16 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Minneapolis (Red Wing) to New Orleans (16-days) 2022

American Queen Voyages River Cruise - Minneapolis (Red Wing) to New Orleans (16-days)

Minneapolis (Red Wing) to New Orleans

Starting from $5,099
Ship(s): American Duchess, American Queen
American Queen Voyages
16 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Minneapolis (Red Wing) to New Orleans (16-days) 2022

River Cruise Description

Watch landscapes, cultures and even language transform as we cruise along the Mississippi river from Minneapolis to New Orleans abroad our fleet of luxury vessels – each new experience is as rare and beautiful as the last. Traversing the entire Mississippi River is a venture, a true bucket-list experience. On a Mighty Mississippi journey, travelers find adventure, an escape from the ordinary and the romance of the steamboat era.



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Departure DateShipPriced From
(per person)
 
Sep 11, 2022American Queen$5,099Call Us!
Sep 24, 2022American Duchess$5,499Call Us!

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Minneapolis, MN (Hotel Stay)

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

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 craftsman. 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 including 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 Winona, MN

Located in southeast Minnesota, Winona is nestled in the covered limestone bluffs along the Mississippi River. Abundant parks and picturesque vistas offer endless paths to explore. Historic sites and stunning architecture, rich with stained glass and lavish façades, evoke a bygone era.

The city is a natural oasis filled with incredible museums and galleries, where artists, artisans and music lovers embrace local traditions while connecting to broader cultural experiences. The ancient lands of the Dakota Nation, the region is rich with the history and culture of their proud heritage. Led by a succession of Chiefs Wapasha, the Dakota Indians who called Winona home prized this location for its expansive vistas, abundant wildlife, and ready river access. In the late 1800s Winona was a thriving lumber town. Loggers, traders, farmers, immigrants, and pioneering spirits made their livelihood around the river that connects the Midwest to markets worldwide. The most famous of these, J.R. Watkins, has concocted its fine natural products in Winona for over 150 years. Today Winona may hold a museums-per-capita record. Enshrined here you will find quirky 100-year-old toys, relics from a rowdy riverboat past, and mementos from businesses and people that put Winona on the map. Whether you catch a special exhibit or view a permanent collection, you are sure to be fascinated. At the Minnesota Marine Art Museum, visitors fall even more in love with marine life. Elmer’s Auto & Toy Museum in Fountain City is home to hundreds of muscle, antique, and classic cars as well as trucks.

Day 4 La Crosse, WI

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 paddlewheeler 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 showcases 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

Explore Dubuque, the roots from which Iowa sprouted. It’s brimming with opportunity for river travelers to experience an All-America City. Check off your outdoor bucket list in the perfect nature getaway for any adventure, and explore historic districts peppered with preserved history. From the architectural delight of Tiffany-designed windows in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church to the exhibits of the Dubuque Museum of Art, this city captures artistry. Victorian meets bohemian in this ever-growing Mississippi River gem that’s sure to leave dazzling memories. 

Day 6 Bettendorf, IA

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. 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

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

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 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

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. The city is a vibrant destination that also boasts a wide array of museums, music and theatre venues, and is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultural traditions each one brings forth. Forest Park – almost 50 percent bigger than Central Park – is the crown jewel of St. Louis. offering nearly 1,293 acres of land for biking, walking, golf, tennis, and other sports activities. The park is home to: the St. Louis Art Museum, the St. Louis Zoo, the St. Louis Science Center, the Missouri History Museum, and the Muny amphitheatre. Also worth visiting is the Missouri Botanical Garden, a National Historic Landmark and one of the oldest botanical gardens in the United States. “Botan,” as it’s called by locals, features 79 breathtaking acres of horticultural display from around the world. City Museum, designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Bob Cassilly, is a 600,000 square-foot interactive museum that appeals to all ages. 

Day 10 River Cruising

Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.

Day 11 Memphis, TN

Memphis’ history and heritage begins with the indigenous people who lived by the mighty Mississippi. Throughout the years it has been home to cotton tycoons and enslaved people, to musicians who sounded the first notes of songs that still echo around the world today, and to civil rights icons including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visitors embrace the diversity of this city that has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and its many music-themed attractions. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for American Queen Voyages guests to experience, including Beale Street Historic District, Blues Music Hall of Fame, Center for Southern Folklore, Graceland, Gibson Guitar Factory, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, St. Blues Guitar Workshop, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio and the W.C. Handy home and museum. Memphis is also rich with arts, sculpture and painting exhibits offering pieces form Rodin to Renoir. Explore the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Metal Museum, Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, CrosstownArts and the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange. If you prefer to discover a destination by walking its streets, boogie on down to Beale Street – it’s alive with quirky places to indulge in some authentic Southern barbeque, shop for souvenirs and sip on a Blue Suede Tini or some other music-inspired local libation. 

Day 12 Port of the Mississippi Delta

The Mississippi Delta is more than a geographical region. It is a way of life – a true cultural experience based on agriculture, music and history. These small river towns have been the inspiration of authors, musicians and artists for centuries. Catch a unique glimpse into the Port of the Mississippi Delta, and discover a muse of many.  

Day 13 Vicksburg

Vicksburg perfectly blends Southern culture and heritage with exciting modern attractions. As a major battle site during the Civil War, this port carries a history unlike any other. Learn about the historic conflicts of the city, taste its cuisine, visit the many museums, and pick out the perfect souvenir. Vicksburg’s best-known contribution to history is probably the part she played in the American Civil War. It is the final resting place for 17,000 Union soldiers, 13,000 of whom are unknown.  In 1899, the Vicksburg National Military Park was created to commemorate and preserve the infamous siege line and the historic heritage. Visitors can climb the 47 steps to the entrance of the marble Illinois Monument, featuring a domed roof, pillars, and sculpted bronze bald eagle. Also at the park is the USS Cairo Gunboat and Museum – a historic warship that was torpedoed and later raised after spending over 100 years at the bottom of the Yazoo River. Today, visitors can climb aboard to see some original weapons and gear used by the soldiers. Other attractions of note include the Lower Mississippi River Museum and Vicksburg Riverfront Murals. Painted on Mississippi River floodwalls, these impressive murals begun in 2002 capture the past, present, and future of Vicksburg and its defining roles in history, culture, and religion. Visit the Lower Mississippi River Museum to find out how Vicksburg ancestors lived along the river during the 19th and 20th centuries, including interactive exhibits. The museum also offers an aquarium featuring local fish species.

Day 14 Natchez, MS

Natchez is known for its elegance, hospitality, and impressive preservation of historic homes – found on every street corner. It seems as if history fell asleep and awoke unscathed by the changing of times in this magical port. Natchez is home to over 1,000 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Most of the homes survived the American Civil War and their history flows in abundance along the Mississippi. Natchez has a long and fascinating history, dating back to 1716, making her the oldest continuous settlement on the Mississippi. Even before Natchez was settled by Europeans, the area was home to the Natchez Indians, noted for being the only Mississippian culture with complex chiefdom characteristics to have survived long into the period after the European colonization of America began. The Natchez District, along with the Sea Islands of South Carolina and Georgia, pioneered cotton agriculture in the United States. The city recovered from its post-war decline to become one of the state’s leading industrial centers. Today the production of wood pulp, lumber, petroleum, and natural gas form the basis of the economy; tourism – including casino gambling – and the manufacture of tires are also important. Shops and restaurants now occupy the site of Natchez Under-the-Hill, a 19th-century town of bordellos and taverns that was a haven for outlaws and boatmen. During your visit, explore the unique shops, restaurants, museums, and historic homes, all of which inspired Hugh Bayless to include Natchez in his book “The 100 Best Towns in America.”

Day 15 Nottoway

American Queen Steamboat Company features an exclusive port at Nottoway. While the boat is docked, visit the sugarcane estate – the largest standing antebellum mansion in the South. Nottoway is an intricate building with impressive detail. Original furnishings mingle with era-appropriate antiques to create an atmosphere that does justice to the home’s original ambiance. It is fascinating history and luxurious aesthetic packaged in Southern hospitality – an experience that you will not want to pass up. 

Day 16 New Orleans, LA (Disembark)

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.
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