Memphis to Louisville

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Cruise Summary

THE AMERICAN SPIRIT THRIVES – Perfect for any traveler, this idyllic journey allows you to experience both the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers and showcases the best of America - from friendly people and beautiful scenery to impressive cityscapes.

Theme:
• The Art of Quilting*

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.

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.

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

Itinerary

Vessel: American Duchess™



Day 1: Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN

Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN

Enjoy your included, one-night stay at the historic Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with this city's famed eateries, unique shops and lively entertainment.

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 Memphis.

Day 2: Memphis, TN

Departure 5:00 PM
Memphis, TN

Today is the day you have been waiting for! Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey down America’s largest and most historical river.

If you haven’t gotten your full dose of Memphis yet, visit the AQSC Hospitality Desk (Open at 8:30 AM!) for ideas about how to spend your day.  The official Voyage Check-In will be open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM.  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!

It’s time to start your voyage and begin a luxurious voyage down the Mississippi River, where memories will be made that will last a lifetime!

Day 3: Leisurely River Cruising

Leisurely River Cruising

Whether functional, artistic or a palate for storytelling, quilting has been a prominent craft in America.  These works of art have been passed down from one generation to another.  Some tell stories of the family, heritage, history and culture.  Delve further into this national craft through a series of quilting lectures and classes onboard the American Duchess.

Day 4: 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 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 5: Owensboro, KY

Owensboro, KY

The first European descdant to settle in Owensboro was frontiersman William Smeathers or Smothers in 1797, from whom the Riverfront park is named. The settlement was originally known as Yellow Banks from the color of the land beside the Ohio River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition wintered at what is today's Owensboro prior to departing on their famous travels. In 1817, Yellow Banks was formally established under the name Owensborough, named after Col. Abraham Owen. In 1893, the spellung of the name was shortened to its current Owensboro. There have been several distillers, mainly of bourbon whiskey, in and around the city of Owensboro. The major distillery still in operation is the Glenmore Distillery Company. Owensboro is home to famous actor Johnny Depp, as he is a member of an old and prodigious Kentucky family.

O.Z. Tyler Distillery
The tour of the O.Z. Tyler Distillery covers every aspect of whiskey production, from grain to mash to beer to distillate to barrels of whiskey. A visit to the distillery includes an overview of this patented technology and how it builds upon traditional barrel aging. And after you’ve seen how it’s made, you’ll get to taste the end products—O.Z. Tyler Bourbon Whiskey, O.Z. Tyler Rye Whiskey, and O.Z. Tyler Honey Flavored Bourbon Whiskey—in their speakeasy-style tasting room. Finally, no visit would be complete without a stroll through their on-site gift shop! Featuring O.Z. Tyler whiskey products, branded hats, shirts, glassware, and much more, you’re sure to find a perfect gift for any bourbon lover.

Western Kentucky Botanical Garden
Conceived from the dust of a cornfield in 1993, the Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens were the idea of a local horticulturalist. Today, six gardens have been established including; a butterfly garden, rose garden, iris garden, herb garden and a fruit and berry garden.

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
The Owensboro Museum of Fine Art presents traveling exhibitions from major museum, galleries and private collections and rotating exhibitions from the permanent collection. The facility includes two structures listed on the National Register of Historic Sites: the 1909 Carnegie Library and the John Hampden Smith House, a pre-Civil War era mansion which serves as a decorative arts wing. The permanent collection features American, European and Asian fine and decorative arts dating from the 15th century to the present, a stained glass gallery of late 19th and early 20th century German stained glass windows; a collection of contemporary studio art glass; a major collection of American Folk Art with emphasis on the works of 20th century Appalachian artists and craftsmen; and a collection of works by artists and craftsmen with Kentucky connections from the early 1800's to the present.

Owensboro-Daviess County Convention & Visitor’s Bureau
Owensboro, Daviess County and the surrounding region are home to an impressive array of well-known celebrities from motorsports, movies, television, sports, music, and government. The Hall of Fame is located in the Convention & visitors Bureau, where visitors can freely browse to learn more about the accomplishments of its members. Visitors may also pick up more information about the history and attractions of the area.

International Bluegrass Music Museum
The International Bluegrass Music Museum is the world's only facility dedicated to the history and preservation of the international history of bluegrass music. Bluegrass is the official State Music of Kentucky. The International Bluegrass Music Museum is located in the River Park Complex at the foot of "the blue bridge" in downtown Owensboro, Kentucky. As you draw near, you'll hear the sounds of bluegrass music emanating from the museum's radio station, RBI, with audio speakers taking the music to the streets. Only a few hundred feet from the museum's entrance, the sounds of music drifts downstream via the mighty Ohio River, the subject of more than a few memorable bluegrass songs.

Day 6: 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. While visiting, discover Brandenburg’s rich history winding throughout the Civil War and pay a visit to historic Fort Knox to uncover stories from the past!

Brandenburg General George Patton Museum of Leadership

Join us as we begin a journey through the scenic rolling hills, manicured farm lands, and unique river topography of Brandenburg, Kentucky towards Fort Knox.

Upon arrival, our personal motorcoach will come to a halt at the United States Army’s Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armory; a fascinating museum focusing on the inspirational leadership of historic American heroes. The museum’s original intent was to honor and memorialize one of World War II’s greatest war generals, George S. Patton, and has grown through the years to include leaders of all generations.

As an expert guide chauffeurs us through each exhibit, enjoy displays of Civil War equipment, weapons, and memorabilia as well as present day army artifacts. Experience a sense of pride in the men and women who has served this country as you hear stories of true heroism and bravery and then trace the life of General Patton as we see a number of his personal effects, dating back to his childhood!

Don’t miss out on this exclusive tour highlighting the heroes throughout American history!

Maker's Mark Distillery Tour

When T.W. Samuels began production at the historic Maker’s Mark distillery in 1953, he wanted to keep a sense of intimacy and community in his business. Today, family heir, Rob Samuels has continued that legacy by focusing on attention to detail and continuing the unique way this bourbon is created. Each bottle of premium distilled spirit is hand-dipped in red wax to seal in the quality. Every single label is adorned with an illustration of the distillery and affixed by hand, offering a warm invitation to enjoy the high-quality bourbon whiskey within.

Nestled on the banks of a stonewalled creek, this National Historic Landmark distillery is the oldest still operating on its original site. It offers sprawling landscaped grounds dotted with historic buildings and a visitor center where guests begin their adventure with a brief history of the distillery.

In the still house, aromas of sweet corn, wheat, and malted barley fill the air as the bourbon fermentation process begins in century-old cypress vats. Then, visit the impressive copper stills where vaporization separates the alcohol from the grain and is transferred to perfectly charred oak casks for aging. In the aging warehouse, take in the sumptuous aromas produced by the bourbon, in various stages of aging, and discover how temperature and changes in height are utilized to alter the process and ensure a quality product.

As we near the end of the line, watch as each bottle’s glass neck is hand-dipped into the signature red sealing wax and then twisted to allow the excess to drip off and run down the neck for that distinctively Maker’s Mark signature look. Before concluding this intimate adventure, enjoy tastings of the premium bourbon and a trip to the gift shop where you can dip your very own bottle!

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

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

Day 7: 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 8: 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.

A Kentucky Champion's Experience

Follow the back roads of Madison, as we make our way to Kentucky, through rolling hills flanked with black fence, champion Thoroughbred horse farms, charred oak barrels full of aging bourbon whiskey, and crimson barns filled with tobacco leaves drying in the southern breeze. Join us on an exclusive full-day excursion that captures the intriguing essence of this beautiful countryside.

After a scenic journey through the hills of Kentucky, we arrive at the eight-generation family-owned Henton Farm, gifted to the family from England more than 200 years ago, prior to Kentucky’s state-hood. Descendants of the Henton family still farm the land, growing everything from wheat; corn, for the near-by Woodford Reserve bourbon distillery; soybeans; and Kentucky’s cash-crop, tobacco. Walk through the working farm with Hoppy Henton, an on-site expert who will explain the intricacies of Kentucky tobacco production from planting, to harvesting and the barn curing process. Full of earthy aromas, entering the curing barn offers guests an up-close experience.

No trip to Kentucky would be complete without a glimpse into the Thoroughbred horse-breeding industry in Lexington, dubbed the “Horse Capital of the World.” Visit the Darby Dan Farm, known as the only farm in history to breed winners in the Epsom Derby, Kentucky Derby as well as a Breeders’ Cup Classic, Preakness, and Belmont Stakes. The farm is operated by John Phillips, the grandson of the farm’s original owner, John Galbreath, former owner of the Pittsburgh Pirates major league baseball team. Today, Phillips keeps up the family tradition of excellence at the traditional farm, so iconic and beautiful that its breathtaking bluegrass vistas earned Darby Dan Farm a role in Disney’s motion picture, Secretariat. A guided tour of the farm includes the stately manor house, the restored office of legendary Colonel E.R. Bradley, and the trophy room, which proudly boasts a special collection of sports and horseracing memorabilia. Then, it’s time for an authentic Southern-style lunch at Holly Hill Inn, a charming fine dining restaurant in the heart of Kentucky's Bluegrass horse country. Holly Hill Inn is owned by Ouita Michel, who has been honored with several nominations as Best Chef Southeast and Outstanding Restaurateur by the James Beard Foundation. Indulge in a luxurious Kentucky-style lunch at this picturesque location before we embark on our final journey of the day to the Woodford Reserve Distillery.

The Kentucky experience comes full circle as we follow the corn grown at Henton Farm to its final destination at the Woodford Reserve distillery for an in-depth look as the corn mingles with four other grains before being transformed into Bourbon whiskey, a type of alcohol that is unique to this area. Discover Woodford Reserve’s five sources of flavor along with the distilling and bottling process on a guided journey through the working distillery. As our experience concludes, a stop at the tasting rooms offers an informative sampling experience providing education about the best ways to enjoy this fine spirit and a visit to the gift shop will provide the opportunity to pick out the perfect souvenir to remember this great Kentucky Experience.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
8.25 hours
Tour Capacity
30 guests

Day 9: 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.