Memphis to Louisville

Fares from $1,999
Zoom map

Cruise Summary

INSIDE THE BOURBON EXPERIENCE – Learn what makes a centuries-old tradition as uniquely American as our river cruises with this rare opportunity to experience an extraordinary journey through America’s heartland and into the roots of Kentucky’s bourbon region. This special themed voyage will take you behind the scenes and into the history books to show you where bourbon comes from, how it is made and the ways to distinguish the unique characteristics of different distilleries. Not only have we arranged for special tastings, treats, and cooking demonstrations, but also we are thrilled to have an exclusive line-up of special onboard guest lecturers. Both onboard and ashore, each day presents an eclectic blend of music, creative workshops and a wealth of enrichment that can’t be found anywhere else. This dynamic blend of historic discovery, toe-tapping entertainment and complimentary tours of the finest bourbon distilleries creates a uniquely American river cruise that you simply cannot afford to miss!
 

Theme:
• Bourbon*

Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours.

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 Queen



Day 1: Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN

Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN

Enjoy your complimentary stay at the Sheraton Memphis Downtown Hotel. 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 2:00 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 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!

Pre-Cruise: The Elvis Experience

Begin your journey along the Mississippi River with a king's treatment as we depart the hotel and weave our way through the streets of Memphis towards the home of the King himself - Graceland Mansion!

Enter through “The King's” front door where the presence of Elvis can still be felt within the walls as you walk through the same rooms as he did after a long day's performance. Custom crafted and state-of-the art iPads will help guide your way through each room, providing thoughtful narration by actor and Elvis enthusiast, John Stamos as well as personal commentary by Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie Presley.

At this musical mecca, discover distinctly “Elvis” rooms such as the famous “Jungle Room,” an homage to “The King's” love for Hawaii, featuring green shagged carpets, exotically carved woodwork, and a Polynesian feel. View “Vernon's Office,” where Elvis' father, Vernon Presley, managed his career, as well as the Trophy Building and Racquetball Building, where you will find hundreds of awards and accolades, received throughout his career as well as those awarded posthumously. Just outside the mansion, a short stroll through the Meditation Garden, where “The King's” final resting place is located alongside other members of his family. Pay your respects to Elvis and his contributions to American music and entertainment, knowing his legacy resonates throughout the world and spans multiple generations.

But the adventure doesn't end there! This Elvis experience continues with exclusive exhibits including: • Graceland Mansion Audio-Guided Tour with New Orientation Film • Full Access to State-of-the-Art Visitor Entertainment Complex - NEW! • Elvis' Two Custom Airplanes • Elvis Presley Car Museum - NEW! • Elvis: The Entertainer Career Showcase Museum - NEW! • Elvis Discover Exhibits - NEW!

Before our journey continues enjoy some free time for lunch on your own at one of the many Elvis themed eateries! We then continue with Graceland in our rearview and Memphis's heart and soul - Beale Street ahead. Oozing with the gritty feeling of the blues and rock `n' roll, Beale Street's musical history is alive in every store front lining the road, street band performing on the corner, and brick paving our way. A larger-than-life iconic brass statue of Elvis marks the starting point of the “Walking in Memphis” portion of this exclusive excursion. Here, we will experience the most famous street in Memphis as our local guide leads us through the vibrant city he calls home. Our personal and exclusive guide shares his infectious enthusiasm and love for this southern city as he narrates stories of his favorite attractions as we walk past. A stroll along Beale Street is littered with music, history, culture and the sweet smell of smokey barbeque wafting through the alleys.

You will not want to miss this exclusive experience through the Music City!

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

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
6.5 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests
Pre-Cruise: Soundtrack of Memphis: A Musical Journey through Blues City

Today, we embark on a musical tour of Memphis, Tennessee, the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll.” Activities begin in the early afternoon with a relaxing driving tour of Midtown Memphis's 342-acre Overton Park, where our first stop is the iconic Levitt Shell amphitheater. Here, we'll be treated to a musical performance by our tour guide on the stage where Elvis Presley put on his first paid concert in 1954.

Our driving tour continues through Overton Square, a cultural hotspot of the 1970s that has since been revitalized into a thriving, modern entertainment district. We'll pass Galloway House, the Methodist church where Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two put on their first performance, and “Soulsville, U.S.A,” where legends like Otis Redding, Booker T. & the MGs, Isaac Hayes, and others got their starts at Stax Records. Other sites include Priscilla Presley's high school, Church Park, and the W.C. Handy House Museum, the turn-of-the-century log shack that was home to the “father of the blues” himself.

As a brief intermission from our driving tour, we'll stop off at the Tennessee Welcome Center. Then, continue past sites that include Court Square, historic Beale Street, and the National Civil Rights Museum, built around the infamous Lorraine Motel where Martin Luther King, Jr. was tragically assassinated in 1968. And no visit to Memphis, “Blues City,” would be complete without seeing the Blues Hall of Fame.

Additional sites that we will see today include the South Main Arts District, the Gibson Guitar Factory, scenic Vance Avenue, Bluff Park, FedExForum, and the WDIA radio station, where soul music first hit the airwaves. We'll top off our tour with the magnificent Peabody Hotel, the famed Memphis Front Street (also known as “Cotton Row”), and Lauderdale Courts. Time permitting, we'll see Humes High School --Elvis Presley's alma mater --and Sun Studio, a rock and roll landmark. 

This excursion concludes at the dock of the vessel.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
3 hours
Tour Capacity
100

Day 3: Leisurely River Cruising

Leisurely River Cruising

Attend daytime bourbon presentations and tastings from the Kentucky region's leading distillers to learn what makes this American spirit different from other whiskeys and explore the history and tradition that have flavored life in the Bluegrass State since the days of Thomas Jefferson.

Day 4: River Cruising/Paducah, KY

River Cruising/Paducah, KY

Happy Independence Day!
Today we celebrate the birth of our nation aboard a genuine national treasure, the iconic American Queen. Enjoy a leisurely day of river cruising before arriving in Paducah, where the city will be abuzz with patriotic festivities. Delight in a fabulous pre-fireworks dinner and then grab a patriotic-inspired cocktail and head up to the top deck where you will be treated to unobstructed views of the city’s grand fireworks display.

Day 5: 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
Call for pricing
Duration
1.5 hours
Tour Capacity
16 guests

Day 6: 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 spelling of the name was shortened to its current Owensboro. There have been several distillers, mainly of bourbon whiskey, in and around the city. Owensboro is also 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 7: 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!

Guests may choose one of the following distillery tours:

Special Bourbon Event: Jim Beam Distillery Tour

Tour the Jim Beam Distillery at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse, where they believe secrets are for strangers and treat all of their guests like family. Get a look at how their bourbon is made with a guided tour that walks guests through the entire process from their natural limestone water well through the mashing, distilling, barreling, storing and bottling. Then, join Troy Beam in the tasting room for a sample of this iconic American spirit.

Special Bourbon Event: Maker's Mark Distillery Tour

Join us as we venture to Maker’s Mark distillery for a full-day bourbon whiskey experience. Our journey begins at the newly renovated visitors center, where you will hear a brief history of this family-run distillery. The tour continues through the beautiful Kentucky grounds, viewing the historic buildings and landscape, visiting the still house and the ageing warehouse, before concluding in the bottling house, where each bottle gets its signature hand-dipped red sealing wax. Enjoy tastings and a chance to dip your own bottle!

Included Premium: An American Leader - The Life and Presidency of Abraham Lincoln

As we make our way from Brandenburg to Hodgenville, Kentucky, prepare to trace the life of one of the most influential men in United States history – President Abraham Lincoln.

Our first stop will be the Lincoln Museum, located in downtown Hodgenville in the National Historic District. The museum will follow the most pivotal points in the life of the sixteenth US president, from exhibits depicting the “Cabin Years” to the devastating assassination in “Ford’s Theatre.” Through a series of dioramas, exhibits, campaign posters, memorabilia, and life-size wax figures, we begin to piece together the importance that President Lincoln holds for the United States.

We will then depart the museum and make our way to Lincoln Square to view the six-foot-tall bronze statue of President Lincoln sitting in an Empire-style chair. A tall, bearded man will step out from behind the monument and introduce himself as “Abraham Lincoln,” the sixteenth president. The impersonator will begin to share stories of his past, highlighting key events during his presidency.

We continue our journey and after a short drive, our motorcoach will arrive at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, where we will learn about Lincoln’s humble beginnings. Discover how his childhood shaped this Abe with the character and leadership skills it would take to later make the decision to keep from dividing a nation; to fight for quality.

After a visit to the Visitor Center, where a short film will be played, we finish our day at Sinking Spring – a freshwater spring where Lincoln and his family got their daily water supply. As the water trickles down into the spring, reflect on the remarkable impact that one man had on the people of the United States.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
$0 - Included
Duration
4.75 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

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 Kentucky Show!
Experience the people, sights and sounds of the state woven together in a high-definition production that will excite your senses and steal your heart. This 32-minute breathtaking, multimedia show explores the ways Kentucky’s past, present and choices for the future converge to create an utterly unique and powerfully engaging place. Kentucky Show! is housed in its own specially designed theater at the Kentucky Science Center, is destined to become one of the major attractions in the state. It’s a first-see for visitors and a must-see for Kentuckians. The show begins at the top of every hour. 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.

Frazier International History Museum
As the exclusive home of the Royal Armouries USA, the Frazier History Museum is a world-class museum that provides an unforgettable journey through more than 1,000 years of history with ever-changing interactive exhibits. (Admission Additional) 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! (Admission Additional)

Mark Payton Glass Center
A premier 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.

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. The 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. The hotel is part of the Hilton Hotels & Resorts chain.

Fourth Street Live
Louisville’s premier dining, entertainment and retail destination located on Fourth Street between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard in the heart of the town. Explore the restaurants, pubs and entertainment venue at Louisville’s Premier hotspot. 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.

Louisville’s Visitor Center
Stop here to explore the visitor’s center in the town named the top travel destination for 2013 by Lonely Planet®. At the visitor’s center guests can learn more about this unique city and get a chance to do some last-minute shopping before heading back to the boat. Stop in the Visitor’s Center to get some insight on this interesting city. Discover unique places to visit, the best places to dine, directions to attractions, and information on the Urban Bourbon Trail. Inside, shop in the gift shop to pick up an affordable Louisville merchandise or visit the Colonel Sanders Exhibit to learn about Kentucky’s most popular icon.

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Company
This family owned distillery in Louisville is the state’s second largest bourbon distillery. Today, tour the facility and learn about the rich history that makes this distillery so unique to Louisville.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!

Limited Edition Bourbon Hop-On Hop-Off Tour:

Evan Williams – Located on downtown Louisville’s historic “Whiskey Row”, the Evan Williams Bourbon Experience features an artisanal distillery, guided tours, educational Bourbon tastings and more! It was also Kentucky’s first commercial distiller and offer many things to do for those guests who aren’t bourbon lovers.

Cooper & Kings – An American based Brandy Company which produces exquisite American Spirits including Brandy, Apple Brandies and a variety of Vapor Distilled Absinthes. A distillery tour includes a walk through the modern, eco-friendly facility including the Courtyard, with fire pit and reflection pool, the Distillery floor, Maturation Cellar, Art Gallery and finished with an exclusive tasting on the Skydeck with views of the city.

Jim Beam – Tour the Jim Beam Distillery at the Jim Beam American Stillhouse, where they believe secrets are for strangers and treat all of their guests like family. Get a look at how their bourbon is made with a guided tour that walks guests through the entire process from their natural limestone water well through the mashing, distilling, barreling, storing and bottling. Then, join Troy Beam in the tasting room for a sample of this iconic American spirit.

Angel’s Envy – Rooted in 200 years of bourbon heritage, they create hand-finished spirits that aren’t afraid to improve on the classic tradition. They hand craft, small batch whiskey and sample it every step of the way. They also offer a retail store for you to stock up on your favorite items.

Old Forester – Just this spring Old Forester returned to their old distillery on Historic Whiskey Row with a brand new state of the art distilling operation and visitor’s destination showcasing the supreme craftsmanship of American’s First Bottled Bourbon. You won’t want to miss this world class distilling operations and samplings of their bourbon. They’ve won many awards and in 2015 their Mint Julep was named the Official Drink of the Kentucky Derby!

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.

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
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
5 hours
Tour Capacity
75 guests