9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Roundtrip Cincinnati 2022

American Queen Voyages River Cruise - Roundtrip Cincinnati

The Kentucky Derby

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American Queen Voyages
9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from Roundtrip Cincinnati 2022

River Cruise Description

This very special cruise is designed around the Kentucky Derby and events that lead up to the “fastest two minutes in sports.” You can even upgrade to a Kentucky Derby package that consists of VIP access and premium seating at Churchill Downs. Kentucky Derby Festival events leading up to the big race will be included as well, such as the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race.®



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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 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 4 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 5 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 6 Louisville, KY (2)

The first weekend of May is an exciting time to celebrate the honored tradition of the Kentucky Derby.® This thoroughbred race has taken place under the iconic Twin Spires of Churchill Downs every year since 1875. Dress to the nines, sip a mint julep and sport an extravagant hat while betting on your favorite horse or jockey. From general admission to Millionaire’s Row, this event brings out the best in all.

Day 7 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 8 Augusta, KY

Augusta is located in Bracken County on the southern bank of the Ohio River, right across from Ohio. When some people think about Kentucky, bourbon and horses often come to mind. There’s no denying that both are prevalent and highly coveted here, but Augusta has many more appeals in addition to being close to the river and the state border. With nine miles of unobstructed river views, USA Today named Augusta the “Most picturesque town in Kentucky.” In 2005, Dr. Thomas Clark, Kentucky’s most famous historian, author of “A History of Kentucky” and co-editor of The Kentucky Encyclopedia, created a list of Kentucky’s treasures; 11 places of particular historical, cultural, or ecological significance. Augusta is the only city included on this list of “must-see” locations in the Bluegrass State. Whether you’re into live music, craft beer, chef-driven cuisine, American history, or exploring the outdoors, there’s plenty to keep you busy in this adorable little Kentucky city. Remember Rosemary Clooney? George Clooney’s aunt was an American singer and actress that was popular in the 1950s. She was a jazz vocalist with hit songs such as “Come On-a My House,” “Botch-a-Me,” “Mambo Italiano,” and “Tenderly.” Back in 1980, Rosemary bought a little yellow house in Augusta that she loved so much she included it in her autobiography, Girl Singer. Dr. Steven Henry, former lieutenant governor of Kentucky, and his wife Heather French Henry, former Miss America, bought this house to preserve it in memory of Clooney. It is now open to the public. 

Day 9 Cincinnati, OH (Disembark)

As the journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town. Enjoy the city at your leisure, or consider a post-cruise premium experience with airport transfer.
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