The American Queen Steamboat Company requires you to have been vaccinated for Covid-19 prior to your cruise!
The Mississippi River stretches north toward country that’s almost as wild and beautiful as it was during Mark Twain’s lifetime. From St. Louis to Minneapolis, the journey through America is still enlivened by the coming and going of rivercraft. This luxury river cruise offers adventure, beauty and comfort to all who embark upon it. The Upper Mississippi River offers the opportunity to explore the territory that served as his muse.
We travel by motorcoach to Alton, Illinois, to board the beautiful American Countess.
DAY 2: HANNIBAL, MO
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 masterpieces such as “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Life on the Mississippi,” and the town’s preservation efforts allow our guests 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, this exuberant port marks the start of adventure for all who visit.
Included Tour: Hannibal Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Hannibal, Missouri has a rich history, diverse industrial economy and truly remarkable arts. The city was founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates and became a popular stop along the river for many steamboats traveling on the Mississippi. Hannibal offers more parks per citizens than most towns in the Midwest and is included in the famous “50 Miles of Art.” Today, the most popular draw of this quirky town is Hannibal’s very own Samuel Langhorne Clemens, recognized world-wide as Mark Twain. Many of the popular characters featured in Twain’s novels were based on people Sam had known while growing up in Hannibal. The influences of this American icon are woven into the streets, shops, restaurants and museums of Hannibal, waiting to be uncovered.
Premium Tours: Muddy River Radio’s Live Rendition of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn– $69
Step back in time to an era before television; before the internet and before social media. This was a time of one of the most ground-breaking inventions of the early 1900s – the time of the radio. Join us as we explore the contemporary sounds of live radio theatre productions, which prompted families to gather around the radio and, for a moment, forget the worries of everyday life in the early 1900s. Today’s show features the local “Muddy River Radio” theatre group, an incredibly talented collection of entertainers known for their 1940s-style radio theatre productions. The group will take the stage and present an adaptation to Twain’s 1884 famous novel, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.
Mississippi Mud… A Hands-on Experience – $69
Enjoy a tour of the shop and working studio at Ayers Pottery, where we will see functional pottery pieces created by an artist, followed by an introduction to basic wheel throwing from a master potter. Then get ready to suit up and give it a try for yourself! Head down to the workshop and become the artist as you work your own potter’s wheel and create your own work of art. Feel your mind drift into serenity as you press your thumbs into the cool, damp clay, molding a piece of art into your very own souvenir. Your masterpiece will then be fired up and shipped to your home as a perfect and unique keepsake of your Hannibal adventure!
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: CLINTON, IA
At the height of its economy during the late 19th century, Clinton was regarded as the lumber capital of the nation. Today, agriculture plays a big part in Clinton’s economy, which is visible in beautiful rolling fields filled in late summer with luscious, fresh harvest crops. Explore the history of this fascinating river town and discover a lifestyle that will stand out from today’s norm.
Included Excursion: Clinton Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
The city of Clinton has much to offer, all with the beautiful backdrop of the Mississippi River. Situated at the crossroads of the Lincoln Highway and the Great River Road, Clinton is the Eastern-most point in the State of Iowa. At the height of its local economy during the late 19th century, Clinton was regarded as the lumber capital of the nation, a history that is reflected as visitors pass many old sawmills. Today, agriculture plays a big part in Clinton’s economy, which is visible in the beautiful rolling fields filled with fresh harvest crops. Explore the history of this fascinating river town and discover a lifestyle that will stand out from today’s norm!
Premium Shore Excursion: The Ultimate American Agriculture Experience – $129
Explore two truly American success stories on today’s ultimate farming excursion, where we will see that to this day, Thomas Jefferson’s idea of a great agrarian nation is still alive and well. Our first stop will be to the John Deere Pavilion, where we will learn about the legacy behind one of America’s agricultural giants. Then at Cinnamon Ridge Farms, you’ll feel like part of the family as we experience the true midwestern hospitality of American farmers John and Joan Maxwell. Here we will gather around their family’s dining room table for a delicious farm-to-table lunch, followed by a complete tour of their farm, including its equipment, robotic dairy operation and country store.
DAY 5: DUBUQUE, IA
Explore Dubuque, the roots from which Iowa sprouted. It’s brimming with opportunity for river travelers to experience an All-American City. Check off your outdoor bucket list in the perfect nature getaway for any adventure, and explore historic districts peppered with preserved history. From the architectural delight of Tiffany-designed windows in St. Luke’s United Methodist Church to the exhibits of the Dubuque Museum of Art, this city captures artistry. Victorian meets bohemian in this ever-growing Mississippi River gem that’s sure to leave dazzling memories.
Included Excursion: Dubuque Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Located on the Mississippi River where Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin meet, Dubuque is an extremely popular tourist destination featuring riverfront amenities, numerous attractions and events, breathtaking natural scenery and unique architecture. From the America’s River Project in the Port of Dubuque that transformed the city’s riverfront, to the revitalization of its historic Main Street, to the ongoing evolution of the Historic Millwork District downtown, Dubuque is truly a vibrant community. The U.S. Conference of Mayors has named Dubuque the “Most Livable Small City” in the country and the National Civic League has named Dubuque an All-America City four times since 2007! Visitors will enjoy exploring this beautiful and unique city as they uncover its history and current offerings.
Premier Excursion: Grant in Galena: Exploring the Home of Ulysses S. Grant – $79
Nestled in the rolling hills of northwest Illinois, Galena enchants visitors with incredible historic sites and attractions, wonderful specialty shops, and unlimited dining options. At the home of General Ulysses S. Grant, admire the fully restored home in its authentic 1868 glory as you see original Grant family furnishings and memorabilia. Then explore the U.S. Grant Museum at your leisure and take a short walk to Main Street Galena for shopping when you’re done!
DAY 6: LA CROSSE, WI
This river town has a long-standing romance with the steamboat era, and as our paddle wheeler kisses its port, guests are welcomed by its eye-catching vistas and expansive waterfront park. Within its depths, La Crosse harbors a vibrant community; the cultural exchange among it and its six sister cities showcases a deep appreciation for enrichment through diversity.
Included Excursion: La Crosse Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Filled with statues, inspiring architecture and an exquisite view of the river, La Crosse is an artist’s dream. Named by explorer Zebulon Pike who saw a group of people playing a game with sticks that looked like a cross, La Crosse is now a delightful tourist stop. Like much of Wisconsin, La Crosse became heavily involved with the lumber industry in the mid-1800s, until the decline of the forests throughout much of the state took its toll. But in the wake of the vanishing lumber era, La Crosse became a city renowned for its beer making, with around five breweries operating in La Crosse near the turn of the century.
Premier Excursion: Winona Revealed: The Midwest’s Best Kept Secret – $79
Take to the waters of the Mississippi River on the Winona Tour Boat! Experience the beautiful upper Mississippi River and all it has to offer as our expert captain narrates on the local area and river that he calls home. As the boat glides along, Captain Aaron will point out all the local wildlife, including turtles, herons, beavers, deer, ducks and, of course, eagles. Then explore the Winona County History Center, where exhibits showcase an era where the bluffs were just being formed and the area was a booming lumber town. Conclude the day at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum and see collections of original European and American masterpieces. See works by Monet, Picasso, Van Gogh, O’Keeffe, Cassatt and many more. The museum also features an original “Washington Crossing the Delaware” by German artist, Emanuel Leutze.
DAY 7: RED WING, MN
Red Wing was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of the world’s most historic places. The city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and pioneers who occupied the land before today or admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.
Included Excursion: Red Wing Hop-On Hop-Off Tour
Red Wing, Minnesota was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of most historic places in the world. Discovered in the early 1850s, the lands were used mostly for harvesting wheat that would be transported up the river. Later in Red Wing’s history, the economy began to flourish on the pottery industry, which became a main source of income between 1877 and 1967. Today, the city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and travelers that occupied the land before today, or to admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.
Premier Excursions: Hidden Waters of the Mississippi: A Scenic Kayak Tour – $99
Take to the waters on a scenic kayaking adventure into the vibrant heart of the Upper Mississippi River. Nature will be at your fingertips as you glide by the river’s green banks, beneath the swooping wings of eagles, and atop sky blue waters in your personal kayak. Our expert guide will lead us off the main channel to the river’s backwaters—perfect for guests of all experience levels. Discover the raw, uninhabited beauty of nature along these smooth and shallow waters.
On Eagle’s Wings – $79 – Traverse the streets of Red Wing as our local guide explains the history of this iconic river town while viewing some of key sites from the comfort of the luxury river coach. Then we will travel to Wabasha, Minnesota, the oldest city on the upper Mississippi River. Here we’ll visit the National Eagle Center for an unforgettable “nose to beak” experience with America’s National Symbol of Freedom – the American bald eagle!
DAY 8: Disembark and board our motorcoach for the ride back to Southern Illinois.