14 Nights Grand Heartland Cruise | Saint Paul to New Orleans

Cruise Ship

United States | American Cruise Lines - Queen of the Mississippi

Departure Dates:

October, ask for details.

Ports of Call:

Saint Paul, Minnesota; Red wing, Minnesota; La Crosse, Wisconsin; Dubuque, Iowa; Davenport, Iowa; Hannibal, Missouri; Saint Louis, Missouri; Memphis, Tennessee; Vicksburg, Mississippi; Natchez, Mississippi; Baton Rouge, Louisiana; New Orleans, Louisiana

General Info:

Enjoy an epic 15-day journey on the Grand Heartland Cruise. This cruise on the Mississippi River travels from the northern reaches of Saint Paul all the way down to the basin in New Orleans.
View the dramatic landscapes of the Upper Mississippi River which have long inspired artists, writers, and steamboat passengers. Visit Hannibal, the hometown of Mark Twain where the characters in his most popular works come to life. Immerse yourself in the culture of Memphis, the mid-South's most vibrant city, famous for Blues and BBQ.
As you journey down the river, hear stories about southern life on the plantation and explore historic Civil War sites led by the local area experts. On your final stop, New Orleans, enjoy privileged access to its vibrant music scene and the best in Cajun and Creole cuisine.
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 the itinerary. The river has a mind of its own and the 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.

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Type of Vessel

Built in 2015, Queen of the Mississippi offers an authentic paddle wheeler 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.

Itinerary

Day 1 | Saint Paul, Minnesota: Saint Paul is a thrilling place to begin your adventure on the Mississippi River. History buffs will enjoy a walking journey of Summit Avenue, which showcases gorgeous historic mansions built in the late 1800's. Saint Paul's enchanting art galleries, world class museums, and entertaining stage performances will capture your imagination.

Day 2 | Red Wing, Minnesota: 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.
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.
Travel back in time, as you visit the beautiful city of Red Wing. Led by the local expert guide, view some of the most impressive Victorian homes of the period, as well as the historic Saint 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.

Day 3 | La Crosse, Wisconsin: 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.
Take a narrated journey 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.
Cruise along the scenic Mississippi River on a classic paddle wheeler, the La Crosse Queen Eco, as your 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 and Dam Number Seven in Dresbach, Minnesota.

Day 4 | Dubuque, Iowa: A "Masterpiece on the Mississippi," Dubuque is among the oldest settlements west of the 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 the bustling downtown area, or visit the national Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium.
Step back in time and experience the elegance of Victorian-era Dubuque during a journey through the town's many historic attractions. Learn about the architecture, families, and events that made 19th-century Dubuque such a unique treasure. Your guide will lead you through Dubuque's beautiful historic sites, including the Mathias Ham House and The Old Jail Museum.
Take an entertaining and informative journey along the mighty Mississippi at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium. The museum's interactive exhibits will give you an inside look at the Mississippi River's past, present, and future. On this guided excursion, 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.

Day 5 | Davenport, Iowa: Voted one of the Most Livable Small Cities in America, Davenport is often described as a lively, active city with a hometown feel. The Legacy of John Deere, the largest agricultural exhibit in the world, resides here. Music enthusiasts will enjoy Davenport's many festivals, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Fair, and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival.
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 journey 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.
Enjoy a guided excursion 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 excursion, 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.

Day 6 | Day of River Cruising: As you cruise from Davenport to Hannibal, enjoy the day relaxing on the upper deck or admiring the breathtaking view from your private balcony.

Day 7 | Hannibal, Missouri: Hannibal, "America's Hometown," is a place where you can rediscover adventures from Mark Twain's era. 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.
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.
Relive the adventures of Mark Twain's time in Hannibal during this historical trolley excursion. 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. 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.

Day 8 | Saint Louis, Missouri: Saint 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 United States Enjoy Saint 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.
Enjoy a guided journey 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 Saint Louis, delve into the history of the Gateway City from its founding through the new millennium. Enjoy a narrated excursion of downtown Saint Louis, the riverfront, Citygarden, and the historic neighborhoods of Soulard and Lafayette Square. Delight in a visit to Saint 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. This excursion is only offered on cruises ending in Saint Louis.

Day 9 | Day of River Cruising: Curl up with a good book in one of the spacious lounges, or grab a pair of binoculars and enjoy the fall foliage as you make your way down the Mississippi River.

Day 10 | Memphis, Tennessee: 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.
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.
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.

Day 11 | Day of River Cruising: Spend a beautiful day with friends in one of the ship's comfortable lounges as you explore the river from Memphis to Vicksburg.
Day 12 | Vicksburg, Mississippi: United States 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.
The night before your visit, your onboard Civil War historian gives a captivating lecture detailing all you are about to witness at Vicksburg National Military Park. After a hearty southern-inspired breakfast, you will be greeted by your private guide who will stay with you throughout the day to answer questions and provide additional information. Upon arrival at the park, rangers who are well-versed in Civil War history guide you on a customized journey that's specific to the interests of the group. Your guides will take you through the restored ironclad gunboat, U.S.S Cairo, the battlefield where the Siege of Vicksburg took place, and the over 1,300 monuments dedicated to the brave souls who lost their lives.

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 journey 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.
The onboard experts tell many stories about southern life on a plantation; today you will learn what life was really like. The insightful local guide will accompany you from the ship to the cotton and will be your escort as you explore the 1,800-acre Frogmore cotton plantation. In intimate groups, the plantation 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.
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.
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.

Day 14 | Baton Rouge, Louisiana: 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.
Known as the "Pirate of the Pacific," the USS Kidd is a memorial to the men and women who served in the American armed forces. Step back in time on this amazing experience as you witness original artifacts and aircraft from World War II.
The vibrant history of Louisiana is evident throughout the state's capital. After breakfast, you will be greeted at the ship by Philippa Blair and her visitor center representatives as they welcome you to Baton Rouge with vibrant Mardi Gras beads. Your first stop is the Louisiana Old State Capitol where you will experience a one-of-a-kind interactive film, made with the help of Disney, bringing you face-to-face with the ghost of the castle, Sarah Morgan. Afterward, Baton Rouge native, Ira Bobin, will serve as your guide and will bring you to the Louisiana State Museum, a completely interactive museum with three floors of displays detailing each region of Louisiana.

Day 15 | New Orleans, Louisiana: Welcome back to New Orleans, the birthplace of Jazz. Culture and art abound around every corner of this unique city. 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 rich history. Stay an extra day or more to enjoy the famed French Quarter.
New Orleans is a city full of history, intrigue, and colorful characters. Begin your journey through the "Big Easy" with a private guide, who will give you a local's look at the area's most famous attractions. Explore the most popular areas including the French Quarter, the colorful garden district, and the famous stately mansions which still remain in period form. There will be plenty of time for you to enjoy the local flavors, like chicory coffee, sweet beignets, and famous New Orleans Jazz music. This excursion is only offered on cruises ending in New Orleans.

Guest Services

The all-American crew from American Cruise Lines simply provides you with the best possible cruise experience by offering an unsurpassed level of attention. Whether onboard or ashore, each member of the crew will work with you to help accommodate your specific interests, tastes, and needs. Attentive and personalized service is the hallmark of American Cruise Lines.

Food and Dining

Meals are served in the spacious dining salon, which accommodates all passengers at one seating. The day's menu is announced well in advance, and consists of fresh meats and seafood, as well as in-season fruits and vegetables. Special menus are available to passengers on restricted diets. Most special dietary needs can be accommodated, though advance notice. All meals are prepared to order. Coffee, non-alcoholic beverages, and snacks are available 24 hours a day.

Onboard Activities/Events

Let American Cruise Lines guide you through the origins and rich traditions of music on America's legendary rivers and waterways. These shores are home to many celebrated styles of music including Country, Jazz, Blues, and Rock n' Roll. Onboard and ashore, enjoy music inspired by each unique region and learn its impact on the development of American music. Also enjoy daily entertainments from historians, naturalists, and local experts that join every cruise. Daily lectures ranging from history to culture to cuisines.

Shore Excursions

This 11-day cruise visits the most sought after destinations of the Lower and Upper Mississippi River. As you travel through the Heartland, delight in the rich history and beautiful landscapes that surround you. Shore Excursions include the Mark Twain Boyhood Home, National Eagle Center, Deluxe Graceland Signature Journey, Vicksburg National Military Park, Houmas House and Plantation Experience and the La Crosse Queen Eco Cruise.

Staterooms or Cabins

Owner's Suites | At a generous up to 445 square feet, these suites 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 Staterooms | Located on the top deck, these spacious staterooms feature scenic views of the passing landscape. At 328 square feet, 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 Staterooms | Conveniently located on the fourth deck and at 304 square feet 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 Staterooms and AAR Staterooms | Enjoy a luxurious 304 square feet 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.
A Staterooms | These 290 square feet 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) Staterooms | Perfect for the solo traveler, offering all of the amenities you expect from a fine hotel. At 230 square feet, these staterooms have spacious bathrooms and large sliding glass doors that lead to a private balcony.
Single Staterooms | A comfortable getaway, offering individuals a spacious room with convenient amenities. At 203 square feet, all have interior entrances and large viewing windows where the sights of the Mississippi can be enjoyed.

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