Complete Mississippi River Cruise

The echoes of riverboat travelers from a bygone era resound as we travel the full length of the Mighty Mississippi. As ten states glide past your vantage point on the sun deck, admire what has been the subject of numerous works of art and the backdrop for countless American novels.

From the vibrant cultural center of the “Big Easy” to the dramatic landscapes of the Upper Mississippi, experience life as it once was on the western frontier.  Our expert guides will take you to the grand southern plantations, stately antebellum houses, and Civil War battlefields of the Lower Mississippi. Taste the finest Cajun and Creole and enjoy mouth-watering Memphis BBQ as you travel to the birthplace of Jazz, Blues, and Rock–n-Roll.

Cruising up the river, Hometown Americana takes center stage. Relive the adventures of Mark Twain’s time on a trolley ride through Hannibal, his boyhood hometown. Experience the legacy of John Deere in Davenport and the Victorian-era elegance of Dubuque. As we continue north, pasture gives way to forest and the wild life of Minnesota and Wisconsin comes into view.

Just as it was in Mark Twain’s day, every cruise on the Mississippi 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 our sailing schedules must adapt to it. This is part of the adventure and American Cruise Lines will always work to provide a seamless travel experience.  

Click here to learn how American Harmony, the second in our series of new modern riverboats, is revolutionizing U.S. river cruising. 

US River Cruise Guide

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Cruise Itinerary

Day
Ports of Call
1
New Orleans, LA
2
Oak Alley, LA
3
Houmas House, LA
4
Baton Rouge, LA
5
St. Francisville, LA
6
Natchez, MS
7
Vicksburg, MS
8
Greenville, MS
9
Memphis, TN
10
New Madrid, MO
11
Cape Girardeau, MO
12
Chester, IL
13
St. Louis, MO
14
Day of River Cruising
15
Hannibal, MO
16
Fort Madison, IA
17
Davenport, IA
18
Dubuque, IA
19
Day of River Cruising
20
La Crosse, WI
21
Red Wing, MN
22
St. Paul, MN

Complete Mississippi River Cruise

While cruising Lower Mississippi, explore fascinating ports, antebellum plantations, and Civil War battlefields led by our local expert guides. As you journey up the river, discover a land of sprawling nature preserves and vivid American towns that bring you back to an earlier time.   

Ports of Call

  • Complimentary Package
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Oak Alley, LA
  • Houmas House, LA
  • Baton Rouge, LA
  • St. Francisville, LA
  • Natchez, MS
  • Vicksburg, MS
  • Greenville, MS
  • Memphis, TN
  • New Madrid, MO
  • Cape Girardeau, MO
  • Chester, IL
  • St. Louis, MO
  • Hannibal, MO
  • Fort Madison, IA
  • Davenport, IA
  • Dubuque, IA
  • La Crosse, WI
  • Red Wing, MN
  • St. Paul, MN
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Day by Day

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

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Pre-Cruise
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.

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Day 1
New Orleans, LA

New Orleans is commonly referred to as the birthplace of Jazz. There is something for everyone in this historic city where art and culture prevail. The open-air artist colony proudly displays local works on the iron fence in Jackson Square, while the city’s 45 museums carefully preserve its past. Consider staying an extra day or night to enjoy this lively city.

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Day 2
Oak Alley, LA

Once serving as an antebellum sugar cane plantation, Oak Alley Plantation is rightfully named after its most distinguishing feature, a canopy of 300-year-old oak trees that form a quarter-mile path leading to the Mississippi River. Restored to its 19th-century grandeur, this classic Greek Revival-style antebellum mansion is simply breathtaking.

Mississippi River Cruises

Oak Alley Plantation - Complimentary Excursion

The famous ancient oaks bordering your path to the mansion are your first sight upon stepping ashore. The perfectly aligned 300-year-old trees form a canopy which set a particularly grand entrance for our arrival. Southern belles enjoying the shade of the leafy canopy greet us on arrival and are our guides for the day. In small groups, we bring you through the antebellum plantation’s many stately rooms and show you why it has earned the name “Grande Dame of The Great River Road.” After the tour, join us for a special gathering with mint juleps on the west lawn before a visit to their popular gift shop which is known for its world-famous pralines.

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Day 3
Houmas House, LA

The historic Houmas House takes you back to the pre-Civil War era of stately mansions and expansive plantations. Featuring over 38 acres of lush gardens, ponds, and ancient oak trees, this shore excursion is rich in beauty and history. Enduring floods, war, and the Great Depression, Houmas House underwent a renovation in 1940 and today offers a detailed look into the legacy of the South.

Small Ship Cruising

Houmas House & Plantation - Complimentary Excursion

The stately grandeur of Houmas House is complemented by the flair of our guide, Ms. Judy Davis, who has a personality as magnificent as the mansion itself. As we arrive, we will be greeted on the riverbank to begin our private tour through the gardens to the 16-room plantation home. Once inside, the velvet ropes are removed and permission is granted to use the home’s furniture for a truly authentic experience. During the tour, she brings stories of the home’s many inhabitants to life through the unique collection of Louisiana art. After the tour, you have time to wind through the gardens on your own. Later, Ms. Davis joins us on board for an entertaining evening of humor and songs of the South.

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Day 4
Baton Rouge, LA

Experience the wonder of Baton Rouge, Louisiana's capital, and one of the most historic and unforgettable cities in the South. Known as the Red Stick, Baton Rouge has everything you would expect to find in a state capital, but with a down-home flavor that is part of its charm. 

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Battle of Baton Rouge - Complimentary Excursion

 Led by an expert historian, explore locations that were critical to Battle of Baton Rouge, a ground and naval battle in the American Civil War. The Union victory of this battle halted Confederate attempts to recapture the capital city of Louisiana. Visit the historic Magnolia Cemetery and stand upon the very ground where the most intense fighting of the battle took place. Explore the Port Hudson State Historic Site, a Louisiana State Park that preserves and interprets a portion of the Port Hudson battlefield where the longest military siege in U.S. History took place. View a film about the battle and siege, admire original Civil War artifacts, and witness a live firing of an original Civil War cannon used at Port Hudson.  

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Baton Rouge Spirits Tour & Tasting

The Baton Rouge region currently hosts about 10 breweries and distilleries, with a growing craft industry that is gaining popularity across the U.S. On this guided exploration, visit the Tin Roof- Brewing Co., Baton Rouge’s largest craft brewery, and Three Roll Estate, a distillery which produces a signature agricole-style rum from fresh-pressed cane juice. Along the way, sample award-winning beer and rum and learn about the process of creating these delicious libations.

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A Walk Through The Capital - Complimentary Excursion

Experience the sights, sounds, and wonders of Baton Rouge, the Capital City of Louisiana. Led by a local expert, admire iconic and historic landmarks, while exploring many of the well-known downtown neighborhoods on foot. Enjoy fascinating stories of the area’s culture, politics, history and legends, while embracing the rich art, architecture, and nature on the route.

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Louisiana Art & Science Museum - Complimentary Excursion

Housed in a historic railroad depot on the banks of the Mississippi River, the Louisiana Art & Science Museum (LASM) features exhibitions of internationally renowned fine artists, a state-of-the-art planetarium, and an Ancient Egypt gallery. Explore the various galleries that showcase changing fine art exhibitions as well as a permanent collection. In the Ancient Egypt gallery you will find ancient artifacts and a Ptolemaic-era mummy that rests in a re-created rock-cut tomb. The Irene W. Pennington Planetarium features sky shows, large-format films, visual music shows, and galleries devoted to space science.

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Cajun Pride Swamp Excursion

Enjoy a narrated boat ride in the Manchac Swamp, a privately owned wildlife refuge in a comfortable, covered boat, with walking room and open viewing from any seat. Swamp creatures are unafraid and responsive to our captain’s voice. In the safety and comfort of the boat, you will be able to get within a few feet of “jumping gators.” Other animals to be on the lookout for include nutria, ibis, turtles, herons, raccoons, egrets, and more. 

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USS Kidd

Known as the “Pirate of the Pacific,” this Fletcher-class destroyer is a memorial to the men and women who served in the American armed forces. Step back in time on this amazing tour as you witness original artifacts and aircraft from World War II.

River Cruises

Baton Rouge City Exploration - Complimentary Excursion

We begin our excursion at the Capital Park Museum. Learn about the many diverse aspects of Louisiana, from Louis Armstrong to the tradition of Mari Gras. We then continue to view the impressive Governor’s Hall and the New State Capitol, Governor Huey Long’s symbol of pride and the tallest capitol in the U.S.  Admire the Old Louisiana State Capitol, also known as the State House. This historic government building housed the Louisiana State Legislature from the mid-19th century until the current capitol tower building was constructed in 1929-32. Finally, enjoy views of Magnolia Mound, a French Creole plantation house built in 1791 and a rare example of the architecture influenced by early settlers from France and the West Indies.

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Day 5
St. Francisville, LA

Established in 1809, St. Francisville is a quaint southern town overlooking the Mississippi River. One of the largest shipping ports on the Mississippi River prior to the Civil War, St. Francisville is a small town with appeal. Experience the town’s rich history as you tour historic plantations, including the famous Rosedown, or explore the areas' captivating gardens.

Paddlewheel Cruises

Rosedown Plantation & Garden Exploration - Complimentary Excursion

The affluent ambiance of the Rosedown Plantation is evident the minute you step on the property. As you walk towards the Main House, you will be welcomed by a beautiful flowered path lined with towering oaks. Local guides will regale you with stories of the families who once lived there and give insight into the culture of the South. Roam the picturesque gardens at your leisure, one of the few and largest privately-maintained formal gardens during the 19th century.

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Day 6
Natchez, MS

Settled in 1716, Natchez is rich in history and southern hospitality. Enjoy a guided exploration of this fascinating city which has retained its antebellum charm since its surrender during the Civil War. Visit Frogmore, a historic cotton plantation still in use today, or attend a special piano concert in the J. N. Stone music room.

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Natchez Views & Brews

Natchez Brewing Company is located in historic downtown Natchez, known as the oldest established city on the Mississippi River and a central hub during steamboat era. Their beer is crafted with a passion for local flavor and a love for tradition. Enjoy a step-by-step demonstration of the brewing process in the production area, from grain to glass. Learn about the ingredients, equipment, and styles of beer and sample the varieties of your choice.

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Tombs & Tales

Explore the Historic Natchez Cemetery. Established in 1822, the occupants of this important cemetery tell tales of the history, grandeur, mystery, and tragedy of Natchez. Surrounded by majestic live oaks and set on the bluffs high above the Mississippi River, the beautiful grounds offer stunning panoramic views. Enjoy a guided walking excursion through the oldest section of the cemetery and hear fascinating stories about the residents buried there.

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Historic Longwood Exploration - Complimentary Excursion

Longwood is just one of the elegant historic houses that graces the historic district of Natchez. This octagonal house epitomizes the rise and fall of the South. As the Civil War began, the workmen stopped construction and the house was never completed. View the finished first floor with original family furnishings and the upper five stories that are still a work in progress.

small ship cruising

Natchez Shuttle - Complimentary Excursion

Explore downtown Natchez on your own. Take time for shopping and strolling through town. The shuttle will make regularly scheduled stops at Rosalie House, the Natchez Visitors Center, and the downtown shopping district.

Mississippi River Cruising

Frogmore Plantation

Our onboard experts tell many stories about southern life on a plantation; today you will learn what life was really like. Our insightful local guide will accompany you from the ship to the cotton and will be your escort as you explore the 1,800-acre cotton plantation. In intimate groups, owners Lynette and Buddy Tanner will delve into plantation life, including the housing, music, and relationships between the owners and workers. You will have the opportunity to pick cotton directly from the field, participate in a live gospel performance, and witness the progress in cotton technology from Eli Whitney’s original gin to their modern 900 bales-per-day computerized plantation.

New Orleans Cruises

J.N. Stone House Tour & Concert

Upon arrival, you will be greeted by the fourth-generation owner, Joseph Stone, whose family has owned the home for over 135 years. Mr. Stone will guide you on a personal tour of his unique antebellum-style home and explain the many different purposes it has served over the years. Here, you can explore his eclectic collection of period-specific artwork and one-of-a-kind antiques. The afternoon concludes in the music hall with refreshments as Mr. Stone performs an exclusive classical piano concert.

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Day 7
Vicksburg, MS

U.S. history is alive in Vicksburg. This “Queen City of the Bluff” offers plenty of opportunities to take a step back in time. Civil War battlefields, century-old churches, cotton fields, and restored train depots are just a few of the many intriguing landmarks that await your visit. Marvel in the beautiful antebellum-style homes and learn about  Vicksburg’s rich history as displayed on the riverfront murals.

US River Cruises

Vicksburg National Military Park- Complimentary Excursion

A park ranger will guide you through the National Military Park which commemorates the campaign, siege, and defense of Vicksburg in 1863. View the restored ironclad gunboat, USS Cairo, and the battlefield where the Siege of Vicksburg took place. Stop at the impressive Illinois Monument, modeled after the Roman Pantheon. The exploration concludes at the Visitors Center where life-sized exhibits and artifacts from the Siege of Vicksburg are on display. 

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Antebellum Vicksburg Experience

Experience what life was like in the 19th century on this one-of-a-kind adventure into Vicksburg’s oldest neighborhood. Visit Christ Episcopal Church (circa 1839). View the beautiful Tiffany windows of the present as you meet the rector who will recreate the stories of the past: cannon balls going off, services held every day during the siege, and the wounded in the basement. Explore two centuries of American architecture on a short walk along the brick streets to one of the neighborhood antebellum mansions. Here, with an exclusive private-guided tour by the owner, you will feel at home as you listen to first-hand family stories of the house and people who lived here 175 years ago. Feel 19th century history come alive as you sit in the parlor and enjoy special southern-inspired refreshments. 

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Historic Vicksburg Comes to Life

Led by our local expert guide, this walking exploration of Vicksburg brings to life the history of this river city from 1820 to the present. Hear engaging stories of the citizens who once called Vicksburg home. Stroll along its brick streets and admire native flora as well as the variety of architecture styles found among the antebellum homes, churches, and museums.

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Day 8
Greenville, MS

Known as the Heart and Soul of the Mississippi Delta, the city of Greenville offers visitors insight into traditional southern living. Enjoy a relaxing trip through the historic sites of the largest city in Mississippi, including Cotton Row, the Mount Holly Plantation, and the Weatherbee House.

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B.B. King Museum & Delta Interpretive Center

The B.B. King Museum and Delta Interpretive Center located in the heart of the Mississippi Delta between Greenwood and Greenville. Opened in mid-September 2008 and built to honor the life and music of one of the most accomplished musicians of our time, the museum serves as a vital resource to the State of Mississippi and the City of Indianola. The museum’s exhibits and educational programs were designed to preserve the rich cultural and musical heritage of the Mississippi Delta.

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Greenville Experience - Complimentary Excursion

Explore three museums in the city of Greenville at your leisure. The Greenville History museum is housed in the restored Miller Building and provides a glimpse into local history from the late 1800’s to the 1970’s. The 1927 Flood Museum commemorates one of the country’s worst natural disasters in history, the break in the levee, which is reported to have put flood waters over the rooftops of houses 75 miles away. At the Jewish Temple Museum, learn how this religion began to flourish within the region.

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Day 9
Memphis, TN

Excitement resonates as you reach America’s third-largest inland port, famous for Blues, BBQ, and Elvis Presley's Graceland. The city has been at the forefront of several American cultural movements such as Civil Rights and Rock ‘n’ Roll. In fact, the city’s Beale Street is often called “America’s Most Iconic Street” due to its significance to our country’s history and contributions to the music industry. 

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Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum & Music Hall of Fame

The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum was the first exhibition ever to have been developed by the Smithsonian Institution with another museum. The exhibition tells the story of musical pioneers who overcame racial and socio-economic barriers to create music that would influence American culture and the world. Visit the Memphis Music Hall of Fame. Explore the museum and exhibition which introduces guests to some of the greatest musicians of all time, each who contributed the city’s musical legacy. Enjoy never-before-seen memorabilia, rare video performances and interviews, interactive exhibits, and more.

Note: This excursion is only available on cruises ending in Memphis, as well as the Complete Mississippi, and Grand Heartland cruises.

Small Ship Cruising

Memphis City Experience - Complimentary Excursion*

Relax and let your guide show you the highlights of this fascinating City on the Bluff.  Memphis is located on the Mississippi River at the northern end of the Mississippi Delta where the Blues was born, with a history linked to cotton and music. On this narrated excursion, view Mud Island, a Mississippi River Educational Park; Cotton Row, where 60% of the nation’s cotton was once traded; National Civil Rights Museum, where Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated; and The Pinch District, Memphis' first neighborhood which was a melting pot of immigrants, mostly Irish immigrants who came to America to escape the Potato Famine.

For cruises starting in Memphis, this tour is only offered as part of the 2-day Pre-Cruise Package.

 

Memphis Cruises

Signature Graceland Experience

No trip to Memphis is complete without a trip to the home of the “King of Rock n’ Roll,” Elvis Presley. The full Graceland experience will take you from Elvis’ humble beginnings through his rise to super stardom. See where Elvis lived, relaxed, and spent time with his family and friends. Explore the famous “Jungle Room” where the star recorded one of his final albums. Visit the many onsite museums where you can view Elvis' many jumpsuits and gold records, as well his collection of automobiles and custom jets.

This is a Signature shore excursion and should be reserved in advance. Please call (800) 460-4518 for information.

For cruises starting in Memphis, this tour is only offered as part of the 2-day Pre-Cruise Package.

 

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Day 10
New Madrid, MO

Originally founded in 1776 by Spanish Governor Esteban Rodriguez, early settlers of New Madrid were required to become citizens of Spain in order to reside here. Today, New Madrid is a living monument to early American history with sites including the Kochtitsky Home, the Trail of Tears, and Veterans Park.

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Historic Hayride

Travel through the quaint town of New Madrid on a beautiful hayride pulled by a John Deere Tractor. Begin on the picturesque, newly completed river-way before continuing on to the Historical Museum. Continue through town viewing the Higgerson School, Hunter Dawson State Historic Site, and the River Walk Gallery. Guests have the option of visiting any sites of their interest.

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Day 11
Cape Girardeau, MO

Enjoy the charming features of this historic town that was a French trading post and lively river port in the late 1800s. 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 Crisp Museum and the Old Vincent Church.

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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.

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.

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Day 12
Chester, IL

Chester is a beautiful region of Illinois located on the bluffs of the Mississippi River, with a diverse and storied history. Chester is also home to Popeye's creator Elzie C. Segar; you may see the sailor man's likeness in the town's six-foot-tall bronze metal statue.

american cruises

Popeye Character Trail - 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 our local guide who will share stories of the people and places of this little corner of America. Shop at Spinach Can Collectibles in Gazebo Park for Popeye-inspired gifts and take a picture with the famous Popeye statue. Visit the Cohen Memorial Home whose bright blue windows even caught the attention of Mark Twain as he traveled the Mississippi.

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Historic Chester Exploration

Join us on a narrated city tour of Historic Chester with stops at the Old State Capitol and Fort Kaskaskia. Built as a Greek Revival Style building, the Old State Capitol served as a hub for Illinois political life from 1839-1876. Fort Kaskaskia State Historic Site is a 200-acre park on a bluff top overlooking the Mississippi River, which commemorates the vanished frontier town of Old Kaskaskia.

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Day 13
St. Louis, MO

St. Louis is often referred to as the “Gateway to the West.” Take in the Gateway Arch Riverfront, highlighted by the Gateway Arch, the largest man-made monument in the U.S. Enjoy St. Louis' many world-class attractions, including the Art Museum, Science Center, Anheuser-Busch Brewery, and the Missouri History Museum. End your day by relaxing at the Missouri Botanical Garden, one of the world’s most popular public gardens.
 

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.

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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.

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Day 14
Day of River Cruising

Curl up with a good book in one of our spacious lounges. Or relax on the sun deck and enjoy the passing landscapes as we make our way along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to Hannibal.

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Day 15
Hannibal, MO

Discover Hannibal, “America’s Hometown,” and the inspiration behind many of Mark Twain’s literary characters. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn come to life in this charming Missouri town, where you can run your hand along Aunt Polly’s fence, explore Injun Joe’s Cave, and get reacquainted with one of the world’s most beloved authors. The downtown area is a thriving haven for artisans, filled with specialty shops unique to Hannibal.

Mississippi Rover Cruising

Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum - Complimentary Excursion

As you arrive in Hannibal, the boyhood home of famous author Mark Twain, relive the author’s experiences that heavily influenced his writings. Visit the actual home that Mark Twain grew up in, which is surrounded by the legendary whitewashed fence of Tom Sawyer. The vivid stories told by Mark Twain come to life at this interactive museum. Visit the Becky Thatcher House, the Huck Finn Home, and the Tom and Huck Statue at the foot of Cardiff Hill. Stop at the Interpretive Center, home to 15 original Normal Rockwell paintings. 

Mississippi River Cruising

Rockcliffe Mansion & Trolley Excursion

Relive the adventures of Mark Twain’s time in Hannibal during this historical trolley tour. Your experienced guide will share the history of Hannibal and take you to places of significance, including the Rockcliffe Mansion, an amazing 13,500 square foot American castle built to overlook the mighty Mississippi River. This excursion will also highlight many of the exciting places which inspired Mark Twain’s famous tales.

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Mark Twain Walking Exploration

Join your local guide strolling through the streets of Hannibal, the hometown that inspired Mark Twain’s famous literary novels. Learn about its history through the author’s own words and observations.

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Day 16
Fort Madison, IA

Founded as an active military outpost in 1808, Fort Madison was one of three posts established by the U.S. Army to maintain control over the newly acquired Louisiana Territory. Today, Fort Madison offers visitors a vibrant cultural scene, bucolic landscapes, and an active agri-tourism industry which celebrates the American heartland. Explore its many historic districts, where you can admire the well-preserved Victorian and Post Renaissance architecture. Enjoy the area’s museums, unique boutiques, antique shops, as well as the local breweries and wineries.

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Historic Fort Madison Exploration - Complimentary Excursion

Step back in time to when the Mississippi River reached to the railway line, when breweries and distilleries reigned supreme, and where a garment district attracted the likes of Chicago gangsters who came to buy their “Hesse” suits during the roaring 20s. Stop at Fort Madison, an active military outpost from 1808 to 1813 and the only known War of 1812 battlefield in the state of Iowa. Visit the Iowa Territorial Prison, the longest continually used penitentiary in the United States, operational from January of 1839 to August of 2015. View the original 1839 cell block which still stands in testament to the frontier justice that was handed out throughout the heartland.

 

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Lee County Agri-tourism Excursion

Enjoy an exploration of two working farms in rural Lee County.  

Stop at the Hinterland Dairy Farmstead Cheese, a working farm where a farmer will tell you about its history, how production works, as well as other insights about life at the farm. Explore the brand new state-of-the-art cheese production facility and learn about the process of cheese making from start to finish. Stop at the onsite shop featuring all Iowa-made products and of course, the cheese!

Visit the Harvestville Farm, a 5th generation family farm. Explore the farm, enjoy a trip through the corn maze, browse through the retail barn, and even take a wagon ride through the acreage. You will have an opportunity to pick up some homemade treats and goods that are either made right there on the farm or by a local vendor.

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Day 17
Davenport, IA

Davenport is often described as a lively place with a hometown feel. The Legacy of John Deere, the largest agricultural exhibit in the world, takes place here. Music enthusiasts will enjoy Davenport’s many music festivals, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Fair, and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, which is dedicated to native Jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke.

American River Cruising

John Deere Pavilion & Davenport Exploration- Complimentary Excursion

Enjoy a stop at the John Deere Pavilion and Store. The company’s rich heritage is chronicled in exhibits, interactive touch screen displays, and equipment dating back nearly 175 years, including antique tractors and giant modern combines. Continue on a narrated city tour of Davenport and learn about the Rock Island Arsenal, Davenport native Bix Biederbecke’s contribution to Jazz, Rock Island’s 1920’s “Crime Lord” John Looney, the area’s beautiful college campuses, and the city’s Native American history.

Small Ship Cruising

Black Hawk State Historic Site - Complimentary Excursion

Enjoy a guided tour of the Hauberg Indian Museum. Located in the Black Hawk State Historic Site, this museum interprets the story of the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians who once called it home. During the tour, view full-size replicas of Sauk winter and summer homes, dioramas with life-size figures of the Sauk and Meskwaki Indians, and traditional artifacts, including authentic trade goods and jewelry.

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Day 18
Dubuque, IA

Dubuque is among the oldest settlements west of the Mississippi River. Take a ride on the Fenelon Place Elevator, the world’s shortest and steepest scenic railway or try your luck in one of Dubuque's state-of-the-art casinos. View colorful Victorian mansions, stroll through a whimsical downtown area, and visit the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium.

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Delight in Dubuque

Delight in an exploration of some of the highlights of Dubuque. First, stop at Steeple Square Event Center, one of the oldest catholic churches in Dubuque that was renovated into a vibrant community gathering space. Listen as your guide discusses the changes that have shaped the future of this important Dubuque icon.

Arrive at Dubuque Arboretum & Botanical Gardens. Take a guided exploration of the beautiful landscapes adorned with over 400 varieties of hostas, an amazing Japanese Garden, beautiful rose gardens, English Garden, and so much more!

Visit the Convivium Urban Farmstead, a center which celebrates the efforts of local gardeners with onsite cooking and gardening classes as well as a restaurant that serves local produce. Take a relaxing walk through the many neighborhood gardens that support Convivium Urban Farmstead’s daily menu and sample fresh produce along the way.

Ride the Fenelon Place Elevator, the shortest steepest railway in the United States. Don’t forget the camera, it’s a great opportunity to get a photo of the ship at dock in the Port of Dubuque from above the bluffs.

Small Ship Cruising

National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium - Complimentary Excursion

Take an entertaining and informative journey along the mighty Mississippi at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium. The museum’s interactive exhibits will give you an inside look at the Mississippi River's past, present, and future. On this guided tour, learn about the lives of the pioneers, explorers, and artists who once lived along the Mississippi River. Get close to nature, as you make your way through six large aquariums. 

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Day 19
Day of River Cruising

Reflect on the incredible journey you have experienced so far and get ready for the final leg of the trip, cruising the Upper Mississippi River.

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Day 20
La Crosse, WI

Step into 19th-century America in La Crosse, located on the banks of three legendary rivers. Riverboats depart from the city’s Riverside Park which features international friendship gardens with landscape styles from around the world. Visit the Riverside Museum which traces the rich history of La Crosse or Dahl Auto Museum with an expansive collection restored classic cars. Explore Grandad Bluff Park with walking trails which offer spectacular views of the city.  

Mississippi River Cruises

La Crosse Queen Eco Cruise

Cruise along the scenic Mississippi River on a classic paddlewheeler, as your tour guide highlights current and historical facts about the area and tests your knowledge with trivia along the way.

Witness some of the most beautiful views in the Midwest, including native wildlife and steep bluffs on the river. Learn about the locking process while cruising past the Lock & Dam No. 7 in Dresbach, MN.

Small Ship Cruising

Hixon House & La Crosse Experience

Take a narrated tour of this wonderful city. Discover the historic downtown with its late 19th and early 20th-century buildings, as well as the well-preserved residential neighborhoods. Gain insight into LaCrosse’s development, from the boomtown riverboat days and roaring ‘20s to the challenges and opportunities of the 21st century. Visit the Hixon House, an authentic Victorian home and designated Historic Landmark, which has retained 90% of its original furnishings. 

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Day 21
Red Wing, MN

Nestled among the scenic bluffs of the Upper Mississippi River, Red Wing's beauty has inspired craftsmen and artisans for over 150 years. Red Wing offers a diverse blend of arts, entertainment, and activities. Enjoy a show at the historic Sheldon Performing Arts Theatre or observe the beauty of nature at one of Red Wing’s 38 parks.

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National Eagle Center - Complimentary Excursion

Witness bald and golden eagles like never before, face-to-face! The National Eagle Center offers a unique viewing opportunity that brings visitors within a few feet of these majestic creatures with no barrier in between. This is an experience like no other and one you will never forget.

Small Ship Cruising

Red Wing City Excursion & Pottery Museum - Complimentary Excursion

Travel back in time, as you tour the beautiful city of Red Wing. Led by our local expert guide, view some of the most impressive Victorian homes of the period, as well as the historic St. James Hotel. Visit the Pottery Museum of Red Wing and admire the numerous vintage pieces of artisan-crafted stoneware, art pottery, dinnerware, and folk art.

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Day 22
St. Paul, MN

St. Paul is an exciting place to end your adventure on the Mississippi River. History buffs will enjoy a walking tour of Summit Avenue, which showcases gorgeous historic mansions built in the late 1800’s. St. Paul’s enchanting art galleries, world-class museums, and entertaining stage performances will capture your imagination. End the day by visiting Mounds Park, where visitors are treated to a beautiful panoramic view of the city.

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Twin Cities Experience - Complimentary Excursion

Famously known as the Twin Cities, St. Paul and Minneapolis each have their own unique and diverse cultures. Enjoy a narrated tour of the best of each city! Beginning in Minneapolis, view some of the most remarkable landmarks such as the Minneapolis Sculpture Gardens, Guthrie Theatre, St. Anthony Falls, and more. A short stop will be made at the 53-foot Minnehaha Falls, the oldest tourist destination. Visit St. Paul, the historic state capital. View the Landmark Center, Minnesota State Capitol, and Summit Avenue and stop at the Cathedral of St. Paul, the fourth largest cathedral in the United States.

Experiences

Our 22-day Complete Mississippi cruise is a comprehensive exploration of this this legendary river. As you make your way up the river from New Orleans to St. Paul, immerse yourself in the unique essence of each port-of-call.

Your Cruise Includes

American Melody

American Cruise Lines is pleased to announce the newest ship in our revolutionary series of modern riverboat series. American Melody will begin its inaugural season on the Mississippi River in the summer of 2021 and was specifically designed to navigate this region.

American Melody features panoramic views throughout, including an impressive four-story glass atrium in the center of the ship. Ranging from 250 to 650 square feet, all of the spacious staterooms feature full-size bathrooms, roomy closets, and private balconies where you can enjoy daily breakfast room service. As with her sister ships, American Melody will also offer the Back Porch Café for casual dining, an option that has been very popular with our guests.

The new ship also features many spacious lounges, where you can share the day’s adventures with fellow guests, as well as an onboard fitness center and yoga studio. At the end of each incredible day, unwind in your luxurious Grand Suite or Veranda Suite and enjoy “suite treats” which have been delivered to your stateroom, such as mini cheesecakes or chocolate-covered strawberries. 

Experience the American Melody for yourself on the Mississippi River in the summer of 2021.


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