Ohio River Cruise

Experience two of America’s greatest rivers on this 11-day adventure through the heartland. Enjoy the idyllic countryside of the Ohio River and the wonder of the mighty Mississippi that inspired Mark Twain. The Ohio River was pivotal in the development and exploration of the American West and along the way we highlight much that has defined our American roots from the Civil War to bluegrass music. Or, you can take a milder pace and just kick back with a rocking chair and a glass of sweet tea on the sun deck while American Cruise Lines handles the rest. 

Each port of call showcases a new element of Americana. In Henderson, for instance, you may visit the John James Audubon Museum, which features many original works and join our expert guide to learn about the sense of natural wonder that Audubon instilled in so many Americans. While in Louisville, we are treated to a behind the scenes tour of the Churchill Downs, the site of the famed Kentucky Derby, and sample the finest bourbon at the famous Jim Beam Distillery, each destination with a distinct American story to tell. 

Every cruise on the Ohio River is unique due to fluctuating river conditions that can have an impact on our itinerary. The river has a mind of its own and, as it has been since the dawn of river travel, our sailing schedules must adapt to it. It is possible that guests will be transported between a town on the Ohio River and Pittsburgh by coach for excursions or embarkation. 

Ask about our Current Savings and our Complimentary Pre-cruise Packages which include a premium hotel stay and transportation to the ship. Click the Schedules & Rates tab for details.

US River Cruise Guide

The New 2020-2021 Cruise Guide is now available.

Free Cruise Guide

Call Toll-Free Today!

7 days a week*

Cruise Itinerary

Ports of Call
Pittsburgh, PA
Marietta, OH
Maysville, KY
Cincinnati, OH
Louisville, KY
Louisville, KY
Henderson, KY
Paducah, KY
Cape Girardeau, MO
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, MO

Ohio River Cruise

Step back in time to the grand era of paddlewheels as we explore the heartland of America. While the churn of the paddlewheel blends with the sounds of the river, rediscover the America of the pioneers, boundless optimism, and unlimited possibilities.

Ports of Call

  • Complimentary Package
  • Pittsburgh, PA
  • Marietta, OH
  • Maysville, KY
  • Cincinnati, OH
  • Louisville, KY
  • Louisville, KY
  • Henderson, KY
  • Paducah, KY
  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • St. Louis, MO
  • St. Louis, MO

Day by Day

Reverse itineraries available. Please contact your Cruise Specialist for more information. Excursions subject to change.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Complimentary Package

Each Mississippi itinerary comes complete with a Complimentary Pre-Cruise Package, providing you with a seamless way to board the ship and explore the local area. Arrive the day before your scheduled cruise date and American Cruise Lines will handle the rest. The package includes a premium hotel stay, where you can enjoy the city at your leisure. On the morning of the cruise, meet in the hotel lobby after breakfast and we will transport you to the ship to begin your cruise. All luggage will be brought directly from the hotel and placed in your stateroom aboard the ship.

Pre-Cruise Packages must be reserved at least 30 days before your cruise date.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 1
Pittsburgh, PA

Begin your journey in "steel city," Pittsburgh. Long known for steel manufacturing, Pittsburgh was an essential stop along the Ohio River for national and international commerce, making it a wealthy town in the 18th and 19th centuries.

Please Note: River conditions can affect any cruise and the upper part of the Ohio River can be particularly sensitive to fluctuating conditions. In the event that the ship can’t dock in Pittsburgh, guests will be transported by bus from the hotel to the ship to begin their cruise.

For those cruises ending in Pittsburgh, guests will be transported from the ship to Pittsburgh to enjoy the city excursions.


Pittsburgh Experience - Complimentary Excursion

Long known for steel manufacturing, Pittsburgh was an essential stop along the Ohio River for national and international commerce making it a wealthy town in the 18th and 19th centuries. Pass by the Heinz Stadium home to the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers and PNC Park, home to the MLB Pittsburgh Pirates.

Please Note: This excursion is only available on cruises ending in Pittsburgh.


Senator John Heinz History Museum - Complimentary Excursion

Named after Republican Politician Senator John Heinz, this interactive museum is full of six floors worth of Western Pennsylvania History, covering the past 250 years. Exhibits include the life of Senator John Heinz, the history of Pittsburgh, professional sports memorabilia, and much more.

Please Note: This excursion is only available on cruises ending in Pittsburgh.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 2
Marietta, OH

The second-largest city in the Parkersburg-Marietta-Vienna Metropolitan area, Marietta was named in honor of Marie Antoinette. During the 18th and 19th century, the town experienced economic prosperity, as its location on the Ohio River made it an attractive stop for commercial steamboats, as well as travelers.

Small ship cruise on the Ohio River

Campus Martius Museum & Ohio River Museum - Complimentary Excursion

Tour two of Marietta’s greatest treasures: the Campus Martius Museum and the Ohio River Museum. The Campus Martius Museum features exhibits focusing on America’s migration out West and Marietta’s earliest native inhabitants. At the Ohio River Museum, discover the golden age of the steamboat and learn about the ecology of the Ohio River system.


The Castle Historic House Museum - Complimentary Excursion

Tour this beautifully preserved, 1855 Gothic-Revival house which is on the National Register of Historic Places. The Castle was once home to some of Marietta's most prominent citizens and the site of many prestigious functions. Hear fascinating stories about its history and learn about of one of the oldest regions in the Northwest Territory.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 3
Maysville, KY

Maysville is a quaint town with a rich history. An important stop on the Underground Railroad, Maysville was host to Harriet Beecher Stowe in 1883. Your stop will include idyllic country scenery and the native sounds of original bluegrass country music.

Explore historic homes on our river cruises

Old Washington Exploration - Complimentary Excursion

Step back in time while you tour the historic town of Old Washington. Starting at the 1790s Visitor Center, your costumed tour guide will lead you through this historic Kentucky village, taking you along flagstone sidewalks graced with authentic frontier log cabins and early 19th-century homes. This two-hour walking tour will include stops at the Simon Kenton Shrine, Albert Sidney Johnston House, and the Harriett Beecher Stowe Slavery to Freedom Museum.

Ohio River cruises

Maysville Highlights - Complimentary Excursion

Enjoy the small town charm of historic Maysville, during this narrated tour. Begin at the Kentucky Gateway Museum Center, which brings the stories of explorers, artists, and movie stars to life through award-winning dioramas and its collection of historic artifacts. Next, visit the historic Russell Theater, a true piece of the town’s history. The tour will conclude at the Cox Building which was built in 1886 and features Richardson Romanesque architecture. 

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 4
Cincinnati, OH

Enjoy a visit to Cincinnati, a vibrant city and cultural center which boasts two major sports franchises, a zoo and botanical garden, and numerous theaters and museums. Stroll along its picturesque streets, abounding in eclectic architecture and shop at the famous Findlay Market, a longtime gathering place for vendors to sell local goods, meats, and fresh produce.

Mississippi River Cruising

Cincinnati City Experience - Complimentary Excursion

Explore both sides of the river on this fantastic, all-encompassing tour. Highlights include the floodwall murals, downtown river district, St. Mary’s Cathedral Basilica of the Assumption, and Eden Park. Built in 1933, Krohn Conservatory lies in the heart of Eden Park. This art deco building is architecturally significant, but it is the contents inside the aluminum and glass walls that make it truly special. The Conservatory is home to more than 5,000 varieties of exotic, tropical, desert, and orchid plants from around the world.


National Underground Railroad Freedom Center - Complimentary Excursion

The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center celebrates the brave men and women who came together to create a secret network through which the enslaved could escape to freedom. Their example of courage, cooperation, and perseverance is relevant to this day, as we continue to deal with contemporary issues of equality and diversity. 

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 5
Louisville, KY

Named after King Louis XVI of France, Kentucky was originally a part of Virginia, becoming the 15th state to join the Union in 1792. Louisville is best known for the famed Kentucky Derby, the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Racing, and the oldest continuously held horse race in the country.

Discover why Louisville is often referred to as either the northernmost southern city or the southernmost northern city in the United States.

small ship cruising

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory

Louisville Slugger is the maker of the world’s most popular bat. The company’s storied traditions and high standards for quality have produced some of the finest bats for amateurs and professionals alike. Take a guided tour of the facility and museum, learning first-hand their processes from forest-to-factory and the scientific principles used to fabricate the most important tool in “America’s Game.” Enjoy special seasonal exhibits and receive a free souvenir bat to commemorate your visit.

Small Ship Cruising

Jim Beam American Outpost

Bourbon enthusiasts will revel in a visit to the famous Jim Beam distillery. Celebrate “America’s First Family of Bourbon,” as you learn about their over 200 years of bourbon-making and view historic artifacts. Your private tour will include a visit to the home where three generations of Beam distillers lived. Step inside the Stillhouse Exhibit, which features an authentic 1800s copper, believed to be one of the oldest in America. Your tour will conclude in the rack house, where the bourbon is aged and the sampling begins. Visit the popular gift shop to purchase a variety of bourbons, bar ware, and other Jim Beam merchandise. 

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 6
Louisville, KY

Spend another day in Kentucky, known as the "Bluegrass State," due to the bluegrass found in many of its pastures because of the fertile soil. Admire the city's architecture which is a blend of old and new. Explore the Old Louisville neighborhood, the largest historic preservation district in the U.S., solely featuring Victorian homes and buildings.

small ship cruising

Kentucky Derby Museum & Horse Park - Complimentary Excursion

Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the Churchill Downs, the site of the famed Kentucky Derby. Here, you will have exclusive access to every facet of the race, from the Press Box and Jockey’s to Millionaire’s Row, the most coveted seats on race day. Visit the Kentucky Derby Museum to see actual Derby footage dating as far back as 1918.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 7
Henderson, KY

You won’t miss the presence of the notable resident, John James Audubon, whose “Birds of America” paintings are recreated as bronze statues throughout Henderson. Named after President Washington’s home on the Potomac, this bucolic river town is steeped in fascinating lore. Let our expert guide lead you on a tour of our famous first President's historic home and grounds.

small ship cruising

Audubon Museum

After docking in the tranquil port of Henderson, our morning will begin with a short narrated walk to the famous John James Audubon Museum. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places, the museum features many original oil and watercolor paintings created by Audubon as well as many of his personal possessions. Your day will continue with the resident naturalist who will provide a narrated tour of the popular Nature Center, which was recently named one of the Top 25 Bird Watching Spots. At the conclusion of the tour, you will have free time for independent exploration.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 8
Paducah, KY

Residing at the confluence of the Tennessee River and the Ohio River, Paducah will make you feel as if you stepped back in time. As you walk the streets of this Chickasaw village site, discover Paducah’s rich history. View the Wall-to-Wall Mural Program, a collection of over 50 murals that covers a number of subjects including Native American history, the Civil War, and area landmarks such as the Old Carnegie Library.

small ship cruising

Paducah City Excursion & National Quilt Museum

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.

small ship cruising

River Discovery Center

Paducah’s location at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee Rivers makes it unique.  The city is home to some of the nation’s largest barge and towing companies. At the River Discovery Center, learn all about the inland waterways and the impact they have on the daily lives of local residents. You can be a captain and choose your vessel type in the state-of-the-art boat simulator, as well as explore and learn about the history, environments, culture, and economy of these rivers through interactive exhibits. 

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 9
Cape Girardeau, MO

Enjoy the charming features of this historic town that in the late 1800s was a French trading post and lively river port. Today, it boasts Civil War sites and a tranquil setting commemorating the Cherokee Trail of Tears. Marvel at the outdoor murals reflecting the area's rich heritage and enjoy shore excursions to Cape River Heritage Museum and the Red House Interpretive Center.

small ship cruising

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. Led by our expert guide, explore the interpretive center, which houses a series of panels, paintings, maps, and other memorabilia depicting the Cherokees’ tragic crossing of the Mississippi River.


Cape Girardeau Experience - Complimentary Excursion

Join a local guide on a narrated tour of Cape Girardeau and stop at the Crisp Museum. A part of the River Campus of Southeast Missouri State University, the museum features fine art exhibitions, prehistoric Native American artifacts, one of the largest collections of ceramic conch shell effigies in North America, and interpretive regional history displays. Upon arrival, watch a wonderful introductory film, followed by a museum tour, where you can view a life-sized replica of a Native American dwelling.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 10
St. Louis, MO

St. Louis is sure to win you over. Admire the scenic riverfront, highlighted by the majestic Gateway Arch, the largest man-made monument in the U.S. Enjoy St. Louis’ many world-class attractions, including the Art Museum, Science Center, and the Missouri History Museum. End your day at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the world’s most popular public gardens.


Missouri History Museum

Enjoy a guided tour through two of the museum’s most popular exhibits; The 1904 World’s Fair: Looking Back at Looking Forward, an event that attracted over 200,000 visitors to the opening day, and Seeking St. Louis, delve into the history of the Gateway City from its founding through the new millennium.

Note: This excursion is only offered on cruises ending in St. Louis, MO and on the Complete Mississippi and Grand Heartland itineraries.

Small Ship Cruising

Discover St. Louis - Complimentary Excursion

Enjoy a narrated tour of downtown St. Louis, the riverfront, Citygarden, and the historic neighborhoods of Soulard and Lafayette Square. Delight in a visit to St. Louis' 1,371 acre Forest Park, known as a natural oasis in an urban environment. Stop at the Cathedral Basilica, where you explore the interior if this stunning church which rivals the cathedrals in Rome, Italy.

Note: This excursion is only offered on select cruises ending in St. Louis, MO and on the Complete Mississippi and Grand Heartland itineraries.

Day by Day Thumbnail

Day 11
St. Louis, MO

Departure day. We recommend you spend an extra day to explore this vibrant city. Visit the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the world’s most popular public gardens.


On this 8-day journey from St. Louis to Pittsburg, explore the America of yesteryear. The art, music, history, and natural beauty of the region is an all-encompassing experience.

Your Cruise Includes

Queen of the Mississippi

Built in 2015, Queen of the Mississippi offers an authentic paddlewheeler experience with all the comforts of home.

Guests can enjoy large staterooms with private balconies, hotel-style bathrooms, and complimentary room service. Experience breathtaking scenery from the privacy of your stateroom as the Queen of the Mississippi makes its way down the legendary river. 

Click a Category

Owner's Suite


At a generous up to 445 sq. ft., the Owner Suites of Queen of the Mississippi offer the finest accommodations with unsurpassed views of the Mississippi River. With a spacious seating area and full-size bathrooms, each suite is a private sanctuary where you can unwind after a day of exploration in the tasteful comfort of your surroundings. Each of these suites features large sliding glass doors leading out to a private balcony, where you can enjoy the ever-changing scenery. Every modern amenity is at your fingertips, along with a desk, and spacious seating area.

AAM (Private Balcony)


Located on the top deck, these spacious staterooms feature scenic views of the passing landscape. At 328 sq. ft., you will enjoy all of the modern comforts that are expected of a premium hotel. These staterooms also offer full-size bathrooms and a walk-out private balcony where the grandness of the Mississippi can be appreciated.

AAC (Private Balcony)


Our AAC staterooms are conveniently located on the fourth deck and at 304 sq. ft. offer all of the comforts of a fine hotel. Complete with a private balcony and floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors, these staterooms provide spectacular panoramic views of the Mississippi River and the surrounding landscape. 

AAL (Private Balcony)


AAL staterooms can be found on the third deck of the Queen of the Mississippi. Enjoy a luxurious 304 sq. ft. of living space that is equipped with plush seating, a full-size bathroom, and a private balcony with large sliding glass doors that offer great views of the Mississippi scenery. 

AAR (Private Balcony)


AAR staterooms can be found on the second deck of the Queen of the Mississippi. Enjoy a luxurious 304 sq. ft. of living space that is equipped with a full-size bathroom and a large private balcony with sliding glass doors.  



These 290 sq ft staterooms offer exceptional comfort and a relaxing living area. Featuring a large opening picture window, all are equipped with modern amenities, full-size bathrooms, and closet space.

Single (Private Balcony)


Perfect for the solo traveler, our Single staterooms offer all of the amenities you expect from a fine hotel. At 230 sq. ft., these staterooms have spacious bathrooms and large sliding glass doors that lead to a private balcony.



A comfortable getaway, our Single staterooms offer individuals a spacious room with convenient amenities. At 203 sq. ft., all have interior entrances and large viewing windows where the sights of the Mississippi can be enjoyed.

Queen of the Mississippi Deck Plan


Cruise Date



Load More

* Prices displayed are per person based on double occupancy.

See Our Other Mississippi River Cruises

View Itineraries ›

Save Up To
Per Stateroom

Save On Select Cruises

Book your cruise and save.
Call a Cruise Specialist to learn about our current offers.
Call 800.460.4518 Reservations office open 7 days a week


The American Cruise Lines Difference

Coffee, mimosas, and a yellow rose on a serving tray placed on a bed
First-Class Staterooms
Lobster-tails, asparagus, and lemon
Delicious Cuisine
Housekeeping placing folded white towels and blue flowers on a white bed
Gracious Service
Nightly Entertainment