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Louisville to Nashville

Example 9 Day Cruise aboard American Countess
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Enjoy this delightful nine-day cruise from Louisville, Kentucky to Nashville, Tennessee aboard the
American Countess. Cruise the Ohio and Cumberland rivers and discover the region's cultural gems, from Brandenburg and Owensboro's musical traditions to Henderson and Paducah's artistic communities, to Dover's Civil War history and Clarksville's distinctive distilleries. Each port on this dynamic route presents travelers with real experiences, and small-town America welcomes guests as friends. Step away from the ordinary and board a real paddle wheeler to explore the waterways that connect these cities.
Enjoy vibrant nightlife and live musicTry classic Kentucky bourbonAmerican duchess
Highlights
  • Explore Louisville, Kentucky, with its variety of arts opportunities.
  • Taste authentic Kentucky bourbon and learn about its history and process.
  • Learn about the region's role in history, particularly the Civil War.
  • Enjoy laid-back, small-town hospitality in unique port cities.
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: Hotel Stay in Louisville, KY

Take advantage of your complimentary pre-cruise hotel stay. The evening is yours to explore the city. The Hotel's Hospitality Desk can assist you with anything from general queries about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences. Both the American Queen Steamboat Company and local personnel are available to assist you in maximizing your stay by recommending dining, entertainment, and touring opportunities.

Day 2: Louisville, KY | Embark

This authentically quirky port is a muse to artisans of mixed mediums – from sidewalk chalk to street fare – and home to 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 is better lived than seen. Explore the red penguin-peppered Main Street. Embrace oddity. Experience Louisville. 

Included Shore Excursion

Louisville Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Museum Row  Louisville's Museum Row is housed in America's second largest collection of cast-iron facades. Only New York City's SoHo district has more 19th century cast-iron storefronts. Located a block south of the Ohio River, 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. The permanent collection features a wide array of historically significant artifacts, such as Teddy Roosevelt's "Big Stick," Custer's pistols, Geronimo's bow and arrows, and a first edition copy of Uncle Tom's Cabin. There is much to explore and learn here!   Suggested Visit: 1 - 2 hours    
Mark Payton Glass Center  Visit this glass blowing studio and tour the amazing techniques and artwork created by professionals. The tour will pass by artists in action as they flamework, sculpt, cast, and blow glass. 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  Located in the heart of downtown Louisville, this magnificent cathedral was designed in Neo-Gothic style by William Keeley and Isaiah Rogers, two of America's finest 19th century architects.  Completed in 1852, it is the fourth oldest public building in the city of Louisville, as well as the third oldest Catholic Cathedral in the United States in continuous use. 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!  Fourth Street Live began as a downtown revitalization project to redesign and modernize the former Louisville Galleria, a similar but unsuccessful project opened in the early 1980s with the same goals of revitalizing downtown. Fourth Street itself had long been the main shopping and entertainment destination in Downtown Louisville. Today, the 350,000-square-foot entertainment and retail complex is located on 4th Street, between Liberty and Muhammad Ali Boulevard, in Downtown Louisville. 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.  Also, attraction tickets are available for purchase and you can pick up and redeem Urban Bourbon and Kentucky Bourbon Trail passports. Find all the information you need for your day in Louisville.  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. Louisville's West Main Street, with its extraordinary collection of Victorian cast-iron historic facades combined with striking contemporary architecture, has experienced a dramatic renaissance over the past decade, and has become one of the most creative arts-inspired cultural districts in the nation.

Day 3: Brandenburg, KY

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.



 

Day 4: Owensboro, KY

The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro. 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. 


Included Shore Excursion
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. Enjoy the unique works of art, wind sculptures, a spectacular woven basket,  the Japanese Memorial Garden, and the Koi Pond.  From the Rose Garden to the Conservatory, from the Rain Garden to the Herb Garden - there is truly something for everyone. Suggested Visit: 30 minutes    
Owensboro Museum of Fine Art  In addition to their permanent collections, the Owensboro Museum of Fine Art presents traveling exhibitions from major museums, galleries, and private collections. 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 5: Henderson, KY

Capture your inner artisan in the home of James Audubon and W.C Handy. Hospitality flows freely through a vibrant downtown that kisses the rolling river. Wide streets welcome guests and showcase historic preservation that awakens a classic ambiance in storefronts and homes. Discover nature fingerprinted with humanity in the many parks and trials that showcase artistry throughout the town. Greetings from Henderson – a walkable community wrapped in warmth.

Included Shore Excursion
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, 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 6: Paducah, KY

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 Excursion
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 7: Dover, TN

A resting dock meets guests in Dover, a town that reveals the value of serenity in river living, where peace and quiet are interrupted only by cricket chirps and birdsong. Adventure through Fort Donelson – Dover’s touchpoint during the Civil War – which has been resurrected into a nexus of history and natural riches. Here, hilltops harbor somber stories, country roads lose themselves in golden horizons and historic treasures are kept secret behind the tree lines. Capture the romance of this little river town’s past, and experience the everyday phenomenon of its future. 

Included Shore Excursion
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 8: Nashville, TN

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 Excursion
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 9: Nashville, TN | 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
Rates are dynamic and fluctuate based on capacity. Contact us for a specific quote.
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.

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
  • 7 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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Kate was great to work with in the planning stage. She was prompt, helpful, and efficient. Our tour guide, Edwin, was knowledgeable and passionate. We were very happy to have traveled with Adventure Life, it made the trip easy and a true pleasure. We could concentrate on enjoying the experience rather than the details of travel.
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