Alton (St. Louis) to Louisville 8-Day Sailing

Fares from $2,099
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Cruise Summary

CHAIRMAN'S CRUISE - Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a week with a company Chairman and his wife?  If you so, then this cruise is for you.  Join American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman, John Waggoner, and his wife, Claudette, from St. Louis, MO to their hometown, Louisville, KY.  Find out what they enjoy and go along with them on shore excursions in quaint towns such as Paducah, KY and Madison, IN.


Theme:
• Chairman's Cruise*

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

Itinerary

Vessel: American Countess



Day 1: Alton, IL (St. Louis, MO)

Departure 5:00 PM
Alton, IL (St. Louis, MO)
Explore St. Louis at your leisure or consider a Pre-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the American Countess.
 
Pre-Cruise: The Lewis and Clark Gateway to the West St. Louis City Tour

Including visits to the Confluence Tower and Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, a photo opportunity at the St. Louis Arch, and a tour of St. Louis!

Begin your day of historic exploration in the city known as “The Gateway to the West.” Renowned as an important location during the iconic Lewis and Clark exploration in 1804, today’s excursion weaves through the streets of St. Louis and follows the footsteps of the intrepid explorers in the days leading up to their momentous departure.

A local historian leads this city tour and narrates the story of how St. Louis became one of America’s most beloved cities. Uncover the city’s deep-rooted history and see iconic sights throughout St. Louis, including the beautiful Forest Park, Cathedral Basilica, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, as well as Downtown St. Louis.

Perched on the eastern edge of Forest Park and over a century old, the chic Central West End is full of charming sidewalk cafés, galleries, antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, and pubs. It’s a little European, a little New York, and totally St. Louis. Here, guests can stroll the tree-lined streets and enjoy lunch on their own at one of the area’s many eateries.

Departing the Central West End, one of America’s most prominent landmarks comes into view. The Gateway Arch rises high over the Mississippi River marking the heroic and intrepid journey of Lewis and Clark. Stand in the shadow of this massive monument for a picture-perfect photo stop before heading to Hartford, Illinois to uncover little-known facts of how the Corps of Discovery started its journey.

At the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower monument, two identical and strategically placed towers mark a significant moment in the formation of the Corps of Discovery. Rising 180 feet into the sky, one tower points toward the Mississippi River and the other, the Missouri River, marking the confluence where Lewis and Clark converged to set off on their journey. Take a short ride up to the top of the towers to admire the breathtaking view of the Midwestern countryside below.

Our final stop brings us to the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, an incredible museum dedicated to sharing the stories of the explorers. The guided tour of this 14,000 square-foot facility delves into stories rarely heard, weaving through extraordinary exhibits and galleries, which include a replica of the 55-foot keelboat used by the Corps to navigate the waters of the Missouri River. Enter a dream-like realm in the state-of-the-art theater, where a high-definition interpretive video will be shown. Throughout the museum, spend time admiring the journals of Lewis and Clark in which they transcribed the events and experiences they encountered on their journey.

This historical excursion ends at the vessel's dock where you will begin your voyage!

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

Transportation
Provided
Duration
5.5 hours

Day 2: 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 Library adorned with 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, Card Room 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 3: 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
Celebrating 25 years in 2016, The National Quilt Museum is the largest of its kind in the world. It is the portal to the contemporary quilt experience - exhibits and workshops by renowned quilters who are implementing creative approaches to fiber art. The 27,000-square-foot contemporary structure features three galleries highlighting a collection of contemporary quilts and changing thematic exhibitions that celebrate the talent and diversity of the global quilting community. Workshops taught by world-class fiber art instructors are offered year-round. The Museum Shop & Book Store offers Kentucky Crafted items and quilt-related instructional and collector books.

Lloyd Tilghman House
This historic Greek Revival house was built in 1852 for Lloyd Tilghman, a new member of Paducah’s community at the time. After the house was completed, Tilghman did not purchase the property. Instead, the builder, Robert Woolfolk became the sole owner of the house and grounds. Tilghman, his wife, their seven children, and five slaves resided in the home until 1861. It was then that Woolfolk and his family moved into the home. Their family was pro-South and proudly flew a Confederate flag causing many uproars in the community and with the Federal Troops who located their headquarters just across the street from the home. Eventually Woolfolk and his family were banished from Paducah and the United States, forced to live in Canada on August 1, 1864.

Paducah Railroad Museum
The original Freight House (across the parking lot from the Museum) was built in 1925 by the Nashville, Chattanooga, and St. Louis Railway. In 1996, the Freight House was sold and the Museum moved to a building one-half block away. Here, learn the history of the railroad and those who used it, explore the authentic train models, and enjoy the memorabilia showcased for guests.

River Discovery Center
In 1988 Mayor Gerry Montgomery and her committee pursued the development of a museum to showcase the Four Rivers Region’s maritime heritage. The River Heritage Center was planned in 1992 as the very beginning stages of the mayor’s dream. Years later the museum was relocated by Seamen’s Church Institute of New York and renamed the River Heritage Museum before finally receiving its current name, the River Discovery Center in 2008. Here explore artifacts, exhibits, and interactive displays that share the history of marine life and the history of the river. 

The Moonshine Company
Explore, taste, and purchase traditional and international award-winning Kentucky moonshine and moonshine flavors at The Moonshine Company in historic downtown Paducah. Located only blocks from the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, The Moonshine Company offers complimentary guided museum tours and moonshine samples that are distilled on-site in our 108-year-old building. Get a glimpse into the rich Kentucky moonshine history with their collection of historic moonshine stills and purchase that same moonshine secretly produced and bootlegged by our family over 80 years ago to bring home with you!

Check-in Along the Chitlin' 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 Chitlin’ Trail. Deemed one of the very few safe and acceptable areas for African American entertainers to perform in the early to mid-1900s, the Chitlin’ 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
Provided
Duration
1.5 hours

Day 4: 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 5: Brandenburg, KY

Brandenburg, KY

Once in Brandenburg and Meade County, enjoy the stunning scenery of a city perfectly situated along the Ohio River. The quiet community features two golf ranges, countless outdoor activities, and hunting and fishing abound. The relaxing nature of Brandenburg has pasted its name onto tourist’s maps as a quiet, rejuvenating vacation destination. 

Today we will trace the life of the sixteenth president of the United States - Abraham Lincoln. Beginning at The Lincoln Museum, full of three-dimensional wax figures, life-size dioramas, exhibits, and campaign posters that will build the background of Lincoln’s story. From there, we will make our way to Lincoln Square where an impersonator will stand in front of a six-foot brass Lincoln statue and continue telling the story of his life. We will finish the day at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, where we will discover Lincoln’s humble beginnings.

Please Note: There will be a $50 fully refundable deposit placed on each stateroom for each guest who books this tour. The deposit will be removed once the tour has been taken.

Day 6: Madison, IN

Madison, IN

This quaint river town is sure to win your heart. Madison’s culture and heritage is weaved into nearly every stop, ensuring you a a glimpse of the beauty and history of antique machinery at the Schroeder House, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, where the stunning Greek Revival architecture is sure to impress each of its visitors!

Schroeder Saddletree Factory
This factory is America’s very last 19th century saddletree factory. For 94 years, workers at the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Company crafted tens of thousands of wooden frames for saddle makers throughout the United States and Latin America. It was the nation’s longest lasting, continually operated, family owned saddletree company. After his death, Ben’s family kept his dream alive by adding stirrups, hames for horse collars, clothespins, lawn furniture and even work gloves to their line of saddletrees. The factory closed in 1972 and was left completely intact.

Broadway Fountain
One of Madison’s landmarks, the original Broadway Fountain stood in the middle of Broadway for almost 100 years before it was dismantled and replaced with the 1981 bronze copy or reproduction. The original Janes, Kirtland, and Company cast iron fountain was displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The only part of the original fountain that is still present in Fountain Park is a stone plinth that supported one of the original triton figures; it is set into the concrete at the south end of the central path as a base for a tablet that commemorates the replacement fountain.

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
This Greek Revival style abode was built in 1844 and is often referred to as the “Crown Jewel of Madison’s Historic District. Tour this home adorned with historic architectural features and catch a breathtaking glimpse at the of Ohio River from the south portico beneath the colossal Corinthian columns. (only first floor is ADA, but guests have access to all 3 floors) Lanier Mansion is one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country and is considered to be the "Crown Jewel" of Madison’s Historic District. Designed by architect Francis Costigan, the mansion exhibits many original Greek Revival features including its square plan, the full façade porch on the south elevation, the Corinthian columns on the south portico, the Doric pilasters that appear on several locations on the exterior, the massive exterior entablature and dentilated cornice, the ornamental anthemia, the ornamental pediments over the windows and doors, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor.

History Center and Railroad Museum
The History Center and Railroad Station Museum are owned and operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society. The History Center offers visitors a permanent exhibit gallery devoted to the history of Southern Indiana and the mid-Ohio Valley. It also contains a research library and archives. The Railroad Station Museum is a historic representation of an early 20th century passenger station. It features an octagonal waiting room that is two stories tall.

Jeremiah Sullivan House
Built in 1818 and considered Madison’s first mansion, this stately federal style structure was home to one of Madison’s most distinguished leaders, Jeremiah Sullivan. e house’s interior features most of the original woodwork and whitewashed plaster, as well as a full basement, an unusual feature in Madison during the mid-1800s. Trail Interactive exhibit!

Doctor Hutchings Office & Museum
The Dr. William D. Hutchings Office and Museum is one of the most authentic 19th century medical history restorations in the U.S. Built c. 1850 and originally used as a law office, Dr. Hutchings healed and comforted the sick here from 1878 until his death in 1903. Hundreds of the Dr. Hutchings medical records, surgical tools, books and other artifacts, including early electrical healing devices, fill the Office. Next door in the museum enjoy a sampling of Hutchings family treasures found in the Office when it was donated to Historic Madison, Inc. in 1968.

Day 7: Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY

From its frontier founding at the time of the American Revolution, to the heyday of Steamboat transport in the early 19th century, through the city’s importance as a Union base during the Civil War, Louisville has always balanced a sense of history with an ability to re-invent itself as the city of originals. As the the largest city in Kentucky and in the top 30 most populated cities in the United States,  this large city brings with it an authentic and original culture and diversity that visitors quickly learn to love. Discover the talent and creativity of Louisville locals in a number of art galleries, theatrical performances, and museums. Nearly everyone can find something they love here as we discover Louisville’s treasures!

The Frazier History Museum
A world-class museum that provides an unforgettable journey through more than 1,000 years of history with ever-changing and interactive exhibits, daily performances by costumed interpreters and engaging special events and programs. The permanent collection includes items from across the globe, famous world leaders, and one of the country’s largest toy soldier displays. Explore all three floors of this expansive museum!

Mark Payton Glass Center
Visit this multi-use facility located in the heart of downtown Louisville that is dedicated to the art of glass. Tour the flame working and glassblowing studios and learn about the extensive variety of artistic glass working techniques through the demonstrating artists. “Be certain to mention your American Queen cabin number to receive a special surprise! Visit this glass blowing studio and tour the amazing techniques and artwork created by professional. The tour will pass by artists in action as they flamework, sculpt, cast, and blow glass. Make sure to stop in the gallery to explore finished products or the gift shop where you can purchase some unique and beautiful souvenirs. Or choose to be your own artist at the walk-in-workshop where you can flame your own art with the help of a professional, for a small fee.

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company
After purchasing the Worsham Distillery in Henderson, Kentucky, in 1889, Henry K. Kraver founded the Peerless brand. He and his son-in-law, Roy Taylor Sr., ran the business together, producing about 8 barrels of rye whiskey bourbon per day. Production increased drastically by 1913, when the Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company employs 50 workers and pushes out 10,000 barrels per year. By 1917, the company was running at peak production, producing a staggering 200 barrels per day, more than 23,000 barrels a year, and 63,000 barrels in storage! But in this same year, the 18th Amendment was passed and the era of Prohibition moved in, closing the distillery. After that, the facility fell off the map until Kraver’s great grandson, Corky Taylor, and his son, Carson, bring back the family brand in Louisville, Kentucky, where it resides today!

The Kentucky Show! (Showtimes at 10AM, 11AM & 2PM)
Choose to spend some time at one of Louisville’s famous Kentucky Show! Located on West Main Street. Experience the people, sights, and sounds of the state in a high-definition production that will keep you just as entertained as you are informed. This multimedia show runs for 32-minutes and explores the ways Kentucky’s past, present, and choices for the future converge to create a unique and engaging destination.

Seelbach Hotel
The Seelbach Hotel is a historic hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, founded by Bavarian-born brothers Louis and Otto Seelbach. It opened in 1905 as the Seelbach Hotel, envisioned by the Seelbach Brothers to embody the old-world grandeur of European hotels in cities such as Vienna and Paris. To do so in early 20th century Louisville, they employed a French Renaissance design in constructing the hotel. e hotel was quickly regarded among the finest hotels in the United States and throughout its long history has been frequented by many notable Americans such as F. Scott Fitzgerald, who took inspiration from the Seelbach for a hotel used in the Great Gatsby. e hotel is part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts chain. Trail Interactive exhibit!

Fourth Street Live! 
Fourth Street Live began as a downtown revitalization project to redesign and modernize the former Louisville Galleria, a similar but unsuccessful project opened in the early 1980s with the same goals of revitalizing downtown. Fourth Street itself had long been the main shopping and entertainment destination in Downtown Louisville. Today, the 350,000-square-foot entertainment and retail complex is located on 4th Street, between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, in Downtown Louisville, Kentucky. Restaurants and entertainment venues in the complex include Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Hard Rock Cafe, T.G.I. Friday’s, Sully’s Irish Pub, The Sports & Social Club (bowling alley and restaurant),tavern on 4th street, The Fudgery, and the first-ever Maker’s Mark Bourbon House & Lounge.

Day 8: Louisville, KY

Arrival 8:00 AM
Louisville, KY

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 Louisville at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.

Post-Cruise: Private Churchill Downs Backstretch Experience

There are few American sporting events that showcase the same history, dating to 1875, and popularity as the Kentucky Derby. Perhaps it’s because this annual horse race, held at stunning Churchill Downs in Louisville, Kentucky, is more than just a sporting event. It is its own culture, an event celebrating the authentic Southern lifestyle and the luxury associated with it. It is images of women, with beautiful, floppy hats, and men, dressed in regal attire, sipping fresh mint juleps, awaiting what is known as “the most exciting two minutes in sports,” that illustrate a glamorous atmosphere, which entices the rest of the world to join in.

On this American Queen exclusive excursion, join us as we journey to the “backstretch” of the racetrack during a rail-side, meet and greet with Churchill Downs equestrians! This once-in-a-lifetime experience will take us behind the scenes for a glimpse of thoroughbred racing at the “world’s most legendary racetrack.” Explore the grounds, where you can get a peek at more than 1,400 stalls and find yourself wondering how all of them could ever possibly be occupied with horses at once—but they are, every year. Then, get some insight from life beyond the track, as you listen to stories directly from a jockey, a trainer, a thoroughbred owner, and more!

Also included with this exclusive tour is admission to the Kentucky Derby Museum, where guests will have the opportunity to explore two levels of interactive exhibits, including “The Greatest Race,” a 360-degree immersive sound and visual experience that will give yet another vantage point of the iconic event. Guests will also have the chance to participate in a historic, walking tour of the Churchill Downs Racetrack, as well as an opportunity to meet the resident thoroughbred, rotated periodically each year, and a miniature horse named Winston. Be certain to conclude this amazing adventure at the Finish Line Gift Shop to choose a souvenir as a reminder of this experience.

Transportation
Provided
Duration
5 hours