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.
- Luxury accommodations
- Flat-panel screen that features in-house movies
- Desk and sitting area
- Bottled water replenished daily
- Room service
- Daily maid service
- House beverages
- Daily news papers
- Selected shore excursions
- Beverages beyond house beverages
- Gratuities to crew and Cruise Director
- Items of personal nature, gift shop purchases
- Pre and post cruise extensions and hotels
- Travel and Emergency Evacuation Insurance
- Premium Shore Excrusions
- Port Charges – $199 per person
HOTEL STAY IN MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE
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.
MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE (EMBARK)
Memphis has a plethora of places to visit and has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll. Boogie on down to Beale Street – alive with quirky places to indulge in some Southern barbeque, purchase souvenirs for friends and family (or a little something for yourself) and sip on a Blue Suede Tini. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for our guests to experience.
Included Shore Excursion: Memphis Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
When the explorer Hernando DeSoto and his army arrived in Memphis in 1541, they set up camp and the city of Memphis exchanged hands with the Spanish, French and English eventually being sold to the U.S Government. To- day, Memphis is nationally recognized for its contributions to our country’s music influences. Dubbed the “Birthplace of Rock and Roll,” this iconic city offers a vibrant culture and history is intertwined through every street.
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.
Columbus, Kentucky, located in Hickman County, is the oldest town in Jackson Purchase. First established on the Mississippi floodplain in 1804, the town was initially known as “Iron Banks.” This naming convention was due to the site’s name in French: les rivages de fer. The great Mississippi Flood of 1927 rampaged the town and caused its residents to move its location to the present-day site further inland.
Included Shore Excursion: Shuttle to Discovery Park and Civil War Museum
Explore the Discovery Park of America, located in the beautiful Heritage Park in Union City, Tennessee. The expansive museum features ten exhibit galleries that focus on a wide variety of intriguing subjects, such as science, space, technology, military, natural history, regional history, art and transportation. Then visit the Columbus-Belmont State Park Civil War Museum to discover the region’s role in the Civil War. See the collection of diaries, letters and personal artifacts of troops on display.
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. Life is a work of art, and the town of Paducah certainly is alive and well. Feast in this foodies’ fantasy. Uncover mastership. Catch a glimpse of Paducah.
Capture your inner artisan in the home of James Audubon and W.C Handy. Hospitality flows freely through a vibrant downtown that kisses the rolling river. Wide streets welcome guests and showcase historic preservation that awakens a classic ambiance in storefronts and homes. Discover nature fingerprinted with humanity in the many parks and trials that showcase artistry throughout the town. Greetings from Henderson – a walkable community wrapped in warmth.
Included Shore Excursion: Henderson Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Since 1797, Henderson has provided commerce and inspired two renowned artists. Naturalist John James Audubon discovered his calling here, observing and painting many works for Birds of America, the most recognized natural history book in the world. Musician W.C. Handy also lived in Henderson, and for over 25 years the town has been celebrating the W.C. Handy Blues & Barbecue Festival, one of the largest free music festivals in the nation. As once one of the richest communities per capita in the country, Henderson gained much of its wealth during tobacco’s heyday. This led to the construction of many beautiful 19th century homes, many of which are still standing in the historic downtown.
The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro. 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.
Included Shore Owensboro Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
The first European descendant to settle in Owensboro was frontiersman William Smeathers or Smothers in 1797, from whom the Riverfront Park is named. The settlement was originally known as Yellow Banks from the color of the land beside the Ohio River. The city has been a hub for bourbon production because of its location along a rail line and water- way, its tremendous limestone water source, its extensive oak forests, and because local farmers have always produced a great deal of corn. Owensboro is also home to famous actor Johnny Depp, as he is a member of an old and prodigious Kentucky family.
The essence of Kentucky radiates, from its bourbon traditions to a tableau of rolling farmland. Soul-stir- ring river views and Southern warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Mysteries of the Civil War enlist lifelong learners on the battlefield while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation. The grass is bluer in Brandenburg and all the surrounding areas.
Included Shore Excursion: An American Leader: The Life and Presidency of Abraham Lincoln.
Today we will trace the life of the sixteenth president of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. In Hodgenville, Kentucky, we will visit the Lincoln Museum, where of three-dimensional wax figures, life-size dioramas, exhibits and campaign posters build the background of Lincoln’s story. Step outside to Lincoln Square, where an impersonator will stand in front of a six-foot brass Lincoln statue and continue telling the story. Finish the day at the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Site, where we will discover Lincoln’s humble beginnings.
LOUISVILLE, KY (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.
PRE AND POST-CRUISE ARRANGEMENTS ARE AVAILABLE
Spacious luxury awaits aboard the floating masterpiece that is the American Duchess. This boutique-style riverboat offers exquisite dining, beautiful decks and exceptional amenities. Her suites range from 180 to 550 square feet, allowing guests to stay in some of the largest accommodations on the rivers. Unique to the American Duchess are her Loft Suites, which feature two stories enhanced by floor-to-ceiling windows, two full bathrooms, a comfortable dining area, a beautiful lounge with a queen sofa-bed, a private balcony and an upstairs bedroom.
Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady epitomizes the grace and grandeur that have made cruising on the Mississippi River a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries.
Inspired by America’s heartland and our Southern heritage, our menus showcase the varied cultural and culinary influences of our nation. In the elegant J.M. White dining room, any meal will keep you savoring the memory of the flavors and sharing your excitement for our excellent service – even after you leave the boat. If you are looking for a more casual atmosphere, the Front Porch Café is for you. Meals there feature favorite main dishes, such as roast prime rib alongside irresistible sides – roasted new potatoes, classic mac-and-cheese and fresh salads.
Entertainment on the American Duchess is one-of-a-kind. Make plans to spend your evenings with nightly river cruise entertainment. Live entertainers will bring down the house in The Show Lounge. Catch world-class entertainment, relive a historical moment or hear a famous river tale originally told by Mark Twain. And be sure to bring your dancin’ shoes to the Lincoln Library to enjoy a late-night live set by our talented musicians.
Learn more about the region in which you are traveling with a number of enrichment programs we offer. See for yourself the highlights of each port that we visit on one of our guided Hop-On Hop-Off shore excursions, or elect to take part in one of our expertly designed premium experiences. And our onboard historians – we like to call them Riverlorians – provide interesting lectures on the history and culture that surrounds you as you roll down the river.
The rhythm of the river is slow as a southern drawl that invites us all to take a deep breath and enjoy the simple moments. The Lincoln library is more than just a space to gather for morning coffee and your favorite book. And the Art Walk, a passageway alongside The Show Lounge, features a series of paintings by Claude Monet. It’s the perfect place to soak up some beauty or simply curl up with a book in one of its window seats.