The upper reaches of the Mississippi River offer the opportunity to explore the territory that served as Mark Twain’s muse. The river stretches north toward country that’s almost as wild and beautiful as it must have been during his lifetime, and, still enlivened by the coming and going of rivercraft, this course of travel offers adventure for all who embark upon it.
Day 1 - Hotel Stay - Minneapolis, MN
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.
Day 2 - Red Wing
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. A walk through the city streets showcases an array of elegant hanging flower baskets from which shades of red, purple, orange and pink drape. Also home to the famous Red Wing Shoes, this is a place you’re going to love to explore.
Day 3 - La Crosse, WI
This river town has a long-standing romance with the steamboat era, and as our paddlewheeler 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. Influences from far-off destinations such as Bantry, Ireland, and Bavaria, Germany, woven into the history and charm of this scenic port, will certainly stir a traveler’s soul.
Day 4 - Dubuque, IA
Explore Dubuque, the roots from which Iowa sprouted. It’s brimming with opportunity for river travelers to experience an All-America 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.
Day 5 - Bettendorf, IA
Bettendorf is but the beginning of this quest to the Quad Cities. Our deluxe motorcoaches bridge the gap between the distinctively different urban areas that, without friction, blend into the melting pot that the region celebrates. Whimsical architecture in Rock Island complements the eccentric gardens of the Quad City Botanical Center. The varied heritages and customs of the area come to life through the multiform dexterity of local artisans. A collection of riverfront vistas and metropolitan communities meet Midwestern neighborliness at the mighty Mississippi in this multifaceted port.
Day 6 - Burlington, IA
Charm indwells this city. Swaggering trails showcase flourishing vegetation, neighborhood hangouts offer upscale dining options and steepled churches rich in architecture abound. Pleasure awaits each visitor in this city of contrasts. Quiet strolls through courtly streets in historic districts are juxtaposed by boisterous thespian artistry inside Capitol Theater; the drumming heart of the city is soothed by the scenic backdrop of the Mississippi River. Lover of all seasons, connoisseur of culture, friend to foodies: Welcome to Burlington.
Day 7 - 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 quests 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.
Day 8 - Alton, IL
This adventurist’s oasis is always welcoming to our guests – as dewdrops of watercraft greet them from the shorelines. Founded in 1837, Alton has preserved its small-town aesthetic, but mated it with the modern industry and art that birthed its contemporary ambiance. Cafés overlook limestone bluffs draped in greenery as breezes and birds alike whistle through the trees. Enjoy both the indoor and outdoor treasures that showcase the enchantment that this river town has to offer.
Day 9 - St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, famously referred to as the Gateway City, is known for its diverse neighborhoods and the different cultural traditions each one brings forth. The city is typically associated with its 630-foot stainless steel monument, the Gateway Arch, which stands on the banks of the Mississippi River to symbolize the westward expansion of the United States.