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Sunset over the Cincinnati skyline

Pittsburgh to Louisville

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Queen
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Experience the heartland of the Ohio River on this 9-day cruise fromPittsburgh, Pennsylvania to Louisville, Kentucky aboard American Queen. Along the way, discover the history and distinctive cultures of the small port cities that dot the river. Explore Cincinnati, the birthplace of baseball, and get a taste of its signature chili recipe. Sip cocktails and enjoy local art in Louisville. Find a mix of museums, historic sites, and beautiful old homes in Marietta, Ohio. Experience the history and cozy culture of the Ohio River on this charming cruise.
Cruise the Mississippi River on your small ship cruiseExplore historic sitesAmerican queen2Cycling along the river in PittsburghExplore PittsburghSunset over the Cincinnati skyline
Highlights
  • Enjoy Old-Fashioned cocktails and see the 120-foot Louisville Slugger
  • Explore the birthplace of baseball and its distinctive chili recipe
  • Discover the diversity of art and live entertainment in Maysville
  • Visit Marietta, Ohio and find a mix of museums and historic sites
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Hotel Stay in Pittsburgh, PA

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: Pittsburgh, PA | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
The route to Pittsburgh is hallowed in the steamboatin’ community. Located at the confluence of the Allegheny and Monongahela rivers at the head of the Ohio River, its easily navigable waterways helped Pittsburgh become an industrial hub for coal mining and steel production.  
Pittsburgh has played an important part in U.S. history from the early days of the French and Indian War (1758), to the Revolutionary War (1776), to the infamous Whiskey Rebellion (1791) and the American Civil War (1860s) with its secretive Underground Railroad stops. The Civil War boosted the city’s economy with increased iron and armament demand. With his introduction of the Bessemer steel making process, Scottish immigrant Andrew Carnegie, completed his rise from obscurity to become the richest man in the world. Carnegie began steel production in 1875. Henry Clay Frick, grandson of western Pennsylvania whiskey distillers, made his fortune building and operating beehive coking ovens that turned coal into coke, a necessary raw material in steel making. Soon, the two men joined forces and, in 1901, Carnegie and Frick formed United States Steel Corp. Up through the mid-1950s, Pittsburgh accounted for nearly half of national steel output. Its Gilded Age sites, including the Carnegie Museum of Natural History, the Carnegie Museum of Art and the Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, speak to its history as an early-20th-century industrial capital. Although Pittsburgh faced rough times in the 1970s and 80s when steel production all but disappeared, today it has re-invented itself as a hub for education, medicine, small manufacturing, and research.

Day 3: Wheeling, WV

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
By the early 1880s, trade along the Ohio River made Wheeling a popular frontier town. After National Road – the nation’s first roadway – was created by an Act of Congress, Wheeling became known as the “gateway to the west.” Wheeling was established as a town in 1795 and incorporated in 1836 through a charter granted by the Virginia Assembly. Wheeling was loyal to the Federal Government during the Civil War and the State of West Virginia was born here. It was welcomed into the Union as a state on June 20, 1863. Wheeling was the capital of the newly formed state from 1863 to 1870 when it was moved to Charleston. Through an active industrial economy and large working population, Wheeling became the richest city per capita in America at the end of the 19th century. Iron and steel mills developed on the banks of the Ohio River. Other industries, including glass works and cigar factories, also flourished here. The manufacture of cut iron nails took off and soon Wheeling was known as the “nail capital of the world.” This testament to earlier prosperity is evident today in the architecture of the beautiful mansions that line its street. Conveniently located in the northern panhandle, just 60 miles from Pittsburgh, Wheeling offers some big city attractions with a small city feel. Our riverboat will dock at Heritage Port. Nearby attractions include Moss Farms Winery, Victoria Theater, West Virginia Independence Hall Museum and the Capitol Theatre, an Ohio Valley icon since 1928. 

Day 4: Marietta, OH

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Known as the “Riverboat Town,” Marietta is located at the confluence of the Ohio and Muskingum rivers and is the oldest city in the state of Ohio. Because of its location along the river, Marietta grew quickly becoming a major trading center in the Northwest Territory. In 1811, as steamboats began to churn in America’s rivers, Washington County entered a boom era, bolstered by settlers passing through, ship-building, and commerce. Since then, many historical sites have been beautifully preserved within Marietta and Washington County, reminding all residents and visitors that America’s westward expansion began in this small but mighty, riverboat town. Marietta has blossomed into a political and cultural center. Visitors can enjoy stout mix of museums, walking tours and historic sites to broaden the landscape of the mind. Shaded, hand-laid brick streets pervade its charm, and fringing them are dollhouse homes featuring stained glass, intricate woodwork, lofty towers, and ornate turrets. All that and more plays a vital role in the visual and spiritual pleasantries of this place. The past fuels the present, keeping pace and pushing forward with great food, eclectic shops, vibrant nightlife, and historic hotels. There is also an abundance of outdoor adventure to be found as two rivers, a National Forest and a variety of parks, refuges and wetlands surround the county. From spring through autumn, The Valley Gem Sternwheeler offers river cruises to visitors. The W.P. Snyder Jr., the only steam-powered sternwheel towboat still afloat in the United States, is moored behind The Ohio River Museum. 

Day 5: Huntington, WV

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Huntington is in full bloom year ’round. Art and nature blend harmoniously. Fresh murals spring to life and greenspaces – walking paths and rose gardens – flourish. As the largest inland river port in the United States, this progressive, growing and accomplished city is an intercultural stomping ground for river and railroad commerce. Visitors who seek a cultural experience will not be disappointed by the many riverfront parks, eclectic locally owned shops and refined museums of this energy-infused city. 

Day 6: Augusta, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Augusta is located in Bracken County on the southern bank of the Ohio River, right across from Ohio. When some people think about Kentucky, bourbon and horses often come to mind. There’s no denying that both are prevalent and highly coveted here, but Augusta has many more appeals in addition to being close to the river and the state border. With nine miles of unobstructed river views, USA Today named Augusta the “Most picturesque town in Kentucky.” In 2005, Dr. Thomas Clark, Kentucky’s most famous historian, author of “A History of Kentucky” and co-editor of The Kentucky Encyclopedia, created a list of Kentucky’s treasures; 11 places of particular historical, cultural, or ecological significance. Augusta is the only city included on this list of “must-see” locations in the Bluegrass State. Whether you’re into live music, craft beer, chef-driven cuisine, American history, or exploring the outdoors, there’s plenty to keep you busy in this adorable little Kentucky city. Remember Rosemary Clooney? George Clooney’s aunt was an American singer and actress that was popular in the 1950s. She was a jazz vocalist with hit songs such as “Come On-a My House,” “Botch-a-Me,” “Mambo Italiano,” and “Tenderly.” Back in 1980, Rosemary bought a little yellow house in Augusta that she loved so much she included it in her autobiography, Girl Singer. Dr. Steven Henry, former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, and his wife Heather French Henry, former Miss America, bought this house to preserve it in memory of Clooney. It is now open to the public. 

Day 7: Cincinnati, OH

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
If there was ever a city built upon a river, it is Cincinnati. First the Ohio River and then the Erie Canal opened this fast-growing trade and transport center, with major manufacturing ports to the south and east. Like most early American settlements, Cincinnati began life as a trading post along the Ohio River. In 1802 it was formed as a village, later becoming a city in 1819. Two major events helped to shape its future – the arrival of steam navigation for boats along the Ohio River and the completion of the Miami and Erie Canal in 1827. The mid-1800s were the boom years and Cincinnati’s population swelled due to easy access via the river and canal network. When the railroad finally made its way to Cincinnati in 1836, the city’s trading prospects expanded even further. The Little Miami Railroad offered new access to Lake Erie’s ports on Sandusky Bay, as well as another major river for navigation. The prosperity that followed allowed Cincinnati to build its first streetcar system and by 1872, the entire city was laid out for public transportation. Take a stroll through Cincinnati – the birthplace of baseball and its own distinctive chili recipe.  Bound by the many parks; each district has its own personality, and you can meet them all – because the city’s compact downtown is anchored to the river. As the expansive riverfront continues its facelift known as The Banks, it’s apparent that Cincinnati’s next chapter in history will be just as successful as its past ones. 

Day 8: Madison, IN

  • 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.

Day 9: Louisville | 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 Queen

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American Queen1
American Queen Relaxation

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
$2,699
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Category E
Surrounded by wonderful period details, accompanied by every modern convenience, these cozy havens will make your cares disappear. Ample shelving and storage spaces keep necessities out of the way yet easily accessible. Has 132 sq. ft..
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Category SI
These intimate cabins with ample storage space are slightly scaled down to accommodate the independent traveler, and feature a single bed. Has 80 sq. ft.
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Category D
An expansive bay window overlooking the scenery of America’s heartland is the main draw of this spacious category. Curl up in front of the window with a new novel, and savor a moment that belongs to only you. Has 190 sq. ft. with bay window.
American Queen
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Category C
Open your French doors, and enjoy the fresh air. Sit on the deck outside your stateroom, and take in the gently changing views of the landscape, or indulge in a leisurely morning in bed with room service Has 140-160 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category B
Can you imagine opening French doors to a sweeping river vista and the sweet scent of magnolia trees? Sit on the deck outside your stateroom and greet early-morning strollers, relax in bed with your favorite book or soak in a hot bath. Has 190-205 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category A
With a private veranda, these staterooms are so enjoyable that you might decide to extend your journey. Relax in a cozy armchair and enjoy the view as you anticipate the activities of the day. Has 190 sq. ft. with 40-sq.-ft. private veranda.
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Category SD
Greet the day in your cozy stateroom, relaxing before breakfast, or simply enjoy a leisurely morning in bed with room service. Has 140 sq. ft.
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Category JS
Settle into your sitting area, open the French doors to the deck, and greet the day as the banks of the river majestically slip by. Some staterooms in this category offer a view of the paddlewheel, while others provide expansive views of America’s heartland. Has 210 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category PS
These spacious retreats offer unmatched views, each with a 6-foot-square viewing window that overlooks the paddlewheel, for a truly authentic steam boating experience. Stateroom 383: 342 sq. ft. Staterooms 385 and 386: 302 sq. ft.
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Category DS
You will feel right at home on the river in our magnificent suites. Indulge in a soothing soak in your tub, then retire to your cozy armchair or sofa, prop your feet up on the ottoman and read through the River Times – our daily program – to discover the delights that await. Has 230 sq. ft. with open veranda.
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Category LS
Our spacious, elegant suites are furnished to provide the warm ambiance of a fine Southern estate. Open your French doors and delight in sweeping river views as you sip a beverage and share conversation in your cozy sitting area. These suites are the ideal choice for family and friends vacationing together. 353-363 sq. ft. with private or open veranda
American Queen
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Category OS
Open French doors and step out onto your veranda to unwind on your amply furnished patio. Adorned with 11- foot vaulted ceilings, overhead lighting and a cozy interior lounging area with a sofa-bed and cocktail tables, these expansive suites can accommodate up to three guests, and epitomize luxurious river cruising. 348 sq. ft. with 690-sq.-ft. exclusive veranda
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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