Chattanooga to Nashville

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Cruise Summary

THE ENDURING LEGACY OF THE CIVIL WAR - The Mississippi River was of great strategic value as both a transportation and communication route during the Civil War. Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history and explore the legacy of the Civil War both onboard and in ports of call. Distinguished guest speakers will be onboard to captivate you with astounding Civil War presentations. 

Theme:
• Civil War*
 
Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours.

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

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

Itinerary

Vessel: American Duchess™



Day 1: Hotel Stay - Chattanooga, TN

Hotel Stay - Chattanooga, TN

Enjoy your included, one-night stay at the Chattanooga Marriott Downtown. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with this culturally diverse city steeped in history.

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 Chattanooga.

Day 2: Chattanooga, TN

Departure 6:00 PM
Chattanooga, TN

Enjoy Chattanooga at your leisure or consider a pre-cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the American Duchess.

Day 3: 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 4: Decatur, AL

Decatur, AL

Nestled in the Tennessee River Valley, the city of Decatur boasts a rich and colorful history. Originally a river crossing for settlers west of the Appalachian Mountains, the town became known as Decatur in 1820. Settlers were drawn to the community at this time by its fertile river valley soil and relatively easy river access to other cities. Enjoy this charming Tennessee River town and all of the amenities it has to offer!

Carnegie Visual Arts Center
Completed in September of 1904, the Carnegie Library of Decatur was one of 2,509 libraries built by the millionaire philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, Decatur’s Carnegie Library is an example of one of the classic Carnegie buildings. For nearly 70 years, Decatur’s public library was housed in this facility. When the main library outgrew the facility, the Carnegie became the children’s library. Now, located in the Carnegie Library, the Carnegie Visual Arts Center shares some of the most unique and impressive art pieces with the public.

Old State Bank Building
Completed in 1833, the building originally housed the Tennessee Valley branch of the Bank of the State of Alabama. The bank survived the destruction of Decatur during the Civil War, along with many other events of destruction through the city’s history. The Old State Bank introduced a new look and influenced building style in Alabama until the Civil War.

Blue and Gray Museum
Believed to be the largest privately-owned collection of Civil War artifacts within the country. The whole collection is owned by one man. This museum holds one of the largest private collections of Civil War era relics. The whole collection is completely owned by one man, who along with his associate, organized, displayed, and opened the collection to the public. See Civil War military equipment, including guns, swords, rifles, bayonets, uniforms, etc. Pre- and post-Civil War items are also on display. Guests will also hear the deep history of Decatur as they learn about the Civil War.

Morgan County Archives
Located in the 1927 Tennessee Valley Bank Building in the Bank Street Historical District of Decatur. Holdings total approximately 1500 cubic feet of archival and manuscript materials including the original estate and guardianship case files, birth and death ledgers, marriage records (1819-1930), tax records dating from the 1920s, County Commission records, Circuit Court records and newspapers. Genealogical materials include census, family histories and bible records. An extensive photograph collection includes images from the Civil War and copies of original photographs from the 1933 Scottsboro Boys trial in Decatur.

St. John's Episcopal Church
After enduring some extremely challenging times, a divided church decided to separate completely and begin their own church. In 1890, previous members of the St. Paul congregation began planning for the location and funding for the church. In 1893, the construction of the new St. John’s Church began, which is still the same building that member worship in to this day. Explore the church and admire the limestone floors, beautiful church steeple, stained glass windows, organ and bells.

Princess Theatre
Princess began as a livery stable in 1887; was transformed into a vaudeville playhouse named the Princess in 1919; and, following a 1941 facelift, emerged with the art deco style that remains today and features a brilliantly lit neon marquee. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the 677-seat theatre now serves as Decatur’s performing arts center.

A Walking tour of Historic Decatur, Alabama
Decatur prides itself on having the largest concentration of Victorian era and craftsman and bungalow homes in the state of Alabama, affectionately called “the painted ladies.” Old Decatur and Albany are two of the historic districts in Decatur. These homes date back, in some instances, to the early 1800s, while others were constructed around the turn of the 2oth century. Both neighborhoods are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Day 5: Savannah, TN

Savannah, TN

Savannah is the largest town on the Tennessee, discovered in the 1820’s and incorporated in 1833. The most common association with this historical town comes with its ties to the Battle of Shiloh – a major Civil War Battle also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, fought on April 6, 1862. Spend the day exploring the stories and history associated with the city of Savannah and its deep Civil War ties then explore the city’s many trails and paths winding down the lush banks of the Tennessee River and admire the beautiful sights!

Riverside Park
Enjoy a day in the Tennessee sunshine in this 44 acre park overlooking the Tennessee River. Relax in front of the water at any of the pavilions or benches, take a brisk walk on the paved walking trails wrapping around the banks of the river.

Tennessee River Museum
This museum, founded in 1992 is located in an old post office building in downtown Savannah that was constructed in 1939. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Inside, exhibits and collections are dedicated to preserving the history of the Tennessee River Valley so that future generations have an accurate depiction of their heritage and history. The museum features seven permanent exhibits such as “Paleontology,” filled with more than 200 fossils, “Archeology,” comprised of antique pottery and tools, “Pioneers,” exploring the Chickasaw Treaties, “Trail of Tears,” portraying the historical Native American travels to Oregon, “War on the River,” explaining the battles of Union invasions, “The Golden Age of Steamboats,” highlighting the historic Tennessee Riverboat trade, and “Musseling,” featuring the story of the historic pearl button industry.

The Williams-Shutt House (White Pillars)
Constructed in 1874 and remolded about 1910, this colonial revival has a two story frame with an Ionic portico, wrap around porches, Palladian pediment windows, headlights, and sidelights. The exterior has remained unaltered since about 1910. While still retaining the earlier floor plan, White Pillars was altered early in the 20th century when an outsized portico and matching wrap around porch were added. The home was remolded and transformed into a colonial revival mansion during this time. It is now home to Savannah Mayor Bob and wife Janie Shutt, and hosts annual out door venues including a songwriter’s gala during the Tennessee River Run festival hosted by hometown country artist Darryl Worley.

Savannah Historic District
This two mile stretch passes 42 historic homes which accurately portraying the architectural styles across Savannah’s history. Many of the homes are privately owned so are not open to tour, but are just as beautiful on the outside as they are on the interior. Featured homes include U.S. Grant’s Headquarters, the Churchwell-MicGinley-Taylor House, a former women’s college from the 19th century, and Irwinwood which was named after the owner who was credited for acquiring the land for Shiloh National Military Park in the 1890’s.

The Cherry Mansion
This beautiful mansion was the headquarters for U.S. Grant during the Battle of Shiloh. Hear the stories of Grant during his time within the property and hear about some of the Battle of Shiloh history. Admire the unique fireplaces, desks where Grant would sit to construct plans of battle, hand-made stone fences surrounding the property, and views of the Tennessee River off of the back porch.

Day 6: 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.

Floodwall Murals
These incredible works of art span “Wall to Wall” across 3 linear blocks of historic of Paducah. They were started over twenty years ago by Robert Dafford and his team of artists. The walls line the riverbanks of the Ohio River. The murals portray images of Paducah and the river basin’s history, and create a nice backdrop for the city, where flooding once was prevalent. (mural books are sold at Yeiser Art Center at 2nd & Broad)

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. Trail Interactive exhibit

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

Day 7: Dover, TN

Dover, TN

Stewart County is a small county enriched with history, picture-perfect scenery, and welcoming citizens. Guests are greeted with nature's beauty and wildlife surrounding the city. Located at the county's heart is Dover, its county seat and the home of Fort Donel­son National Park. This peaceful, picturesque town is the location of one of the most historic battles of the Civil War - a battle that changed the direction of the war for the North. Today, bald eagles call this park their home as and soar through the skies; a true symbol of freedom. Although small and rural, Dover has much to offer her visitors who can enjoy a delicious meal at one of the many local restaurants or take in the comforting hometown charm found throughout the city. Dover and Stewart County are the perfect gateway to a simple, cozy, quiet, country experience.

Fort Donelson Visitor Center & Museum
Set the scene for this battlefield journey at the Fort Donelson National Battlefield Visitor Center & Museum, the perfect place to get a background of the events leading up to the 1862 battle. Enjoy a short orientation film presentation, Fort Donelson: Gateway to the Confederate Heartland, which engages visitors with a storyline that draws on the lifelong friendship between Union General Ulysses S. Grant and Confederate General Simon B. Buckner. Explore the facility’s many showcases, artifacts, and the Eastern National bookstore and learn some rare and interesting facts about the battlefield!

Fort Donelson Lower River Battery
The construction of the Fort Donelson started in the year 1861 by Daniel S. Donelson and was named after him. During the Civil War of the 1860s, the Union forces were heading south to fight the Confederacy. Fort Donelson was key because of its location on the Cumberland River. When Fort Donelson was captured by the Union in February 1862, it was their first major victory for the Civil War. With the fort under Union control, they now had the door open to the Confederacy, ensuring that Kentucky would stay in the Union and opening up Tennessee for a Northern advance along the Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. At Fort Donelson, visitors can learn about the battle, view the earthworks and cannons, and take a walk through the area on one of two trails. ere also are areas for picnics, parking, and strolls along the Cumberland River, as well as a Visitor Center, where guests can learn the history of the war leading up to this battle and the events that occurred after it was finished.

Fort Donelson National Cemetery
The Fort Donelson National Cemetery in Dover, Tennessee was established in 1867 as a burial ground for Union soldiers killed in a significant early Civil War battle. Today, the cemetery contains the graves of veterans representing the Spanish-American War, World Wars I and II, and the wars in Korea and Vietnam. Fort Donelson National Cemetery is one of 14 national cemeteries managed by the National Park Service and is a part of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield.

W.D. Sykes Historical Museum
The W.D Sykes Historical Museum is in the heart of Dover, TN. The museum houses an abundant collection of rich information on the county’s history, culture, and customs. While visiting the Historical Society Museum, guests have the opportunity to explore the county’s one-room schoolhouse and the history found inside, the beautiful Stewart County quilt showcased for all to see, and many more displays that demonstrate the local history. The building is also used to host many local events from charity dinners and dancing nights to educational seminars and talent shows, the W.D Sykes Historical Museum works hard to bring the community together.

The Surrender House/Dover Hotel
Built between 1851 and 1853, the Dover Hotel accommodated riverboat travelers before and after the Civil War. Te Dover Hotel was the site of the “unconditional surrender” of General Buckner to General Grant, on February 16, 1862. Grant’s terms of “unconditional and immediate surrender” were described by Buckner as “ungenerous and unchivalrous.” This was the Union Army’s first major victory of the Civil War, setting the stage for invasion of the south and eventual capture of the Mississippi River Valley. The structure was originally built in 1851, and still stands in the heart of Dover. The structure had served as General Buckner’s headquarters during the battle. The Fort Donelson House Historical Association and the National Park Service restored the house in the 1970s, and today the exterior looks much as it did at the time of the surrender.

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: Nashville, TN

Arrival 8:00 AM
Nashville, TN

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