Memphis to Chattanooga

Fares from $2,299
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Cruise Summary

THE ENDURING LEGACY OF THE CIVIL WAR - The Mississippi River and its tributaries was of great strategic value as both a transportation and communication route during the Civil War. Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history and explore the legacy of that storied conflict, both onboard and in ports of call. We will be joined by distinguished guest speakers such as Gene Salecker, who will discuss the Civil War-time tragedy of the sinking of the SS Sultana on the Mississippi River – the worst maritime disaster the United States has known – and Curtis Fields in an eerily accurate portrayal of Union Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, quoting in first person from the general’s memoirs, articles, and letters. Another historic figure comes to life through tribute artist George Buss, as President Abraham Lincoln. Bobby Horton revisits the Civil War through songs and stories. For a little fun and frivolity, we welcome Dave Para and Cathy Barton for a homespun show featuring various stringed instruments, and, as always, the American Queen Band and Ensemble provide a cornucopia of entertainment throughout the voyage. 
 
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 become acquainted with the barbeque joints, unique shops and ever-present sounds of jazz and blues that captivate the streets of the city.
 
For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel 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 the upcoming voyage to reservation of Premium Experiences. Both American Queen Steamboat Company and local representatives will be available to provide suggestions on dining, entertainment and sight-seeing options to maximize your time in Memphis.

Day 2: Memphis, TN

Departure 5:00 PM
Memphis, TN

The American Queen excitedly waits for you to join her at the riverbank of Memphis. For now, explore the city at your leisure or consider booking a Pre-Cruise Premium Experience with afternoon transfer to the American Queen.

Memphis, TN has a plethora of places to visit and things to do for all guests. Embrace the city that has been coined not only the Home of the Blues but also Birthplace of Rock ‘n Roll while stationed in this port. Boogie on down to the Beale Street District—live with quirky places to indulge in some southern barbeque, purchase souvenirs for friends and family (or a little something for yourself) and sip on a Blue Suede Tini. As one of the most renowned music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for American Queen guests to experience.

Day 3: River Cruising

River Cruising

Relax on deck with a copy of Huckleberry Finn or any other imaginative selection available for use from our expansive book collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, or for a one-of-a-kind experience, take a guided tour of the Engine Room to explore the inner workings of this classic, steam-powered vessel. There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk aboard the American Queen.

Day 4: New Madrid, MO

New Madrid, MO

New Madrid invites waterway excursionists to indulge in the yore that blooms year-round. The city sits quietly on the Bootheel of Missouri, caresses the Kentucky Bend of the Mississippi River and embraces brisk winds that unearth eroded stories of its past. Its culture has been defined and refined through opening of fire and earth alike; its legacy built on the distinctively American virtues of hard work, persistence and innovation. While in this port Civil War historians resurrect the history of the long-gone Island No. 10, and seismologists recount the crack of trees collapsing and screams of the Mississippi River during the earthquakes of 1811. Welcome to New Madrid – indulge in mysteries of men and nature. 

New Madrid Historical Museum
Located in the former Kendall Saloon off of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum shares the history of this river town from the Mississippian period through the 20th century. Here, guests can explore the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, documented with seismographic recordings, Native American artifacts, Civil War artifacts, early family life in the city of New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries and the gift shop!

New Madrid County Courthouse
In 1812 New Madrid was a vast county extending south through much of Arkansas. The area was cut roughly in half during the following year, and even further reductions came by 1816. New Madrid County, located by the Mississippi, was one of Missouri’s earliest counties. The town of New Madrid was founded in 1783, and the county was organized in 1812. First courts met in New Madrid, but county records previous to 1816 are missing. After the devastating earthquake of 1811 and repeated flooding of the Mississippi, the court chose an inland site for the county seat. For the 20th century courthouse, New Madrid County purchased a new site north of the original town in March 1915. From architects who presented plans, the court selected those from H. G. Clymer of St. Louis. Clymer's plan was for a brick building 107 by 75 feet with stone trim. Additional funds for finishing the courthouse and jail were authorized early in 1917, but no bids were received. World War I was beginning, and the labor force was reduced. Finally, W. W. Taylor, a master builder from Cape Girardeau, superintended final interior work, which was completed in January 1919. Final costs exceeded $100,000. This courthouse continues in use as New Madrid's seat of justice.

Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site
Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site preserves a now-vanished part of Missouri: The stately Bootheel Mansion. Filled with original pieces and furnished in the style similar to its heydays of the 1860s-1880s, this ornate mansion provides a history lesson in every corner. Most of the original furniture, purchased by the house’s first owners, Amanda and William Hunter, are still in the house today.

Higgerson School
Restored to the one-room school that operated at Higgerson Landing in 1948, the Higgerson School is a window to the educational practices that shaped and served rural America from the early 19th century. Experience the typical school day of children attending all eight grades in one room with one teacher. Relive the days of playing “Wolf Over and River” and “Caterpillars,” a trip to the outdoor facility and crossing the fence on the stile. Visit Higgerson Landing Gift Shop before heading to your next stop.

River Walk Gallery
The oldest home in New Madrid, the Hart-Stepp House was built by Abraham Augustine in 1840 and moved to its present location in order to escape the encroaching waters of the Mississippi River. It is now home to the River Walk Gallery and the New Madrid Chamber of Commerce. The Gallery features the works of local photographers and artists.

Day 5: Paducah, KY

Paducah, KY

In the hands of artists, current-day Paducah was thrown into form. Fingertips muddied with passion and eased by the vision of river water glided along the surface to pull up the community. Residents backstitch past into present then bind appreciation for culture – ensuring the seams of history will not soon come undone. The people of Paducah have taken great care to orchestrate every crevice of its community into a symphony of craft and color. Life is a work of art and the town of Paducah certainly is alive and well. Feast in this foodies’ fantasy. Uncover mastership. Catch a glimpse of Paducah.

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.

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. 

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

Day 6: Savannah, TN

Savannah, TN

Welcome to Battle of Shiloh; this western theatre of war was the site of the first major battle of the Civil War. Here mourning dew sheds tears for lives lost, somber winds pay their respects and verdancy prevails as a reminder that there is growth after loss. Historians break through the fourth wall of the battlefield – thrusting audiences into the crack of cannon fire and clash of cutlass that occurred on this sacred ground. Take time to conquer the landscape and spend time in reflection on one of the many trails and paths that meander down the lush banks of the Tennessee River. Experience the light that is shed on America’s darkest hours in this history buffs’ haven.

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

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

Day 7: Florence, AL

Florence, AL

From composed bluffs that overlook the Tennessee River to historic homes within the city's beating heart, Florence harmonizes the twang of country with coolness of R&B to create a culture of its own. This former hit recording capital of the world radiates music that has touched the masses, having captured the sounds of Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson and other music legends. Today, its neighborhoods come to life the with the sweet scent of azalais and dogwood trees, and downtown shops and eateries greet each morning with uplifting energy. Within this melting pot tradition meets contemporary to compose the beauty that is Florence.

Florence-Lauderdale Tourism Bureau
Make a stop at this information center to learn about Florence’s past, present, and future plans. Pick up some useful brochures and local maps that will help make the best of your time in the city and make sure to check out the unique merchandise!

Pope’s Tavern Museum
It is one of the oldest structures in Florence. Located on the military road that connected Nashville to the Natchez Trace and on to New Orleans, the tavern was an ideal stop for weary travelers in the 1800s. during the Civil War, the wounded were brought here from as far away as Franklin and Shiloh. The building was later home to the Lambeth family and remained a private residence until purchased by the city in 1965.The museum houses beautiful antiques and fascinating artifacts from the 18th and 19th centuries. The second floor is filled with artifacts from the Civil War and items of local history.

Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts
Kennedy-Douglass Center for the Arts is a gallery, educational facility, museum, and a center for the coordination and promotion for cultural activity in the area. It serves as the administrative office for all the museums. It is a home base and meeting place for cultural groups and a showcase and classroom for all arts disciplines. The center features annual exhibits and rotating exhibits by artists from the Southeast, also offering workshops and classes for all ages, concerts, and interesting lectures and programs.

W.C. Handy House Museum
Handy became famous for his blues compositions, such as “The Memphis Blues” and “St. Louis Blues.” He was also a musician, band conductor, and author. The museum houses a collection of memorabilia, musical instruments, personal papers, and original sheet music. Handy’s famous trumpet and his personal piano are just a few of the items on display. His hometown honors the legacy of the “Father of the Blues” with a birthday party at the museum each November 16 and with the week-long W.C. Handy Music Festival during the summer.

Frank Lloyd Wright Rosenbaum House
The Rosenbaum House is the only Wright-designed structure in Alabama. It was built for Stanley and Mildred Rosenbaum, who were the sole owners and occupants of the house until 1999 when the house was purchased by the city of Florence. The house has all the hallmarks of Wright’s Usonian style, including flat multilevel roofs, cantilevered eaves, and carports, flowing space, use of natural materials and expanses of glass. Wright designed an addition to the house in 1948, adding two wings. The house has been meticulously restored. The city received the 2004 Wright Spirit Award in the Public Domain from the Frank Lloyd Wright Building Conservancy for the preservation of this important architectural gem. The house holds its original Wright-designed furniture and is open as a city museum.

Florence Indian Mound & Museum
The Florence Indian Mound is the Tennessee Valley area's largest domiciliary mound. It is typical workmanship of the Indians who lived in this area before the Cherokees, Chickasaws, and Creeks. Early settlers found steps on one side of the mound, and discovered that it had been enclosed by an earthen wall. The museum contains Native American artifacts dating back over 10,000 years arranged in chronological order. (Visible as we turn from Chamber Street onto Court Street)

Day 8: River Cruising

River Cruising

Watch the small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Our fitness facility, pool area and grand lobby offer more energy-infused opportunities as a contrast. Regardless of preference, experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers to each guest.

Day 9: Chattanooga, TN

Arrival 8:00 AM
Chattanooga, TN

We’ve reached our final destination in Chattanooga. Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard the American Queen again in the future. Enjoy Chattanooga at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.

Gateway to Tennessee and scenic city of the South, this corner of the state invites visitors to capture the natural world without wandering far from its city center. Downtown Chattanooga is a holidaymakers’ haven – harmonizing its water worlds, verdure and industry into picture-perfect melody. Subsume the attractions it has to offer, but don’t get lost in the groove of downtown. A pedestrian bridge stretches over the Tennessee River to connect south side to north shore. Here boutiques and specialty shops offer the quaint and quirky opportunity to experience life as a native Chattanoogan. Bring comfortable shoes, an empty stomach and a sense of certainty that this city will show you a great time.