we make our way back along the levee, towards Nottoway Plantation, known as the “White Castle of Louisiana.” Authentic period dressed guides will meet us upon the front steps, welcoming us to the pristine mansion. Enjoy a guided tour of the plantation, weaving through each room and uncovering the history that lays inside, including a glimpse at the famous White Ballroom! As our tour comes to an end, take advantage of free time to explore the grounds and gift shop at your leisure.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 4: Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge, LA

Baton Rouge, the Capital of Louisiana, has a deep culture and rich history. Named by French explorer, Sieur D’Iberville after a reddish pole marking two separate tribal hunting grounds, Baton Rouge has transformed into a rich cultural city. Locals speak a specific version of French in their everyday language. The city is home to Louisiana’s capitol building which is the largest in the United States, as well as the Old State Capitol – a Gothic architectural monument located on the bluffs overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. Spend the day exploring all that Baton Rouge has to offer, from the museums and the architecture, to the shops and the cuisine – everyone will enjoy an exciting, busy day!

USS Kidd DD-61
Known as the “Pirate of the Pacific,” she is the centerpiece of a memorial which serves to honor men and women of our American armed forces. Just a short walk from the American Queen’s dock, guests can explore a Fletcher-Class Destroyer that fought in many battles in U.S. history. Named after Admiral Isaac C. Kidd, who died on the bridge of his flagship during Pearl Harbor, the USS Kidd has received 8 battle stars for WWII service and 4 battle stars for Korean War service. This 2,050 ton, 376 foot-long vessel has since been converted into a museum, with exhibits of extensive collections of war artifacts, ship models, memorial hall, real fighter planes and bombers, and memorials.

Capitol Park Museum
Here you can step onto a simulated Mardi Gras float, discover the difference between Cajun and Creole, and experience multimedia presentations of Louisiana history, industry, and culture. This impressive museum showcases collections of visual arts, jazz, costumes, textiles, and artifacts from Louisiana history. It was founded in 1906 and holds over 450,000 artifacts and works of arts. Permanent exhibits include: “Living with Hurricanes: Katrina and Beyond,” “Experiencing Louisiana: Discovering the Soul of America,” and “Grounds for Greatness: Louisiana”.

Louisiana’s State Capitol
The tallest capitol building in the nation was constructed during the Depression. Get a birds-eye view of the city and mighty Mississippi River from the 27th floor observation deck. This prime example of Art Deco Architecture was extremely popular in the 1930’s and stands 450 feet tall. The building holds 34 floors making it the tallest state capital in the United States. Guests can admire the uniquely constructed rooms throughout the building or take a ride up to the 34th floor to the observation deck where an impressive panoramic view of the city can be found.

LSU Museum Of Art
Located inside the Shaw Center for the Arts, the LSU Museum of Art seeks to enrich and inspire through collections, exhibitions, conservation, and education. Founded in 1959, the Louisiana State University Museum of Art has been fully accredited by the AAM and offers over 14 impressive galleries. Admire showcases from American, European, British, Chinese, and African influences and over 5,000 art pieces. Learn about the history of art and the influences it has on modern art styles and explore the extensive collection of original paintings, sculptures, photography, and more!

Louisiana’s Old State Capitol
A Gothic architectural monument located on the bluffs overlooking the Mighty Mississippi. This incredible building has withstood war, fire, scandal, and abandonment. It is now referred to as the Museum of Political History and has received awards for the architecture, exhibits, and preservation. Learn the history of Louisiana’s capital city, art, culture, and politics while you explore the original artifacts and interactive exhibits!

Day 5: Natchez, MS

Natchez, MS

This charming river town was first inhabited by Natchez Indians and French explorers who shared the land. It was founded in 1716, making it the oldest city on the Mississippi. The city is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of history – found on every street corner throughout Natchez. Guests enjoy the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historical homes located in Natchez, all of which contribute to Hugh Bayless’ book, “The 100 Best Towns in America.”
 

Rosalie Mansion
Built in 1823, this was a Union headquarters for Natchez during the Civil War built in 1823. This 1716 mansion was built by the French as a fort on the bluffs of Natchez. The Mississippi State Society Daughters of the American Revolution have since gained ownership and have been maintaining the house and grounds since 1938. On this guided tour, hear the history of the house and the artifacts from an expert tour guide dressed in period clothing. Guests can explore the extensive gardens, gift shop, library, or carriage house before they leave.

Natchez Visitor’s Center
Learn about the river in this beautiful southern town, visit exhibits, or shop at the gift shop! Enjoy a short, 20-minute video in the Visitor’s Center Theater and hear about the history of Natchez upon arrival. Then, explore the building at your leisure. At the entrance a scaled display model of the city is showcased. Stop in the office for some general information and questions about the town and its history, including town highlights and points of interest.

William Johnson House Museum
An incredible, historic 3-story brick house constructed after the 1840 Natchez tornado. William Johnson was known as the “Barber of Natchez”; he began as a slave and gained his freedom at age eleven. After his freedom, he began to work his way up in society, eventually becoming almost fully accepted within society. As the town barber, William Johnson was able to hear the stories and gossip of many of the residents, which he documented in his diary for more than 16 years. His 3-story brick home was built in 1840 and showcases many.

Magnolia Hall
This fully restored mansion was owned by a wealthy cotton broker and merchant and was built in 1858. This Greek Revival Mansion was built in 1858. The house was built before the breakout of the Civil War in town but did suffer some damage – a cannon ball was actually launched into their kitchen! It is now fully restored – the main floor offers a showcase of many antiques and furnishings and the upper floors offer a costume collection located in the Historic Clothing Museum. Tour the house and then stop in the gift shop for some souvenirs.

Stanton Hall
A magnificent, Antebellum Greek Revival Mansion built on an entire city block of Natchez. Irish Immigrant and cotton merchant Frederick Stanton built this Palatial Greek Revival mansion in 1857. It was appraised at $83,000 during that period, even before it was furnished. Take a 30-minute tour of the house – which takes up the entire block and is fully furnished. Afterwards you can stop for lunch in the Carriage House Restaurant, known for their fine southern cuisine.

Natchez Association for the Preservation of Afro-American Culture Museum
View photographs and artifacts or hear the history of African-American heritage in Natchez and Adams County. Here, learn the history and culture of the African Americans in Natchez over time. Guests can hear the stories or explore the many exhibits that portray the hardships that African Americans suffered and those that prevailed in a time period which allowed for minimal success to the entire race. Add another dimension of Natchez history by stopping at this museum.

Entertaining in Southern Style with Ginger Hyland

The thought of true southern hospitality brings images of ornate mansions flanked by arched porches with charming ladies offering warm, welcoming smiles and stories of southern grandeur. Expect nothing less on this American Queen Steamboat Company exclusive excursion at “The Towers,” one of Mississippi’s grandest and most elegant antebellum homes.

Enter the lavish parlors of “The Towers” as owner Ginger Hyland offers her warm southern welcome and shares stories of their star-studded past. Hyland, the daughter of radar pioneer and president of Hughes Aircraft Co, Lawrence A Hyland, shares tales of her early years in California with Howard Hughes, Walter Matthau and Jack Lemmon as she discloses her encounters while accompanying her parents to Hollywood parties. As an adult, Ginger became a legend in her own right as the first woman president of the American Quarter Horse Association, her connection with Bob Baffert, trainer of the “American Pharoah,” winner of the 2015 triple crown as well as her years adding colorful commentary with “Winners Communication” on ESPN. Ginger shares her vibrant history as guest’s relax on the back porch, soaking in the beauty of the perfectly maintained gardens, adorned with 24 bronze, life-size wildlife sculptures and sip on refreshing mint-infused champagne.

Just as impressive as her owner, the Fleming Family who lived at “The Towers” during the Civil War, stated that General Grant once visited The Towers and is adorned with extravagant antique furniture, sophisticated draperies and fabric wall coverings, striking vintage window laces, and extraordinary Victorian-era collections. Guided by the charismatic Ginger, offers rare and stunning glimpses of her trinkets and treasures hidden throughout the mansion, while conveying their rich history – Each piece’s story more interesting than the last. For instance, the set of goblets elegantly placed atop her antique tables were crafted by Ludwig Moser, famous glassware manufacturer for European royalty, while the placemats they rest upon were hand-crafted for Princess Grace. The intricate original Carrickmacross lace wedding veil, elegantly draped on display, is an antique version of what Kate Middleton wore in her extravagant wedding.

To understand the art of entertaining with truly “Southern” flare, one must indulge in scrumptious hors d’oeuvres prepared by one of the finest local chefs. Delightful snacks are served up with southern elegance as the chef offers pairing recommendations, entertainment tips, chef secrets and original recipes.

The perfectly “Southern” way to spend an afternoon in Natchez, Mississippi!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
2.5 hours
Tour Capacity
36 guests
The Story of Cotton in the Antebellum South

Cross the river to Louisiana and visit historic Frogmore Plantation, designated a “Must See Site” by Rand McNally. Frogmore is the only historic & modern, 1800-acre working cotton plantation in the South. Take a seat on an original pew in an 1800s African American plantation church, as the mistress of Frogmore takes the audience back in time. Music fills the air as the “secret songs” are performed by local musicians. Enjoy the gospel songs and hear the narration about life on a cotton plantation.

Continue the experience exploring authentic slave cabins and cotton fields. Take a walk up to the fields and feel free to pick some cotton for a glimpse of the essence of life on a plantation. We encourage all to explore the historic steam engine cotton gin which the Smithsonian Institute states is the rarest of its kind in existence. After a complimentary beverage in the “Sharecropper Plantation Store,” contrast historical methods. On your return to Natchez, your guide will enlighten you with unusual cotton trivia and answer questions.

A visit to Longwood will complete the “Story of Cotton,” with a glimpse into the devastation caused by war and a changing America. This historic antebellum octagonal mansion is the largest of its shape in America. Also known as “Nutt’s Folly,” this unique mansion remains beautifully unfinished and stands symbolically in representation of the last burst of Southern opulence. A reminder of a time before war brought the cotton baron’s dominance to an end. After surviving decades of neglect and abandonment, Longwood stands strong today and is a can’t miss stop when visiting Natchez.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.
 

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 6: Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg, MS

Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern-day attractions. Described as the “Key to the South” by Abraham Lincoln, this southern town carries a history unlike any other Civil War city. Vicksburg was founded in 1811 and grew as a vital river port city. It was a major component to the Civil War and carries much of the history within the town. Today, Vicksburg is a popular spot for tourists to learn about the battles of the city, taste the cuisine, visit the many museums, and pick out the perfect souvenir. 

Church of the Holy Trinity
This Episcopal Church is more than 125 years old and houses six Tiffany stained-glass windows. This incredible church spans over 125 feet long, is 52 feet wide, and reaches 61 feet high to the apex of the roof. The church was constructed in Norman style, finished in red brick, though it showcases zigzag tracery which was highly unique to the style at the time. The stained glass windows may be the main draw – there are 34. They were given as memorials and six of them were created by Tiffany Studios in New York under the supervision of Louis Comfort Tiffany.

Anchuca Mansion
Anchuca, meaning “happy home” is one of the most significant antebellum homes in Vicksburg and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was built in 1830 and provided shelter for those suffering during the War. The word Anchuca derives from an Indian word meaning, “happy home”, which is the exact vibe this home gives off. Built in 1830 by politician J.W. Mauldin, Anchuca is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. During the war, the house was used as a shelter for those who had suffered. Tour the home and its beautiful furnishings.

Old Court House Museum
Built in 1858, this building stands as the most historic structure in Vicksburg, hosting speakers and guests like Jefferson Davis, Ulysses S. Grant, Teddy Roosevelt, and others! Construction for this colossal courthouse began in 1858 and was completed miraculously just two years later in 1860 for $100,000. It was restored by Eva Whitaker Davis after the tornado of 1953 swept through Mississippi. Now, the courthouse is filled with countless artifacts including, confederate flags, portraits, the trophy antlers won by steamboat Robert E. Lee in an 1870 race, an original Teddy Bear given by Theodore Roosevelt, and much more!

Yesterday’s Child & Doll Museum & Biendemham Coca-Cola Museum
Take a self-guided tour as you enjoy and remember life through a child’s eyes. Learn the history of an America’s beloved soda in this 1890’s-furnished museum. Located directly across the street from one another, these two Vicksburg gems are close to the hearts of many residents. Yesterday’s Doll Museum was featured in Delta Magazine and Dolls Magazine. Enjoy a self-guided tour featuring over 1,000 dolls and toys dating back to 1843. At Biedenhard Coca-Cola Museum enjoy the wide variety of Coca-Cola memorabilia in an authentic candy store and soda fountain setting.

Lower Mississippi River Museum
Listen to the risks and benefits of life surrounding the Mississippi River and learn the Federal Government’s role the Mississippi River’s past and present. This museum’s mission is to show the role of the government in Mississippi’s past and future, to maintain a healthy river. Guests can explore showcases of the history of Vicksburg and the region or exhibits about the 1927 flood and how it affected Vicksburg and the Mississippi River. Learn about the fish of the river up close in the museum’s 1,515 gallon aquarium or choose your own adventure on the river with the Mississippi Trail Interactive exhibit! (Closed on Mondays and Tuesdays)

Old Depot Museum
Featuring the world’s largest collection of ship models and a collection of riverboat models and naval vessels with Mississippi names. Also, the museum offers the only diorama of the Siege of Vicksburg, shown in a birds-eye view of the battlefield with 2,300 miniature soldiers. Formerly a depot for the Grand Trunk & Western Railroad, this museum has more than 150,000 historical and genealogical items in its collection. It features a scale-model village of the buildings important to the development of Vicksburg and the South Kalamazoo County Region and outback guests can check out the caboose! Before you leave, make sure to visit the gift shop!

On the Front Lines of the Civil War

Travel the front lines of one the most important battlefields in the country. Cross into enemy territory, hear the stories and hardships suffered by soldiers and discover what makes Vicksburg such an important city in American history. Aptly described by President Lincoln as “the key to victory,” the Siege and Battle at Vicksburg is a landmark in time that shaped our country and how wars would forever be fought.

Set off for the historic Vicksburg National Military Park. Here, we will travel the 16-mile road that weaves through the 1,300 monuments and markers. As our luxury motorcoach navigates the bluffs and fields that once served as crucial battlegrounds, we’ll cross both Union and Confederate lines and make a few stops to allow for a close-up experience at some of the key points of interest along the way. Tour the USS Cairo and Museum, an Iron Clad River Boat that was raised from the depths of the Mississippi River and can be boarded and fully explored. Climb the steps at the Illinois State Monument, the largest of the 27 state monuments and walk the National Cemetery, a peaceful location holing the largest amount of Civil War burials in the country, as well as the Vicksburg Battlefield Visitor’s Center where an informative fiber-optic display depicts the progression of the siege.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests

Day 7: Greenville, MS

Greenville, MS

Greenville is at the very heart and soul of Mississippi Delta. Located on the banks of Lake Fergusson, Greenville is a short drive to Indianola, the birthplace of B.B. King and many other blues singers, so naturally Greenville has its fair share of Blues integrated into its culture. Many authors and writers were born or reside in the small town of Greenville; local legend says that the Greenville water grows writers. The author of the Muppets actually got started here along with a long list of other impressive, renowned writers! The town is also known for their gardening, which they were recognized for growing the largest carpet plant in the nation; and museums of which the town has one for practically everything! This beautiful town is sure to win your heart with its southern charm and soul!

Greenville History Museum
View artifacts, photos, and memorabilia dating back to the 1800’s. Learn the history of Greenville and the citizens in it. Here, guests can learn about Greenville and all of the important events and people she has to offer. The museum is home to many artifacts, photos, memorabilia, and souvenirs dating back to the early 1800’s. See personal objects of local past citizens, businesses, or well-known historical present-day celebrities! Greenville History Museum has plenty of information about the Greenville Flood of 1927, including many pictures and stories.

Hebrew Union Congregation Temple and Museum
Built in 1906 and has all original stained glass windows and organ. This guided, extensive museum on Hebrew history was built in 1906. Located in front of the temple is an original carriage stone – used for passengers as they climbed in and out of horse drawn carriages in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The temple showcases original stained glass and an original working organ both from 1906.

1927 Flood Museum
Learn the history of the one of the most impactful floods Washington County has ever faced. Located in the oldest structure in Downtown Greenville, the Flood Museum depicts the history of one of the greatest natural disasters the county has ever seen. View the flood artifacts and photos illustrating the flood’s impact during the long four months Greenville were flooded. Watch a short documentary illustrated the cause and effects of the Great Flood and the struggle of man against nature.

E.E. Bass Cultural Arts Center
Home of the oldest functioning Armitage carousel. The E.E. Bass Museum is home to the Armitage Herschell Carousel. This carousel was created in 1901 and is the oldest fully functioning Armitage carousel today. Mississippi at that time was still very segregated, many people approached the owner about having separate nights for carousel rides, but the owner refused, he wished for everyone to ride together. Take a ride on this miraculous machine and hear the whistle blow and travel back in time.

Greenville’s Writers Exhibit at the Percy Library
Housed in the William Alexander Percy Memorial Library is an exhibit honoring the rich literary heritage of Greenville. The exhibit includes books and manuscripts from many Greenville Writers.

Washington County Courthouse
Beautiful 1890 structure comprised of mostly Illinois brownstone. This courthouse is actually the second to occupy this space – the original was burned down by Union troops during the Civil War. It was replaced by the current structure in 1890, made up of primarily Illinois brownstone. The front of the building showcases the Confederate Monument which faces south – like many do in Mississippi.

Trop Casino
Just a short distance from the dock of the American Duchess, guests can find themselves in Greenville’s newest addition, the Trop Casino. This $6.8 million expansion includes a riverboat and land based casino! Enjoy the latest slots and table games or enjoy a fine dining experience at one of the casino’s extraordinary restaurants!

Small Towns, Big Legends - The Story of B.B. King

Join us on a journey to Indianola, Mississippi, the hometown of legendary Blues artist, B.B. King. Indianola captures the essence of the grass-root’s Blues and exposes a charmingly simplistic way of life so unique to the Delta region. Each rugged brick used to support this small town has been saturated to its core with the gritty, unrefined soul of “The Blues.”

Despite its modest and unassuming appearance, this humble Delta town birthed a musical giant. Known world-wide as “The King of Blues,” B.B. King called Indianola home for much of his life. Built to tell the story of B.B. King and how the Delta Region shaped his legacy, the B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center captures the story of the Delta Blues.

On arrival, a guided tour of the museum begins as a heartwarming documentary tells the story of B.B. King’s childhood and early beginnings.

Then, travel back in time as the chronological exhibits throughout the museum twist and wind through the musical journey of the iconic B.B. King, from his humble beginnings as a small child, to a determined young man with a guitar and a dream, through the turning points of his career that cemented his place in musical history.

Spawned in America’s Deep South, the Blues is meant to evoke emotion deep within one’s soul. The Blues must be felt, lived and tasted in order to be fully appreciated. A visit to Club Ebony, an iconic night club built at the end of World War II in 1948 that featured iconic entertainers such as Ray Charles, Count Basie, Bobby Bland, Albert King, and of course – B.B. King, will complete your day. King purchased the venue in 2008 to keep the tradition alive. Here, local Blues performers will entertain with rousing musical prowess while guests enjoy a truly southern snack in all of its rustic and gritty glory. This authentic southern juke joint will set itself apart from the rest of your trip.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.
 

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.75 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 8: Leisurely River Cruising

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: Memphis, TN

Memphis, TN

Enjoy a complimentary city tour of Memphis, Tennessee. During this exclusive narrated driving tour of Memphis, you will see such landmarks like Sun Studio, The Peabody Hotel, National Civil Rights Museum and a cruise past Beale Street. Included is a Graceland Platinum ticket!  After a guided tour of the Graceland Mansion, enjoy self-guided tours of the rest of the outlying museums. 

Complimentary City Tour: The King's Memphis with Graceland

Experience Memphis through the eyes of The King himself on an exclusive experience through this musical southern city. Join us as we embark on a driving tour passed select landmarks such as Sun Studio, iconic Beale Street and Elvis Presley Plaza. Keep a sharp eye out for wondering musicians as this tour may have a couple musical surprises as we make our way to Graceland. 

Visit this musical mecca with a Platinum Ticket to Graceland Mansion and all of the outlying museums. Enjoy a self-guided tour of Graceland and enjoy free time for lunch on your own at one of the Elvis themed eateries on the grounds. During this exclusive narrated driving tour of Memphis, you will see such landmarks as Sun Studio, the Peabody Hotel, the National Civil Rights Museum (The Lorraine Motel) and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital. 

Experience the most musical town in the world when you cruise down Beale St known as the "Home of the Blues & Birthplace of Rock & Roll." You will see Elvis Presley Plaza, BB King's Blues Club and the Gibson Guitar Factory. Included is a Graceland Platinum ticket, which is a Self-Guided tour that includes the Graceland Mansion, all of the outlying museums with extra time to treat yourself to a lunch fit for a King at one of Graceland’s Elvis themed eateries. You will not want to miss this unique and authentic city tour, which pays homage to the legendary musical giants who called Memphis home.

Day 10: Leisurely River Cruising

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 11: New Madrid, MO

New Madrid, MO

New Madrid was founded in 1776 by Spanish Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró who welcomed Anglo-Saxon settlers but required them to become citizens of Spain and live under the guidance of his appointed impresario, Revolutionary War veteran, Colonel William Morgan of New Jersey. Some 2,000 settled in the region. In 1800, Spain traded the territory to France in the Third Treaty of San Ildefonso, who promptly sold it to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. The city is remembered as being the nearby location for the Mississippi River military engagement, the Battle of Island Number Ten, during the Civil War. The city is famous for being the site of a series of over 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by what is called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Today, explore this quaint river town that will surely steal the hearts of all guests.

New Madrid Observation Deck
Stroll off the American Duchess and over to the New Madrid Observation Deck. Jutting out across the Mighty Mississippi, guests can get a picture-perfect view of the river.

New Madrid Historical Museum
Located on the Mississippi River in the building that was once the Kendall Saloon, the New Madrid Historical Museum reflects the history of New Madrid from as far back as the Native Americans to present-day. Learn about the active New Madrid fault and how it has made an impact on this river town and shop the gift shop for unique treasures to remind you of your trip to New Madrid. 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!

Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site
The Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site was created to preserve a time of the past. Guests can explore the Bootheel Mansion and learn about the history of the era. Tour this 15-room estate turned museum built in 1860 by William and Amanda Hunter, local store owners. Guests can view the entire historic home and enjoy the beauty of a time gone by. With most of the original furniture still intact this location is a uniquely preserved relic from the late 1880s. 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 it was in during its heydays of the 1860s-1880s, the ornate mansion provides a history lesson in every corner. Most of the original furnishing purchased by Amanda Hunter, the house's first owner (with her husband William) are still in the house.

Higgerson School
This one room school house provides guests with a glimpse into the life of a student attending this historic school. Guests can learn about this 1948 school house and how its practices proved to be essential cornerstones of America’s early 19th century education system. 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.

Hart-Stepp House Art Gallery
Stop here to tour the oldest house in New Madrid. Currently owned by the New Madrid Historical Museum, the house was built by Abraham Augustine and moved to its current location in an effort to escape the rising rivers of the Mississippi. Today, the Hart-Stepp House is home to an extensive photography and painting collection. The oldest house in New Madrid, owned by the New Madrid Historical Museum, was built by Abraham Augustine and moved to its present location in order to escape the encroaching waters of the Mississippi River is now home to the newest attraction to the community, the Hart-Stepp House Art Gallery. The house is used often as a place to offer workshops and classes. Plans for the future include a photo studio and the establishment of a photography club for area school students.

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.

Day 12: Henderson, KY

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.

Main Street
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 13: Paducah, KY

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
25 years in the making- the National Quilt Museum supports quilters and aims to advance the art of quilting by displaying exceptional quilt and fiber art exhibits. This museum celebrates the work of today’s quilters and offers a variety of unique exhibits that change throughout the year. Forget what you think quilting is—the National Quilt Museum isn’t full of dated simple block quilting, but exhibits works of art with a quilt as a canvas. Be certain to stop by, this museum is a must see! 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.

Lowertown Arts District
Paducah’s oldest neighborhood is famous for the award-winning Artist Relocation Program that prompted its colorful revitalization which continues today with the expansion of the Paducah School of Art & Design campus. The Arts District is populated with working artists, students and artists-in-residence who add to the City’s vibrant artistic landscape.

The Lloyd Tilghman House & Civil War Museum
Prepare to be amazed at the significant influence Paducah had on the outcome of the Civil War. Generals U.S. Grant, Nathan Bedford Forrest, and others made their astounding contributions to history here. Hear this untold story inside the 1852 Greek revival home of Confederate General Lloyd Tilghman. 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. They family was pro-South and proudly flew a Confederate flag causing many uproars over 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.

The Paducah Railroad Museum
A project of the Paducah Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society showcases equipment and memorabilia from the romantic past of America’s railroads. New simulator gives the sensation of riding a locomotive cab. 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
Celebrate Paducah’s maritime legacy and lore with interactive, water-filled exhibits, including a working model of a lock and dam. Captain a towboat, pleasure watercraft or Coast Guard buoy tender through various scenarios in the new pilothouse simulator. Take a turn behind the pilot wheel to experience river traffic at the Port of Paducah. In 1988 Mayor Gerry Montgomery and his committee pursued the development of a museum to showcase the Four Rivers Region 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 located 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.

Check-in Along the Chittlin' Trail

The year is 1915 and America is disjointed by segregation and heavily governed by Jim Crow Laws. In the heart of the country sat Paducah, Kentucky, a quaint, yet bustling city on the Chittlin’ Trail. Deemed one of the very few safe and acceptable areas for African American entertainers to perform in the early to mid-1900s, the Chittlin’ Trail saw hundreds of musicians as they made the journey from New Orleans to Chicago leaving traces of jazz, blues and soul in their wake.

A rustic colonial structure adorned with simple white lettering across the front porch reading, “Hotel Metropolitan” became a safe haven for these traveling musicians. Step into the radiating heat of the Kentucky sun and meet Miss Maggie, a ball of southern energy and hospitality, as she opens the door to this historical hotel … time turns back a century. Miss Maggie used her undeniable determination and willpower to establish this much needed “colored” hotel in 1909, an almost unfathomable task for a black woman at the time.

Follow Miss Maggie through the rooms as she shares the rich history this hotel has stowed in its walls. Listen as she gossips about its past boarders, including B.B. King, Billie Holiday, Ike and Tina Turner, just to name a few in the hotel’s famous guest book. If you listen closely, you can almost hear the laughter and music reverberating through the halls of the old hotel, billowing out into the streets of Paducah and enveloping the neighborhood.

The Hotel Metropolitan, “The Respectable Place to Stay Since 1909,” is a project of Save America’s Treasures, a US government initiative created in 1998 to preserve and protect historic buildings, arts, and published works.

Note: This tour is not handicapped accessible.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

 

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
1.5 hours
Tour Capacity
16 guests

Day 14: Cape Girardeau, MO

Cape Girardeau, MO

Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River, the city of Cape Girardeau, Missouri is found; a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. Stroll along the riverfront, where the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army on the Mississippi in historic downtown, and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Lewis and Clark while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth on their Corps of Discovery to explore the Louisiana Purchase.

Red House Interpretive Center
Located just off Main Street in historic downtown Cape Girardeau. The center commemorates the life of the towns’ founder, Louis Lorimier, as well as the historic visit made here by Lewis and Clark in 1803. Explore this historic building and museum and learn about frontier life. The Center commemorates the life of community founder French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier, as well as the visit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in November, 1803. The Interpretive Center houses an early 1800's exhibit that reflects the lives of the early settlers of the old Cape Girardeau district. In addition, a rendering of Lorimier's Trading Post displays authentic items that would have been sold at the turn of the 19th century. The gardens on the north side of the house show the types of garden you might have seen in 1803 with flowers, vegetables, cooking herbs, and medicinal herbs.

Old St. Vincent’s Church
Beautiful Renaissance architecture and ornate interior. The Renaissance architecture, referred to as English Gothic Revival style that this miraculous church is styled in, is not only beautiful but also extremely rare, as very few churches of this style exist in America today. Explore the many artifacts preserved in the church as you admire the arches and woodwork lining the interior of the chapel. Discover this fully restored beauty as it transports you back in time.

Glenn House
Hop off at the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts to explore the Crisp Museum. The museum is dedicated to exhibiting significant historical and cultural objects of regional and national importance. Completed in 1883, the Glenn house is a fully restored historic museum in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It is a prime example of the Victorian period lifestyle including the architecture, furnishings, clothing, and décor. The Glenn House was built for David A. Glenn, who was an influential figure in the city’s history. He and his family occupied the home until 1915. Before they vacated the home, it was renovated in 1900 to the Queen Anne Style. The house is listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Many of the furnishings and features of the home have been restored to their original beauty and have been kept authentic to the Victorian time interior.

Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts River Campus
The home to the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. The Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts is composed of departments covering the history and science of art, music, music, theater, and dance. Visit the beautiful campus and explore the unique styles and subjects taught here. Walk around and discover impressive pieces of art, in many different styles, showcasing the talent and hard work of local students.

Crisp Museum’s Crossroads Gallery
Interactive kiosks and exhibits highlight the history of southeast Missouri, while the Old Bridge Overlook and Park provide a dramatic view of the impressive Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. The Crisp Museum collects in three thematic areas: archaeology, history, and fine art. The Archaeology collection as several collections of prehistoric Native American artifacts, which illustrate aspects of the daily and ceremonial lives of the indigenous peoples who lived in southeastern Missouri from 13,500 B.C. to 1400 A.D., highlighting some very rare and exotic artifacts. The museum's historical collections cover a wide range of artifacts with strengths in the areas of military, firearms and their accessories, clothing, and hand tools.

Cape River Heritage Museum
Learn all about Cape Girardeau at the Cape River Heritage Museum…where history comes to life. Founded in 1981, this museum offers an ever-changing lineup of exhibits highlighting the heritage and culture of the region. Since its founding in 1981, the Cape River Heritage Museum has focused on local history while preserving a historic building at the corner of Frederick and Independence streets. Located in an old fire house, the museum offers events, tours, and exhibits on steamboats, education, commerce, the Missouri mule, the state flag, the Show-Me slogan, Native American culture, and fire and police memorabilia. Snap a picture of yourself in the model steamboat or in the cab of a tall-ladder fire truck from the 1950’s!

VisitCape Visitors Center
Stop by the visitor’s center to learn more about the city. Browse the gift shop or use the restrooms while discovering this town.

A Tale of Tears: The Story of Two Cultures' Painful, Yet Inspirational Migration to a New Beginning

Including the Trail of Tears National Park 

Embark on a journey through history and discover the roots of America’s melting pot on a full-immersion cultural expedition. Re-trace the route taken by displaced Native American’s on the Trail of Tears, discover the German roots of a small Missouri town, and witness the quaintness of the American “Main Street” on an exclusive historic tour. Our first stop brings us to the Trail of Tears State Park in Jackson, Missouri. With 3,415 acres of pristine scenery, the Trail of Tears State Park blends beautiful countryside and untouched landscapes with one of the most devastating events of Native American history. The park memorializes the devastating effects of the relocation of the Cherokee nation from east of the Mississippi River to present-day Oklahoma in 1838 and 1839. The tribe journeyed through the land on an agonizing journey that resulted in starvation, death and heartache and was so dubbed the “Trail of Tears.” Explore the Visitor’s Center for an in-depth understanding of this American tragedy as a powerful documentary traces the events of this cultural banishment.

A visit to the Bollinger Mill Historic Site gives us the change to travel back to simpler days when businesses in Missouri were fueled by streams rushing over a dam and bridges were covered. Visitors to Bollinger Mill State Historic Site can learn how wheat and corn were ground into flour and meal in the massive four-story mill that dates to the Civil War era.

Our experience continues to the nearby town of Jackson, Missouri. Discover the history of this city on a narrated tour before arriving to the Jackson Heritage Museum, located along the quaint streets of this mid-western American town and the ideal location to complete our cultural exploration. Displays with artifacts of historical significance showcase different backgrounds, heritages, and ethnicities that have all combined to create unique communities and America’s melting pot. After you are finished exploring this small town gem, feel free to head out into town, where you can take advantage of the boutique shopping opportunities of Jackson. 

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 15: Chester, IL

Chester, IL

Known as the “Home of Popeye”, Chester, Illinois is a city rich in history and pop culture. Because creator and writer of Popeye, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born here, the famous characters starred in the show will be seen showcased frequently throughout the town. Stop at the Popeye Character Trail to view granite statues of the characters overlooking the Mississippi or check out America’s only Popeye museum and gift shop to take home a souvenir to remind you of your visit to Chester! Spend the day exploring the unique history as you walk through luxurious homes, historical buildings, and museums!

Cohen Memorial Home
Dubbed by Mark Twain “the house with the blue windows,” this historical home overlooks the Mississippi River from high atop the bluffs. Guests are welcome to tour the historic home and its original furnishings. The Cohen Home is a beautiful historical site located 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.

Spinach Can Collectibles and Museum
Located in the old Opera House Antiques where the creator of Popeye, Elzie Segar worked. Today, the Spinach Can serves as the international headquarters for the Popeye Fan Club and store for everything Popeye. Also at this stop, Pinky’s Sugarland, a small historic building which is now a specialty shop for cake pops, cupcakes, cakes and handmade greeting cards. As the only Popeye collectables 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’Pen, Eugene the 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 collectables.

The Courthouse and Randolph County Museum
Here guests can enjoy an outstanding 360-degree view of the Mississippi River, Missouri farmlands and Chester alongside Olive Oyl and Swee’Pea. Also here, guests can tour the 1864 Annex Museum. This stone Gothic structure museum contains artifacts that display the rich history of the early French settlers. 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.

Welcome Center
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.

Ste. Genevieve...Missouri's Oldest European Settlement

Step back in time and into the fascinating world of an authentic 18th-century French colony and witness the charming antiquity that has been historically preserved. As we set off, watch out the windows of the motorcoach and discover some of the hidden treasures the city of Chester has to offer. Hear about the city that was shaped by the imagination of one artist.

We will then make our way to the historic town of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri’s oldest European settlement. Amaze at some of the city’s most rustic structures featuring rare architectural styles lining the streets just waiting for their stories to be told, as you hear the history of this incredibly historic town with roots dating back to 1722.

A visit to the Welcome Center will help us to fill in the gaps of our Ste. Genevieve history knowledge in a friendly, interactive environment. Then, at Ste. Genevieve Church, built in the late 1890’s, tour this historic sanctuary lined with stunning stained glass windows and historic artifacts while enjoying a live organ concert performed by a local organist. Explore the Ste. Genevieve’s historic downtown Landmark District, where you are free to visit the shops and art galleries within the French-Creole style buildings that line the streets. Complete this historical tour at the Bolduc House Museum. Step into a different time as we experience the French Colony lifestyle prior to the Louisiana Purchase as period re-enactors perform 18th-century activities at this National Historic Landmark.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 16: St. Louis, MO

St. Louis, MO

Enjoy a complimentary city tour of St. Louis, Missouri. Famously referred to as the “Gateway City,” St. Louis is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultures and traditions each one brings forth. The iconic city was founded in 1764 by French explorers who settled on the east side of the Mississippi, claiming the land as their fur trading post. In 1803, the city’s name began to spread as the beginning point for the famous Louis and Clark Expedition. The city is typically associated with its 630-foot stainless steel monument, The Gateway Arch, which stands proud on the banks of the Mississippi River to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.

Complimentary City Tour: St. Louis "The Gateway City"

Trace the history of America’s iconic St. Louis beginning with the city’s original settlement, Laclede’s Landing. The landing features an incredible nine-block historic district overflowing with renovated and rustic buildings, shops, and eateries. Have your cameras ready as we pull in front of St. Louis’ most popular attraction, the famous Gateway Arch, the nation’s tallest monument! Admire the gargantuan piece of modern art commemorating the gateway to the west for thousands of 19th century pioneers, and the Old Cathedral, the oldest cathedral west of the Mississippi. 

Stare up in awe at the profound size and majesty of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis, flaunting a beautiful Romanesque architecture sure to take your breath away. Explore the Basilica, also known as the New Cathedral, will undoubtedly mystify you with its’ sheer beauty that is found in every inch of her interior. Amaze at one of the largest collections of mosaics in the world – 84,000 square feet in 8,000 shades of color, wrapping around the walls and ceiling. As you inspect the tiny pieces of tesserae and glass, unfold the stories depicting scenes from both the Old and New Testaments. 

Explore the historic Central West End Neighborhood, the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Complex and the mansions bordering Forest Park, fine examples of the “Golden Age” of St. Louis at the turn of the century. At the iconic Anheuser-Busch Brewery, enjoy views of the world famous Clydesdales, and the Beechwood Aging Cellars, Packaging Plant and Brew House, including a film about the brewing process as you indulge in samples of the family’s namesake. 

*Note: Cathedral unavailable if a wedding or funeral. A substitution will be made.

Day 17: Hannibal, MO

Hannibal, MO

Hannibal, Missouri has a rich history, diverse industrial economy, and truly remarkable arts. The city was founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates and became a popular stop along the river for many steamboats traveling up the Mississippi. Hannibal offers more parks per citizens than most towns in the Midwest and was included in the famous “50 Miles of Art.” Today, the most popular draw of this quirky town is Hannibal’s very own, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, recognized world-wide as Mark Twain. Many of the popular characters featured in Twain’s novels were based on people Sam had known while growing up in Hannibal. Many of the characters and influences of this American icon are weaved into the streets, shops, restaurants, and museums of Hannibal waiting to be uncovered.

Big River Train Town
Embark on a journey back in time when the steam coach stops at the Big River Train Town Model Train Museum. Here’s we will embrace the golden age of railroading. This Hannibal gem is packed with more toy trains than you have probably ever seen. Enjoy authentic replicas as they move swiftly along the tracks or learn the history of the models and the trains they are made after. As you walk around, relive your childhood and learn the stories of the railway’s past as you view some authentic memorabilia.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
Learn everything there is to know about this literary icon. The mission of the Mark Twain Home Foundation is to promote awareness and appreciation of the life and works of Mark Twain and to demonstrate the relevance of his stories and ideas to citizens of the world. This included tour visits eight buildings, six of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and two that are highly interactive museums showcasing fifteen original Norman Rockwell paintings! Learn about the Hannibal of Samuel Clemens’s childhood and explore the stories created through the powerful imagination of American icon, Mark Twain. Building 1: Interpretive Center – Here, explore interactive exhibits highlighting the stories and life of Samuel Clemens. Building 2: Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home & Garden – See the home where Clemens was raised, and where the adventures of Tom Sawyer took place, along with the home’s lovely gardens. Building 3: Boyhood Home Gift Shop – The original museum which was built in 1937 and goes even further into the life of Clemens. Building 4: Huckleberry Finn House – The childhood home of the real Huck Finn, who goes by the name, Tom Blankenship. Building 5: Becky Thatcher House – The home of Laura Hawkins, the inspiration for Becky. Building 6: J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office – The location where Sam’s father held court. Building 7: Grant’s Drug Store – The location where the family lived briefly and where John Clemens died. (Display through window). Building 8: Museum Gallery – This lovely 2-story building features interactive exhibits, the Norman Rockwell Gallery, and treasured Clemens family artifacts. Live performances are played throughout the day at specific times. Tom & Huck Statue – Located at the foot of Cardiff Hill and offers a perfect location for a photo!

Trinity Episcopal Church
A stunning historical church in the heart of Hannibal featuring beautiful interior and exterior decorations and architecture. For more than 150 years, the Sanctuary of Trinity Episcopal Church, designed by architect Joseph A. Miller, has stood the test of time. With an interior consisting of a deeply arched heavy wooden beamed ceiling, beautiful bronze lanterns and side wall lamps, an impressive pipe organ and 18 illustriously conceived stained glass windows, Trinity Church is truly an historic marvel. As you step into the church, you are immediately transported back into time and enveloped by Hannibal’s past. Early church members commissioned well-known artists to design the Sanctuary’s beautiful stained glass windows. With signature designs by Charles Booth, Emil Frei, Jr. and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Glass Company, these windows are truly remarkable in their diverse artistic style, thematic construction and conceptual execution.

Hannibal History Museum
Hear the history of this historical town along the Mississippi. View artifacts, photos, and exhibits explaining how the city evolved to where it is today.

Ayers Pottery
Steve Ayers has been a professional potter for 30 years and has been making pottery in Hannibal for 20 of those years. Ayers Pottery is recognized nationwide for its beautiful form and intense color-rich glazes. Especially notable are his deep rich red colors that are difficult to attain. Steve makes pottery with the customer in mind, pottery that is both attractive and functional. Handles must feel comfortable, spouts must pour, pottery must be microwaveable, oven-safe, and fit in the dishwasher. All of Ayers Pottery is lead free and food safe. Take some time to browse the showroom then take home a piece of functional art hand made in Hannibal. (Admission Additional)

Cave Hollow Complex
Explore the wild imagination of iconic American writer, Mark Twain, through the caves that inspired the many stories of his childhood. Mark Twain Cave Complex hosts the first show cave in Missouri dating back to 1886. Explore the natural wonder, beauty and the history, fictional and non-fictional, offered in this remarkable landmark that has been listed as a Registered National Natural Landmark since 1972. Discover the inspiration Twain had as he ran through the caves as a young boy and enjoy samples of wine as you do it! (Admission Additional, located at the Cave Hollow Complex. Tour takes 55 minutes to complete, bring a light jacket)

Mississippi Mud...A Hands-on Experience

Prepare yourself for a day of creativity and expression as we set out for the working studio at Ayer’s Pottery. As you enter this quaint and quirky shop, take in the organic, earthy aroma that radiates from each rustic brick lining the walls of the gallery. Walk the perimeter of the gallery, appreciating unique, hand-crafted pottery pieces ranging in different sizes, shapes, and textures.

Admire the delicate and fragile ceramic shapes that were created by the molding and forming of professional potter, Steve Ayers. His unique and absolutely stunning pieces are recognized nationwide for their particularly rich colored glazes. Get a personal demonstration of this artisan as he works his hands into the clay and produce one-of-a-kind art, look around at all of Ayer’s masterpieces – all of which are fully functional and contain no lead and is both dishwasher and microwave safe!

Then, get ready to suit up and give it a try for yourself! Head down to the workshop, and become an artist, spinning your very own potter’s wheel as you try out some of the techniques you watched during the demonstration. Feel your mind drift into serenity as you press your thumbs into the cool, damp clay, molding a piece of art into your very own souvenir. Project your creative mind and personality into a masterpiece that will then be fired up and shipped to your home as a perfect and unique keepsake of your Hannibal adventure! Protective apron/suit will be provided, but keep in mind that creativity can be messy business! Let your creative juices flow! Please note in advance that in order to proceed to the workshop, guests will need to be able to travel down a 16-step flight of steps comfortably.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
1.5 hours
Tour Capacity
6 guests
Muddy River Radio's Live Rendition of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

Step back in time to an era before television, before the internet and social media. A time of one of the most ground-breaking inventions of the early 1900s – The time of the radio. With the invention of the radio, for the first time in history, Americans could receive timely information, sometimes up to the minute, an unfathomable concept at the time.

With the introduction of radios in most households around the country, the entertainment industry began to explode like an uncontainable, vibrant wildfire which swept across the nation, enticing listeners from coast to coast. Sounds of swing music, smooth jazz, presidential addresses, and globalized news reports became the anthem of our country. Perhaps the most popular and captivating, though, were the contemporary sounds of live radio theater productions, which prompted families to gather around the radio and, for a moment, forget the worries of everyday live in the early 1900s.

Join us, as we journey through the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, home of American icon Mark Twain. Arrive at Cave Hollow West Winery, situated on the very location where Mark Twain’s famous character, Tom Sawyer and his gang, raided the Sunday School Picnic in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Nestle up inside the intimate, dim-lit winery in front of the cherry wood fire place and prepare for a one-of-a-kind entertainment presentation. Today’s show features local “Muddy River Radio” theater group, an incredibly talented collection of entertainers known for their 1940s-style radio theater productions.

The group will take the stage and offer a nostalgic present for our guests with their rendition of America’s famous novel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” This entirely acoustic performance will showcase the power of sound to recreate a story near and dear to the Mississippi region. Enjoy Muddy River Radio’s masterful interpretation, alluring your imagination to run wild as Tom and his gang are brought to life!

Do not miss out on this exclusive opportunity to celebrate the Mississippi region and an era that has faded into our history books!

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
2.75 hours
Tour Capacity
80 guests

Day 18: Leisurely River Cruising

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 19: Bettendorf (Quad Cities), IA

Bettendorf (Quad Cities), IA

Bettendorf, Iowa, is the starting point of historic exploration where you will set off to uncover the intriguing evolution of five individual, yet unified, communities known as the Quad Cities. During the Civil War, the nearby river towns of Davenport, Iowa, Rock Island, Illinois. and Moline, Illinois, thoughtful planning and strong leaders helped them to flourish while other settlements began to fail. It was during this same time period that the three towns began to refer to themselves as the “Tri-Cities.” Today, despite the name “Quad Cities,” the area is comprised of five towns in total with the addition of East Moline, Illinois, and Bettendorf, Iowa. Enjoy the diverse culture of this “melting-pot” city and uncover the stories of Quad Cities’ past in the many museums, boutiques, and eateries!

Village of East Davenport
The Village of East Davenport invites you to discover our unique blend of history, shopping, confectioneries, galleries, pubs, dining, lodging, events & celebrations, along with our scenic parks that overlook the the mighty Mississippi River. Come for an unstructured day, strolling from place to place and discovering surprises among the many unique shops that make-up the Village of East Davenport, Iowa.

Isabel Bloom Studio
During your visit you’ll have behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. Guests can browse the shop, learn how these renowned statues are created and view a video about the process every 20 minutes. Isabel Rose Scherer was raised in the city of Davenport and began her artistic lifestyle early. In the early 1930’s Isabel attended Grant Wood’s Stone City Art Colony where she learned how to carve limestone sculptures flawlessly. Her legacy lives on in the city of Davenport, as her art pieces and influences are seen throughout the city, as well as her protégé, Donna Young, who works to this day to help preserve Bloom’s legacy. During the one-hour-and-fifteen-minute guided tour, enjoy behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. During the tour, discover how our company maintains the legacy of artist Isabel Bloom. Get a glimpse of some of her original art and photos and learn how her innovations still influence what we do today. As a remembrance of the tour, shop the gift shop where you can purchase exclusive sculptures available only to tour guests.

Figge Art Museum
The Figge Art Museum is the premier art exhibition and education facility. With soaring glass walls reflecting the constantly changing sky, the museum’s expansive galleries and intimate rooms are home to some of the Midwest’s finest art collections. This gargantuan glass building on the banks of the Mississippi, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections, and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Its studios, auditorium and spacious lobby are alive with art classes, lectures and special events that attract visitors of all ages. Tour the facility touching in nearly every style of art, spanning across the world, from classical to modern.

River Music Experience
Listen to the sounds of American roots music. Guests will have the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a remarkable show available only to our American Queen passengers (See show times on map). Founded in 2004, the River Music Experience began primarily as a museum celebrating roots music and the Quad-Cities’ musical heritage. The program was so successful that the museum now hosts more live music and offers more opportunities for local musicians to perform. Explore the history of music in the Quad Cities and then stop in the Redstone Room to listen to live music as you snack on a delicious treat offered from the restaurant and bar inside. (Located half a block down West 2nd Street from the Figge Art Museum, then make a right onto Main Street.)

German-American Heritage Center
The German American Heritage Center is housed in the restored Germania Haus/Miller Hotel, which was originally used by many German immigrants during the 19th century and was built in 1862. The Center includes preserved documents and artifacts related to the role of German immigrants during the development of the Quad Cities. The Center features a museum, archives, and records repository. Founded on August 1, 1994 as a private, not-for-profit organization, the German American Heritage Center (GAHC) seeks to preserve the heritage of German speaking ancestors for present and future generations and to enrich the knowledge of the German immigrant experience. Today, the heritage center has evolved into a museum that includes a large permanent exhibit and two rotating special exhibits. Within the permanent exhibit, visitors enjoy an orientation theater, six education stations, and two restored hotel rooms. Visitors enjoy an interactive experience as you learn about immigrants’ journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s.

Quad City Botanicals Center
Dedicated to bringing people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways. Adjacent to the Mississippi River in downtown Rock Island, Illinois, the Quad City Botanical Center showcases many gardens and greenrooms, showing the beauty and art of gardening. This massive garden opened in 1998 as a public garden displaying hundreds of plants ranging from tropical varieties to regional zone five perennials. The center is open 360 days a year, offering guided tours of the gardens and ground, the greenhouse, and educational programs. Quad City Botanical Center is comprised of an indoor tropical atrium, a spacious banquet room, a seasonal G-Scale garden train exhibit, other thriving outdoor gardens, an educational greenhouse, a three-season event canopy, resource library, and gift shop.

The John Deere Experience

Discover a true American success story as you learn the legacy behind one of America’s Agricultural giants. We will begin the tour with a trip to the John Deere Harvester Work Factory. This experience will be a favorite for guests of all interests! Learn how John Deere has adapted to the agricultural and economical changes to remain a main producer in the industry. Gaze in awe at the gargantuan machinery as a guide explains each one’s purpose and its evolution while navigating through the factory in the comfort of a tram.

Conclude the day at the John Deere Pavilion where we will see both modern-day and concept machines displayed in their working environments, hear stories about owners and operators as they describe a typical workday and learn about how John Deere equipment has changed their work and helped shape the land. Explore the innovative and refreshing displays on how the industry is pushing for cleaner, more efficient machinery and production. The best part – guests actually have the chance to climb into the seats of the massive machinery and discover the changes and features of both old and new tractors on a hands-on experience unlike ever before! You will have the opportunity to feel the power of a John Deere in action as excavators crawl through simulators in this full sensory tour experience.

All guests must wear long pants and full shoes that cover both the toes and heel. Sandals and open toe shoes are not permitted.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Note: Please keep in mind that due to changes in the factory’s schedules, tours are subject to change which might result in cancellation.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
Uncovering the Hidden Treasures of LeClaire, Iowa

Perfectly situated along the bend of the Mighty Mississippi River, the city of LeClaire is one of Iowa’s most beautiful hidden treasures. Begin with a journey through the charming streets of this river town and uncover the history and culture intertwined as our local expert sheds light on the most iconic buildings and attractions LeClaire has to offer.

Prepare to begin a fascinating day of exploration as we uncover one of LeClaire’s most prized possessions, the Lone Star Wooden Hull Steam-Powered Paddle Wheel, the very first licensed riverboat pilot on the Mississippi which has been dry docked and displayed directly in the center of a two-story museum for guests to explore from the inside out! Then, explore even more hidden treasures held within the Buffalo Bill Museum, featuring the life of local and nationwide frontiersmen, pilots, engineers, and musicians and their valuable contributions to the evolution of America!

If you have spare time, head across the street and explore LeClaire’s more than ideal downtown shopping district! Weave your way in and out of unique boutiques and shops offering anything from antiques or home décor to trendy clothing and eccentric souvenirs! Grab a quick bite at one of the many eateries before heading to our final destination!

Continue the adventure at the Antique Archeology Shop located just downtown, better known as the home base location for History Channel sensation, “American Pickers.” Browse the impressive selection of quirky and original merchandise and even make an offer!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3.75 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests
The Man Behind the Title: The Life and Presidency of Herbert Hoover

In the fall of 1929, America was on the brink of a devastating economic disaster the likes of which have never been replicated to this day. Stock markets crashed, unemployment began to skyrocket and moral was steadily declining, The Great Depression was upon us. It was within this environment that the United States welcomed its 31st president, President Herbert Hoover, into an unrelenting period of hardship in this country’s history.

Born within the walls of a meager two-room home, Herbert Hoover was orphaned at the age of nine and lived his adolescence and early adulthood on uncertain terms. In the small town of West Branch, Iowa President Hoover’s humble beginnings sit, largely untouched as a testament to hard work and dedication in America.

Enjoy a narrated tour of the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site including Hoover’s birthplace and the remaining buildings from his time in West Branch including President and Mrs. Hoover’s grave site and the Presidential Library and Museum. After witnessing his quaint beginnings, step into the grand entryway of the Library and Museum built in his honor to discover the many aspects of the man behind the title. Enjoy a self-guided tour that weaves through his history, ideals, and highlights his great humanitarian efforts overseas. Sit and listen to stories of lives he touched from across the world and view historic footage of the day he was sworn into office.

The story of Herbert Hoover goes beyond his presidency. It’s a true American experience that tells how one man, through family, faith, education and hard work brought himself beyond his simple beginnings.

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.25 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 20: Dubuque, IA

Dubuque, IA

Dubuque is Iowa’s oldest city and is among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. The first permanent settler of the area was French-Canadian fur trader Julien Dubuque who arrived in 1785. Dubuque’s location to the Mississippi and its abundant land and resources, attracted large numbers of immigrants, particularly Irish and Germans, from overcrowded cities on the east coast. Dubuque is filled with historic sites, architectural Historic Districts with well-preserved buildings and homes, history and art museums, the great Mississippi River, and a revitalized main street that invites guests with Dubuque’s claim-to-fame as an “All-American City.”

St. Luke’s United Methodist Church
Bask in the beauty of light filtered through 101 Tiffany stained glass windows, all of which are original pieces created by Louis Comfort Tiffany (from New York City). They have been fully restored to allow for intense, vibrant colors. This beautiful Romanesque style church is characterized by thick walls, heavy columns and round arches for windows and doors. On foundations 32 inches thick, the walls are built of enduring Bedford limestone from Indiana. Each stone was cut by hand and if one looks carefully, imbedded fossils may be seen. Inside, the original organ from 1897 has been restored and is once again functioning, murals are displayed, and impressive woodwork. The church is most noted for its large collection of Tiffany stained glass windows, which has been called, “one of the five finest Religious Tiffany Collections in the world.” Explore the history and art of the church as an expert guide chauffeurs guests through the expansive church explaining some of the most interesting facts.

Dubuque Museum of Art
Discover the third largest collections of Grant Wood art in Iowa. Its permanent collection concentrates on 20th century American art with an emphasis on American Regionalism. Their priority is to collect works by Regionalist artists and artists connected to the Tri-states region. The permanent collection is composed of more than 2,100 works, primarily paintings and works on paper. The Dubuque Museum of Art is Iowa’s oldest cultural institution, established in 1874. The Museum strives to present current, quality art in a beautiful and inspiring environment. Artist such as Iowa Regionalist Grant Wood and a complete collection of Edward S. Curtis’ The North American Indian, are on display in this facility. Its permanent collection is composed of over 2200 works, primarily paintings and works on paper.

The Fenelon Place Elevator
Enjoy a view of the Mississippi River and downtown Dubuque on the Fenelon Place Elevator, also known as the Forth Street Elevator. The funicular railway is claimed to be the shortest and steepest railroad in the world. The Fenelon Place elevator is described as the world's shortest, steepest scenic railway, 296 feet in length, elevating passengers 189 feet from Fourth Street to Fenelon Place. The railway was constructed in 1882 for the private use a wealthy local banker and the former state senator. Where you will see a view of the historic Dubuque business district, the river and three states.

Hotel Julien Dubuque
Experience this remarkable boutique hotel, offering the area's most elegant accommodations and impeccable service. After a $30+ million complete renovation, the Hotel Julien Dubuque is now a true landmark of luxury and sophistication. The hotel's contemporary elegance and sumptuous comfort complement the grandeur of the historic Old Main District The original structure, four stories high, was called the Waples House and was named after its owner, Peter Waples, a wealthy Dubuque merchant. It was the first building visible to the travelers entering Dubuque from across the Mississippi. The Waples House was furnished extravagantly and was known far and wide for its gourmet cuisine. Now 170 years later, after a $33 million interior renovation and exterior restoration, Hotel Julien Dubuque has redefined elegance through the blending of its rich history with modern luxury and style.

Grand Opera House
This impressive opera house was built in 1889 for $65,000. At this time, it was the largest theater ever to be built in the city of Dubuque and over 2,600 live productions were performed at the theater. Dubuque's historic Grand Opera House is the oldest and grandest of more than 16 legitimate theaters which served the community prior to 1900. In 1889 W.L. Bradley, Jr. and other local businessmen invested $100,000 to create this iconic landmark of Dubuque culture. The architect Willoughby Edbrooke selected the Richardsonian Romanesque style and chose red sandstone and Dubuque brick for construction. The 1,100 seat auditorium included two balconies, eight boxes and stalls and a proscenium large enough to host major theatrical productions. Today, the theater is still used by the community and the productions continue to delight the viewers.

The Old Jail Museum & Dubuque County Courthouse
As a prime example of Egyptian Revival style, the Dubuque County Jail is one of three of its kind still standing today. It is famous for having once hosted Butch Cassidy, who was detained here for a mere four hours. The jail was built in 1857 and is a rare example of Egyptian revivalist architecture. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also an official National Landmark. The Old Jail Museum exhibits some of the Dubuque County Historical Society's most unique and interesting artifacts. It's one-of-a-kind collection pieces include the Julien Dubuque family cradle, a passenger wagon from the Dubuque-based A. A. Cooper Wagon Works company dating back to the 1860s, the ACME Life Saving Device that saved 27 people from the 1946 Hotel Canfield fire, and a Civil War flag. The Old Jail also features a light and sound show, "The Hanging of Patrick O'Connor", which tells the story of how O'Connor was condemned and hanged for the murder just 20-yards from the jail.

Galena, Illinois Including the Home of General Ulysses S. Grant

Unwind as we travel to the beautiful town of Galena, nestled in the rolling hills of Northwest Illinois, enchanting visitors with incredible historic sites and attractions, wonderful specialty shops and unlimited dining options. As you lounge in the comfort of the motorcoach, gaze out on some of Galena’s hidden treasures as they fill the frames of your windows. Admire the pristine architecture of the historical Desoto House Hotel, a functioning hotel constructed in 1855 and named the “Largest Hotel in the West,” as we pass the Old Market House, discover Galena’s community life dating back to 1845, and stare in awe at the pristine 1857 Italianate architecture visible at Galena’s Belvedere Mansion. As our ride comes to a stop, look out the window to see another Italianate-styled brick house – the home of General Ulysses S. Grant! During the Civil War, Galena gave the Union Army nine generals including Ulysses S. Grant, who later became the 18th President of the United States. Admire this fully restored historical home in its authentic 1868 glory as you explore original Grant family furnishings and memorabilia!

The rest of your day in Galena is spent at your leisure. Take all the time needed exploring the remarkable exhibits that dig further into the stories of historical legend, Ulysses S. Grant at the U.S. Grant Museum. After you have seen everything that interests you, use the remaining time to take a short walk to Downtown Galena, a must-stop for shopping lovers. The shopping district offers some of the most quirky and unique boutiques and shops that you can explore, making sure to pick up a memento of your time in this historic town. Downtown Galena harbors many distinctive handcrafted souvenirs, cafés with their own spin on a “cup of joe,” and antique shops creating an atmosphere reminiscent of “Main Street USA.” You will not want to miss out on this exciting adventure through the streets of Galena!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 21: La Crosse, WI

La Crosse, WI

La Crosse, named by explorer Zebulon Pike who saw a group of people playing a game with sticks that looked like a cross, is a popular destination for tourists. Filled with statues, architecture, and an exquisite view of the river, this river city is an artist’s dream. Like much of Wisconsin, La Crosse became heavily involved with the lumber industry in the mid-1800's until the decline of the forests throughout much of Wisconsin took its toll. But in the wake of the vanishing lumber era, La Crosse became a city renowned for its beer making, with around five breweries operating in La Crosse near the turn of the century. Today, make note of lingering pieces of history along the streets of the city, inside local breweries, and within the floorboards of historic homes and businesses.

Dahl Auto Museum
View antique cars and learn about the Ford Motor Company and its five generations of history through their automotive journey since 1911. The Dahl Auto Museum celebrates the Dahl family's involvement as automotive dealers spanning over 100 years and 5 generations. It also features the history of the automobile through the eyes of Ford Motor Company, an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles from the turn of the century to present. Approximately 20 antique and classic cars are on display to highlight each decade from Dahl Automotive inception in 1911. To incorporate historic La Crosse, the museum also features a re-creation of the Starlite Drive-in Theatre.

Chapels of St. Rose
A beautiful historic Romanesque-style house of worship. It has been open since 1871. The shape of this immense and beautiful chapel symbolizes attributes of God. The high ceilings represent a God who transcends the finite world while the shape of the nave, transepts and sanctuary form a cross, acknowledging an immanent God who has been with humankind even through suffering and death. At the entrance of the chapel, just above the door, a relief of Moses before the burning bush is showcased. Admire bronzed statues, symbolic paintings and sculptures, stained glass windows, and mosaics.

Hixon House
A beautiful look back in time at an authentic Victorian home. Built in 1859, this Italianate house features beautiful woodwork and lavish interior decoration. With approximately 90% of its original furnishings, the Hixon House is a unique historical home truly representative of its era. This beautiful Victorian house is filled with nearly all of the original furnishings, making it stand out from many other historical homes. The construction of the home began in 1859 by lumber baron Gideon Hixon, who featured beautiful woodwork and ornate interior decoration. His wife, Ellen is responsible for the decoration of the home, who chose the Aesthetic fashion style, accenting rooms with “Turkish Nooks.” It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Riverside Museum
Visit the Riverside Museum to enjoy exhibits that explore the chronological history of La Crosse. Riverside Museum exhibits chronicle the history of La Crosse, concentrating on the Mississippi River and its importance to the area. Exhibits range from prehistoric artifacts to a large collection of birds and fresh water clams. A video of the history of La Crosse is shown and artifacts of the steamboat “The War Eagle” are on display.

Riverside International Friendship Garden
A place of beauty that reflects an appreciation for the diverse cultures that share the earth. Here, you’ll find gardens to represent six different nations from around the world. La Crosse enjoys thriving relationships with sister cities, business partners, students and people from around the world. To celebrate the success of these partnerships, and build a tribute to the culture and traditions, the township decided to create a garden filled with the flowers and decorations closely resembling a garden that could be found in one of these sister cities. The town is currently sister cities with areas in Ireland, Russia, France, Norway, Germany, and China. The township has worked together to create the Riverside International Friendship Gardens in Riverside Park along the banks of the beautiful Mississippi River. (Located inside the same building as the Riverside Museum)

Winona Revealed: The Midwest's Best Kept Secret

Today, prepare to discover the Upper Mississippi River region from a rare, interactive perspective.

Discover a new aspect of the region with an intimate river experience on a narrated sightseeing tour onboard the Winona Tour Boat. Experience the Mississippi River, as the USCG-licensed captain covers river refuge history, aquatic life, and the river’s local environmental impacts, making sure to point out native wildlife, including eagles in their natural habitat! We will also discover the history of Winona, and the importance of the Mississippi River throughout its history.

Soak in the beauty of the river from a closer perspective. Appreciate the simplicity of nature within the Mississippi River and along the river banks, a refreshing contrast to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. After our captain navigates us back to shore, we will make our way back to the vessel. 

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
2.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 22: Red Wing, MN

Red Wing, MN

Red Wing, Minnesota was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of most historic places in the world. Discovered in the early 1850’s, the lands were used mostly for harvesting wheat that would be transported up the river. Later in Red Wing’s history the economy began to flourish due to the thriving pottery industry, which became a main source of income between 1877 and 1967. Today, the city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and travelers that occupied the land before today, or to admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.

Pottery Museum of Red Wing
Explore one of the most important trades in the Red Wing, with history stretching back centuries. Learn about the importance of pottery in the city and see why so many people collect their particular pottery pieces! Pottery was a very historic industry in the city of Red Wing, dating back from 1877 to 1967. This museum opened in 2001 in the former Stoneware Company building, where crocks, jugs, churns, and other stoneware items were made between 1883 and 1930. The original building was 3000 square foot and could hold up to 1200 items. After the museum relocated across the street, they had access to 13,000 square feet which could hold much more. Many beautiful pieces of pottery were donated and displayed in the museum for their grand opening in 2014. View more than 6,000 unique pieces, all with different stories to tell.

Sheldon Theatre
The country's first city-owned theatre, which showcases the best in arts and entertainment from Minnesota's heartland and beyond. The theater began in the early 20th century after Theodore B. Sheldon loaned an impressive $83,000 in trust to the City of Red Wing, with the hope that they would develop something that the public could benefit positively. When the doors first opened in 1904, the interior showcased beautiful arches, plaster sculptures, decorative paintings, and extreme detail all across. Over the years, through many economic hardships, the theater was slowly stripped of its ornate furnishings and details. Today, the theater has been fully restored to its original elegance.

Bush & Main Street’s Shopping District
Stop for a snack or a souvenir, visit the Native-American Store, UFFDA shop, and more. A must-see at this stop is the St. James Hotel where Clara will greet guests to share a story that can’t be missed.

St. James Hotel
Guests will be greeted by the hotel’s historical “Clara” in the main lobby of the grand hotel. Clara will guide you through the hotel, painting a picture of the history and art within for all guests. Learn her role in the hotel and the impacts she left for years to come. (Tours offered at 1:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 3:00 PM) The hotel opened on Thanksgiving Day in 1875 and drew many businessmen in that wished for first-class lodging in the wheat-trading center of the world. The four-story Italianate structure was filled with beautiful furnishings, Brussels carpets, English velvet carpets, steam heat, hot and cold running water, gas on every floor, and a state-of-the-art kitchen! Then, hear about the history of Clara Nelson, a waitress hired at the St. James in 1914. It wasn’t long after she was hired that she learned she had much more talent than even she knew, as she slowly began to gain control of the kitchen and claim her position within the hotel and its history.

Red Wing Visitor Center and Art Association
Exhibits local artwork and shops.

Red Wing Marine Museum
This incredibly interesting museum is located in a fully-restored 1883 Red Wing building. The original building was the home of Red Wing Waterworks and fed the Red Wing Fire Department a clean supply of water. After a disastrous fire swept through the Diamond and the Red Wing Flour Mills, the town reassessed the importance of the building. Eventually a grant was given for $80,400 to implement a new water system and gas supply company, leaving the building abandoned until 2011. Now, the building hosts the Marine Museum which showcases the history of engines and boats. Exhibits include Steamboats, Sea Wing, Tug Boats, Riverboat History, Barge Industry, Red Wing Yacht Club History, Thorobred Marine Engines, and much more!

On Eagle's Wings

Set out for the oldest city along the Upper Mississippi River, Wabasha, Minnesota, first winding through the streets of an iconic river town, Red Wing. Admire the rustic brick buildings, daunting bluffs opening up the Mississippi River, and quirky artwork that lines the streets along the way.

Notice the buildings along the road aging as we enter Wabasha, overflowing with history and culture. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable “nose to beak” experience as we arrive at the National Eagle Center. Spend the day discovering the US national symbol of freedom – the American bald eagle! Get up close and personal to these regal creatures unlike ever before as trained professionals supervise a room full of golden eagles.

Watch in awe as birds with wingspans reaching close to 8 feet soar through the sky, swooping gracefully through the wind currents. Follow the majestic creatures outside to learn why this area is known as America’s Eagle Destination, as you search the horizon for eagles in their natural setting atop the observation deck above the Mississippi River. The overlook is the perfect location for bird watching and when you finally catch sight of these incredible and powerful birds soaring over the currents of the Mighty Mississippi River, you will truly understand the meaning and beauty of the Freedom it proudly represents!

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
4 hours
Tour Capacity
75 guests

Day 23: Red Wing, MN

Arrival 8:00 AM
Red Wing, MN

Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy nearby Minneapolis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.

Post-Cruise: St. Paul City Tour

Today, discover the rich history of Minnesota’s bustling, energetic capital, St. Paul. Uncover some of the city’s many mysteries as you learn why the city has been divided into two cities, rather than one, why the state capital rooted its home here, and the reasons behind the names “Minneapolis” and “St. Paul.”

At Minnehaha Falls, breathe in the fresh air as the breeze blows a shimmering mist across your cheeks. Watch the fresh water pour off the slick sheets of rock at the top of the cliffs, powerfully funneling into the small body of water located below. At the Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge admire the beauty of the architectural link that contrasts the metallic structures of the urbane city with the natural glimmer of the Mississippi waters. Watch as the Mississippi rapids channel towards Saint Anthony Falls downstream before visiting the restored Harriet Island Regional Park with its paddlewheel riverboats.

Watch the city unfold through the windows of the motorcoach as we pass some of the most historical treasures of the city including Fort Snelling, St. Paul Cathedral, the Minnesota State Capitol building, the new Guthrie Theater, and Historic Summit Avenue lined in pristine Victorian architecture.

Note: This tour ends at the Minneapolis- St. Paul International Airport or Post-Cruise Hotel. (Please book flights after 2:00 PM.) 

All shore excursions, prices, and information are subject to change without notice.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests