Memphis to Louisville

Fares from $1,999
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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.

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 Queen



Day 1: Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN

Hotel Stay - Memphis, TN

Welcome to the Home of the Blues, the Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll, and exactly the place you want to be! Venture out into the streets of Memphis at your leisure to enjoy the city’s scrumptious eateries, unique boutiques and shops, and the lively entertainment scene. The day is in your own hands, while you are here, don’t forget to experience some of the city’s most historic attractions including Beale Street, Graceland, and Sun Studio!

And if you don’t know where to start – a quick stop to the Hospitality Desk can help! The desk will be located in the official Pre-Cruise Hotel and open for your convenience between 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM. Here, an AQSC representative, with the help of a local Memphis representative, will happily provide you with dining, entertainment, and sight-seeing suggestions to help you make the best of your time in Memphis. While here, discover everything you need to know about your upcoming voyage. Our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions to reserving shore excursions.

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: Memphis City Tour Including Graceland Mansion

Experience the town that “The King” called home on a guided journey through Memphis! Put on your blue suede shoes and board the American Queen Steamboat Company's motorcoach as it departs towards Memphis’ most iconic attraction, The Graceland Mansion.

Upon entering The Graceland Mansion, the presence of Elvis can still be felt within the walls as you walk through the very 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 Pressley.

At The Graceland Mansion 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 in addition to those awarded posthumously. Just outside the mansion, take 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. Before leaving Graceland, enjoy lunch on your own in one of the many Elvis themed eateries.

Next on the Memphis experience, a stop at the iconic Beale Street for some free time to explore the juke joints lining the street before arriving at the vessel's dock, a driving tour of Memphis includes sights of iconic landmarks such as Sun Studio, The Peabody Hotel, the National Civil Rights Museum (The Lorraine Motel), St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital, and more!

Note: This experience begins at the pre-cruise hotel and ends at the vessel's dock.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
5.5 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests
Pre-Cruise: The Elvis Experience

Includes a Platinum Access Pass to Graceland, a Guided Excursion through Memphis and a Walk on Beale Street with Local Musical Icon

Start your journey along the Mississippi River with a king’s treatment as we depart the Pre-Cruise hotel and weave our way through the streets of Memphis towards the gates of Graceland - the home of the late, great Elvis Presley.

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 platinum 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!

As the journey continues with Graceland in our rearview and downtown Memphis ahead, a charismatic and spirited local musician boards the motorcoach and welcomes us to the city he calls home. As our personal and exclusive guide, his enthusiasm and love for this southern city becomes infectious as he narrates stories of his favorite attractions on our way to the epicenter of downtown Memphis – Beale Street!

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 preforming 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, the local music legend will escort guests down Beale Street all the while sharing stories of the legends the rising talents bred from this very road.

A stroll along Beale Street is littered with music, history, culture and the sweet smell of smokey barbeque wafting through the alleys. A visit to Memphis is not complete without a taste of the south. At the Blues City Café, located along Beale, guests will indulge in an authentic Memphis-style lunch for the perfect conclusion to a memorable day in Memphis!

This exclusive tour will conclude at the dock of the vessel.

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
6.5 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests

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: 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: 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. Consider booking an indulgent, stress-relieving massage in the American Queen's spa. Browse The Emporium gift shop for that perfect keepsake or take the time to mingle with fellow guests. 

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!

Bourbon Distillery Tours
Guests may choose which tour they wish to participate in. Due to capacity limitations, pre-booking is required to participate in a distillery tour. 

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.

Willett Distillery
On the outskirts of lovely, picturesque Bardstown, Kentucky, sits the historic Willett Distillery in the heart of what’s been dubbed the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” This independent, family-owned small-batch distillery has been in operation at its current location since 1936, but its roots go back just after the US Civil War. Our tour will bring us through the main distillery building, cistern room, aging warehouses, and grounds. Sip on samplings of the fine product before concluding in the gift shop!

Heaven Hill Distilleries: Bourbon Heritage Center
Visit the award-winning Heaven Hill Distilleries: Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown, Kentucky. Discover the history of one of America’s oldest distilleries and enjoy an interactive narrated Mashbill” tour! After a brief film, explore the Rickhouse Y before continuing to the Parker Beam Tasting Barrel to enjoy a tasting of three of their acclaimed American Whiskeys, each from a different Mashbill.
 

Special Event Excursion: 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
$0 - Complimentary
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
Pre-book

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.

Special Event Excursion: Buffalo Trace Distillery Tour

At this world renowned distillery, fine bourbon whiskey has been developed to perfection for over 200 years. Dedicated to the craft of producing high-quality bourbon, Buffalo Trace has earned its place of leadership among the legendary spirits makers of the world. Enjoy a guided tour of this historic Distillery including an informative video, ageing warehouses and the renowned Blanton’s Bottling Hall to see the bottles of Bourbon being filled, sealed, labeled and packages – all by hand!

Uncover the rich history of this Kentucky bourbon staple as you sip on their finest spirits, bringing this experience to another level. Appreciate the warm, smooth tastes of premium bourbon made as it should be. After our time in the tasting room comes to an end, our journey will conclude in the gift shop, where you can pick out a memento to remember your visit to the famous Buffalo Trace Distillery.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
$0 - Complimentary
Duration
4.5 hours
Tour Capacity
Pre-book

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!

Bourbon Distillery Tours
Guests may choose which tour they wish to participate in. Due to capacity limitations, pre-booking is required to participate in a distillery tour.

Wild Turkey
The Wild Turkey Distillery was founded in 1869 and found its name almost a century later when it was taken on a Wild Turkey hunting trip and the name was born. Enjoy a guided tour of the production facility including the distillery, cistern room, bottling and packaging center and warehouse. At the conclusion of the tour, enjoy a tasting of the spirit and bring a complimentary tasting glass or purchase a bottle of Wild Turkey to bring home with you as a reminder of your visit.

Willett Distillery
On the outskirts of lovely, picturesque Bardstown, Kentucky, sits the historic Willett Distillery in the heart of what’s been dubbed the “Bourbon Capital of the World.” This independent, family-owned small-batch distillery has been in operation at its current location since 1936, but its roots go back just after the US Civil War. Our tour will bring us through the main distillery building, cistern room, aging warehouses, and grounds. Sip on samplings of the fine product before concluding in the gift shop!

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.

Bulleit Distillery
Bulleit Bourbon is known for its high rye content, which gives it a bold, spicy character with a smooth and clean finish. Take advantage of this opportunity to tour the Louisville facility that produces this award-winning, complex whiskey. We will begin in the tasting room, where you will enjoy samplings of Bulleit Bourbon before getting a glimpse at how it’s done! Before departing, you will have the chance to look around the Bulleit Gift Shop to pick out a souvenir of your visit.

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
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 Lexington, 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.

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

Transportation
Included
Price
Call for pricing
Duration
5 hours
Tour Capacity
75 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.