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Visit historic St. Louis

Minneapolis to St. Louis

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Countess
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Discover the region and river that inspired renowned American novelist Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain. Sail north from Minneapolis on this 9-day voyage aboard American Countess along the gorgeous Mississippi River toward the city of St. Louis. Along the way, stop in port towns such as Hannibal, Missouri, Mark Twain's hometown; Dubuque, Iowa, one of the state's oldest cities; La Crosse, Wisconsin, a laid-back small town with an Irish and German immigrant culture; 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.
Cruise the Mississippi River on your small ship cruiseAmerican Countess1The upper Mississippi regionVisit historic St. Louis
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: Hotel Stay in Minneapolis

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: Red Wing, MN | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Red Wing was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of the world’s most historic places. The port city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and pioneers who occupied the land or admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.  The first settlers in town built small mills, factories, and workshops, similar to ones they were familiar with in New England where many came from. Immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and Sweden were also skilled craftsmen. Some early and persistent industries are tanning and shoe-making. Other businessmen made farm equipment, bricks, barrels, boats, furniture, pottery, and buttons. Consumables included beer and lumber. Service industries include stone-cutting, hospitality, and retailing. The Saint James Hotel remains a working token of the earlier time. Red Wing also was the home of Gustavus Adolphus College, a private liberal arts college. It was founded in Red Wing but moved to East Union before settling in St. Peter. Red Wing was once home to Hamline University, founded in 1854 as the first institution of higher education in the state of Minnesota; it closed in 1869 due to low enrollment. The Red Wing stoneware and pottery industry developed in the northwest of the city. It used clay from the area of Hay Creek, near a hamlet named Claybank. A railroad branch line was built to carry the clay to Red Wing. The factory buildings remain, but only traces of the railroad, abandoned in 1937, are left. 

Day 3: Red Wing, MN

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
A walk through the city streets showcases an array of elegant hanging flower baskets from which shades of red, purple, orange and pink drape. Also home to the famous Red Wing Shoes, this is a place you’re going to love to explore.

Day 4: La Crosse, WI

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
La Crosse resides along the famous Great River Road National Scenic Byway, considered by some as the most scenic drive in America. This river town also 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. The La Crosse Region is a proud part of the Driftless Region, a part of the world with an ancient, distinct topography and unparalleled views. “Drift” refers to glacial drift; the rock and sediment deposited by a glacier as it moves over an area of land. During the last Ice Age, a small piece of the Upper Mississippi Region was miraculously left untouched by glacial erosion and deposits. The surrounding landscapes that once featured prominent bluffs were leveled to plains and rolling hills, yet no glaciers entered one small pocket; thus, the Driftless Region became the last remnant of the natural, rugged terrain that once spanned today’s Upper Midwest. Straddling the Mississippi, the Driftless Region of today encompasses more than 24,000 miles across Iowa, Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Illinois. La Crosse County is one of the 18 Wisconsin counties within the realm of the Driftless. 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. 

Day 5: Dubuque, IA

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Victorian meets bohemian in this ever-growing Mississippi River gem that’s sure to leave dazzling memories. In Dubuque, you can check off your outdoor bucket list in the perfect nature getaway, and explore historic districts peppered with preserved history. Take a ride on the historic Fenelon Place Elevator, which is also the shortest, steepest, scenic railway, spanning 296 feet in length. Admire the 105 stained-glass Tiffany windows at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, home to “one of the five finest religious Tiffany collections in the world.” See all the wildlife displays and hands-on exhibits at the National Mississippi River Museum. Cap your day in Dubuque with a tasting at one of the local vineyards or tasting rooms including Stone Cliff and Park Farm wineries. Be sure to take a little piece of Dubuque home with you with goodies from Betty Jane Candies, named the “Top Culinary Gift in Iowa” by People magazine. 

Day 6: Bettendorf, IA

  • 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. The whimsical architecture complements the eccentric gardens of the Quad City Botanical Center in neighboring Rock Island. The first European-American settlers were predominantly German immigrants who worked as farmers, skilled laborers, and small business owners. They established a village called Lilienthal, after an early tavern and dance hall. An adjacent village of Gilbert developed alongside in 1858. The two villages eventually combined to become the town of Gilbert. Circa 1900, the town gave William and Joseph Bettendorf 70 acres of riverfront land on the condition that they move their iron wagon business from Davenport to Gilbert. In 1903, the town petitioned for incorporation, requesting to change the town’s name in honor of the brothers whose factory was a major economic influence in the early development of the city.  Today Bettendorf offers an array of recreational opportunities including three golf courses, numerous trails for biking, hiking, and walking, and Dek Hockey rinks. Dek Hockey, a variation of Ball Hockey, is played on foot with an orange ball in a boarded rink on a surface that protects players from common leg and foot injuries. 

Day 7: Burlington, IA

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Burlington is the center of a micropolitan area, which includes West Burlington and Middletown, Iowa, and Gulfport, Illinois. The site, originally called Shoquoquok, was settled as Flint Hills in 1833 and renamed a year later by a settler for his hometown of Burlington, VT. Iowa’s nickname, “The Hawkeye State,” has its roots in Burlington. At Judge David Rorer’s suggestion, publisher James G. Edwards changed The Iowa Patriot newspaper’s name to The Hawk-Eye and Iowa Patriot in tribute to his friend, Chief Black Hawk. Rorer is said to have found the name in James Fenimore Cooper’s The Last of the Mohicans, but Edwards proposed the nickname to “...rescue from oblivion a memento, at least of the name of the old chief.” Burlington was a bustling river port in the steamboat era and a central city to the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy railroads. The “Burlington Route” (1848-1970) merged into the Burlington Northern Railroad (1970-1996), which in turn merged into the BNSF Railway (1997-present). The Burlington name has been given to one of BNSF’s main east-west lines (the largest in the U.S.) – Ottumwa subdivision – which still crosses the Mississippi at Burlington.

Day 8: Hannibal, MO

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Located 100 miles north of St. Louis on the Mississippi River, Hannibal is one of Missouri’s and the region’s best tourism destinations. 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 “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Life on the Mississippi,” and the town’s preservation efforts allow visitors to step right onto the page where Twain left off. Today, the river stretches north toward the country that’s almost as wild and beautiful as it must have been then, and still enlivened by the coming and going of rivercraft. Hannibal attractions are sure to make your port call unforgettable. Explore the Mark Twain Cave written about in five of Twain’s books. This famous cave was also used by Jesse James as a hideout following his 1879 bank robbery in Saverton, Mo. His signature remains on the cave to this day. Or discover unique attractions like Karlock’s Kars & Pop Culture Museum, home to more than 10,000 square feet of artifacts that allow you to relive historic, pop culture moments. Among the remarkable exhibits are more than a dozen vintage cars. The cars include everything from fame-off restorations of beautiful classics to one-of-a-kind American muscle cars. Alternatively, take a walk in the woods at Sodalis Nature Preserve, a 185-acre park with a paved walking and biking loop and the opportunity for woodland hiking. 

Day 9: St. Louis, MO | Disembark

  • 1 Breakfast
As the journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town. Enjoy the city at your leisure, or consider an airport transfer.

Ship/Hotel

American Countess

American Countess
American Countess Entertainment
American Countess Relaxation

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,399
American Countess Inside stateroom
Select a Date
Inside Staterooms (E)
170 sq. ft. (wheelchair-accessible rooms are 220 sq. ft.). 43 cabins located on the Observation and Cabin Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Writing desk with chair, Interior access.
American Countess Single outside
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Single Outside Stateroom With Open Veranda (SO)
180 sq. ft. 1 cabin located on the Observation Deck. With open veranda, Single bed, Full bathroom with shower, Furnished lounge area with sofa and desk, Sliding doors open to deck, Interior access.
American Countess Deluxe Outside
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Deluxe Outside Staterooms With Open Veranda (B)
220 sq. ft. with open veranda (wheelchair-accessible rooms are 300 sq. ft.). 44 cabins located on the Observation Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Furnished lounge area with sofa and desk, Sliding doors open to deck, Interior access.
American Countess Veranda Suite
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Veranda Suites With Private Balcony (A)
255 sq. ft. with 40-sq.-ft. private veranda (wheelchair-accessible rooms are 325 sq. ft.). 35 cabins located on the Cabin Deck. Queen bed or two single beds, Full bathroom with shower, Furnished lounge area with sofa and desk, Sliding doors open to veranda, Interior access.
Included
  • 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners
  • 8 Nights Accommodations
  • Accommodations as listed
  • Ground transportation as listed
  • Excursions and 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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