20726
Mississippi River
Mighty Mississippi: Bridging America
Immerse yourself in history as you learn about the life of Mark Twain, enjoy insight from a local historian and explore the mighty Mississippi aboard an authentic steamboat.
Rating (5)
Program No. 20726RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
3,995
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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12 days
11 nights
32 meals
11 B 10 L 11 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Saint Paul, MN
D
Embassy Suites Bloomington

Activity note: Please note that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, this itinerary is subject to change. The theme while aboard the American Queen is “Music of the 50’s and 60’s.” Your group leader Charlene Corris will provide you with a detailed program itinerary at orientation, which will include lecture times and all off-vessel excursion times.

Afternoon: Arrivals in St. Paul. If you have any difficulty getting to the hotel please call your group leader Charlene at (413) 374-0510. Upon arrival, proceed to the lobby to meet with your group leader at the hospitality desk between 12:00 PM and 5:00 PM. You will receive your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and to learn where the Orientation session will take place. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in. At 5:30 PM there will be a welcome reception. Orientation: Your group leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and will lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule which will include lecture times and all off-vessel excursion times, roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. While we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, this itinerary is subject to change due to river conditions. Each day going ashore will require getting on/off the ship and a motorcoach with steps. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: After your orientation, there will be a welcome dinner served at the hotel. Get to know your fellow participants as you prepare for a memorable journey down the Mississippi.

Evening: Relax at the hotel and prepare for tomorrow's field trips.

DAY
2
Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Saint Paul, MN
B,L,D
Embassy Suites Bloomington

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Today we will discover Minneapolis, its riverfront historic area and built into the ruins of what was once the world’s largest flour mill, the Mill City Museum where we will learn about the intertwined histories of the flour industry, the river, and the city of Minneapolis.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch we will visit the home of Charles Lindbergh with its own flight simulator for the Spirit of St. Louis and some interpretive trails.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
St. Paul, MN, transfer to Red Wing to embark American Queen
Red Wing
B,L,D
American Queen

Activity note: Embark American Queen

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we'll visit Minnehaha Falls, the Cathedral of St. Paul, downtown St Paul, and make a final stop at the state Capitol Building.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer via coach to the American Queen for boarding. The boat will be docked in Red Wing, Minnesota.

Dinner: In the J.M. White Dining Room aboard the ship, Road Scholar has reserved tables for our group. Our dinners will have a starter, choice of soup or salad, entrée, and dessert with choices for each course; beer, wine, soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included.

Evening: At leisure. One of the highlights of the experience is the opportunity to enjoy talented entertainers as they perform each evening. In addition to musical revues, cabaret, and authentic regional music in the Grand Saloon, you can tap your toes to dance music in the Engine Room bar or join a piano sing-along in the Main Deck lounge.

DAY
4
Red Wing, MN
Red Wing
B,L,D
American Queen

Activity note: Each day ashore there is walking on/off the boat and getting on/off a motorcoach as well as periods of standing at some attractions and museums.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This afternoon, we travel to Wabasha, Minnesota, the oldest city on the Upper Mississippi River. At the home of the National Eagle Center, eagles nest here year-round and are in abundance during the winter months. The Center in downtown Wabasha houses Bald Eagles and a Golden Eagle. Visitors from all over the world have been to Wabasha to have a "nose to beak" experience with America's national symbol of freedom - the American Bald Eagle. Afterwards return to the boat; it will be remaining in port overnight.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: The boat is scheduled to depart at 1:00 PM. Enjoy an afternoon lecture by our very own study leader. This lecture focuses on the impact that the steamboat had on the history of the United States' development. Conclude the afternoon with the Captain's Reception prior to dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
5
La Crosse, WI
La Crosse
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we will visit the Murphy Library at the University of Wisconsin, housing the largest collection of steamboat photographs in the world. This collection is often used by numerous publications to illustrate steam boating on the nation’s rivers.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will have a lecture our study leader. They will discuss the history of steamboats, navigation on the Missouri and Illinois Rivers, and the impact of these rivers on the Upper Mississippi River.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
6
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Enjoy a morning at leisure as the ship sails towards Dubuque.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Visit the Mississippi River Museum, a satellite of the Smithsonian. The National Rivers Hall of Fame captures the drama of river people from all across America. Explore our nation's rivers in the keelboat audio exhibit. Enjoy the steamboat invention theater, then steer barges in a modern-day towboat pilothouse simulator. The Hall of Fame inductees are the pioneers, the explorers and the artists who are no longer living.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
7
Bettendorf, IA
Bettendorf
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: In Bettendorf, Iowa we'll visit the home of President Herbert Hoover. In the fall of 1929, America was on the brink of a devastating economic disaster, the likes of which have never been replicated to this day. Stock markets crashed, unemployment began to skyrocket and morale was steadily declining, The Great Depression was upon us. It was within this environment that the United States welcomed its 31st president, Herbert Hoover, into an unrelenting period of hardship in this country’s history. Born within the walls of a meager two-room home, Herbert Hoover was orphaned at the age of nine and lived his adolescence and early adulthood on uncertain terms. In the small town of West Branch, Iowa President Hoover’s humble beginnings sit, largely untouched as a testament to hard work and dedication in America.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the Bettendorf area on your own. The boat is scheduled to depart at 5:00 PM.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
8
Burlington, IA
Burlington
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we will have a lecture by our study leader entitled, "The Riverine World".

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Located on bluffs above the Mississippi, the city of Burlington was the first capital of the Iowa Territory. Your group leader will take you on the hop on/hop off buses to see the Capital Theater and the surrounding area.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
9
Hannibal, MO
Hannibal
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we arrive in Mark Twain’s boyhood hometown, Hannibal, MO to board the Twainland Express for a journey enlivened by the spirit of Samuel Clemens, who authored American classics under the pen name of Mark Twain. Begin your journey into the town that inspired the author’s imagination at the Mark Twain Boyhood House & Museum. See the Justice of Peace, the courtroom setting used for trial in Tom Sawyer’s story. Visit the Becky Thatcher House, home of Tom Sawyer’s first sweetheart. Then, take a journey to a time where the golden age of railroading and toy trains were part of most everyone’s life at the Big River Train Town Museum. Last but not least, enjoy visiting local Trinity Church or perhaps taste some wine at the Mark Twain Winery.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Hannibal on your own before the boat departs at 3:00 PM. You might want to join the American Queen's hop on/hop off coach.

Dinner: Say goodbye to your new friends and re-live the week's great memories during tonight's farewell dinner.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
10
Disembark Alton, IL, transfer to St. Louis
Alton
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch

Activity note: Disembark American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Disembark in Alton, IL. Transfer to the St. Louis for an exploration of the "Gateway City" with our study leader.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Check into the hotel and enjoy some free time to either relax or explore on your own before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Our study leader will treat us to an educational presentation in a private meeting room at the hotel.

DAY
11
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, Missouri
B,L,D
Drury Plaza Hotel at the Arch

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we'll board a motorcoach to head out for an all-day exploration of St. Louis narrated by our study leader.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch we'll continue our exploration of St. Louis.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel.

Evening: For the final night of the program our group leader will give a closing presentation, followed by an opportunity to share memories and reminisce about your favorite activities.

DAY
12
St. Louis, MO, Program Conclusion
St. Louis, Missouri
B

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: The program concludes after breakfast.






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