Red Wing (Minneapolis) to St. Louis

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map of a mississippi river cruise from st. paul to st. louis
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Cruise Summary

FALL IN LOVE WITH THE HEARTLAND – The upper reaches of the Mississippi River are rich with frontier tales of fur traders and pioneers set among picturesque geography and abundant wildlife. The region reflects the spirit of the people who worked this land even before steamboats came to the river. As Mark Twain once said, "there are all the enlivening signs of the presence of active, energetic, intelligent, prosperous, practical 19th-century populations. The people don't dream; they work." Farming, fur-trapping, lumbering and mining were at one time the lifeblood of this region. As hard as the river and the region has been worked by its people, its scenery remains enchanting and largely unspoiled. Twain's Life on the Mississippi describes this area as a paradise and you will experience it for yourself as hidden gems around each bend of the river fuel your sense of discovery and the very best of America's heartland unfolds before you.

Theme:
• The Art of the Mississippi*

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.

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

Itinerary

Vessel: American Duchess™



Day 1: Boutique Hotel - Minneapolis, MN

Boutique Hotel - Minneapolis, MN

Enjoy your included, one-night stay at the Loews Hotel in Minneapolis. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with this culturally diverse city steeped in natural beauty.

Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 1:00 PM and 8:00 PM. 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 Minneapolis.

Day 2: Minneapolis, MN

Departure 5:00 PM
Minneapolis, MN

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Minneapolis today.  This afternoon, you will board the vessel to begin your voyage.

Day 3: Red Wing, MN

Red Wing, MN

Red Wing, Minnesota was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of most historic places in the world. Discovered in the early 1850’s, the lands were used mostly for harvesting wheat that would be transported up the river. Later in Red Wing’s history the economy began to flourish due to the thriving pottery industry, which became a main source of income between 1877 and 1967. Today, the city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and travelers that occupied the land before today, or to admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.

Day 4: Winona, MN

Winona, MN

Explore Winona, Minnesota, one of the most beautiful places in the country. The city is referred to as the “Island City” by locals because of the large sand bar it was built upon. Evidence suggests that the land’s history reaches back as early as 9500 B.C., while present-day Winona was founded as the small village of Keoxa in 1851. Nestled between the covered limestone river bluffs of the Mississippi River, this quaint port is full of culture and small town Americana. Enjoy stunning views of the rolling bluffs as they plummet to the mighty Mississippi below in this beautiful and historic city, filled with incredible museums, galleries, and parks.

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. Gaze at the beautiful landscapes and small river towns as you mingle with fellow guests and discuss the unique aspects of river life. If you fancy a moment for yourself, retreat to The Lincoln Library adorned with ornate bookcases stocked with an imaginative selection. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish every moment of  serenity. Our fitness facility, business center, movie theater and grand lobby offer a more stimulating day on the river for those who wish to indulge in more energy-infused activity. However you wish to spend your day, make it your own and revel in every moment.

Day 6: Quad Cities (Bettendorf), IA

Quad Cities (Bettendorf), IA

During the Civil War, the nearby river towns of Davenport, Iowa, Rock Island, Illinois and Moline, Illinois thoughtful planning and strong leaders helped them to flourish while other settlements began to fail. It was during this same time period that the three towns began to refer to themselves as the “Tri-Cities.” Today, despite the name “Quad Cities,” the city is comprised of five towns in total with the addition of East Moline, Illinois and Bettendorf, Iowa. Enjoy the diverse culture of this “melting-pot” city and uncover the stories of Quad Cities’ past in the many museums, boutiques, and eateries!

Village of East Davenport
The Village of East Davenport invites you to discover our unique blend of history, shopping, confectioneries, galleries, pubs, dining, lodging, events & celebrations, along with our scenic parks that overlook the the mighty Mississippi River. Come for an unstructured day, strolling from place to place and discovering surprises among the many unique shops that make-up the Village of East Davenport, Iowa.

Isabel Bloom Studio
During your visit you’ll have behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. Guests can browse the shop, learn how these renowned statues are created and view a video about the process every 20 minutes. Isabel Rose Scherer was raised in the city of Davenport and began her artistic lifestyle early. In the early 1930’s Isabel attended Grant Wood’s Stone City Art Colony where she learned how to carve limestone sculptures flawlessly. Her legacy lives on in the city of Davenport, as her art pieces and influences are seen throughout the city, as well as her protégé, Donna Young, who works to this day to help preserve Bloom’s legacy. During the one-hour-and-fifteen-minute guided tour, enjoy behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. During the tour, discover how our company maintains the legacy of artist Isabel Bloom. Get a glimpse of some of her original art and photos and learn how her innovations still influence what we do today. As a remembrance of the tour, shop the gift shop where you can purchase exclusive sculptures available only to tour guests.

Figge Art Museum
The Figge Art Museum is the premier art exhibition and education facility. With soaring glass walls reflecting the constantly changing sky, the museum’s expansive galleries and intimate rooms are home to some of the Midwest’s finest art collections. This gargantuan glass building on the banks of the Mississippi, designed by British architect David Chipperfield, is home to one of the Midwest’s finest art collections, and hosts world-class traveling exhibitions. Its studios, auditorium and spacious lobby are alive with art classes, lectures and special events that attract visitors of all ages. Tour the facility touching in nearly every style of art, spanning across the world, from classical to modern.

River Music Experience
Listen to the sounds of American roots music. Guests will have the exclusive opportunity to enjoy a remarkable show available only to our American Queen passengers (See show times on map). Founded in 2004, the River Music Experience began primarily as a museum celebrating roots music and the Quad-Cities’ musical heritage. The program was so successful that the museum now hosts more live music and offers more opportunities for local musicians to perform. Explore the history of music in the Quad Cities and then stop in the Redstone Room to listen to live music as you snack on a delicious treat offered from the restaurant and bar inside. (Located half a block down West 2nd Street from the Figge Art Museum, then make a right onto Main Street.)

German-American Heritage Center
The German American Heritage Center is housed in the restored Germania Haus/Miller Hotel, which was originally used by many German immigrants during the 19th century and was built in 1862. The Center includes preserved documents and artifacts related to the role of German immigrants during the development of the Quad Cities. The Center features a museum, archives, and records repository. Founded on August 1, 1994 as a private, not-for-profit organization, the German American Heritage Center (GAHC) seeks to preserve the heritage of German speaking ancestors for present and future generations and to enrich the knowledge of the German immigrant experience. Today, the heritage center has evolved into a museum that includes a large permanent exhibit and two rotating special exhibits. Within the permanent exhibit, visitors enjoy an orientation theater, six education stations, and two restored hotel rooms. Visitors enjoy an interactive experience as you learn about immigrants’ journey by sea, train and foot, to their final destination at the German American Heritage Center building, which was originally a very busy hotel for thousands of immigrants in the 1860s.

Quad City Botanicals Center
Dedicated to bringing people and plants together in fun and meaningful ways. Adjacent to the Mississippi River in downtown Rock Island, Illinois, the Quad City Botanical Center showcases many gardens and greenrooms, showing the beauty and art of gardening. This massive garden opened in 1998 as a public garden displaying hundreds of plants ranging from tropical varieties to regional zone five perennials. The center is open 360 days a year, offering guided tours of the gardens and ground, the greenhouse, and educational programs. Quad City Botanical Center is comprised of an indoor tropical atrium, a spacious banquet room, a seasonal G-Scale garden train exhibit, other thriving outdoor gardens, an educational greenhouse, a three-season event canopy, resource library, and gift shop.

Day 7: Nauvoo, IL

Discover this quaint little city and its unique history that has been well-preserved through sweeping restoration projects.

Day 8: Hannibal, MO

Hannibal, MO

Hannibal, Missouri has a rich history, diverse industrial economy, and truly remarkable arts. The city was founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates and became a popular stop along the river for many steamboats traveling up the Mississippi. Hannibal offers more parks per citizens than most towns in the Midwest and was included in the famous “50 Miles of Art.” Today, the most popular draw of this quirky town is Hannibal’s very own, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, recognized world-wide as Mark Twain. Many of the popular characters featured in Twain’s novels were based on people Sam had known while growing up in Hannibal. Many of the characters and influences of this American icon are weaved into the streets, shops, restaurants, and museums of Hannibal waiting to be uncovered.

Big River Train Town
Embark on a journey back in time when the steam coach stops at the Big River Train Town Model Train Museum. Here’s we will embrace the golden age of railroading. This Hannibal gem is packed with more toy trains than you have probably ever seen. Enjoy authentic replicas as they move swiftly along the tracks or learn the history of the models and the trains they are made after. As you walk around, relive your childhood and learn the stories of the railway’s past as you view some authentic memorabilia.

The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
Learn everything there is to know about this literary icon. The mission of the Mark Twain Home Foundation is to promote awareness and appreciation of the life and works of Mark Twain and to demonstrate the relevance of his stories and ideas to citizens of the world. This included tour visits eight buildings, six of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and two that are highly interactive museums showcasing fifteen original Norman Rockwell paintings! Learn about the Hannibal of Samuel Clemens’s childhood and explore the stories created through the powerful imagination of American icon, Mark Twain. Building 1: Interpretive Center – Here, explore interactive exhibits highlighting the stories and life of Samuel Clemens. Building 2: Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home & Garden – See the home where Clemens was raised, and where the adventures of Tom Sawyer took place, along with the home’s lovely gardens. Building 3: Boyhood Home Gift Shop – The original museum which was built in 1937 and goes even further into the life of Clemens. Building 4: Huckleberry Finn House – The childhood home of the real Huck Finn, who goes by the name, Tom Blankenship. Building 5: Becky Thatcher House – The home of Laura Hawkins, the inspiration for Becky. Building 6: J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office – The location where Sam’s father held court. Building 7: Grant’s Drug Store – The location where the family lived briefly and where John Clemens died. (Display through window). Building 8: Museum Gallery – This lovely 2-story building features interactive exhibits, the Norman Rockwell Gallery, and treasured Clemens family artifacts. Live performances are played throughout the day at specific times. Tom & Huck Statue – Located at the foot of Cardiff Hill and offers a perfect location for a photo!

Trinity Episcopal Church
A stunning historical church in the heart of Hannibal featuring beautiful interior and exterior decorations and architecture. For more than 150 years, the Sanctuary of Trinity Episcopal Church, designed by architect Joseph A. Miller, has stood the test of time. With an interior consisting of a deeply arched heavy wooden beamed ceiling, beautiful bronze lanterns and side wall lamps, an impressive pipe organ and 18 illustriously conceived stained glass windows, Trinity Church is truly an historic marvel. As you step into the church, you are immediately transported back into time and enveloped by Hannibal’s past. Early church members commissioned well-known artists to design the Sanctuary’s beautiful stained glass windows. With signature designs by Charles Booth, Emil Frei, Jr. and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Glass Company, these windows are truly remarkable in their diverse artistic style, thematic construction and conceptual execution.

Hannibal History Museum
Hear the history of this historical town along the Mississippi. View artifacts, photos, and exhibits explaining how the city evolved to where it is today.

Ayers Pottery
Steve Ayers has been a professional potter for 30 years and has been making pottery in Hannibal for 20 of those years. Ayers Pottery is recognized nationwide for its beautiful form and intense color-rich glazes. Especially notable are his deep rich red colors that are difficult to attain. Steve makes pottery with the customer in mind, pottery that is both attractive and functional. Handles must feel comfortable, spouts must pour, pottery must be microwaveable, oven-safe, and fit in the dishwasher. All of Ayers Pottery is lead free and food safe. Take some time to browse the showroom then take home a piece of functional art hand made in Hannibal. (Admission Additional)

Cave Hollow Complex
Explore the wild imagination of iconic American writer, Mark Twain, through the caves that inspired the many stories of his childhood. (Admission Additional. Tour Takes 55 minutes to complete, bring a light jacket). Mark Twain Cave Complex hosts the first show cave in Missouri dating back to 1886. Explore the natural wonder, beauty and the history, fictional and non-fictional, offered in this remarkable landmark that has been listed as a Registered National Natural Landmark since 1972. Discover the inspiration Twain had as he ran through the caves as a young boy and enjoy samples of wine as you do it! (Admission Additional, located at the Cave Hollow Complex. Tour takes 55 minutes to complete, bring a light jacket)

Day 9: St. Louis, MO

Arrival 8:00 AM
St. Louis, MO

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 St. Louis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.