9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Cincinnati to Memphis 2022

American Queen Voyages River Cruise - Cincinnati to Memphis

Cincinnati to Memphis

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American Queen Voyages
9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Cincinnati to Memphis 2022

River Cruise Description

You can embark on a journey specially crafted for humanitarians. American Queen Steamboat Company will partner with clubs to provide an opportunity for the international service organization’s participants to network aboard the American Countess and assist local clubs in the process.



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River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Cincinnati, OH (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 Cincinnati, OH

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 3 Madison, IN

"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.

Construction began on the Madison Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad in late 1836. It became part of the Pennsylvania Railroad system in 1921. The economic growth of Madison slowed. In 1924, the Chamber of Commerce of the City of Madison was established to aid business retention and expansion efforts. Madison now has the largest contiguous National Historic Landmark District in the country and features major architectural styles from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

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Day 4 Brandenburg, KY

Brandenburg highlights everything that’s great about rural living, but with all the benefits and amenities offered by larger urban settings. Here you can find history, entertainment, scenery and culture. From Otter Creek Outdoor Recreation Area’s walking trails, fly fishing for trout and to scenic views of the Ohio River, from hiking a woodland trail to a bluegrass concert at Riverfront Park, from a morning of antique shopping to an afternoon on a perfectly groomed golf course, from an old-fashioned country fair to a classic car show. The essence of Kentucky radiates, from its bourbon traditions to a tableau of rolling farmland. Mysteries of the Civil War enlist lifelong learners on the battlefield while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation.  For over ten thousand years, Native Americans were drawn to Brandenburg and Meade County because of the river, abundant game, fish nuts, berries, and ground for planting corn, and especially, a high-quality flint. The fact that they lived here at different periods is evidenced by the artifacts, burial grounds, and shell mounds found along the riverfront. Although many artifacts have been sold to domestic and international collectors, a movement has begun to honor this heritage with a museum. It is a subject of debate as to who the early settlers were, however, it is recognized that the Native Americans here were closely related to the Cherokee and Shawnee tribes. Given the large number of years (10,000 to 12,000), it is likely that the tribes were mixed across the centuries. 

Day 5 Owensboro, KY

The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro in Daviess County, Kentucky. 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. Owensboro’s first settler was William Smeathers, popularly known as Bill Smothers, who in 1797 built a cabin on the south bank of the Ohio River. Original settlers arrived in flatboats coming from the northeast, the flatboats naturally drifting to the south side of the riverbank with the swift river currents. The original site was called “Yellow Banks” in reference to the color of the soil along the banks. In 1817 the Kentucky General Assembly provided for the planned town and specified that it should be called Owensborough in memory of Col. Abraham Owen (changed to Owensboro in 1893). In 1860, county agricultural records show 11,000 sheep compared to 6,750 beef cattle. Consequently, barbecued mutton (sheep) and burgoo (stew made from mutton, other meats and vegetables) are the two foods that distinguish Daviess County barbecue from other areas. Although pork, chicken, and beef are prepared, the preference of locals is mutton and burgoo. The region has developed a unique style of pit barbecue featuring vinegar-based sauces mopped over the meat during its lengthy smoking process. The result of this process is a delicious, tangy, and very tender meat. 

Day 6 Henderson, KY

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. Audubon spent time here in the 1800s studying and painting the birds that travel through this area on their migratory routes. His namesake museum offers a permanent collection of artwork and exhibits, as well as a downstairs gallery of rotating exhibits, including wildlife photography and paintings by local and regional artists. At the end of the 19th century, Henderson held a unique place in history due to the export of dark tobacco. Worldwide shipping from Henderson’s port resulted in Henderson becoming the richest community per capita in the United States during tobacco’s heyday. This led to the construction of many of the stately homes and buildings still standing in the vibrant downtown district. Wide streets welcome American Queen Voyages guests and showcase historic preservation that inspires storefronts and homes. Discover nature fingerprinted with humanity in the many parks and trails that showcase artistry throughout the town. With a great selection of galleries and annual art events, there are many types of art to view. Enjoy the many public sculptures located throughout downtown created by Louisville sculptor Raymond Graf or step in the OVAL Gallery at Bank Trust to see the rotating art exhibits on display. 

Day 7 Paducah, KY

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 community was inhabited by a mix of Native Americans and Europeans who lived harmoniously, trading goods and services. In 1827, William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, arrived in Pekin with a title deed to the land he now owned. The town was platted out and named in honor of the largest nation of Native Americans that ever roamed North America, the Padouca Indians. Lewis and Clark had made acquaintance with many of them on their trek west. Discover how Paducah played a pivotal role in American history from rivers to railroad transportation, the Civil War to civil rights. Museums and riverfront “Wall to Wall” murals by the Dafford Murals Team weave the story of Paducah’s past and guide viewers to experiences and landmarks throughout the town, where historical markers detail the significance and cultural heritage. 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. 

Day 8 New Madrid, MO

New Madrid is famous for being the site of a series of more than 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by the New Madrid Seismic Zone. During your visit to this port, explore the history of earthquakes in addition to Native American artifacts and Civil War artifacts. Located on the river in the former Kendall Saloon at the foot of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum reflects the history of the town from the Mississippian period up through the early 20th century. The Native American culture known as The Mississippian rose in the Mississippi Valley around 700 AD and lasted until approximately 1400 AD. The primary site of the Mississippians was near present-day St. Louis. The main settlement in the New Madrid area has come to be known as the Lilburn Fortified Village Site. The Museum is fortunate to have hundreds of items from this period from pottery to jewelry to stone tools and points. The Great Quakes of 1811-12 are also well documented in the Museum’s collections as is the potential for future seismic activity. The Great New Madrid earthquakes began on December 16th, 1811. On that day three quakes estimated to have been anywhere from 6.5 to 7.7 in magnitude struck the region in a natural disaster that would impact a huge chunk of North America. Almost 2,000 earthquakes hit in a three-month period and caused upheaval that lasted for years. The New Madrid area still experiences regular shakes and is at risk for large quakes in the future. 

Day 9 Memphis, TN (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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