Pittsburgh to Louisville 8-Day Sailing

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Cruise Summary

Uncover America's bucolic heartland as you travel the tranquil waters of the Ohio River from Louisville to Pittsburgh, the iconic city where names like Carnegie and Bessemer created the steel-making capital of the world.

Themes:
• Maiden Voyage to Pittsburgh*
• Ohio River Sojourn*

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.

Post-Cruise City Stay Package:
• Extend your journey with an unforgettable 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 Countess



Day 1: Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh, PA

Enjoy Pittsburgh at your leisure or consider a pre-cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the American Countess.

 

Pre-Cruise: Pittsburgh City Tour

On today’s adventure, we’ll take to the streets of one of America’s favorite travel destinations, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania! This eclectic city, known as the birthplace of Andy Warhol, the hub of culinary hotspots, and a boutique shopping paradise was rated number four on Bazaar’s “17 Best Places to Travel in 2017!” On our driving tour, we will pass through Downtown Pittsburgh, Market Square, the Cultural District, PPG Plaza, Schenley Park, Oakland Neighborhood, which is the location of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon.

As we wind down Pittsburgh's most iconic streets, we will enjoy a stop at the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, a green oasis in the middle of this vibrant city, featuring over 15-acres of stunningly manicured grounds, a 14-room glasshouse, and 23 unique gardens, including a renowned orchid and bonsai collection. On this self-guided tour, explore the gardens and exhibits, including the exclusive butterfly exhibit which is sure to amaze. 

No trip to Pittsburgh would be complete without a stop at the Cathedral of Learning, which is nestled inside the University of Pittsburgh's beautiful campus. Here we will enjoy a guided tour of the rooms on the first floor which are known as the "Nationality Rooms." These historical rooms each represent a different country by encompassing its own unique history and architectural styles. Our guide will direct us through each country's room including Yugoslavia, Sweden, India, Hungry, and Korea as he discusses the notable cultural achievements and historical figures of each region. 

We will also make our way to the Stripp District where you can treat yourself to one of Pittsburgh's famous mile-high sandwiches or any of the many delicious restaurants located in the area. If you have time to spare after you grab a bite to eat, take a stroll down the street and explore one of the many gourmet food shops or specialty stores that have a wide arrange of souvenirs and snacks to bring back home before we prepare to make our way to the dock of the vessel!

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

Transportation
Provided
Duration
5.5 hours

Day 2: Wheeling, WV

Wheeling, WV

Founded by Colonel Ebenezer Zane in 1769, Wheeling was established as a town in 1795 and became a popular frontier town by the early 1880s, largely due to trade along the Ohio River in conjunction with the B&O Railroad and National Road – the nation’s first roadway and a most important avenue of commerce. In the late nineteenth century, the town served as a prime industrial center for the state with thriving factory business in iron, steel, glass and tobacco. Through its bustling industrial economy and steady working population, Wheeling developed an area of fine housing around Wheeling Island on the Ohio River called Victorian Old Town. First-time visitors to the Friendly City will find plenty of history to explore in the area. Walk across the 150-year-old Wheeling Suspension Bridge and gaze at the graceful waters of the Ohio River or better yet take a walk through Victorian Old Town and visit breathtaking homes from the stylish Victorian Era.

West Virginia Independence Hall
Nearly six years before President Lincoln signed the proclamation making West Virginia the 35th State in the Union, construction had begun on the Wheeling Custom House, headquarters for federal officers for the Western District of Virginia. Its completion, coinciding with the Civil War provided a facility for political discussions and constitutional conventions. The grand architecture of the building’s interiors have been restored to be authentic to the time period in which it portrays. Guests can view an interpretive video, “For Liberty and Union,” and take a self-guided tour of the building.

Eckhart House
Built in 1892 by wealthy banker George W. Eckhart Jr., the Eckhart House was considered to be one of the residential building achievements of the year by the Wheeling Daily Intelligencer in October 29, 1892. With most of its original architectural features well preserved, it has earned the title of Victorian Wheeling’s ‘Crown Jewel’. The three story Queen Anne town home is nestled in the heart of Victorian Old Town and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Besides tours, the Eckhart House has a Tea Room and a Gift Shop.

Capitol Theatre
The Capitol Theatre is the largest theatre in West Virginia and a landmark building in the national historic district of downtown Wheeling. For many years, it has served as the home of Jamboree USA and the Wheeling Symphony Orchestra. The Capitol Theatre opened its doors for the first time on November 29th, 1928 for four different shows with each seat costing sixty cents. The building originally had a copper marquee with a large and electric neon sign at the entrance and was composed with a color scheme of mulberry, delicate green tones, ivory and various shades of gold russet.

Centre Market/Shopping
The Centre Wheeling Market is a historic public market located along Market Street between 22nd and 23rd Streets and was built in 1853. The market is older than the state itself. The Upper Market House is the eldest market house in the country. Local business owners in and around the Centre Market square strive to bring back the comfort of home. The Centre Market has a wide arrange of shops and restaurants including hand crafted jewelry and pottery and a fish market. There is something here for everyone!

Day 3: Marietta, OH

Marietta, OH

This quaint river town is sure to win the heart of guests. Madison's culture and heritage is weaved into nearly every stop, ensuring each guest will get a glimpse of the beauty and history of antique machinery at the Schroeder Saddletree Factory, or a taste of the hospitality and craftsmanship found at the Thomas Family Winery where each guest is invited to try a sample of the handcrafted wine.

Day 4: Huntington, WV

Huntington, WV

Huntington is a vibrant, energetic city that has managed to keep their heritage alive, while still keeping up with the progressions of modern culture. The city is part of the largest inland port in the United States, where West Virginia, Ohio, and Kentucky meet. Steamboats have always been a huge aspect of Huntington’s history, as a major port for lumber, coal, and fuel during the railroad extension. Today, Huntington welcomes all visitors with open arms and wide smiles, and invites all to explore their unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historical buildings!

Pullman Square Shopping District
Begin your day at Huntington’s downtown district, where contemporary local shops are situated along rustic, historic buildings. Spend your time visiting local retail shops, restaurants, and craft stores where you can pick out the perfect souvenir! Many of the small shops offer hand-crafted arts, capturing the creative culture of this small town.

J. Taylor Auto Museum
Featuring over thirty antique automobiles dating back to 1914, this museum is sure to transport you to a simpler time. Admire Model T’s, Model A Fords, Touring Cars, Convertibles, and even a rare Cadillac limousine and Chrysler convertible, each in pristine condition. As you make your way past each incredible display, enjoy the elegant examples of automobile development and design throughout history.

Old Central City
Old Central State is known as the “Antique Capital” of the Tri-State (Ohio, Kentucky, and West Virginia). Here, spend time exploring the unique shopping opportunities, indulging in local cuisine, and uncovering rich, local history at nearby museums. While here, enjoy exploring what is known to locals as the “Quilt Trail,” an extensive display of locally-crafted, handmade quilts! Within the complex, there are many shops and restaurants, museums, and themed-markets. Take this opportunity to find unique antiques and collectibles!

Outdoor Railroad Museum
Instead of displays mounted on the wall or behind the walls of a glass box, this museum is much different. These actual train cars are open to visitors to get a hands-on experience! Climb in and explore the interior and exterior of different train models throughout history and learn what set them apart. You will have the opportunity to explore the H-6 Baldwin Steam Locomotive, Operation Lifesaver Caboose, C&O Caboose, H.K. Porter 0-4-0 Saddle-Tank Switcher, CSX Diesel Cab, and the C&O Speeder Car!

Ritter Park Rose Garden
The Ritter Park Rose Garden has been voted one of the country's best rose gardens numerous times and features over 3,000 roses. Each year several AARS winning roses are planted in the Rose Garden as we work to continue its beauty and award worthiness. Normally achieving "full bloom" status in late May to mid-June, the Rose Garden is a favorite destination for weddings, baby and bridal showers and family get-togethers all season long. This perfectly manicured rose garden, features cobblestone walkways, white gazebos, and stone bridges.

Marshall University Special Collections Library and Campus
At Marshall’s University, spend the afternoon exploring their expansive museum, showcasing exhibits of West Virginia and its surrounding counties throughout history. Their rotating exhibits highlight collections of artifacts, news clippings, memorabilia, artwork, and literature. Explore the museum at your leisure.

Heritage Station & Cabell-Huntington CVB
If you aren’t sure where to begin your day of exploration, a stop at the Cabell-Huntington Convention & Visitors Bureau may be the best place to start! Here, learn about Huntington’s history and culture. Speak with any of the local experts who would be happy to answer any questions you may have or make suggestions on how to spend your day! You will also get a chance to discover what the city of Huntington has to offer and find the perfect spot that suits your interests!

Day 5: Augusta, KY

Augusta, KY

Augusta, Kentucky is located in Bracken County at the confluence of the Ohio River and Bracken Creek. The city offers and incredible long-range view of the picturesque river valley, known to be one of the most stunning views of the valley in the state of Kentucky. Augusta was regarded as one of the most popular shipping ports during the agricultural growth era. Tobacco, hemp, livestock, and wine were frequently exported from Augusta to surrounding areas. Today, the city continues to grow and welcomes visitors of all ages!

Rosemary Clooney House Museum
This non-profit foundation lead by Dr. Steve Henry and his wife Heather French Henry, was established to preserve Rosemary Clooney’s house and to open it to the public so they could see memorabilia from her life and career. This home, located on Riverside Drive, was her retreat from the demands of her career. Today, the home features artifacts depicting the life of an extraordinary woman.

Mohrfield Home & Main Garden
This beautiful, privately owned and maintained garden is open to the public year-round and is just one of Augusta’s many stunning gardens and parks!

1811 Jail & Appleman Park
The old Bracken County jail was was built in 1811, located in Appleman Park and housed prisoners well into the 1970’s. The courthouse burned in 1848. The jail survived the fire and was used by the City of Augusta until 1967. The upper floor of the jail was where the jailer and family lived and the bottom floor was the jail. The jail's history is tied to the Underground Railroad and prior to 1838, slaves were captured and sold here. In 2009, the jail was restored and placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Shopping and Dining District
If you are looking for a unique shopping and dining experience, a stop at Augusta’s downtown district is the stop for you! As you make your way up and down Main Street, explore the shops filled with Kentucky products, antiques, and art.

Baker Bird Winery
The Baker Bird Winery is the oldest commercial estate winery in America with its original land. It was built by German immigrants that settled in the area and produced fine wines of the America’s Rhineland in the mid-1800s. Here, you will enjoy wine tastings, historical tours, and the beautiful atmosphere of this historic winery.

Day 6: Cincinnati, OH

Cincinnati, OH

Amidst the gently rolling hills along the Ohio River, Cincinnati spreads from the southwestern corner of Ohio into Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. The city is located about mid-point on the shoreline of the 981-mile long Ohio River. John Filson, one of the first settlers in the Ohio Valley community, named it Losantiville, meaning “town opposite the mouth” of the Licking River. The community was the location of Fort Washington, which provided military protection for the surrounding territories. In 1790, General Arthur St. Clair, Commander of Fort Washington, renamed it Cincinnati in honor of the society of Cincinnati, an organization of Revolutionary War officers.

Fountain Square
This iconic fountain is in the heart of Cincinnati, Ohio. Located at the corner of Fifth and Vine Streets, Fountain Square is a public space where Cincinnatians gather, celebrate and connect as a city.

National Underground Railroad Freedom Center
This interactive center is a Smithsonian Institution affiliate, a museum of ideas, a site of conscience, a museum of American history, and museum of African American history. (Admission additional).

Krohn Conservatory
This greenhouse contains multiple floral plants, displayed in the palm house, desert house, the Hinkle Magnolia Garden including a bonsai and orchid displays. Krohn Conservatory was built in 1933 at the height of the Art Deco era. It’s what’s inside those aluminum and glass walls that make Krohn Conservatory truly special. You’d have to travel a good distance from Cincinnati to visit a rainforest or a desert – or come to Krohn Conservatory, Cincinnati Parks’ nationally recognized showcase of more than 3,500 plant species from around the world.

The Eden Park Observation Point
Here, you will view some landmarks within the park including a picturesque gazebo, where a breathtaking view of the city is offered to all of its visitors. This stop is the perfect place for those who love nature and scenery to hop-off.

Cincinnati Art Museum
This impressive museum harbors an unparalleled art collection consisting of more than 60,000 works, spanning over 6,000 years throughout history. It also hosts several national and international traveling exhibitions each year. Today, spend your afternoon exploring the art work from many talented artists from across the world.

Newport on the Levee
Take advantage of this centrally located stop, where many unique boutiques, restaurants, and attractions are within walking distance. Here, find the perfect souvenir to bring back home, grab a bite to eat for lunch, or just enjoy the stunning scenery around the beautiful city of Cincinnati, Ohio!

Reds Hall of Fame and Museum
A place where the story of Reds baseball comes alive each day. Explore the facility and all of its exhibits and discover the history of this iconic Ohio baseball team, including information about the Reds’ best players, historic games, and Hall of Famers. (Admission additional).

Ark Encounters: A Journey of Biblical Proportions

Join us as we depart the docks of the American Queen and set off on a journey of biblical proportions towards a life-size Noah’s Ark! Here, guests will witness time turned back from the modern age into the world of Noah himself, as described in the Old Testament of the Bible.

As we pull into the site, an Ark Encounter representative will board our bus and take the one-mile long journey to the biggest timber-frame structure in the world.

As our destination approaches, a full-scale ark replica stretches across the horizon, offering your first real-life glimpse at this modern engineering marvel, as it is brought from your vivid imagination and into larger-than-life reality. Upon arrival, step out into the shadows of the gargantuan structure and prepare to explore at your leisure.

Spend the afternoon making your way through the 3-story ark, passing more than 132 Ark Bays, which are filled with world-class exhibits. Each one presents thought-evoking topics with state-of-the-art technology and awe-inspiring creations.

Uncover the story of Noah’s life and how this average man was chosen for such a significant task. Discover the animals onboard, represented by life-like, hand-crafted replicas residing in the cargo crates throughout the ark. Discover how the animals were collected, fed, watered, and cared for.

After your personal exploration, make sure to visit Ark Encounter’s vast gift shop and pick up a souvenir to help you remember your time inside this truly spectacular place!

Transportation
Provided
Duration
4.75 hours

Day 7: Madison, IN

Madison, IN

This quaint river town is sure to win your heart. Madison’s culture and heritage is weaved into nearly every stop, ensuring you a a glimpse of the beauty and history of antique machinery at the Schroeder House, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site, where the stunning Greek Revival architecture is sure to impress each of its visitors!

Schroeder Saddletree Factory
This factory is America’s very last 19th century saddletree factory. For 94 years, workers at the Ben Schroeder Saddletree Company crafted tens of thousands of wooden frames for saddle makers throughout the United States and Latin America. It was the nation’s longest lasting, continually operated, family owned saddletree company. After his death, Ben’s family kept his dream alive by adding stirrups, hames for horse collars, clothespins, lawn furniture and even work gloves to their line of saddletrees. The factory closed in 1972 and was left completely intact.

Broadway Fountain
One of Madison’s landmarks, the original Broadway Fountain stood in the middle of Broadway for almost 100 years before it was dismantled and replaced with the 1981 bronze copy or reproduction. The original Janes, Kirtland, and Company cast iron fountain was displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition. The only part of the original fountain that is still present in Fountain Park is a stone plinth that supported one of the original triton figures; it is set into the concrete at the south end of the central path as a base for a tablet that commemorates the replacement fountain.

Lanier Mansion State Historic Site
This Greek Revival style abode was built in 1844 and is often referred to as the “Crown Jewel of Madison’s Historic District. Tour this home adorned with historic architectural features and catch a breathtaking glimpse at the of Ohio River from the south portico beneath the colossal Corinthian columns. (only first floor is ADA, but guests have access to all 3 floors) Lanier Mansion is one of the best examples of Greek Revival architecture in the country and is considered to be the "Crown Jewel" of Madison’s Historic District. Designed by architect Francis Costigan, the mansion exhibits many original Greek Revival features including its square plan, the full façade porch on the south elevation, the Corinthian columns on the south portico, the Doric pilasters that appear on several locations on the exterior, the massive exterior entablature and dentilated cornice, the ornamental anthemia, the ornamental pediments over the windows and doors, and the Ionic columns that separate the double parlors on the first floor.

History Center and Railroad Museum
The History Center and Railroad Station Museum are owned and operated by the Jefferson County Historical Society. The History Center offers visitors a permanent exhibit gallery devoted to the history of Southern Indiana and the mid-Ohio Valley. It also contains a research library and archives. The Railroad Station Museum is a historic representation of an early 20th century passenger station. It features an octagonal waiting room that is two stories tall.

Jeremiah Sullivan House
Built in 1818 and considered Madison’s first mansion, this stately federal style structure was home to one of Madison’s most distinguished leaders, Jeremiah Sullivan. e house’s interior features most of the original woodwork and whitewashed plaster, as well as a full basement, an unusual feature in Madison during the mid-1800s. Trail Interactive exhibit!

Doctor Hutchings Office & Museum
The Dr. William D. Hutchings Office and Museum is one of the most authentic 19th century medical history restorations in the U.S. Built c. 1850 and originally used as a law office, Dr. Hutchings healed and comforted the sick here from 1878 until his death in 1903. Hundreds of the Dr. Hutchings medical records, surgical tools, books and other artifacts, including early electrical healing devices, fill the Office. Next door in the museum enjoy a sampling of Hutchings family treasures found in the Office when it was donated to Historic Madison, Inc. in 1968.

Day 8: Louisville, KY

Louisville, KY

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
Provided
Duration
5 hours