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American Queen Nashville to St. Louis

August 20-28, 2023

Walk the footsteps of those who paved the way for American history’s expansion, from Lewis and Clark’s famed expedition to the craft spirits and artisan goods that have enriched our culture. Visiting sites of significance in the Civil War and Native American history, explore the events and avenues that beautifully weave the past with the present.

 
 

Group Itinerary

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Day 1,2, and 3

August 20-22, 2023: Nashville (Clarksville), Tennessee

Clarksville is a modern, booming city with a charming small-town feel, located about 40 minutes northwest of Nashville. Clarksville is one of Tennessee’s oldest cities, founded in 1784 before Tennessee achieved statehood. The city prospered from river trade, especially tobacco, through the 19th century. The Customs House Museum, an ornate, Victorian building from 1898, offers local history and art exhibits, plus model trains. Northeast, surrounded by parkland, the vast Dunbar Cave complex dates back thousands of years. The McGregor Park Riverwalk follows the meandering, tree-lined Cumberland River. The river’s history is traced at the As the River Flows Museum. Fort Defiance, on a bluff 200 feet above the confluence of the Red and Cumberland Rivers, has been a hub of activity for more than two centuries. During the Civil War, the hilltop was chosen by Confederate troops as a site to defend the river approach to Clarksville. In 1862 the fort was captured by Union forces, renamed, and occupied for the remainder of the war.
Today, a visitor will find Fort Defiance remarkably well preserved; the outer earthworks, powder magazine, and gun platforms are still discernible. From natural beauty and worldly cuisines to historic attractions, scenic rivers and trails, Clarksville was named 2019’s “Best Place to Live” by Money.com. The city’s historic sites preserve the ingenuity of the human spirit and deliver lasting memories. It is also a lively university city with an artsy vibe. Thanks to a trendy craft food and beverage scene, visitors can experience, taste, and savor its breweries, wineries, and distilleries.

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Day 4

August 23, 2023: Dover, Tennessee

In 1805 a state-appointed commission purchased a 30-acre plot on the Cumberland River from Robert Nelson and established the county seat of Dover. By 1850 the Tennessee frontier town had blossomed into a large river trade center and the second largest steamboat port on the Cumberland. A resting dock meets American Queen Voyages guests in Dover, a town that reveals the value of serenity in river living, where peace and quiet are interrupted only by birdsong and cricket chirps. Adventure through Fort Donelson – Dover’s touchpoint during the Civil War – which has been resurrected into Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park, a nexus of history and natural riches. Fort Donelson was the site of a major Union victory. Here, hilltops harbor somber stories, country roads lose themselves in golden horizons and historic treasures are kept secret behind the tree lines. Union troops, who had occupied the town since the fall of Fort Donelson in 1862, set fire to Dover to prevent the town from falling into the hands of General Nathan Bedford Forrest; only four buildings survived the conflagration.  
Capture the romance of this little river town’s past and experience the everyday phenomenon of its future at Cross Creeks National Wildlife Refuge, an 8,862-acre habitat for waterfowl and aquatic plant life. Or venture to Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area, one of the largest blocks of undeveloped forest in the eastern U.S. with over 170,000 acres of forests, wetlands, and open lands on a peninsula between Kentucky and Barkley lakes in Western Kentucky and Tennessee.

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Day 5

August 24, 2023: Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah’s significant American heritage can be traced to the city’s strategic location at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. Paducah, originally known as Pekin, was settled around 1815 in McCracken County. The community was inhabited by a mix of Native Americans and Europeans who lived harmoniously, trading goods and services. In 1827, William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, arrived in Pekin with a title deed to the land he now owned. 
The town was platted out and named in honor of the largest nation of Native Americans that ever roamed North America, the Padouca Indians. Lewis and Clark had made acquaintance with many of them on their trek west. Discover how Paducah played a pivotal role in American history from rivers to railroad transportation, the Civil War to civil rights. Museums and riverfront “Wall to Wall” murals by the Dafford Murals Team weave the story of Paducah’s past and guide viewers to experiences and landmarks throughout the town, where historical markers detail the significance and cultural heritage. 
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.

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Day 6

August 25, 2023: Cape Girardeau, Missouri

Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River, you’ll find Cape Girardeau, Missouri – a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. As you stroll along the riverfront, pause for a moment... you’ll feel the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army in the historic downtown and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth to explore the Louisiana Purchase on their Corps of Discovery. Cape Girardeau, which has shown hospitality to the likes of Twain, Lewis and Clark, and General Grant, greets today’s guests in the same vein. 
Whether pedaling along the bike lanes that strip along the city streets, hiking through a state park, walking across one of many covered bridges, shopping for antiques, visiting area wineries, viewing murals that stretch the entire length of the downtown area, or stepping back in time at any number of historic sites, the Show Me State does not disappoint. Peeking through the long-standing architecture and handsome panoramas are moments that will mature into golden memories. Take time to embrace legends, discover a simpler time and relive the wonders of the past.

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Day 7

August 26, 2023: Chester, Illinois

Samuel Smith is considered the town’s “official” founder because he built the first home here, started a ferry system, and began construction of a mill in 1829. The town was named after Chester, the city in England where his wife Jane Smith was from. The first business in Chester was a general store that opened in 1830 along with a castor oil press established by R. B. Servant. The H.C. Cole Milling Company was founded by Nathan Cole in 1839. It started out as a small sawmill with a corn-grinding attachment which encouraged the townspeople to plant grains, and in a short time the first Cole flour mill was built. 
In 1916, four investors developed the International Shoe Company in the center of town. At its peak it had more than 1000 employees and was producing thousands of children’s shoes. In 1925, the Prim Hosiery Mill began operations with 50 employees and grew to employ more than 275 people with annual payroll exceeding $700,000. The mill closed in the late 1960s. Elzie C. Segar might as well be Chester’s “unofficial” founder. The Chester native is the brains behind the Popeye the Sailor Man cartoon. Today, Chester is known as the “Home of Popeye” and a 6-foot, 900-pound bronze statue of Popeye stands in a park that bears Segar’s name. Chester not only groomed Segar’s creative talent, but also acted as a muse, providing character inspiration in the form of its own residents. So, enjoy the origin of this childhood classic.

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Day 8

August 27, 2023: Springdale - St. Louis (Alton), Missouri

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.

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Day 9

Sep 28, 2023: St. Louis, Missouri

As your American Queen Voyages journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home.

 
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Pricing

 
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Deluxe Outside Stateroom With Open Veranda

$4,499 per person

Plus an additional $465 for port charges and tips

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Outside Stateroom With Open Veranda

$3,799 per person

Plus an additional $465 for port charges and tips

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Outside Stateroom With Open Veranda

$3,499 per person

Plus an additional $465 for port charges and tips

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Inside Cabin No Windows

$1,599 per person

Plus an additional $465 for port charges and tips