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Visit Cincinnati, Ohio

Cincinnati to Nashville

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Countess
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Join this 9-day cruise aboard American Countess. Cruise from Cincinnati to Nashville to experience the best of the Ohio River, exploring the scenic landscapes and exciting port cities along the way. The air practically crackles with excitement surrounding Kentucky’s favorite event, spilling out as river towns and cities for miles around embrace the fervor – from a genteel steamboat race to America’s preeminent horse racing event, unmatched in history and tradition. Odds are excellent that this out-of-this-world Ohio River extravaganza will mark a high point of your year.
Visit Cincinnati, OhioAmerican duchessVisit Cincinnati, OhioVisit Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Explore Cincinnati and get a taste of its signature cuisine
  • Visit Madison and its collection of classic architecture
  • Immerse yourself in Louisville's vibrant art scene
  • Get a taste of bourbon and bluegrass in Kentucky
Places Visited
Activity Level: Relaxed

Full Itinerary

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Day 1: Hotel Stay in Cincinnati, OH

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: Cincinnati, OH | Embark

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Take a stroll through Cincinnati – the birthplace of baseball and its own distinctive chili recipe. The city is filled with downtown destinations that flaunt shops and amenities. 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, where our guests meet the shore. New hotspots and long-lasting classics give this oasis of commerce its colorful character. Seize the day in this old-fashioned urban jewel on the Ohio.

Premium Shore Excursions

Pre-Cruise Cincinnati Experience

Our journey will begin as we travel through historic Riverside Drive on our way to the Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, where stunning views of stained-glass windows are accented by Gothic-style arches. Continue to the childhood home of former US President William Howard Taft, where an impersonator will guide us through the home, introducing us to Taft's life. After our departure from this National Historic Site, embark on a guided journey through Cincinnati, weaving through the heart of the city past iconic attractions and historic locations before concluding the day at picturesque Eden Park.

Day 3: Madison, IN

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Tucked away between Cincinnati and Louisville is Madison, a quaint river town rich in character. This charismatic port flaunts its personality throughout the streets, where a 130-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. Join us to discover all the hidden treasures of Madison.

Included Shore Excursion

Madison Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Incorporated in 1809, Madison quickly established itself as a significant cultural and industrial town in the Old Northwest Territory. Sitting on the Ohio River, the town became a lifeline for transportation and industry in the middle territories of the country. Madison also served as a major transportation network for the Underground Railroad in the 1800s. Today, this quaint river town is sure to win the heart of guests. With plenty of small-town charm, it is no wonder why Madison was once called “the most beautiful river town in America” by Charles Kuralt.

Premium Shore Excursions

Madison Scenic Jet Boat Experience

Join us on a scenic jet boat ride as we explore 40 miles on two of America's great rivers. Board the Coast Guard approved jet boat for an unforgettable ride on the Ohio River to Carrollton, Kentucky, then ride up the Kentucky River to the historic Lock 1. Soak in the beautiful sights along the way as Captain Paul shares stories of the river, points out historic locations, and helps you spot local wildlife. Enjoy the good laughs, amusing anecdotes, and remember to keep an eye out for bald eagles, osprey, river otters and more!

Day 4: Louisville, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Louisville is the largest city in Kentucky and in the top 30 most populated cities in the United States. The metro area exudes an authentic culture and diversity that visitors quickly learn to adore. Discover the talent and creativity of Louisville locals in a number of art galleries, theatrical performances and museums. Everyone can find something to love among Louisville’s treasures. 

Premium Shore Excursions

Kentucky Derby Museum Experience

Experience the museum dedicated to “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” With its two floors of interactive exhibits, the Kentucky Derby Museum takes visitors through every stage of a Thoroughbred’s life, from birth to that very first Saturday in May. View the 18-minute film, “The Greatest Race,” an epic 360-degree multimedia experience before enjoying a walking tour of Churchill Downs and the opportunity to meet the resident Thoroughbred horse! Your guide will share the stories of past Derby winners and the rich history of Churchill Downs.

Day 5: Brandenburg, KY

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
The essence of Kentucky radiates, from its bourbon traditions to a tableau of rolling farmland. Soul-stirring river views and Southern warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Mysteries of the Civil War enlist lifelong learners on the battlefield while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation. The grass is bluer in Brandenburg and all the surrounding areas.

Included Shore Excursion

An American Leader: The Life and Presidency of Abraham Lincoln
Today we will trace the life of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. In Hodgenville, Kentucky, we will visit the Lincoln Museum, where of three-dimensional wax figures, life-size dioramas, exhibits, and campaign posters build the background of Lincoln's story. Step outside to Lincoln Square, where an impersonator will stand in front of a six-foot brass Lincoln statue and continue telling the story. Finish the day at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, where we will discover Lincoln's humble beginnings.

Premium Shore Excursions

General George S. Patton: A Legacy of Leadership

Attention! Join us for an exclusive opportunity to explore one of the United States Army's renowned military complexes, Fort Knox. Known widely for the US Mint gold depository located on the premises, Fort Knox is perhaps the most secure fort in the United States. Today, Fort Knox houses US Army facilities with multiple purposes, many of which we will see throughout our journey. American Queen Steamboat Company guests have been granted special permission to receive a driving tour through the fort and explore the innovative General George Patton Museum of Leadership. Discover the lifetime achievements and sought-after leadership qualities of one of the United States' esteemed World War II Generals. At ease!


Day 6: Henderson, Kentucky

  • 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. 

Included Shore Excursion

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, 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, Kentucky

  • Ship
  • 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
Paducah’s significant American heritage can be traced to the city’s strategic location at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. Paducah, originally known as Pekin, was settled around 1815 in McCracken County. The town was platted out and named in honor of the largest nation of Native Americans that ever roamed North America, the Padouca Indians.

Included Shore Excursion

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: Dover, Tennessee

  • 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.

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 9: Nashville | 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.

Discover all that Music City USA has to offer! The American Duchess's exclusive Music City USA Tour delivers the full "Country Music Experience."    
After disembarking the American Duchess, embark on the next leg of your journey with an escorted Nashville City Tour. Our expert guide will enhance share local stories and lore of "Music City," a town unique and rich in music's history. Included in this exclusive Nashville experience is admission into one of Country Music's greatest tribute museums, the Country Music Hall of Fame.    


American Countess

American Countess
American Countess Entertainment
American Countess Relaxation

Dates & Prices

My Preferred Start Date

Per person starting at
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.
  • 8 Breakfasts, 7 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)
  • 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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