Pittsburgh to Louisville

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Cruise Summary

BIG BAND - Embrace all of the grandeur, history and romance that the American Queen is renowned for while enjoying daytime exploration of intriguing towns and nightly Big Band performances.

Theme:
• Big Band*
 
Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours.

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

Itinerary

Vessel: American Queen



Day 1: Hotel Stay - Pittsburgh, PA

Hotel Stay - Pittsburgh, PA

Enjoy your commplimentary stay at the Renaissance in downtown Pittsburgh. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with the local attractions of Pittsburgh. 

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 Pittsburgh.

Day 2: Pittsburgh, PA

Departure 5:00 PM
Pittsburgh, PA

Today is the big day! Spend your last day here in the city of Pittsburgh before embarking on an unforgettable journey!

The official Voyage Check-in will be open between 9:00 AM and 12:00 PM located in the Pre-Cruise Hotel. 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!

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
Included
Price
$79 per guest
Duration
5.5 hours
Tour Capacity
150 guests

Day 3: 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.

Begin this exclusive tour with The Artisan’s Center, a truly unique place to visit that offers a wide range of activities to suit everyone’s interests. Here, guests will find a restaurant, bar and music venue on the first floor – complete with friendly staff and delicious meals. Then, discover the story of West Virginia’s relationship with the Civil War at the West Virginia Independence Hall. Built in 1859, this historic building served as the capital of Union Virginia during the War Between the States. The Eckhart House is one of Wheeling’s oldest houses; Built in 1892, it held a prominent place on “Millionaire’s Row” along the National Pike. Final stop on for our tour will be the Capitol Theatre; host to a variety of Broadway shows and theatre productions.

Day 4: Marietta, OH

Marietta, OH

Marietta's location on two major navigable rivers made it ripe for industry and commerce in the 19th century, with boat building emerging as one of its earliest – a history that is shared at the Ohio River Museum. Oil booms in 1875 and 1910 made investors rich, leading to the construction of lavish houses, many of which still stand.  In 1939, the Sons and Daughters of Pioneer Rivermen, America’s Riverboat Historical Society, was established in Marietta to celebrate the region's substantial river history. Marietta is also home to the Great Mound, or Conus, built by the Mound Builders. The mound was preserved by the original pioneers and is contained within the Mound Cemetery, which is also home to the largest number of Revolutionary War officers buried in one location.

Our journey begins on Green Street with several hometown eateries and a charming shopping district. Then, a stop at the Mounds; a sacred site of the ancient Great Mound, a major earthwork built between 800 BC and 700 AD by indigenous peoples of North America. Next, we will explore The Castle, with its octagonal tower and stone capped spires, The Castle of Marietta is one of the best examples of Gothic Revival style architecture in Ohio. Later we will explore the museums of the area; The Campus Martius Museum, a civilian fortification with collections preserving the history of America’s migration west, earliest native inhabitants and Marietta’s pioneers. Discover the golden age of the steamboat and learn about the ecology of the Ohio River system at the Ohio River Museum. Next on the list is a stop at Historic Harmar Village, with its brick streets, lamp posts, restored train cars and historic buildings this picturesque small town is the quintessential example of small town America. Explore landmarks such as the Children’s Toy-and-Doll Museum and Marietta’s Cola Museum & Fountain Shop while exploring the quaint town. Guests can spend time in The Armory and enjoy the pubs, winery, and brewery places found along the way. Last stop will be at Post Street for shopping, art galleries, boutiques or museum visits.

Day 5: 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!

A Day at the Museums

Step back in time, as we adventure to a time period where one-room schoolhouses, blacksmith shops, country stores, and log homes filled American lands. This journey will unveil the hardships of the past, bringing a new appreciation to the present-day luxuries.

Our first stop will bring us to the Heritage Farm Museum and Village, just outside of Huntington, West Virginia. This beautiful museum perched within the Appalachian Mountains, features 16 authentic buildings, accurately portraying life as it was “back then.” As we make our way from building to building, we will see the progress of the quality of life throughout history, as our personal reenactor guides us through a series of historic museums, including the Transportation Museum, Country Store Museum, Progress Museum, Industry Museum, and the Heritage Museum!

Our adventure will continue as we then make our way to the Huntington Museum of Art, where we will enjoy a self-guided experience. This interactive museum boasts world-class fine art with displays of American and European works, glass, folk, Asian, silver, Haitian, fire arms, and sculptures! After making your way throughout the exhibits and seeing how art has transformed throughout the years, continue on to the tropical plant conservatory and nature trails to soak in the beauty of one of the few things in the world that remains the same throughout history.

Transportation
Included
Price
$79 per guest
Duration
4 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 6: 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 7: 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.

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
Included
Price
$59 per guest
Duration
4.75 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 8: 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.

Kentucky Horse and Bourbon Experience

An exceptional and exclusive small group journey through the “Bluegrass State” with visits to world's only park dedicated to man's relationship with the horse, an authentic southern lunch at a historic country inn, and a grand finale experience at the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery including a premium selection of whiskey to sample.

Follow the back roads of 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 Kentucky Horse Park—the world’s only park dedicated to man’s relationship with the horse. When we step off the motorcoach, we will get a chance to step back in time as we board a horse drawn trolley! After our leisurely ride around the park, we will arrive at the Hall of Champions for a unique show that features some of the finest retired Kentucky Derby champions, including Go For Gin and Funny Cide. Learn of each horse’s racing background before getting the opportunity for a meet and greet afterward. We will then explore the Visitor Center and Gift Shop before continuing our Kentucky experience.

No trip to Kentucky would be complete without an authentic Southern-style lunch at Woodford Inn, a historic home nestled among the beautiful horse farms of central Kentucky. The history of the Woodford Inn is an interesting one as it was constructed by the Cleveland Orphanage Institution in 1926. This three and a half story Dutch Colonial Revival features Addie’s, a restaurant serving a variety of delicious homemade southern cuisine. Indulge in a luxurious Kentucky-styled lunch at this picturesque location before we embark on our final journey of the day to the Buffalo Trace Distillery.

The Kentucky experience comes full circle as we visit the award-winning Buffalo Trace Distillery. Buffalo Trace ages their whiskey in new oak barrels for years in a century-old warehouse until the peak of maturity. We will get a guided tour through the distillery learning how corn, rye and barley malt make their whiskey. 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
$99 per guest
Duration
9 hours
Tour Capacity
50 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.