Road Scholar : Home
The Golden Age of Steamboating: Pittsburgh to Cincinnati on the American Queen

Program Number: 21287RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/3/2014 - 7/10/2014;
Duration: 7 nights
Location: Pennsylvania/West Virginia/Ohio
Price starting at: $3,997.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 7 Dinners    

In the early 19th century the first steamboats appeared on America’s rivers and they’ve been a beloved fixture of the American mythos ever since. On an evocative steamboat voyage along the Ohio River, relive the heyday of the steamboat as you call at ports whose histories are inextricably intertwined with this iconic American mode of travel. Survey the different types of steamboats and sternwheelers to emerge during this “golden age” and the many useful functions they served. Learn from an onboard historian what made these vessels so popular in their time, how changing circumstances led to their eventual decline and why today they remain a dear relic of classic Americana.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles on flat terrain, the occasional flight of stairs.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Pittsburgh, Pa., 1 night; aboard American Queen, 5 nights; Cincinnati, Ohio, 1 night.



Coordinated by Road Scholar.



Days 1-2: Arrival Pittsburgh, Pa. / embark American Queen:

Welcome to Pittsburgh, the City of Bridges. Get oriented on an expert-led exploration of Point State Park and the site of Fort Pitt at the confluence of the Ohio, Alleghany and Monongahela rivers. Embark the American Queen and enjoy a Fourth of July fireworks celebration over the three rivers. Lodging: Comfortable, centrally located hotel.



Day 3: On River


Day 4: Marietta, Ohio:

Study Marietta’s history on a walk down Front Street and go inside the Castle, a historic home displaying Gothic revival architecture and an impressive art collection. Pay tribute at the Mound Cemetery, resting place of more American Revolutionary War officers than at any other location.



Day 5: Point Pleasant, W.V.:

In 1774 Virginia militia under British command fought the Battle of Point Pleasant against Shawnee and Mingo tribesmen. The following year those same militiamen were fighting for the Continental Army and drove their former commander out of Virginia. Walk through Point Pleasant Riverfront Park to admire floodwall murals depicting the Battle of Point Pleasant and other scenes from local history. Enjoy period antiques and heirlooms in the Mansion House and visit the Point Pleasant River Museum, preserving the heritage of the Ohio and Great Kanawha rivers.



Day 6: Portsmouth, Ohio:

After a great flood in 1937, the Army Corps of Engineers constructed a flood wall in Portsmouth now adorned with paintings depicting local history. View these beautiful paintings for yourself and see the film “200 Years of Steamboating,” which focuses on the first Western Rivers steamboat and its impact on the history of the development of the United States.



Days 7-8: Disembark Cincinnati / departure:

Disembark in Cincinnati and wrap up your adventure with visits to the Cincinnati Historical Society and the famed Majestic Showboat, the only showboat in America still hosting performances. Lodging: Comfortable, centrally located hotel.



American Queen

The largest steamboat ever built, the American Queen is a recreation of a classic Mississippi riverboat featuring a steam-powered paddlewheel, lacy filigree and, inside, glistening woodwork and antiques. Public areas include the Mark Twain Gallery library, the Grand Saloon and a lounge. Wine and beer are complimentary with dinner.


Meals and Lodgings
   Wyndham Grand Hotel
  Pittsburgh, PA 1 night
   American Queen
  Pittsburgh, PA
At Sea
Marietta, OH
Point Pleasant, WV
Augusta, KY
5 nights
   Cincinnatian Hotel
  Cincinnati, Ohio 1 night
 Wyndham Grand Hotel
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 600 Commonwealth Place
Pittsburgh, PA 15222 USA
phone: 412-391-4600
web: www.wyndham.com/hotels/pennsylvania/pittsburgh/wyndham-grand-pittsburgh-downtown/hotel-overview
  Room amenities: •Alarm clock •BeWellSM bedding •Coffee and tea maker •Daily weekday newspaper •37-inch flat-screen TV with premium cable •Gilchrist and Soames bath products •Hair dryer •Iron and ironing board •Room service •Self-controlled air conditioning and heating system •Voice mail •Wake-up calls •Work desk with lamp Room Accessibility Features: •Bathroom rails •Emergency instructions in pictorial form •Emergency procedures for disabled guests •Handicap closet •Knock lights •Roll-in shower area with bathroom seat •Shower - safety bars •Shower - walk-in •Subtitles/closed captions available on TV •Telephones with amplifier or TDD •TV - Closed caption •Wheelchair accessible
  Facility amenities: •ATM in lobby •Business center, 24 hours •Complimentary WiFi Internet access •Daily weekday newspaper •Fitness center •Gift shop •Long-distance access Services: •AV rental service •Bellhop •Concierge services •Copy service •Credit card access •Dry cleaning •Evening turn-down •Fax service •Laundry service •Local calls •Shuttle to local attractions within three miles (based on availability) •Parking, both valet and self •Printing services •Video rentals Facility Accessibility Features: •Brailed elevators •Elevator access to all levels •Ramp access •Restaurant/bar menus available in 14pt print •Service animals allowed •Steps/staircases have handrails •Wheelchair-accessible elevators
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: $200 - includes taxes Additional nights are available subject to availability. Please email brooke.myrman@roadscholar.org or contact 503-723-6420 for more information.
  Check in time: 3:00 PM

 American Queen
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The American Queen Featuring six decks and measuring 418 feet in length, the American Queen is the world’s largest river steamboat. Modern amenities meet classic river ambiance aboard the American Queen. The 222 staterooms and suites are filled with modern appointments and carefully selected furnishings. Finely crafted hardwood fixtures, grand furnishings and gleaming brass detail the ship’s interior. The gazebo-style pilothouse and towering “feathered” stacks are both designed to be lowered to allow passage under bridges. Each stateroom has private facilities and ample storage. Cabins differ in size, amenity and cost. Limited singles are available.
  Ship Information: See above description.
  Contact info: Docked at River
Pittsburgh, PA 15203 USA
phone: 206-292-9606
  Room amenities: Varies with category purchased.
  Facility amenities: Laundry on board.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Cincinnatian Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Cincinnatian Hotel is a Forbes Four Star, AAA Four Diamond hotel that epitomizes modern luxury in a historic setting. Guests at the Cincinnatian are treated to legendary service and an elegant atmosphere that includes the esteemed Palace Restaurant for American fine dining and state-of-the-art meeting rooms and banquet facilities. Comfort and style are never compromised at downtown Cincinnati’s only small luxury hotel, accommodating Cincinnatians, Cincinnati tourists, and Cincinnati’s business community since 1882.
  Ship Information: n/a
  Contact info: 601 Vine St.
Cincinnati, OH 45202 USA
phone: 800-942-9000
web: www.cincinnatianhotel.com/index.aspx
  Room amenities: •In-room safe •DVD players in all rooms •Data port •In-room voice mail
  Facility amenities: •Health facility •Comprehensive concierge services •Complementary high-speed internet access in guest rooms and meeting spaces •Dual phone lines in every guest room •Conference phones •Top-of-the line audio and video equipment available •Wireless lobby internet access •DVD movie library available to rent from
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: $200 Additional nights are subject to availability. Please email brooke.myrman@roadscholar.org or contact 503-723-6420 for more information.
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Pittsburgh, PA. Orientation is at 6:00 PM at the hotel. You will be staying at Wyndham Grand Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Cincinnati, OH. Participants will depart after breakfast at the hotel, approximately 9:00 AM. You will be staying at Cincinnatian Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. "The Guest Information Form" towards the back of your packet must be completed and emailed or faxed to the cruise line at gif@aqsc.com or 901-654-2639.
  Parking availability:
Long term parking is available at the hotel in Pittsburgh for $30/day.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  Pittsburgh, PA
  From End of Program
  Location:  Cincinnati, Ohio
Travel Details
 

Pittsburgh

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar Transfer

 

Travel Time:

 

25 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

Road Scholar will provide a free transfer for those who are arriving on the program start date via air.

 

Pittsburgh

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$45 per taxi
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

25 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

Taxis are readily available at the Pittsburgh Airport.

 

Pittsburgh

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
SuperShuttle
phone: 800-258-3826
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for pricing.
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

30 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

18 miles

   

Shared van service can be arranged from SuperShuttle for those arriving independently.

 

Cincinnati

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Road Scholar Transfer

 

Travel Time:

 

20 min 

 

Distance:

 

14 miles

   

Road Scholar will provide a free transfer for those who are departing on the final day of the program via air. Timing will be advised by the group leader during the program.

 

Cincinnati

 

To Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

$38 per taxi
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

20 min 

 

Distance:

 

14 miles

   

Taxis are available at the hotel to take you to the airport.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrivals and Welcome Orientation
(Thursday, July 3)
   
 Arrive To: Your group leader, Charlene Corris, will meet you in the Lobby of the Wyndham Grand at the Road Scholar Hospitality Desk between 12:00 pm and 4:30 pm. Check in at the hotel is 4:00 pm, however the hotel will make every effort to have rooms available beforehand.
 Dinner: After settling in to your room, please proceed to the Liberty Room for orientation at 6:00 pm, and a welcome dinner at 7:00 pm.
   
Accommodations: Wyndham Grand Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Explore Pittsburgh before transferring to the American Queen.
(Friday, July 4)

Note: This itinerary may change in order to allow participants to attend activities offered by both Road Scholar and the American Queen. Your group leader, Charlene, will provide an updated, detailed itinerary on July 3.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast will be served in the Three Rivers Restaurant beginning at 6:30 am. Please be sure to bring your breakfast voucher with you, provided in your key pack.
 Morning: Please have your luggage ready for pick up by 9:00 am, and meet your fellow Road Scholars in the lobby a few minutes before 9:30 am to explore Pittsburgh. Celebrate Independence Day by attending a variety of events taking place at Fort Pitt.
 Lunch: After returning to the hotel at 11:30 am, you will board a bus to go have lunch at Mixtir's Cafe at the Heinz History Center at 12:30 pm.
 Afternoon: After lunch you will have time to visit the special exhibit: "Pittsburgh's Lost Steamboat - Treasures of Arabia." Depart the Heinz History Center at 2:30 pm and continue to the American Queen to board at 3:00 pm.
 Dinner: Welcome aboard dinner on board the American Queen.
 Evening: Marvel at an amazing Fourth of July fireworks celebration from the American Queen overlooking the 3 rivers.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: At Sea
(Saturday, July 5)
   
 Breakfast: On board the American Queen.
 Morning: This morning we will enjoy a lecture by Jerry Sutphin, who will discuss the history of steamboating.
 Lunch: On board the American Queen.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, you have some time to enjoy onboard activites.
 Dinner: On board the American Queen.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: At Sea
(Sunday, July 6)
   
 Breakfast: On board the American Queen.
 Morning: Study Marietta’s history via the "Hop-on Hop-off" tour. Begin in the quaint shopping district on Green Street, explore the Castle of Marietta, discover the golden age of the steamboat at the Ohio River Museum, and more. Pay tribute at the Mound Cemetery, resting place of more American Revolutionary War officers than at any other location.
 Lunch: On board the American Queen.
 Afternoon: Visit Blennerhasset Island, a small island in the Ohio River named after Harman Blennerhassett, a figure in the Aaron Burr "treason" conspiracy. His residence, Blennerhassett House, is where Burr and Blennerhassett are alleged to have plotted treason against the United States in the so-called Burr Conspiracy.
 Dinner: On board the American Queen.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Point Pleasant, WV
(Monday, July 7)
   
 Breakfast: On board the American Queen.
 Morning: Located at the confluence of the Ohio and Kanawha Rivers, Point Pleasant was the site of the Revolutionary War Battle of Point Pleasant (1774) and is celebrated locally as the first battle of the revolution. We will be departing in the morning to take a special trip to visit the Robert C Byrd Lock and Dam with Jerry Sutphin. Jerry worked for the Army Corps of Engineers for many years and will explain how the lock and dam system works.
 Lunch: On board the American Queen.
 Afternoon: After a special talk by Jerry, "Steamboating from Pittsburgh to Cincinnati," enjoy an exclusive Road Scholar Cocktail party at 4:00 pm in the Ladies Parlour.
 Dinner: On board the American Queen.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Augusta, KY
(Tuesday, July 8)
   
 Breakfast: On board the American Queen.
 Morning: The city of Augusta was named one of the 11 places that helped shape the state of Kentucky by Dr. Thomas Clark, Kentucky's most famous historian. Explore Agusta at your own pace on the "Hop-on Hop-off" tour. Begin with a visit to the former home of Rosemary Clooney, stop at the 1811 Jail the oldest intact jail in Kentucky, shop along Main Street, and end your mornign with a tasting of local wine at the historic Baker Bird Winery.
 Lunch: On board the American Queen.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Augusta on your own or enjoy a leisurely afternoon on board.
 Dinner: On board the American Queen.
   
Accommodations: American Queen
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Arrive Cincinnati, OH
(Wednesday, July 9)
   
 Breakfast: On board the American Queen.
 Morning: This morning we disembark the American Queen for a special tour of the Cincinnati Library to view a digital display of "The Daguerreotype View of Cincinnati", also referred to as the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848. This 120° panoramic image of the Cincinnati riverfront consisted of eight full-plate (6.5 × 8.5") daguerreotypes and was taken in September 1848 by William Porter and Charles Fontayne. Originally taken from Newport, KY, the panorama was reassembled from a later series of 8 × 10 film negatives.
 Lunch: Enjoy a view of the river and the Roebling Suspension bridge as you dine at the Morlein Lager House, a restaurant built on the site of the original Cincinnati Reds Stadium.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we will visit the Cincinnati History Museum to view the special exhibit on Princess Diana.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the Cincinnatian Hotel.
   
Accommodations: Cincinnatian Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Departures
(Thursday, July 10)
   
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Transfer to the aiport for flights home. Individual transfers have been arranged. Charlene will provide the timing with the final itinerary on July 3.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


A Guide to Historic Marietta, Ohio


Author: Lynne Sturtevant


Description: With an overview of the area's rich history, maps, and vintage and modern photographs.



Domestic Manners of the Americans


Author: Frances Trollope


Description: An entertaining, classic travelogue of a foreigner's sojourn in Cincinnati.



Here Comes the Showboat!


Author: Betty Bryant


Description: For a folksy, old-timey memoir of the Ohio River, try this book by Betty Bryant, who was born and raised on a "showboat" that plied the Ohio River in the era between the world wars. Bryant and her family danced, acted and sang for the entertainment of Ohioans and Kentuckians.



Ohio River Images, Cincinnati to Louisville in the Packet Boat Era


Author: Russell G. Ryle


Description: A volume in the illustrated Images of America series.



Pittsburgh, The Story of an American City


Author: Stefan Lorant


Description: A comprehensive introduction to the landmarks, history and people of Pittsburgh.



Point Pleasant


Author: Jason Bolte


Description: A volume in the illustrated Images of America series, featuring rare photographs of the Mason County, West Virginia Ohio River town from museum collections, private collections, family histories, and public agencies.



That Dark and Bloody River, Chronicles of the Ohio River Valley


Author: Allan Eckert


Description: An epic novel by an award-winning author chronicles the settling of the Ohio River Valley, home to the defiant Shawnee, who vow to defend their land against the unstoppable.



The Outlaws of Cave-In-Rock, Historical Accounts of the Famous Highwaymen and River Pirates Who Operated in Pioneer Days upon


Author: Otto Arthur Rothert


Description: Rothert chronicles the story of river pirates around the Ohio River from 1795-1820. This is both a narrative and a regional history.



United States Southeast and Mid-Atlantic Map


Author: Hallwag


Description: A map of the eastern United States from the northern half of Georgia to the southern part of New York, at a scale of 1,200,000.



Voices on the River


Author: Walter Havighurst


Description: Havinghurst relates the colorful tale of famous steamboats and men who piloted them in this classic collection of tales of the Mississippi.



Western Rivermen 1763-1861, Ohio and Mississippi Boatmen and the Myth of the Alligator Horse


Author: Michael Allen


Description: A comprehensive study of the flatboatmen, keelboatmen and raftsmen's life on the river.





You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.


As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.



Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:


© Road Scholar 2014 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768