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Legendary Sun Studios in Memphis, TN

Louisville to Memphis

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Duchess
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Cruise the Mississippi and Ohio rivers aboard the American Duchess on this 9-day cruise with a particular focus on the musical history and culture of this unique region. Board your ship in Louisville, Kentucky, where you can also get a taste of famous locally-produced Kentucky bourbon. Visit a series of riverside communities for an immersive experience in the laid-back, small-town way of life. Your journey concludes in Memphis, Tennessee, where you can discover the home of classic, all-American musical styles: this city is considered the birthplace of Blues and Rock'n'Roll. Dive into the history, culture, and context of these distinctive music genres, and walk the same streets as the pioneers of these beloved styles.
Try classic Kentucky bourbonAmerican duchessEnjoy vibrant nightlife and live musicVisit historic Memphis, TennesseeLegendary Sun Studios in Memphis, TN
Highlights
  • Explore Memphis, home of the blues and the birthplace of rock'n'roll
  • Enjoy sounds of folk music in the community of Owensboro
  • Get a taste of renowned locally-produced Kentucky bourbon
  • Relax into the laid-back lifestyle of small town America
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
Involves minimal physical effort and is typically associated with leisurely activities. Activities are low-intensity or last less than a few hours each day.
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Louisville, Kentucky

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: Louisville, Kentucky | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
This authentically quirky port is a muse to artisans of mixed mediums – from sidewalk chalk to street fare – and home to the cultural diversity that quickly captivates the heart of its visitors. The local tradition that lives within images of Derby hats, Old-Fashioned cocktails, and the 120-foot Louisville Slugger that towers over the friendly city are better lived than seen. Explore the red penguin-peppered Main Street. Embrace oddity. Experience Louisville. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Louisville Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Museum Row  
Louisville's Museum Row is housed in America's second-largest collection of cast-iron facades. Museum Row is home to nearly 10 local attractions in one historic neighborhood. Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1.5 hours    

The Frazier History Museum  
With three floors of exhibit space, the Frazier History Museum is a world-class museum that provides an unforgettable journey through more than 1,000 years of history with ever-changing and interactive exhibits, daily performances by costumed interpreters, and engaging special events and programs. 
Suggested Visit: 1 - 2 hours    

Mark Payton Glass Center  
Visit this glass-blowing studio and tour the amazing techniques and artwork created by professionals. Make sure to stop in the gallery to explore finished products or the gift shop where you can purchase some unique and beautiful souvenirs. 
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 minutes    

Cathedral of the Assumption  
The steeple rises 287 feet above the Louisville skyline, and the coronation window is one of the oldest surviving examples of hand-painted stained glass in the country. 
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes    

4th Street Live!  
Restaurants and entertainment venues in the complex include Gordon Biersch Brewing Company, Hard Rock Cafe, T.G.I. Friday's, Sully's Irish Pub,  The Sports & Social Club (bowling alley and restaurant), tavern on 4th street, The Fudgery, and the first-ever Maker's Mark Bourbon House & Lounge.  
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour    

Louisville Visitor Center  
The Louisville Visitor Center is a one-stop shop for brochures, maps, experience itineraries, dining suggestions, coupons, and shopping for Louisville and Bourbon Country-themed items. 
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 minutes

Louisville Museum Row Shuttle
With its unique streetscape program and a collection of museums and cultural institutions, West Main Street has become a true destination. Both residents and visitors alike enjoy its vitality and creative energy, from its 120-foot bat to the red penguins roaming its rooftops. 
 

Day 3: Madison, Indiana

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tucked away between Cincinnati and Louisville is Madison, Indiana, a quaint river town rich in character. This charismatic port flaunts its personality throughout the streets, where a 133-block historic district showcases its collection of classic architectural artistry. Admire the antique machinery at the Schroeder House, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. The downtown shopping district is a unique showcase of unbeatable hospitality, with each shop locally owned and operated. Madison’s heritage is woven into every stop, ensuring a glimpse of beauty and history. Madison, Indiana was founded in 1809 along the Ohio River. The city was bursting with commerce, had a very active steamboat port, and was home to Indiana’s first railroad. Due to its unique location and transportation infrastructure, Madison was primed to be a link on the Underground Railroad. The neighborhood area known as “Georgetown” (which includes the African Methodist Episcopal Church) was designated in 2004 as the only Network to Freedom district. Four of the 11 sites listed for the Indiana Network to Freedom are in the Madison area.

Construction began on the Madison Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad in late 1836. It became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1921. The economic growth of Madison slowed. In 1924, the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Madison was established to aid business retention and expansion efforts. Madison now has the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark District in the country and features major architectural styles from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Madison Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
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.
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes - 1 hour      

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 recast in bronze in 1976. The original Janes, Kirtland, and Company cast iron fountain was displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia Centennial Exposition.

Day 4: Brandenburg, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Brandenburg highlights everything that’s great about rural living, but with all the benefits and amenities offered by larger urban settings. Here you can find history, entertainment, scenery and culture. From Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area’s walking trails, fly fishing for trout and to scenic views of the Ohio River, from hiking a woodland trail to a bluegrass concert at Riverfront Park, from a morning of antique shopping to an afternoon on a perfectly groomed golf course, from an old-fashioned country fair to a classic car show. The essence of Kentucky radiates, from its bourbon traditions to a tableau of rolling farmland. Mysteries of the Civil War enlist lifelong learners on the battlefield while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation.  

For over ten thousand years, Native Americans were drawn to Brandenburg and Meade County because of the river, abundant game, fish nuts, berries, and ground for planting corn, and especially, a high-quality flint. The fact that they lived here at different periods is evidenced by the artifacts, burial grounds, and shell mounds found along the riverfront. Although many artifacts have been sold to domestic and international collectors, a movement has begun to honor this heritage with a museum. It is a subject of debate as to who the early settlers were, however, it is recognized that the Native Americans here were closely related to the Cherokee and Shawnee tribes. Given the large number of years (10,000 to 12,000), it is likely that the tribes were mixed across the centuries. 

Day 5: Owensboro, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro in Daviess County, Kentucky. 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. 

Owensboro’s first settler was William Smeathers, popularly known as Bill Smothers, who in 1797 built a cabin on the south bank of the Ohio River. Original settlers arrived in flatboats coming from the northeast, the flatboats naturally drifting to the south side of the riverbank with the swift river currents. The original site was called “Yellow Banks” in reference to the color of the soil along the banks. In 1817 the Kentucky General Assembly provided for the planned town and specified that it should be called Owensborough in memory of Col. Abraham Owen (changed to Owensboro in 1893). 

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 6: Henderson, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Greetings from Henderson, Kentucky – a walkable community wrapped in warmth. Since 1797, this port on the banks of the beautiful Ohio River has inspired commerce and influenced two world-renowned artists who turned life into beauty, art, commerce, and success. Ornithologist John James Audubon and famous blues musician W.C. Handy both once called Henderson home. Audubon spent time here in the 1800s studying and painting the birds that travel through this area on their migratory routes. His namesake museum offers a permanent collection of artwork and exhibits, as well as a downstairs gallery of rotating exhibits, including wildlife photography and paintings by local and regional artists. At the end of the 19th century, Henderson held a unique place in history due to the export of dark tobacco. Worldwide shipping from Henderson’s port resulted in Henderson becoming the richest community per capita in the United States during tobacco’s heyday. This led to the construction of many of the stately homes and buildings still standing in the vibrant downtown district. 

Wide streets welcome American Queen Voyages guests and showcase historic preservation that inspires storefronts and homes. Discover nature fingerprinted with humanity in the many parks and trails that showcase artistry throughout the town. With a great selection of galleries and annual art events, there are many types of art to view. Enjoy the many public sculptures located throughout downtown created by Louisville sculptor Raymond Graf or step in the OVAL Gallery at Bank Trust to see the rotating art exhibits on display. 

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, and 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: Paducah, KY

  • 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 8: New Madrid, Missouri

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
New Madrid is known for being near the military engagement the Battle of Island Number Ten during the Civil War. The city is also famous for being the site of a series of more than 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by what is called the New Madrid Seismic Zone. Explore the history of earthquakes, documented with seismographic recordings, in addition to Native American artifacts, Civil War artifacts and family life in New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

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 9: Memphis, Tennessee | Disembark

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
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
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.

Notes

PLEASE NOTE: All fares, itineraries, special interest series, entertainment, shore excursions and other voyage attributes are subject to change without notice, and we reserve the right to not honor any published prices that we determine were erroneous due to printing, electronic or clerical error. 
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Access to a 24-7 Emergency line while traveling
  • Unlimited Wifi
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • Port Taxes & Fees
  • Open Bars & Lounges throughout the vessel including a juice bar every morning
  • In-Room Dining
  • Bicycles & Hiking Sticks equipment if needed
  • Live, Daily Onboard Entertainment & Enrichment
  • Locally Sourced & regionally Inspired Cuisine from land and sea
  • Gourmet Selections of freshly prepared choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Unlimited Beverages including an extensive wine list, choice spirits, local craft beers and specialty coffees
  • Unlimited Guided Tours designed with your comfort in mind aboard private, deluxe motorcoaches
  • 1-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay with free ground transfers between hotel and vessel
Excluded
  • Travel Insurance
  • Personal Expenses
  • Flight costs (please request a quote)
  • Fuel and transportation surcharges (when applicable)
  • 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.
  • Transfers to and from the airport

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This was my first experience with Adventure Life - and I couldn't have been more pleased with the trip. The guides and local staff in both Buenos Aires and Uruguay were terrific - extremely helpful and accommodating. I really enjoyed meeting the friendly staff in Buenos Aires in person (I left my bags with them for the afternoon).
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