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.

*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 complimentary stay at The Marriott in downtown Chattanooga. 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 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. 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.

Pre-Cruise: Chattanooga Tour...Battle for Chattanooga Museum, World's Steepest Incline, and the Famous Lookout Mountain!

For Civil War enthusiasts, Chattanooga offers a glimpse into history unlike many battlefields. So disastrous were the battles of Lookout Mountain, Missionary Ridge and Orchard Knob that on November 29th, General Braxton Bragg asked to be relieved of his duties. Following the decisive victories at Chattanooga, General Ulysses S. Grant immediately instituted the Chattanooga-Ringgold Campaign and announced to the Washington War office that the defeat of the Confederates was “most complete.”

Begin with an informative city tour and then ride on the steepest passenger railway in the world - Lookout Mountain’s Incline Railway. Known as “America’s Most Amazing Mile,” The Incline’s trolley-style cars climb through the natural beauty surrounding historic Lookout Mountain at a breathtaking 72.7% grade – almost straight up! Sit back, relax and enjoy the scenic views of the mountains and valleys from the observation windows on the train, as well as the panoramic views from the observation tower at The Incline’s top station.

After reaching the top of Lookout Mountain, explore Battles for Chattanooga Museum, as well as Point Park, part of the Chickamauga-Chattanooga National Military Park System. Discover how the battles on these historic grounds changed the outcome of the Civil War.

This tour includes an hour and a half stop at Jacks Alley where guests can enjoy lunch on their own.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
$69 per guest
Duration
5.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

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!

Special Civil War Event - Shiloh National Military Park
“No soldier who took part in the two day’s engagement at Shiloh ever spoiled for a fight again,” recalled one Union veteran. “We wanted a square, stand-up fight [and] got all we wanted of it.” Besides preserving the site of the bloody April 1862 battle in Tennessee, the park commemorates the subsequent siege, battle, and occupation of the key railroad junction at nearby Corinth, Mississippi.

Join us as we continue on to one of the most informative and interesting Civil War National Parks. Shiloh National Military Park contains a wide array of historic sites. In addition to the battlefield of Shiloh itself, the park contains a separate unit at Corinth, Mississippi, that preserves and interprets the Siege and Battle of Corinth. Located within the boundaries of Shiloh Park, there is also a United States National Cemetery, which contains around 4,000 soldiers and their family members. A National Historic Landmark in its own right, the Shiloh Indian Mounds are also located within the park boundaries.

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!

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
Included
Price
$49 per guest
Duration
1.5 hours
Tour Capacity
16 guests

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 Tour
Delve into the history of the war as we visit one of the most riveting and game-changing battlefields of the American Civil War. Fort Donelson was the Confederacy’s last attempt at control over the state of Tennessee after the Union Army captured Fort Henry on February 6, 1862. Union General Ulysses S. Grant pushed vigorously to Fort Donelson, where confederate soldiers awaited attack. On February 14th, 1862, Grant opened fire on what would become a very bloody Valentine’s Day. The frigid hills echoed with the ear-piercing boom of a thousand gun shots, as the Union Army slowly began to break down the Confederates. Just two days later, after their final attempt on an all-out attack, Confederate General Simon Buckner surrendered to Grant, deeming the battle a Union victory, opening up Tennessee for a Northern advance and ensuring Kentucky would remain in Union control.

Begin this Civil War-themed day in the Grand Saloon, where a background of Fort Donelson will be revealed in an intense film before we tour the historic Fort Donelson Battlefield lined with cannon, statues, and monuments recounting the events of this intense battle.

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.

Post-Cruise: Nashville Music City USA Tour

Discover all that Music City USA has to offer! The American Queen Steamboat Company's exclusive Music City USA Tour delivers the full “Country Music Experience.”

The exclusive Music City USA Tour delivers the full “Country Music Experience.” Embark on the next leg of your journey with an escorted Nashville City Tour. Our expert guide will enhance your tour with local stories and lore of “Music City,” a town unique and rich in music’s history. Included in this exclusive Nashville experience is admission into one of Country Music’s greatest tribute museums, The Country Music Hall of Fame.

As we pull up, you will most definitely spot the building – the massive museum showcases piano keys that span the entire building. The museum is nicknamed “The Smithsonian of Country Music” because of it absolutely remarkable collection. Here, guests can experience the sounds of country’s biggest stars before continuing on with a driving tour of Nashville, including iconic sights throughout Music City. In the core exhibition, stop by “Sing Me Back Home” and “A Journey Through Country Music” which are the museum’s permanent exhibits. Country Music Hall of Fame frequently updates their showcases – and they will never disappoint!

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

Transportation
Included
Price
$79 per guest
Duration
5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests