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Memphis to Louisville

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Duchess
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Board the American Duchess and join this delightful 9-day journey from Memphis, Tennessee to Louisville, Kentucky. Cruise the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and explore the cultural highlights of this region, from the musical traditions of Memphis and Owensboro to the artistic communities of Henderson and Paducah, to the history and distilleries of Louisville. Each port on this dynamic itinerary offers the opportunity to uncover authentic experiences, and small-town America greets guests as friends. Take a step out of your ordinary everyday routine, and board an authentic paddle wheeler to explore the waterways that connect these cities.
Cruise the rivers of KentuckyEnjoy vibrant nightlife and live musicunited StatesVisit historic Memphis, TennesseeExplore the rivers of America
Highlights
  • Taste authentic Kentucky bourbon and learn about its history and process.
  • Enjoy laid-back, small-town hospitality in unique port cities.
  • Listen to the famous music of Memphis, from blues to rock'n'roll.
  • Explore Louisville, Kentucky, with its variety of arts opportunities.
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Memphis, Tennessee

Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. Our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Both American Queen Steamboat Company and local representatives will be readily available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximize your time here.

Day 2: Memphis, TN | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Memphis has a plethora of places to visit and things to do for all guests. Embrace the city that has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Boogie on down to Beale Street – alive with quirky places to indulge in some Southern barbeque, purchase souvenirs for friends and family (or a little something for yourself) and sip on a Blue Suede Tini. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for our guests to experience. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Memphis Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
National Civil Rights Museum 
Located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., chronicals key episodes of the American Civil and human rights efforts globally, through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs (Admission Additional).

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum 
See the complete story of Memphis music history, as researched by the Smithsonian Institution. This museum tells of the musical pioneers and legends of all racial and socio-economical backgrounds who, for the love of music, overcame obstacles to create the musical sound that changed the world.

 

Day 3: River Cruising

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.

Day 4: New Madrid, Missouri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
New Madrid is famous for being the site of a series of more than 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by the New Madrid Seismic Zone. During your visit to this port, explore the history of earthquakes in addition to Native American artifacts and Civil War artifacts. Located on the river in the former Kendall Saloon at the foot of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum reflects the history of the town from the Mississippian period up through the early 20th century. The Native American culture known as The Mississippian rose in the Mississippi Valley around 700 AD and lasted until approximately 1400 AD. The primary site of the Mississippians was near present-day St. Louis. The main settlement in the New Madrid area has come to be known as the Lilburn Fortified Village Site. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: New Madrid Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
New Madrid Historical Museum  
Located in the former Kendall Saloon off of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum shares the history of this river town from the Mississippian period through the 20th century. Here, guests can explore the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, documented with seismographic recordings, Native American artifacts, Civil War artifacts, early family life in the city of New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries, and the gift shop!
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour.


 

Day 5: Paducah, Kentucky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In the hands of artists, modern Paducah was thrown into form. Fingertips muddied with passion and eased by the vision of river water glided along the surface to pull up the community and create the National Quilt Museum. Residents backstitch past into present, then bind appreciation for culture – ensuring that the seams of history will not soon come undone. The people of Paducah have taken great care to orchestrate every crevice of its community into a symphony of craft and color. Life is a work of art, and the town of Paducah certainly is alive and well. Feast in this foodies’ fantasy. Uncover mastership. Catch a glimpse of Paducah. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Paducah Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
The National Quilt Museum  
Celebrating 30 years in 2021, the National Quilt Museum is the largest of its kind in the world. It is the portal to the contemporary quilt experience, and features exhibits and workshops by renowned quilters who implement creative approaches to fiber art. The museum features over 600 pieces of art highlighting a collection of modern quilts and changing thematic exhibitions that celebrate the talent and diversity of the global quilting community. The National Quilt Museum shares the artistic tradition of quilt making and played an integral role in Paducah's designation as a UNESCO Creative City in 2013. Visit the Museum Shop & Book Store for Kentucky-crafted items and quilt-related instructional and collector books.
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour
 

Day 6: Henderson, Kentucky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Capture your inner artisan in the home of James Audubon and W.C Handy. Hospitality flows freely through a vibrant downtown that kisses the rolling river. Wide streets welcome guests and showcase historic preservation that awakens a classic ambiance in storefronts and homes. Discover nature fingerprinted with humanity in the many parks and trials that showcase artistry throughout the town. Greetings from Henderson – a walkable community wrapped in warmth. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Henderson Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
The Depot Community Room  
The Depot is a replica of the original 1901 train depot and stands as an example of the city's commitment to preserving the past, while embracing Henderson's future. Inside the Depot Community Room, you will find historical artifacts about Henderson's train history, tobacco and agriculture history, war history, and much more. Chat with local historians, view the permanent and rotating display exhibits, learn about famous historical figures from Henderson including world renowned artist and naturalist John James Audubon, "Father of the Blues" W.C. Handy, and Mary Towles Sasseen, the originator of Mother's Day.     

Day 7: Owensboro, Kentucky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro. Each of its spaces is a lovely ballad that tugs at the heartstrings of visitors – from the notes of bourbon distilleries to bumbling butterflies in the botanical garden. The tawny banks of this river jewel extend a warm welcome, and invite you to experience the beauty in bluegrass. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Owensboro Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Western Kentucky Botanical Gardens   
Enjoy nature at its finest - always growing, always changing. From the spectacular daylily collection to the peaceful prayer garden, there is something for everyone.  Explore the history of the area in the 1890's Country Doctor's Office.
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes    

Owensboro Museum of Fine Art  
The facility includes two structures listed on the National Register of Historic Sites: the 1909 Carnegie Library and the John Hampden Smith House, a pre-Civil War era mansion, which serves as a decorative arts wing.
 

Day 8: Brandenburg, Kentucky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The essence of Kentucky radiates, from its bourbon traditions to a tableau of rolling farmland. Soul-stirring river views and Southern warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Mysteries of the Civil War enlist lifelong learners on the battlefield while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation. The grass is bluer in Brandenburg and all the surrounding areas. 

Day 9: Louisville, KY | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town — whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home — your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you.

Ship/Hotel

American Duchess

American Duchess1
American Duchess Exterior
American Duchess Dining

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
American Duchess Interior Stateroom
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Interior Staterooms (IS)
180 sq. ft. (wheelchair-accessible rooms are 200 sq. ft.). 30 cabins located on the Cabin and Observation Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Writing desk Coffee maker and mini refrigerator.
American Duchess Veranda Suite
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Veranda Suites With Private Balcony (VS)
240 sq. ft. with private balcony (wheelchair-accessible rooms are 330 sq. ft.). 44 cabins located on the Cabin and Observation Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Furnished lounge area with sofa and desk, Coffee maker and mini refrigerator, Sliding glass doors to balcony, Interior access.
American Duchess Deluxe Suites
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Deluxe Suites With Private Balcony (DS)
450 sq. ft. with a private balcony. 2 cabins located on the Cabin Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom featuring floor-to-ceiling marble and tub/shower combination, Half bathroom, Two flat-screen TVs, Furnished lounge area with sofa-bed and desk, Coffee maker and mini refrigerator, Sliding glass doors to balcony, Interior access.
American Duchess Loft Suite
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Loft Suites With Private Balcony (LFS)
550 sq. ft. with private balcony. 4 cabins located on the Observation Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Two full bathrooms featuring floor-to-ceiling marble and tub/ shower combination, Furnished lounge area with sofa-bed, Coffee maker and mini refrigerator, Two flat-screen TVs, Sliding glass doors to balcony, Interior access, Commodore Services, including a River Butler.
American Duchess Owner's Suite
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Owner’s Suites With Private Balcony (OS)
550 sq. ft. with private balcony. 3 cabins located on the Cabin Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom featuring floor-to- ceiling marble and tub/shower combination, Half bathroom, Furnished lounge area with sofa-bed, Coffee maker and mini refrigerator, Two flat-screen TVs, Sliding glass doors to balcony, Interior access, Commodore Services, including a River Butler.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Beverages
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • One Night Pre-Cruise Hotel
  • Open Bars and Lounges
  • All-Day In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Unlimited Included Expedition Adventures by Zodiac or Kayak (For Expedition Cruises Only)
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • Arrival & Departure Transfers
  • Port Fees
  • Optional Premium Shore Excursions - highly recommend booking these in advance. If interested, ask us for a detailed list of premium excursions for your cruise as these vary depending on your departure date.
  • Mandatory Gratuities

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The trip was terrific with great planning on your part. Most of the adventures were not mainstream and somewhat off the beaten path which made it especially enjoyable!! We felt taken care of and you all were readily available to respond to questions and issues. I would highly recommend your company and friends have already expressed interest based on our pictures and excitement.
Gale Cantor
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