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

American Queen Voyages River Cruise - Louisville to Memphis

Memphis to Louisville (or reverse)

Starting from $2,499
Ship(s): American Duchess
American Queen Voyages
9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Louisville to Memphis 2022

River Cruise Description

Two days exploring the rhythm, rock and blues of Memphis begin your journey that will inspire your inner artisan. Visit Paducah, Kentucky — one of nine UNESCO Creative Cities in the United States — and muse over Owensboro’s beautiful botanical gardens. W.C. Handy’s musical legacy lives on in Henderson, while an optional tour of Churchill Downs in Lousiville offers a rare glimpse into the biggest horse race in America.



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Departure DateShipPriced From
(per person)
 
Jul 9, 2022American Duchess$2,799Call Us!
Nov 5, 2022American Duchess$2,499Call Us!

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 Louisville, KY (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 Louisville, KY (1)

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. 

Day 3 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 4 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 5 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 6 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 7 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 8 Ashport Landing, TN

Ashport Landing is situated southwest of Golddust and northeast of Ashport Revetment, a levee with an elevation of 223 feet. Ripley, the county seat, lies 14 miles to the east and Memphis is 40 miles north. Strategically placed above our boat’s docking area on the Chickasaw Bluffs is Fort Pillow, built by Confederate Brigadier General Gideon Johnson Pillow in early 1862 and used by both sides during the war. Fort Pillow is rich in both historic and archaeological significance. One of the most controversial battles of the Civil War occurred here. The Battle of Fort Pillow – also known as the Fort Pillow massacre – was fought on April 12, 1864. The battle ended with a massacre of 221 Union soldiers (many of them blacks) attempting to surrender. Military historian David Eicher concluded: “Fort Pillow marked one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history.” Today, at Fort Pillow State Historic Park, among the restored fortifications, you can study cannons and other artifacts along the 20 miles of trails.

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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