December the Ideal Time to Cruise America’s Heartland with American Queen Steamboat Company
December is an unquestionably festive time of year. For those who love to cruise, there are no shortage of holiday getaways available, from the rivers of Europe to the warm sun and sand of the Caribbean. But America’s mightiest river – the Mississippi River – is also a viable alternative, with all of its history, culture and hospitality on full display during the festive Holiday month of December.
Departing on December 4 or December 10, 2017, these weeklong departures are the epitome of a classic country holiday, rolled into the convenience of a river cruise.
Sailing roundtrip from Nashville, Tennessee, guests embark in the city made famous for its connections to the music industry. You’ll definitely want to spend some time here pre-or-post cruise to take in attractions like the Grand Ol’ Opry and the Parthenon – a full-scale replica of the structure by the same name that sits atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.
Right out of the gate, guests are treated to a full day of river cruising. Guests can retreat to The Lincoln Library onboard and indulge in one of the books available onboard, or take in the entertainment around the ship, from the sprawling Grand Lobby and Bar to the cozy, always-popular The Show Lounge, perfect for a lively performance each evening.
Afterwards, stop in Dover, Tennessee, home to one of the Civil War’s most historic battles. Today, though, you won’t find anyone fighting. Instead, you’ll be treated to sights of the bald eagles that call this region home, and to the friendly hospitality of those who call this small town home. Quiet, charming and walkable, Dover is the epitome of the quiet, rural country experience that you’d expect on a journey through the American heartland.
In Paducah, Kentucky, guests can choose to take part in included excursions that visit some of the town’s most famous sights. At the National Quilt Museum, guests can stroll the 27,000 square foot facility that just celebrated its 25th anniversary last year. Dedicated to advancing the art of quilting, there’s nothing else quite like this surprising find.
Tours of the city’s Arts District showcase the burgeoning community of working artists, students and artists-in-residence that call Paducah home. Transportation buffs won’t want to miss the Paducah Railway Museum that features models and memorabilia from the romantic past of railroading in America. There’s even a locomotive simulator that puts you in the driver’s seat.
In Clarksville, Tennessee, guests get a glimpse of the Antebellum South, with visits to the Smith-Trahern Mansion of 1858; the Montgomery Courthouse, constructed in the 1800’s; and the 1898 Customs House Museum and Cultural Center, which is the second-largest museum in the entire state of Tennessee.
This itinerary wraps up back in Nashville, with a full day stay onboard the American Duchess before it’s time to say goodbye. Not only is this convenient from a departure standpoint, it’s also a welcomed port of call thanks to the sheer number of things to see and do in the City of Music.
While the distances on these Nashville Holiday itineraries aren’t nearly as dramatic as the full Mississippi River cruise itineraries offered by AQSC at other times of the year, this petite itinerary holds plenty of delights for those who are looking for a different sort of pre-holiday cruise.
The American Duchess is American Queen Steamboat Company’s newest riverboat. A replica turn-of-the-century paddle wheeler, she entered service later this summer. Carrying just 166 guests in an all-suite configuration, American Duchess will be the most luxurious ship constructed for AQSC to-date. All suites will range from 180 to 550 square feet in size, and a unique accommodations style can be found in her new 550 square Loft Suites that feature living and sleeping areas spread out over two levels.
Elsewhere, the onboard experience is purely American Queen. Open-seating dinner is on order in The Grand Dining Room, where five-star cuisine blends local flavours and ingredients with culinary traditions. Guests can also dine in The River Club and Terrace, which can host up to 80 guests looking for a more subdued dining experience.
No matter where you choose to sail this winter, there’s a cruise out there for everyone – even on the rivers of America.