9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from St. Louis (Alton)-Chicago (Ottawa) 2022

American Queen Voyages River Cruise - St. Louis (Alton)-Chicago (Ottawa)

Chicago (Ottawa) to St. Louis (Alton) (or reverse)

Starting from $2,099
Ship(s): American Countess
American Queen Voyages
9 Day American Queen Voyages River Cruise from St. Louis (Alton)-Chicago (Ottawa) 2022

River Cruise Description

History is built by those standing on the shoulders of giants. Explore the legacy of an American legend, President Abraham Lincoln, by taking a river cruise through the historic heartland from Memphis to Chicago. This journey takes you by a variety of beautiful American port cities in a luxury cruise vessel that allows both adventure and relaxation. The hospitality of these quaint river towns touches the spirit of all who visit



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Departure DateShipPriced From
(per person)
 
Aug 8, 2022American Countess$2,099Call Us!

River Cruise Itinerary

Day 1 St. Louis, MO (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 Alton

Part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area, Alton is located on the Mississippi River about 18 miles north of St. Louis. The area was home to Native Americans for thousands of years before being settled by European Americans. An important river town, at one time, Alton was even growing faster than nearby St. Louis. Its fluctuating wealth in the early days was largely dependent on river traffic, manufacturing and shipping, and agriculture. During the Civil War, Alton was an important base for abolitionists, with Illinois as a free state across the river from the slave state of Missouri, and it served as the site of the final debate between Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas in October of 1858. Among other noteworthy historical facts, Robert Wadlow, the world’s tallest man, was born and raised in Alton, as was the legendary jazz musician Miles Davis. Alton is also reputed to be one of the most haunted cities in the U.S. Depending on the length of your port call, enjoy a round of golf on two championship courses, play some tennis, take in one of three historic districts on a leisurely stroll, or discover a local attraction. Popular places of interest include Jacoby Arts Center, Alton Little Theater, Alton Museum of History and Art, Elijah P. Lovejoy Monument, Alton Marina, Alton Amphitheater, National Great Rivers Research and Education Center, Melvin Price Locks and Dam, Meeting of the Great Rivers Scenic Byway, and a variety of other educational and recreational institutions. 

Day 3 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 4 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 5 Grafton, IL

Grafton is the oldest city in Jersey County, founded as a river community with an eye on supporting riverboats traveling between Chicago and St. Louis. Boat construction, quarries, and mills were part of the city’s early industrial years. Grafton housed a factory that made boats through the 1960s. The city’s early history is the stuff of legends. Early Grafton was reminiscent of the Wild West. Due to the relatively short distance across the river to Missouri, the city lured outlaws who would hide out in surrounding hollows and caves. Infamous outlaw Jesse James and his gang reportedly spent time at The River House Hotel, or the “Bloody Bucket” as it was later known. Now known as the Great Rivers and Routes region, this is the only place where the Mother Road of Route 66 meets the Great River Road. The convergence of those two iconic roads is also the intersection of fascinating people, places and things that make this region so special. Alongside famous roads, history and small-town charm, the region celebrates three of the nation’s great rivers – the Mississippi, Missouri and Illinois. Where else can you find: the remnants of a prehistoric native civilization; ties to both Abraham Lincoln and Miles Davis; and a historic bridge that takes a sharp bend in the middle. Grafton’s history is openly depicted in every rustic home, residents’ undeniable hospitality, sweeping views and its vibrant downtown district. Discover museums that highlight the city’s history, explore unique shops and eateries or sip robust wines from one of the many wineries across the county.

Day 6 Havana, IL

Not to be confused with the infamous capital and largest city of Cuba, Havana is a small town in West Central Illinois, with a population of 3,300. Locals called their town Havana because they were next to a nearby river island shaped like Cuba: “Cuba Island.” Havana was incorporated as a town in 1848. In 1900 the wetlands were destroyed and drained for farm use. After the last great flood these same areas were reclaimed and returned to the use nature intended. Soon, the area was known as a fishing and hunting center and gained notoriety as the most important inland fishing port in the U.S. Today birders, boaters, fishermen, nature lovers and hunters alike share the bounty in over 12,000 acres of wetlands in Mason and Fulton counties. Once known for cigar manufacturing and its notorious gambling nightlife, where Al Capone would visit to hunt, fish and gamble, Havana has grown into a charming, classic all-American small town. Within its borders lies a rich cultural heritage with direct access to a playground of natural resources, red brick streets, beautiful Riverfront Park, boutique shopping and exciting local amenities. The Illinois River Road National Scenic Byway preserves the natural river country, allowing visitors to travel the same route as the early French explorers. The Illinois River Country Nature Trail – Havana Loop focuses in and around the town of Havana. Nature lovers and history buffs alike will relish the day touring this scenic gateway to the heart and soul of the Illinois River. 

Day 7 Peoria, IL

The largest city on the Illinois River, Peoria is situated where it widens to form Peoria Lake. With Peoria Heights, West Peoria, Bartonville, Bellevue, East Peoria, Creve Coeur, Marquette Heights, North Pekin, and Pekin, Peoria forms an urbanized industrial complex. Peoria also offers a bustling art and culture scene and offers a robust history. The city is named for the Peoria Indians, one of the five tribes in the Illinois confederacy, who had long inhabited the area creating a network of commerce and trade before European settlement. Peoria is one of the state’s oldest settled locations. The French under René-Robert Cavelier built Fort Crèvecoeur on the river bluffs opposite the present city in 1680, but the fort was plundered and deserted later that same year. A decade later the French military, with the assistance of the Illinois Indians, built a large fortification known as Fort Pimiteoui. Other settlements around Peoria Lake, established by the French, Native Americans, and later colonists, followed. Native American and French influence remained until about 1812, when much of the village was burned by U.S. troops and its French residents were transferred to other locations, notably Alton. The following year Fort Clark was built and named for George Rogers Clark, a general in the American Revolution. Settlement began in 1819, and in 1825 it became the county seat. There, on October 16, 1854, in an event preceding the famed Lincoln-Douglas debates, Republican challenger Abraham Lincoln denounced slavery in rebuttal to a speech by Democratic senator Stephen A. Douglas.

Day 8 Ottawa, IL

Ottawa, situated at the confluence of the Illinois and Fox rivers, is a vibrant tourist destination located 80 miles outside of downtown Chicago. The city is chockfull of historic homes that cater to the curiosity of history buffs and architectural fans alike. American Queen Voyage guests also note its friendly and neighborly, hometown feel. Here, everyone is a special guest, and the area businesses provide personal attention to everyone’s needs and expectations. The residents offer a handshake, a warm greeting and an experience made from the heart. This is a place of progress, trendsetters, and modern movements, from the innovators of the past to the forward thinkers of today. A diverse culinary scene, large murals and public art displays, mom and pop shops, historic American figures, and adventure activities. There’s a lot packed into this hidden gem of the Midwest as you will see during your visit.In addition to historical landmarks, Ottawa is surrounded by open spaces, rivers, trails, a nature preserve and four state parks, all within 20 minutes of downtown. The city best known as the scenic gateway to Starved Rock State Park, the most popular state park in Illinois, with some 2 million visitors per year. The Park derives its name from a Native American legend. In the 1760s, Chief Pontiac of the Ottawa tribe, was attending a tribal council meeting. At this meeting a great battle started. Fearing death, the Illinois tribe took refuge on the great rock but died of starvation giving this historic park its name – Starved Rock. 

Day 9 Chicago, IL (Ottawa) (Disembark)

Bold, brazen and distinctly American, Chicago has personality to spare. From our embarkation point at Navy Pier to towering skyscrapers to regional cuisine and a quirky dialect, this city represents the heart and soul of the Midwest. Chicagoans are easy to recognize and quick with a smile and a lighthearted quip. The quintessential Chicago experience is a visit to the 24.5-acre Millennium Park, a well-loved public space that is home to the Jay Pritzker Pavilion, iconic Cloud Gate – a shiny bean-shaped sculpture, famous Crown Fountain, and Lurie Garden. Admire Chicago’s architecture and history on an organized excursion or informal walking tour through the city. Navy Pier is a good place to sample the local fare. Deep-dish pizza, Italian beef, or signature Chicago dogs… you decide. Shoppers are in for adventure along the Magnificent Mile, a 14-block stretch of Michigan Avenue, from the Chicago River to Oak Street. Here, you’ll find malls and boutiques selling designer fashions as well as more affordable clothing. Keep in mind, this area is congested with shoppers – especially around the holidays and on weekends – so it’s best to map out which shops you’d like to visit in advance. Not a shopper, perhaps plan to visit the acclaimed Adler Planetarium or take the high-speed elevator up to the observatory at 360 Chicago, where, on a clear day, you can see Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin. The TILT attraction on the Skydeck open-air viewing deck let’s thrill seekers test their fear of heights as you admire Michigan Avenue, 1,000-feet below. 
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