From the legendary Grand Ole Opry to the Country Music Hall of Fame, Nashville is the official headquarters of country music. The lively streets are lined with art galleries and unique shops that welcome you at every turn. Consider touring The Hermitage, the home of President Andrew Jackson, the gardens of Cheekwood where more than 55,000 tulips bloom in the spring, or Gaylord Opryland's nine acres of indoor gardens and waterfalls.
Established in 1785, Clarksville is named for General George Rogers Clark, a frontier fighter, Revolutionary War hero, and brother of William Clark of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Learn from local experts and museum exhibits how Clarksville rose as a major tobacco port during the 1800s. While visiting, you may want to tour the Don F. Pratt Memorial Museum which houses military memorabilia or explore Dunbar Cave, one of the largest caves in the county.
Customs House Museum
& Cultural Center - Complimentary Excursion
Built in 1898, this building originally housed a U.S. Post Office and Customs House for the flourishing tobacco trade. This architecturally fascinating structure was designed by William Aicken, who was commissioned by President Grover Cleveland. The museum is among the most photographed buildings in Tennessee. It features rotating shows, fine art galleries and a sculpture garden.
In 1862, General Simon Buckner surrendered his Rebel forces to General Ulysses S. Grant at Fort Donelson, marking the first major Union victory. Tour this battlefield and learn about the surrender that took place in Dover, and the ramifications it had on the War Between the States.
Fort Donelson National Military Park - Complimentary Excursion
Once the gateway to the Confederate Heartland, the battle of Fort Donelson became a key victory for Ulysses Grant and Union forces. Enjoy a warm welcome at the visitor’s center by tour guides who are eager to share their knowledge. After a short introductory film, tour the grounds of the fort, surrender site, and National Cemetery while learning about the military strategies employed by each side and how the Union victory impacted the entire Civil War.
Homeplace Living History Farm
The Homeplace Living History Farm re-creates the rich tradition of 19th-century farming. Interpreters dressed in period clothing bring the farm to life as they demonstrate the agricultural skills and work habits that changed the area’s landscape. Most of the crops and livestock are the same as they were in the mid-19th century, grown and harvested using period tools and techniques. When visiting, you might find men working oxen or repairing an old farm building.
Cruising Lake Barkley
Located in Western Kentucky, explore Lake Barkley with a relaxing day of cruising. Take in the view of the beautiful shoreline from one of the Queen of the Mississippi's spacious, comfortable lounges while enjoying the company of other guests.
Found by William Clark (Lewis and Clark), Paducah is known as a National Heritage Destination with many talented culinary artists, painters, potters and jewelers creating and displaying their works there. Also known as “Quilt City,” there is plenty to do in Paducah from shopping, to visiting one the many fine museums, to participating in a hands-on creative workshop at a local art gallery.
Paducah City Tour - Complimentary Excursion
Let our local guide take you through the quaint city of Paducah. This tour has been carefully divided into three distinct sections to make sure you experience all that Paducah has to offer. First, tour the downtown as our local expert guide points out the areas’ many historical sites. Then, take a leisurely stroll along the riverfront where you will witness more than 50 life-sized panoramic murals depicting elements of Paducah’s past. End the tour at the National Quilt Museum, the world's largest museum devoted to quilt and fiber art.
River Heritage Museum
Just a short distance from the ship’s docking location is the River Heritage Museum, where guests will learn all about the Four Rivers region. Explore state-of-the-art interactive exhibits such as the working lock and dam model and the pilothouse simulator which allows you test your skills and captain your own riverboat!
Art Demonstration Tour
Home to the nationally recognized Artist Relocation Program, Lowertown is situated just four blocks from the Ohio River and historic downtown Paducah. During this tour, you will visit the studios and galleries of Paducah’s resident artists. Here you will have the opportunity to participate in hands-on creative workshops, hear the artists’ personal stories and enjoy their works of art.
Just thirty miles from the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, this river town became an important trading post in the 1800s. Visited by Lewis and Clark, Cape Girardeau has a storied history that resonates throughout the town, from the Trail of Tears State Park to the many outdoor murals reflecting the area's rich history.
Trail of Tears State Park
The evening before arriving in Cape Girardeau, your onboard historian will paint a vivid picture of the Cherokee peoples' crossing of the Mississippi River to land in present-day Oklahoma. The forced march became known by the Cherokee people as the Trail of Tears due to its devastating effects. Memorializing this event is the Trail of Tears State Park, where you will join our guide to explore the interpretive center designed to retrace the steps of the Cherokee. Through a series of interpretive panel, paintings, maps, and other memorabilia, your guide will depict the Cherokees’ crossing of the Mississippi River.
Narrated City Tour
and Old St. Vincent’s Church - Complimentary Excursion
Possibly the greatest depiction of the astounding history of Cape Girardeau’s past is the Old St. Vincent’s Church. The rare English Gothic Revival architectural style of the church is one of the last of its kind left in America. The magnificent stained glass windows and other subtle intricacies make for great photo opportunities. After your tour of the church, journey down the street to the Crisp Museum which features an impressive collection of fine art, prehistoric Native American artifacts and one of the largest collections of ceramic conch shell effigies in North America.
Chester is a beautiful region of Illinois located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River. This city has a diverse and storied history, beginning with the establishment of a ferry system by Jane Thomas in the early 1800s. Chester is home to Popeye's creator Elzie C. Segar and you may see the Sailor Man's likeness in the town's own six-foot-tall bronze metal statue.
Chester Walking Tour - Complimentary Excursion
Located on the scenic bluffs of the Mississippi River, Chester is best known as “The City of Popeye,” as it is the birthplace of his creator, Elzie Segar. Tour this quaint city with a local guide who will share all the stories of the people and places of this little corner of America. Shop at Spinach Can Collectibles in Gazebo Park for Popeye-inspired gifts. Visit the Cohen Memorial Home whose bright blue windows even caught the attention of Mark Twain as he traveled the Mississippi, and take a picture with the famous Popeye statue.
This “Gateway to the West” was the epicenter for exploration following the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. Now, it is the largest city visited during the cruise and has a distinct metropolitan culture. Take the elevator to the top of the Gateway Arch, which stands 630 feet over the Mississippi River.
The Arch Experience
& Museum of Westward Expansion
At 630 feet tall, The Gateway Arch is our nation’s tallest man-made monument. Take a tram ride to the top of this majestic arch for a bird’s-eye view of downtown St. Louis and the Mississippi River. After the tram ride, visit the Museum of Westward Expansion and discover the lives of the explorers, cowboys and Native Americans who helped forge our nation.
Note: This tour is not offered by American Cruise Lines, but is recommended.
City Tour of St. Louis - Complimentary Excursion
Join others on this narrated tour of Downtown St. Louis, the riverfront, City garden, and the historic neighborhoods of Soulard and Lafayette Square. Delight in an additional driving tour of St. Louis' 1,371 acre Forest Park, known as a natural oasis in an urban environment. Visit Anheuser Busch Brewery for a stables-only tour (if available) to see the historic stables built in 1885 and the world-famous Clydesdale horses.
Note: This tour is not offered by American Cruise Lines, but is recommended.