Alton (St. Louis) to Red Wing (Minneapolis)

Fares from $2,799
the american queen
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Cruise Summary

FALL IN LOVE WITH THE HEARTLAND – There’s no better place to begin a journey through America’s Heartland than lively St. Louis, “ The Gateway City.”

• America's Heartland* 

Included Tours:
• See ports of call below for information on included tours.

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


Vessel: American Duchess™

Day 1: Boutique Hotel - St. Louis, MO

Boutique Hotel - St. Louis, MO

Enjoy your included, one-night stay at the iconic Union Station Hotel in St. Louis. The evening is yours to get self-acquainted with this dynamic city and its famous attractions such as the Gateway Arch.

Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel for your convenience between 3:00 PM and 7:00 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 St. Louis.

Day 2: Alton, IL

Departure 5:00 PM
Alton, IL

Explore St. Louis at your leisure or consider a Pre-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the American Duchess.

Pre-Cruise: The Lewis and Clark Gateway to the West St. Louis City Tour

Including visits to the Confluence Tower and Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, a photo opportunity at the St. Louis Arch, and a tour of St. Louis!

Begin your day of historic exploration in the city known as “The Gateway to the West.” Renowned as an important location during the iconic Lewis and Clark exploration in 1804, today’s excursion weaves through the streets of St. Louis and follows the footsteps of the intrepid explorers in the days leading up to their momentous departure.

A local historian leads this city tour and narrates the story of how St. Louis became one of America’s most beloved cities. Uncover the city’s deep-rooted history and see iconic sights throughout St. Louis, including the beautiful Forest Park, Cathedral Basilica, and the Anheuser-Busch Brewery, as well as Downtown St. Louis.

Perched on the eastern edge of Forest Park and over a century old, the chic Central West End is full of charming sidewalk cafés, galleries, antique shops, restaurants, boutiques, and pubs. It’s a little European, a little New York, and totally St. Louis. Here, guests can stroll the tree-lined streets and enjoy lunch on their own at one of the area’s many eateries.

Departing the Central West End, one of America’s most prominent landmarks comes into view. The Gateway Arch rises high over the Mississippi River marking the heroic and intrepid journey of Lewis and Clark. Stand in the shadow of this massive monument for a picture-perfect photo stop before heading to Hartford, Illinois to uncover little-known facts of how the Corps of Discovery started its journey.

At the Lewis & Clark Confluence Tower monument, two identical and strategically placed towers mark a significant moment in the formation of the Corps of Discovery. Rising 180 feet into the sky, one tower points toward the Mississippi River and the other, the Missouri River, marking the confluence where Lewis and Clark converged to set off on their journey. Take a short ride up to the top of the towers to admire the breathtaking view of the Midwestern countryside below.

Our final stop brings us to the Lewis and Clark State Historic Site, an incredible museum dedicated to sharing the stories of the explorers. The guided tour of this 14,000 square-foot facility delves into stories rarely heard, weaving through extraordinary exhibits and galleries, which include a replica of the 55-foot keelboat used by the Corps to navigate the waters of the Missouri River. Enter a dream-like realm in the state-of-the-art theater, where a high-definition interpretive video will be shown. Throughout the museum, spend time admiring the journals of Lewis and Clark in which they transcribed the events and experiences they encountered on their journey.

This historical excursion ends at the vessel's dock where you will begin your voyage!

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

$69 per guest
5.5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests

Day 3: 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)

Mississippi Mud...A Hands-on Experience

Prepare yourself for a day of creativity and expression as we set out for the working studio at Ayer’s Pottery. As you enter this quaint and quirky shop, take in the organic, earthy aroma that radiates from each rustic brick lining the walls of the gallery. Walk the perimeter of the gallery, appreciating unique, hand-crafted pottery pieces ranging in different sizes, shapes, and textures.

Admire the delicate and fragile ceramic shapes that were created by the molding and forming of professional potter, Steve Ayers. His unique and absolutely stunning pieces are recognized nationwide for their particularly rich colored glazes. Get a personal demonstration of this artisan as he works his hands into the clay and produce one-of-a-kind art, look around at all of Ayer’s masterpieces – all of which are fully functional and contain no lead and is both dishwasher and microwave safe!

Then, get ready to suit up and give it a try for yourself! Head down to the workshop, and become an artist, spinning your very own potter’s wheel as you try out some of the techniques you watched during the demonstration. Feel your mind drift into serenity as you press your thumbs into the cool, damp clay, molding a piece of art into your very own souvenir. Project your creative mind and personality into a masterpiece that will then be fired up and shipped to your home as a perfect and unique keepsake of your Hannibal adventure! Protective apron/suit will be provided, but keep in mind that creativity can be messy business! Let your creative juices flow! Please note in advance that in order to proceed to the workshop, guests will need to be able to travel down a 16-step flight of steps comfortably.

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

$69 per guest
1.5 hours
Tour Capacity
6 guests
Muddy River Radio's Live Rendition of "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"

Step back in time to an era before television, before the internet and social media. A time of one of the most ground-breaking inventions of the early 1900s – The time of the radio. With the invention of the radio, for the first time in history, Americans could receive timely information, sometimes up to the minute, an unfathomable concept at the time.

With the introduction of radios in most households around the country, the entertainment industry began to explode like an uncontainable, vibrant wildfire which swept across the nation, enticing listeners from coast to coast. Sounds of swing music, smooth jazz, presidential addresses, and globalized news reports became the anthem of our country. Perhaps the most popular and captivating, though, were the contemporary sounds of live radio theater productions, which prompted families to gather around the radio and, for a moment, forget the worries of everyday live in the early 1900s.

Join us, as we journey through the small town of Hannibal, Missouri, home of American icon Mark Twain. Arrive at Cave Hollow West Winery, situated on the very location where Mark Twain’s famous character, Tom Sawyer and his gang, raided the Sunday School Picnic in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer. Nestle up inside the intimate, dim-lit winery in front of the cherry wood fire place and prepare for a one-of-a-kind entertainment presentation. Today’s show features local “Muddy River Radio” theater group, an incredibly talented collection of entertainers known for their 1940s-style radio theater productions.

The group will take the stage and offer a nostalgic present for our guests with their rendition of America’s famous novel, “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” This entirely acoustic performance will showcase the power of sound to recreate a story near and dear to the Mississippi region. Enjoy Muddy River Radio’s masterful interpretation, alluring your imagination to run wild as Tom and his gang are brought to life!

Do not miss out on this exclusive opportunity to celebrate the Mississippi region and an era that has faded into our history books!

$59 per guest
2.75 hours
Tour Capacity
80 guests

Day 4: 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 5: Clinton, IA

Clinton, IA

The city of Clinton has much to offer, all with the beautiful backdrop of the Mississippi River. Situated at the crossroads of the Lincoln Highway and the Great River Road, Clinton is the Eastern-most point in the State of Iowa.  At the height of its local economy during the late 19th Century, Clinton was regarded as the lumber capital of the nation; a history that is reflected as visitors pass many old sawmills. Today, agriculture plays a big part in Clinton’s economy, which is visible in the beautiful rolling fields filled with luscious, fresh harvest crops. Explore the history of this fascinating river town and discover a lifestyle that will stand out from today’s norm!

Clinton County Courthouse
Explore the history of Clinton’s historical Courthouse. Discover artifacts, articles, and photos depicting the stories of the structure and admire the architecture of this Clinton treasure.

Windmill Cultural Center
Walk through the Windmill Cultural Center, as you explore the different styles of windmills with impressive replicas and learn about the history and importance of the windmill throughout the century. The Windmill Cultural Center was dedicated in April of 2010 and showcases 22 European windmills, varying in sizes up to six-feet tall. The windmills can be traced to Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and The Netherlands. Their different backgrounds gives each windmill its very own unique design, demonstrating the culture and heritage of each country. Located inside the Windmill Cultural Center, a charming gift shop is available for guests, where unique gifts like fresh stone-ground flour, Delft pottery, and windmill souvenirs can be purchased.

Dutch Windmill
Tour this functional windmill and learn how the wind-powered structure helps the town’s economy as well as provides some highly desired resources. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to visit one of two working Dutch windmills left in the United States! This impressive windmill, that goes by the Dutch Windmill, as well as, De Immigrant Windmill, and stands nearly 100 feet tall in the city of Fulton. It was assembled by Dutch craftsmen in 1999 and placed on the flood control dike in the heart of the city. It is fully operational today, turning its sails to generate wind power. The mill also assists a few blue basalt millstones to produce a variety of flours. Stone-ground buckwheat, corn, rye, and wheat flours are all manufactured here. (Located at the same stop as the Windmill Cultural Center)

Sawmill Museum
Discover Clinton’s past as you walk around this museum highlighting the city’s first source of large economic income – lumber. Hear the history of the town and the struggles to get on their feet and how, with the help of lumber, the town began to flourish. Lumber was an essential resource in the city of Clinton, not only for construction of buildings and barns, but also contributing heavily to the industry that brought the railroad, the immigrants, and the entrepreneurs. Here, discover the stories that made the lumberjack a national hero, then experience what life was really like in a lumber camp. Hear the buzz of the saw mill as logs are cut into lumber and envision the workings of the Struve Mill where hundreds of pieces of wood became beautiful trims, doors, and flooring.

George M. Curtis Mansion
On this guided tour, explore this beautiful mansion that has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Indulge in wine tastings on this relaxing and beautiful visit to one of Clinton’s historical mansions. This restored Victorian home of lumber baron George M. Curtis is a prime example of period architecture with its original Tiffany glass windows, delicately carved banisters, ornate wood trim, and massive fireplaces. Rich in the history of the area, this mansion makes an elegant backdrop for special events. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tour of the Mansion will end with a sampling of local Wide River Wines on the wrap-around front porch.

Clinton County Historical Museum & Library
Since its establishment in 1946, the Clinton County Historical Association and Museum has established a collection of over 30,000 artifacts from Clinton County. The museum has impressive collections of Redford Glass, rare and valuable pieces for collectors across the country, as well as a large collection of Native American relics, including more than 1,000 artifacts. Exhibits and galleries take up two floors of the building and display local art, Civil War artifacts and history, Native American Settlement, antique musical instruments, and much more! After exploring the expansive and incredibly fascinating and interactive museum floors, guests can stop into the gift shop, where an assortment of local historical books, prints, and souvenirs can be purchased!

Day 6: Prairie du Chien, WI

Prairie du Chien, WI

As the oldest community on the Upper Mississippi, Prairie Du Chien has been a traditional gathering place for centuries. The native people of the area met on the prairie in friendship to exchange goods. In the late 17th century, French fur traders used the prairie as a site of spring and fall rendezvous. It was during these years that the land received its name, which translates as “Prairie of the Dog” in French. When the British took over the fur trade, Prairie Du Chien became of greater importance for whoever controlled the prairie, controlled the entire Upper Mississippi watershed. After years of fighting for control of this land, the British eventually left the fort, leaving the residents of Prairie Du Chien and the Indians. Discover the rich history lining the streets of this historical city as you explore the treasure Prairie du Chien has to offer!

Day 7: 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.

Into the Mississippi on the Winona Boat Tour

Today, prepare to discover the Upper Mississippi River region from a rare, interactive perspective.

Discover a new aspect of the region with an intimate river experience on a narrated sightseeing tour onboard the Winona Tour Boat. Experience the Mississippi River, as the USCG-licensed captain covers river refuge history, aquatic life, and the river’s local environmental impacts, making sure to point out native wildlife, including eagles in their natural habitat! We will also discover the history of Winona, and the importance of the Mississippi River throughout its history.

Soak in the beauty of the river from a closer perspective. Appreciate the simplicity of nature within the Mississippi River and along the river banks, a refreshing contrast to the hustle and bustle of everyday life. After our captain navigates us back to shore, we will make our way back to the luxurious American Queen.

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

$39 per guest
2.5 hours
Tour Capacity
50 guests

Day 8: 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.

On Eagle's Wings

Set out for the oldest city along the Upper Mississippi River, Wabasha, Minnesota, first winding through the streets of an iconic river town, Red Wing. Admire the rustic brick buildings, daunting bluffs opening up the Mississippi River, and quirky artwork that lines the streets along the way.

Notice the buildings along the road aging as we enter Wabasha, overflowing with history and culture. Prepare yourself for an unforgettable “nose to beak” experience as we arrive at the National Eagle Center. Spend the day discovering the US national symbol of freedom – the American bald eagle! Get up close and personal to these regal creatures unlike ever before as trained professionals supervise a room full of golden eagles.

Watch in awe as birds with wingspans reaching close to 8 feet soar through the sky, swooping gracefully through the wind currents. Follow the majestic creatures outside to learn why this area is known as America’s Eagle Destination, as you search the horizon for eagles in their natural setting atop the observation deck above the Mississippi River. The overlook is the perfect location for bird watching and when you finally catch sight of these incredible and powerful birds soaring over the currents of the Mighty Mississippi River, you will truly understand the meaning and beauty of the Freedom it proudly represents!

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

$69 per guest
4 hours
Tour Capacity
75 guests
Hidden Waters of the Mississippi: A Scenic Kayak Tour

On this exclusive American Duchess scenic experience, take to the waters as we embark on an adventure along the winding waters, into the vibrant heart of the natural and rich ecosystem of the Mississippi River Valley. Nature will be at our fingertips as we glide by waving green banks, beneath the swooping wings of eagles, and atop sky blue waters in your personal kayak.

Our journey will begin as we push off the banks of the Ole Miss Marina Colvill Park into the smooth currents of the Mississippi River. Guided by a team of talented naturalists and expert kayak navigators, we will begin on a leisurely paddle tour through the hidden and scenic waters of the river. Enjoy narrations and insight about the surrounding landscapes and take in the views of the river from a fresh perspective.

Continue paddling in the shadows of the legendary and towering Barn Bluff, an impressive 400-foot cliff which has served as a visual reference for river explorers throughout history. We will then travel away from the main channel, along twisted and secretive waters, until the monumental views of Lake Pepin, the largest lake on the Mississippi River come into sight.

Amaze at the biodiversity of the region and take advantage of this exclusive opportunity to engage in conversation with nature experts about the river’s ecosystem and the native wildlife found grazing along the banks, hidden among the trees, and swimming beneath our kayaks.

Life jackets, personal kayaks, and paddles will all be provided.

$99 per guest
3 hours
Tour Capacity
19 guests

Day 9: Red Wing, MN

Arrival 8:00 AM
Red Wing, MN

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

Post-Cruise: St. Paul City Tour

Today, discover the rich history of Minnesota’s bustling, energetic capital, St. Paul. Uncover some of the city’s many mysteries as you learn why the city has been divided into two cities, rather than one, why the state capital rooted its home here, and the reasons behind the names “Minneapolis” and “St. Paul.”

At Minnehaha Falls, breathe in the fresh air as the breeze blows a shimmering mist across your cheeks. Watch the fresh water pour off the slick sheets of rock at the top of the cliffs, powerfully funneling into the small body of water located below. At the Minneapolis Stone Arch Bridge admire the beauty of the architectural link that contrasts the metallic structures of the urbane city with the natural glimmer of the Mississippi waters. Watch as the Mississippi rapids channel towards Saint Anthony Falls downstream before visiting the restored Harriet Island Regional Park with its paddlewheel riverboats.

Watch the city unfold through the windows of the motorcoach as we pass some of the most historical treasures of the city including Fort Snelling, St. Paul Cathedral, the Minnesota State Capitol building, the new Guthrie Theater, and Historic Summit Avenue lined in pristine Victorian architecture.

Note: This tour ends at the Minneapolis- St. Paul International Airport or Post-Cruise Hotel. (Please book flights after 2:00 PM.) 

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

$69 per guest
5 hours
Tour Capacity
100 guests