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Explore the rivers of America

St. Louis to Minneapolis

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Duchess
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Explore the land and river that inspired legendary American author Samuel Clemens, better known by his pen name, Mark Twain. Cruise northward from St. Louis, Missouri along the mighty Mississippi River, toward the city of Minneapolis. Along the way, explore port towns such as Hannibal, Missouri, the hometown of Mark Twain; Dubuque, Iowa, one of the oldest cities in the state; La Crosse, Wisconsin, a relaxed small town with a culture influenced by its history of Irish and German immigrants; and Red Wing, Minnesota, where you can admire the work of local artisans and learn about the town's role in America's westward expansion. This 9-day journey aboard American Duchess introduces you to the heart of America. 
Cruise the Mississippi River on your small ship cruiseAmerican duchessView the iconic arch when you visit St. Louis, gateway to the westMinneapolis city lights at nightExplore the rivers of America
Highlights
  • Explore the parks and museums of St. Louis, Missouri
  • See Mark Twain's childhood home and inspiration in his hometown of Hannibal
  • Relax in the laid-back lifestyle of La Crosse and its diverse influences
  • Admire the work of local artists and craftspeople in Red Wing, Minnesota
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: St. Louis, Missouri

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: Alton, Missouri | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This adventurist’s oasis is always welcoming to our guests – as dewdrops of watercraft greet them from the shorelines. Founded in 1837, Alton has preserved its small-town aesthetic, but mated it with the modern industry and art that birthed its contemporary ambiance. Cafés overlook limestone bluffs draped in greenery as breezes and birds alike whistle through the trees. Enjoy both the indoor and outdoor treasures that showcase the enchantment that this river town has to offer. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: St. Louis Full Day
Old Courthouse / Gateway Arch  
Embrace this prime example of mid-19th century federal architecture. The Old Courthouse is known not only for its classic architecture, but also the notable cases presented in the courthouse, such as Dred Scott, who sued for his freedom from slavery. The Gateway Arch is symbolic of St. Louis. This iconic structure was completed in 1965 and has since provided millions of visitors with stunning views of up to 30 miles from east to west. Please note: Admission inside the Gateway Arch is additional.  
Suggested Visit: 30 min - 2 hours  
  
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Louis  
Completed in 1914, this stunning cathedral was designed to meet the grandeur of European cathedrals. One of the most notable traits of the structure is its domed ceiling covered in mosaics portraying saints and milestones of the Catholic Church in St. Louis. Enjoy the beauty and wonder of this structure dubbed by locals as the "New Cathedral."
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes

Day 3: Hannibal, Missouri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Hannibal could be described as ordinary, but the father of American literature would beg to differ. The town, with style and dignity, comes to life in the writings of Mark Twain. People, entities and livelihoods of Hannibal’s past endure within the pages of masterpieces such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Life on the Mississippi,” and the town’s preservation efforts allow our quests to step right onto the page where Twain left off. Today, the river stretches north toward country that’s almost as wild and beautiful as it must have been then, and, still enlivened by the coming and going of rivercraft, this exuberant port marks the start of adventure for all who visit. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Hannibal Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Big River Train Town  
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 railways' past as you view some authentic memorabilia.  
 
Haunted House & Wax Museum  
This Wax museum features wax figures of Mark Twain and his characters which include real human hair and finger nails! There will be a guide there to tell you all the stories and talk about each one of the wax figures. Don't forget to stop by the haunted house or the gift shop for some unusual finds!

Day 4: 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 5: Bettendorf, Iowa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Situated in southeastern Iowa, Bettendorf is part of a large metro area called the “Quad Cities,” a collection of river vistas and metropolitan communities that meld Midwestern neighborliness with rich educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Comprised of the Mississippi riverfront towns of Bettendorf and Davenport in Iowa and Moline and Rock Island in Illinois, these distinctively different urban areas, without friction, blend into the melting pot that the region celebrates. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Bettendorf Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Isabel Bloom Studio & Demonstration   
Isabel Rose Scherer was raised in the city of Davenport and began her artistic lifestyle early. In the early 1930s 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 help preserve Bloom's legacy. During the 45-minute guided tour, enjoy behind-the-scenes access to every step in the making of each Isabel Bloom sculpture. Get a glimpse of some of her original art and photos and then visit the gift shop where you can purchase exclusive sculptures available only to tour guests.
Suggested Visit: 45 minutes - 1 hour     

Day 6: Dubuque, Iowa

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Explore Dubuque, the roots from which Iowa sprouted. It’s brimming with opportunity for river travelers to experience an All-America City. Check off your outdoor bucket list in the perfect nature getaway for any adventure, and explore historic districts peppered with preserved history. From the architectural delight of Tiffany-designed windows in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church to the exhibits of the Dubuque Museum of Art, this city captures artistry. Victorian meets bohemian in this ever-growing Mississippi River gem that’s sure to leave dazzling memories. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Dubuque Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Historic Millwork District  
This repurposed warehouse district is now home to niche retail stores, cafes, coffee shops, apartments, and offices. Offering authenticity and character, the Millwork District shows the importance of sustainable urban design strategies. At the start of the 20th century, the area was the innovative and entrepreneurial center of the region and was the backbone of the regional economy.
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 minutes

Dubuque Museum of Art  
Founded in 1874, the Dubuque Museum of Art (DuMA) is among Iowa's oldest cultural institutions and a Smithsonian affiliate. The permanent collections and loans include more than 2,400 works reflecting the unique artistic and cultural heritage of our region, including one of the largest collections of works by internationally renowned Iowa artist Grant Wood.
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour
 

Day 7: La Crosse, Wisconsin

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
This river town has a long-standing romance with the steamboat era, and as our paddle wheeler kisses its port, guests are welcomed by its eye-catching vistas and expansive waterfront park. Within its depths, La Crosse harbors a vibrant community; the cultural exchange among it and its six sister cities showcase a deep appreciation for enrichment through diversity. Influences from far-off destinations such as Bantry, Ireland, and Bavaria, Germany, woven into the history and charm of this scenic port, will certainly stir a traveler’s soul.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: La Crosse Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Dahl Auto Museum  
Take a stroll down memory lane and immerse yourself in the rich history of the most widely used mode of transportation, the automobile. The Dahl Auto Museum celebrates the Dahl family's involvement as automotive dealers, with a history spanning over 100 years and five generations. It also features the history of the automobile through the eyes of Ford Motor Company, an extensive mascot collection and many beautifully restored classic automobiles from the turn of the century to present.
Suggested Visit: 30 - 45 minutes      
 
Hixon House   
This beautiful Victorian house is filled with nearly all of the original furnishings, making it stand out from many other historical homes. With 90 percent original furnishings, this nearly hidden downtown gem offers a window into early La Crosse life and the Victorian era around the country. 

Day 8: Red Wing, Minnesota

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Red Wing was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of the world’s most historic places. The city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and pioneers who occupied the land before today, or admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Red Wing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Aliveo Military Museum 
The Aliveo Military Museum has a significant collection of military artifacts such as edged weapons, flags, badges and much more! They have a vast collection that includes artifacts and relics from all major wars from the Revolutionary War to the current Middle-East Wars. They believe in education about our military history through preservation, protention and presentation of the military artifacts themselves.  

Red Wing Marine Museum 
The Red Wing Marine Museum is in one of the city’s historical venues along the river near boathouse village and depicts one of the oldest manufacturing industries-the boat and motor business. It sits very near the site of the original factory where Red Wing-made boats and motors were made and launched. The museum exhibits include more than 30 restored Red Wing orobred marine engines, outboard motors and a display of fishing tackle, photographs, documents and other river-related items.

Day 9: Red Wing, Minnesota | 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

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Deals

Early Booking Savings
Book by January 1, 2023, and enjoy up to 20% Early Booking Savings on select 2023 cabin categories.

Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability. Contact us for more details.
 
Applies to all departures

Advance Payment Savings
Pay-in-full at the time of reservation and receive an additional 5% Advance Payment Bonus Savings, combinable with All-Inclusive Fares and Early Booking Bonus savings. Available on all voyages when booked and paid in full 120 days or more prior to sailing.

Restrictions may apply. Subject to availability. Valid on new bookings only. Savings may be changed or withdrawn at any time. Contact us for more details.
Applies to all departures

Per person starting at
$5,599
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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Our guide and driver were very good with their knowledge and were very helpful with our questions. It was a very pleasant visit that would have been impossible to do on our own. Hotels and restaurants were fantastic. The special places we got to go to, like the kitchens, were great. Enjoyed the entire trip!
Meyer Smolen
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