American Duchess is part of the esteemed American Queen Steamboat Company fleet. This exquisite boutique paddlewheeler sets sail with a maximum of 166 guests on board for a collection of unique voyages on America's Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers. Experience the distinguished traditions aboard an authentic paddlewheel riverboat; from exquisite multi-course fine dining, Broadway-calibre entertainment, and guided shore excursions in each port of call, to personalised service, gracious hospitality, and daily enrichment from the resident Riverlorian. The suites and staterooms create a lavish atmosphere where you can relax and make the most of the facilities; including a flat-screen television, coffee maker, mini fridge, full bathroom, safe, and 24-hour room service.
The award-winning culinary team use the very best fresh and locally-sourced ingredients to create authentic regionally-inspired dishes; which are served to your table in the sophisticated environs of The Grand Dining Room; complemented by a stunning backdrop of river views through the floor-to-ceiling windows. The decor in the casual-style River Club & Terrace showcases a colourful collection of hand-blown glass from the Venetian island of Murano; equally-matched by a menu of carefully-crafted culinary treats and the option of alfresco dining. Both venues also feature vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free dishes on every menu. Complimentary in-room dining service is also available 24 hours a day - so you can eat whenever you wish in the privacy of your cabin.
Savour a reviving morning espresso and freshly-baked cookie in Perks. Sip gin and tonics in River Club & Terrace and relax with a leisurely glass of wine as you people-watch in Grand Lobby & Bar. The American Duchess offers complimentary cappuccinos, espressos, bottled waters, and soft drinks throughout your stay and also complimentary local wines and beers to accompany your dinner.
There's plenty to entertain you aboard American Duchess. By day; watch culinary demonstrations, attend fascinating onboard lectures, hook up to the complimentary Wi-Fi/Internet, shape up on the treadmills and free weights in the fitness centre, or simply sit and admire the unfolding views from the Sun Deck. In port; explore at your own pace on an included guided Hop-On Hop-Off shore excursion or embark on an optional premium experience in selected ports of call. Stop by The Lincoln Library to lose yourself in a book, play cards, enjoy a quiet drink, or to listen to the resident culture and history expert, the Riverlorian, bring to life your voyage with captivating tales, legends, and lore. The Show Lounge is the paddlewheeler's social hub; join the gifted ensemble and occasional guest performers for a musical tour through the decades - from show tunes and country classics to big band sounds - complemented by dance sets, themed activities and events, interactive game shows, trivia, and bingo.
Day 1: UK to Cincinnati, Ohio
Fly from selected UK airports to Cincinnati and make your way to your allocated hotel for a required overnight stay. Enjoy your complimentary pre-cruise hotel stay in Cincinnati. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the foodie culture, unique shops and ever-changing entertainment throughout the city.
Day 2: Cincinnati, Ohio (Embarkation Day)
Take a stroll through Cincinnati – the birthplace of baseball and a unique style of chili. The city is filled with downtown destinations that flaunt shops and amenities. Bound by the many parks; each district has its own personality, and you can meet them all – because the city’s compact downtown area is anchored to the river, where American Duchess awaits. New hot spots and long-lasting classics give this oasis of commerce its colourful character. Seize the day in this old-fashioned urban jewel on the Ohio.
Day 3: Madison, Indiana
Tucked away between Cincinnati and Louisville is Madison, a quaint river town rich in character. This charismatic port flaunts its personality throughout the streets where a 130-block historic district showcases its collection of classic architectural artistry. Admire the antique machinery at the Schroeder Saddletree Factory Museum, or an example of fine craftsmanship at the Lanier Mansion State Historic Site. The downtown shopping district is a unique showcase of unbeatable hospitality – each shop locally owned and operated. Madison’s heritage is woven into every stop, ensuring a glimpse of beauty and history. Join us to discover all the hidden treasures of Madison.
Day 4: Louisville, Kentucky
(Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race)
The Louisvillian tradition that lives within images of Derby hats, Old Fashioned bourbon spirits and the 120-foot Louisville Slugger that towers over the friendly city is better lived than seen. The most exciting event today is the unique opportunity to be aboard the American Duchess during the Kentucky Derby Festival Great Steamboat Race. This historic race is the oldest festival event - dating back to 1963. Cheer on the captain and wave in pride to the onlookers who line the riverbank as we race to take back the golden antlers.
Day 5: Brandenburg, Kentucky
The essence of Kentucky radiates in everything from the oaky finish of its bourbon to tableau of rolling farmland. Soul-stirring river views and Southern warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Journey through the manicured farm lands and unique river topography of Brandenburg to the United States Army’s Patton Museum of Cavalry and Armory. Spend the day experiencing this fascinating museum that centres on the inspirational leadership of historic American heroes.
Day 6: Owensboro, Kentucky
The exuberance that pervades the sounds of folk music flows through the community of Owensboro. Each of its spaces is a lovely ballad that tugs at the heartstrings of visitors – from the notes of bourbon distilleries to bumbling butterflies in the botanical garden. The tawny banks of this river jewel extend a warm welcome and invite you to experience the beauty in bluegrass.
Day 7: River Cruising / Transfer to Kentucky Derby
This premium event will send you off to the races - providing the opportunity to check off a bucket list item and participate in the greatest two minutes in sports. Don a Derby hat and test your luck in live betting while kicking back in undercover seating positioned perfectly along the final stretch. Cheer for your favourite, and feel the thunder of the horses as they approach the finish line. In addition to coveted seats, you will receive a VIP Fast Access Pass, the Affirmed Gourmet Buffet, access to the open bar, American Queen Steamboat Company on-site trip directors and an exclusive jockey meet-and-greet.
Day 8: Louisville, Kentucky
This authentically quirky port is a muse to artisans of mixed media – from sidewalk chalk to street fare – and home to cultural diversity that quickly captivates the heart of its visitors. Discover the talent and creativity of Louisville locals in a number of art galleries, theatrical performances and museums throughout Derby City. Explore the red penguin-peppered Main Street. Embrace oddity. Experience Louisville.
Day 9: Louisville, Kentucky to UK
Your holiday comes to an end. Disembark and make your way to the airport for your return flight back to the UK.