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Explore beautiful Nashville

Nashville to St. Louis

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Queen
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This enchanting nine-day tour on the Cumberland and Mississippi rivers immerses you in the history, music, and culture of this special region. Depart from Nashville, widely regarded as the capital of country music. Learn about Dover, Tennessee's Civil War history while enjoying the town's laid-back, small-town ambiance. Visit the National Quilt Museum in Paducah, Kentucky, and Cape Girardeau, Missouri, to retrace the steps of historical figures such as Mark Twain and the Lewis and Clark expedition. Your voyage concludes in St. Louis, Missouri, the "Gateway to the West," with a rich history and a thriving arts scene.
Explore beautiful NashvilleExplore the rivers of AmericaVisit historic St. LouisSt. Louis' iconic arch at nightExplore beautiful Nashville
Highlights
  • Explore bustling Nashville, Tennessee, capital of country music
  • Admire historic handicrafts at the National Quilt Museum in Paducah
  • Experience small-town charm and Civil war history in Dover, Tennessee
  • Enjoy the vibrant arts, music, and food scene in St. Louis
Activities
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed
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Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Hotel Stay in Nashville, TN

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: Clarksville, TN | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Dinner
Grand steeples puncture the city skyline, and groomed streets disperse into sounds of serenity at the Riverwalk, where American Queen Steamboat guests arrive at Clarksville. Take a stroll down the promenade, soak in serenity at the riverside, then head downtown to experience this empire that sprouted from a dream.

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Clarksville Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Smith-Trahern Mansion  
Overlooking the Cumberland River, this majestic antebellum home was designed by Adolphus Heiman in 1858 for wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith. The home reflects the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, which were very popular at that time. Although not as large as some, the home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a widow's walk on the roof. The original main building consisted of four large rooms on each of the two floors, opening onto both the hallways and the balconies. The kitchen was attached to the back of the house, but there was no connecting door. Of the many outbuildings that must have been on the property at this time, only the slave quarters remain. During the winter months, local organizations fill the home with over 20 Christmas trees decorated and sparkling. In 1998, the mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Suggested Visit: 30-45 minutes  

Day 3: Clarksville, TN

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Clarksville distills small-batch handcrafted notes into big-city living. Its range of breweries, wineries and distilleries have visitors both shaken and stirred, while the city’s historic sites preserve the ingenuity of the human spirit. Let the Cumberland River guide you to the triumph of commerce as it wriggles through this blooming city. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Clarksville Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Smith-Trahern Mansion  
Overlooking the Cumberland River, this majestic antebellum home was designed by Adolphus Heiman in 1858 for wealthy tobacconist Christopher Smith. The home reflects the transition between Greek Revival and Italianate styles, which were very popular at that time. Although not as large as some, the home boasts grand hallways, an exquisite curved staircase and a widow's walk on the roof. The original main building consisted of four large rooms on each of the two floors, opening onto both the hallways and the balconies. The kitchen was attached to the back of the house, but there was no connecting door. Of the many outbuildings that must have been on the property at this time, only the slave quarters remain. During the winter months, local organizations fill the home with over 20 Christmas trees decorated and sparkling. In 1998, the mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Suggested Visit: 30-45 minutes  

Day 4: Dover, TN

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
In 1805 a state-appointed commission purchased a 30-acre plot on the Cumberland River from Robert Nelson and established the county seat of Dover. By 1850 the Tennessee frontier town had blossomed into a large river trade center and the second largest steamboat port on the Cumberland. A resting dock meets American Queen Voyages guests in Dover, a town that reveals the value of serenity in river living, where peace and quiet are interrupted only by birdsong and cricket chirps. Adventure through Fort Donelson – Dover’s touchpoint during the Civil War – which has been resurrected into Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park, a nexus of history and natural riches. Fort Donelson was the site of a major Union victory. Here, hilltops harbor somber stories, country roads lose themselves in golden horizons and historic treasures are kept secret behind the tree lines. Union troops, who had occupied the town since the fall of Fort Donelson in 1862, set fire to Dover to prevent the town from falling into the hands of General Nathan Bedford Forrest; only four buildings survived the conflagration.  Capture the romance of this little river town’s past and experience the everyday phenomenon of its future at Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge, an 8,862-acre habitat for waterfowl and aquatic plant life. Or venture to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forest in the eastern U.S. with over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and open lands on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky and Tennessee. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Dover Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Fort Donelson River Batteries 
Late in 1861 Confederate military leaders selected locations in Stewart County, Tennessee, to construct two earthen forts to hinder anticipated Union naval advancement up the parallel and strategic Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. The first was Fort Henry, located on the east bank of the Tennessee River. Twelve miles to its east, on the other side of "Land Between the Rivers," Fort Donelson and more than two miles of outer works were erected. Substantial river batteries with large artillery were positioned to fend off newly designed and armored Union gunboats. On February 14, 1862, an intense naval bombardment occurred between the flotilla and the Upper and Lower batteries, ending in a Confederate victory for the day. Brigadier General S.B. Buckner surrendered the southern garrison to Grant on February 16. 

Day 5: Paducah, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Paducah is located at the confluence of the Ohio and the Tennessee Rivers, and is often called the Four-Rivers Area due to its proximity to the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee and Mississippi Rivers. This prime location has played a major role in Paducah’s history, because transportation was easily accessible, so the economy was strong and travelers were frequent.

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: Cape Girardeau, MO

  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River, you’ll find Cape Girardeau, Missouri – a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. As you stroll along the riverfront, pause for a moment... you’ll feel the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army in the historic downtown and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth to explore the Louisiana Purchase on their Corps of Discovery. Cape Girardeau, which has shown hospitality to the likes of Twain, Lewis and Clark, and General Grant, greets today’s guests in the same vein. Whether pedaling along the bike lanes that strip along the city streets, hiking through a state park, walking across one of many covered bridges, shopping for antiques, visiting area wineries, viewing murals that stretch the entire length of the downtown area, or stepping back in time at any number of historic sites, the Show Me State does not disappoint. Peeking through the long-standing architecture and handsome panoramas are moments that will mature into golden memories. Take time to embrace legends, discover a simpler time and relive the wonders of the past. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: Cape Girardeau Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Mississippi River Tales Murals   
The largest and most dramatic of Cape Girardeau's murals and is located on a portion of the downtown floodwall. Covering nearly 18,000 square feet, this 1,100-foot-long mural features 24 historically themed panels that vividly portray Cape Girardeau's rich history and heritage.
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 minutes     

Red House Interpretive Center   
The Interpretive Center commemorates the life of community founder French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier, as well as the visit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in November 1803.
Suggested Visit: 15 - 30 minutes     

Old St. Vincent's Church   
Explore the many artifacts preserved in the church as you admire the arches and woodwork lining the interior of the chapel. Discover this fully restored beauty as it transports you back in time. 
Suggested Visit: 30 minutes     

Glenn House  
Completed in 1883, the Glenn House is a fully restored historic museum in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It is a prime example of the Victorian period lifestyle including the architecture, furnishings, clothing, and décor. Many of the furnishings and features of the home have been restored to their original beauty and have been kept authentic to the Victorian time interior. 
Suggested Visit: 30 - 45 minutes    

Crisp Museum   
The Crisp Museum collects in three thematic areas: archaeology, history, and fine art. The museum's historical collections cover a wide range of artifacts with strengths in the areas of militaria, firearms and their accessories, clothing, and hand tools. 
Suggested Visit: 45 minutes - 1 hour  
  
Cape River Heritage Museum   
Since its founding in 1981, the Cape River Heritage Museum has focused on the stories of Cape Girardeau while preserving the 1908 building at the corner of Frederick and Independence streets. Discover the founding of Cape Girardeau, see a gallery of antique typewriters, and a new display of vintage Ford automobiles. 
Suggested Visit: 30 -45 minutes

Day 7: Kimmswick, MO

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Kimmswick offers a chance to step back into the less hurried days of the 1800s. A look back furnishes us an appreciation for the historical significance. Theodore Kimm, a successful St. Louis dry goods merchant, moved to Jefferson County, Missouri in 1850 and purchased a large tract of land where the Little Rock Creek empties into the Mississippi. Travel to the area in early days was by way of the Mississippi River or by inland trails that first used by the Indians and later by the French and Spanish. The route was called “Rue Royale” by the French and “El Camino Real” by the Spanish. Many goods were hauled over this trail by two-wheeled oxcarts and later by wagons. Early settlements in this area were under French control. But when France lost the French and Indian War, this land west of the Mississippi went to Spain. 

Spanish control was relatively brief, from 1762 until 1800. Then Napoleon Bonaparte, by secret treaty, re-acquired the land from Spain. Only three years later he sold the land to the U.S. during the presidency of Thomas Jefferson. Building of the St. Louis and Iron Mountain Railroad from St. Louis to Pilot Knob, Missouri, began in 1854. The completion of the railroad in 1858 brought with it a stream of settlers, tradesmen, and farmers. Theodore Kimm, taking advantage of the increased economic possibilities, founded the town of Kimmswick in 1859. A native of Germany, Kimm named the town after himself and his birthplace by combining the words into “Kimmswick.”

Day 8: St. Louis, MO

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
No city wants to be known as a “fly-over” city. St. Louis, nestled about 300 miles from its more popular cousin, Chicago, has long had that unfortunate designation. But there’s the case to be made for “St. Louie,” as it’s affectionately called, as America’s most hidden gem. The city is typically associated with the Gateway Arch, which stands on the banks of the Mississippi River. At 630 feet, “The Arch” is an architectural marvel that is more than twice as tall as the Statue of Liberty. The stainless-steel-faced landmark pays homage to Thomas Jefferson and St. Louis’ position as the gateway to the West. 

INCLUDED SHORE EXCURSIONS: St. Louis Hop-On Hop-Off
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



Day 9: St. Louis (Alton), MO | 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 Queen

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Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
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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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SI-Single Inside Stateroom
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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SD- Single Deluxe Stateroom
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 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.
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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 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
  • Activities as listed
  • Meals as listed
  • Beverages
  • Port Fees
  • Unlimited Free Wifi
  • Gratuities to Onboard Crew
  • 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
  • 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.

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Everything was amazing! The planning with Adventure Life went smoothly. The actual trip was fantastic! One of the best trips I have experienced. The cruise staff members were knowledgeable and attentive. I will be writing more about this on the blog!
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