22501
Mississippi River
Steamboat Adventure: Voyage the Length of the Mississippi
Voyage the length of the Mississippi River aboard an elegant river vessel on this extraordinary 23-night learning adventure.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22501RJ
Length
25 days
Starts at
9,999
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Click on Dates & Prices below to see special offer details.
Flights start at
FREE
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24 days
23 nights
69 meals
24 B 22 L 23 D
DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Minneapolis, MN
D
Embassy Suites Bloomington

Afternoon: Program check-in: 12:00-4:00 p.m. When you arrive at the hotel, proceed to the lobby to register with the group leader, get your welcome packet containing up-to-date schedule, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in at the front desk. Orientation: 5:30 p.m. The group leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. We will have our own dedicated instructor for each week of the program. In addition to the lectures and field trips that are part of our Road Scholar schedule, a schedule of each day’s shipboard activities and events will be delivered to your cabin. For field trips during the study cruise, we will typically disembark, walk a few minutes to a bus, and ride to our field trip site(s). At some sites, we will utilize the American Duchess's hop-on/hop-off motorcoach. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances, including conditions on the Mississippi River at the time of the program. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
2
Minneapolis, MN
Minneapolis, MN
B,L,D
Embassy Suites Bloomington

Activity note: Prepare luggage to be picked up for boat.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: After breakfast we will enjoy a pre-cruise field trip in St. Paul to see the historic Summit Avenue. Littered with historic mansions and lined with lush trees, Summit Avenue in Saint Paul is one of the most impressive residential streets in all of America! The 4.5 miles of Summit Avenue still holds 373 of its original 440 grand mansions built from 1855 through the 1920s, including the home of F. Scott Fitzgerald and the Governor’s Mansion. We will end at the iconic Cathedral of Saint Paul. Then we will tour the downtown area where you can get a glimpse of the Peanuts Statues that honor Saint Paul native, Charles Schultz.

Lunch: At the historic St. James Hotel in Red Wing, MN.

Afternoon: Explore local sites.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff to welcome everyone aboard and get our riverboat experience started off right. Please prepare your luggage for transfer tomorrow morning.

DAY
3
Saint Paul, MN
Saint Paul, MN
B,L,D
American Duchess

Activity note: Embark on the American Duchess

Breakfast: Breakfast aboard the boat. Juice, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water included.

Morning: Explore the local sites of St. Paul.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer via motorcoach to the American Duchess for embarkation. The boat will be docked in Red Wing, Minnesota.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

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

Activity note: Please note that the boat does not overnight in Red Wing. We will take the Eagles tour and the American Duchess will meet us in Wabasha and continue to our next port.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Duchess; juice, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water included.

Morning: Explore local sites.

Lunch: Aboard the American Duchess, choose from the extensive daily luncheon buffet or order a la carte; soft drinks, coffee, tea, water included, other beverages available for purchase

Afternoon: Continue exploring Red Wing.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
5
La Crosse, WI; LaCrosse, WI, U. of Wisconsin Library
La Crosse, WI
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Free time

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we will visit the University of Wisconsin Library, housing the largest collection of steamboat photographs in the world, with a librarian. There will also be time to utilize the hop-on/hop-off buses to continue exploring La Crosse.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

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

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: After arrival in Dubuque, we will disembark and walk to the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium, an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, for a self-directed exploration. The National Rivers Hall of Fame, a key feature, is located within the museum and tells the stories of men and women — builders, pathfinders, river people, artists, writers, musicians—whose lives were intimately involved with America’s great rivers and who helped make history. We’ll also visit the keelboat audio exhibit, the steamboat invention theater, and steer barges in a modern-day towboat pilothouse simulator.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Continue field trip.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

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

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: This morning we will take a field trip to the home and Presidential Library of our 31st President, Herbert Hoover, in West Branch, IA.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture from your Study Leader.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

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

Breakfast: Aboard the American Duchess.

Morning: This morning we'll arrive in Burlington, IA and disembark for a chance to explore this historical town along the Mississippi. Joining the ship's hop-on/hop-off motorcoach, we'll have the chance to visit the Des Moines County Heritage Center, Mosquito Park, Phelps House Museum, Snake Alley, and the Capitol Theatre.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Continue visiting local sites.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

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

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: This morning we arrive in Mark Twain’s boyhood hometown, Hannibal. We’ll disembark and ride the Twainland Express trolley for a journey infused with the spirit of Samuel Clemens, who authored American classics under the pen name of Mark Twain. We’ll begin our expert led journey into the town that inspired the author’s imagination at the Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum. The museum oversees five historic buildings related to real people who inspired different characters. We’ll see the Becky Thatcher House and the Justice of the Peace office where Samuel Clemens’ father held court sessions that inspired the courtroom and trial in Tom Sawyer’s story. We’ll then recall the “golden age” of toy trains at the Big River Train Town Museum filled with vintage memorabilia and operating toy trains in interactive displays.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Free time

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
10
Alton, IL
Alton, IL
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Disembarking in Alton, we will depart by motorcoach from Alton to St. Louis. With a local expert, we’ll visit the city’s original settlement, Laclede’s Landing. Afterward we continue to the Cathedral Basilica, home of one of the world’s great collections of mosaics — 84,000 square feet in 8,000 shades of color. Take time to marvel at the intricate design of this St. Louis landmark and learn about its construction. We will then return to Alton and reboard the ship.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Free time in the afternoon to explore Alton.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
11
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, Missouri
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: As we continue our Mississippi River journey, we will learn about the power of the river to shape whole communities. Known as the “Home of Popeye”, Chester, Illinois is a city rich in history and pop culture. Because creator and writer of Popeye, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born here, the famous characters from the show will be seen showcased frequently throughout the town. Stop at the Popeye Character Trail to view granite statues of the characters overlooking the Mississippi or check out America’s only Popeye Museum and Gift Shop to take home a souvenir to remind you of your visit to Chester. Next, we'll head to the Cohen Memorial Home. Dubbed by Mark Twain “the house with the blue windows,” this historical home overlooks the Mississippi River from high atop the bluffs. Guests are welcome to tour the historic home and its original furnishings. The Cohen Home is a beautiful historical site located on Harrison Street overlooking the Mississippi River. Its unusual blue storm windows make it a very visible landmark for boats on the river and travelers approaching the Chester Bridge from Missouri. Built in 1855, it was the home of the William Cohen family who lived there until 1983. The upstairs’ bedrooms contain furnishings and collections from several families of Chester including the Cohen family.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: This afternoon, continue your visit in St. Louis.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
12
Chester, IL
Chester, IL
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: As we continue our Mississippi River journey, we will learn about the power of the river to shape whole communities. Known as the “Home of Popeye”, Chester, Illinois is a city rich in history and pop culture. Because creator and writer of Popeye, Elzie Crisler Segar, was born here, the famous characters from the show will be seen showcased frequently throughout the town. Stop at the Popeye Character Trail to view granite statues of the characters overlooking the Mississippi or check out America’s only Popeye Museum and Gift Shop to take home a souvenir to remind you of your visit to Chester. Next, we'll head to the Cohen Memorial Home. Dubbed by Mark Twain “the house with the blue windows,” this historical home overlooks the Mississippi River from high atop the bluffs. Guests are welcome to tour the historic home and its original furnishings. The Cohen Home is a beautiful historical site located on Harrison Street overlooking the Mississippi River. Its unusual blue storm windows make it a very visible landmark for boats on the river and travelers approaching the Chester Bridge from Missouri. Built in 1855, it was the home of the William Cohen family who lived there until 1983. The upstairs’ bedrooms contain furnishings and collections from several families of Chester including the Cohen family.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Enjoy a lecture from your Study Leader.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
13
Cape Girardeau, MO
Cape Girardeau, MO
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Fort Donelson was the Confederacy’s last attempt at control over the state of Tennessee after the Union Army captured Fort Henry on February 6, 1862. Union General Ulysses S. Grant pushed vigorously to Fort Donelson, where confederate soldiers awaited attack. On February 14, 1862, Grant opened fire on what would become a very bloody Valentine’s Day. The frigid hills echoed with the ear-piercing boom of a thousand gun shots, as the Union Army slowly began to break down the Confederates. Just two days later, after their final attempt on an all-out attack, Confederate General Simon Buckner surrendered to Grant, deeming the battle a Union victory, opening up Tennessee for a Northern advance and ensuring Kentucky would remain in Union control. This is the iconic confrontation that earned Ulysses S. Grant his nickname of “Unconditional Surrender Grant.”

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will join our Study Leader for a talk related to the local sites.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
14
Paducah, KY
Paducah, KY
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the American Duchess.

Morning: This morning you are welcome to explore Paducah using the American Duchess's complimentary hop-on/hop-off buses. Highlights include the famous flood wall murals by artist Robert Dafford, the Lloyd Tilghman Home and Civil War Museum, and the International Quilt Museum.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: After lunch join our Study Leader for a lecture on a topic relating to the local sites.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
15
New Madrid, MO
New Madrid, MO
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: This morning we'll visit historic Fort Pillow, which was the site of a brutal massacre of Union troops by Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here you will learn about the important role Fort Pillow played in securing the Mississippi River as a prize passage throughout the Civil War.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: This afternoon we'll take the hop-on/hop-off motorcoach to explore the town of New Madrid and learn about the devastation caused by the series of earthquakes centered here in 1811-12. These earthquakes are still the largest in magnitude recorded in the US east of the Rocky Mountains. A local steamboat historian will join us to discuss the impact on Mississippi River boat traffic.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
16
River Cruising
Cruising the Mississippi River
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: Free Time. Enjoy shipboard activities, spend time with new Road Scholar friends, or just relax. The details for activities taking place on the boat today can be found in your River Times delivered each morning.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: We’ll gather for a Road Scholar exclusive cocktail party before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
17
Memphis, TN
Memphis, TN
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: Experience Memphis through the eyes of The King himself on an exclusive experience through this musical southern city. Join us as we embark on a driving tour past select landmarks such as Sun Studio, iconic Beale Street and Elvis Presley Plaza. Keep a sharp eye out for wondering musicians as this tour may have a couple of musical surprises as we make our way to Graceland. Visit this musical mecca with a Platinum Ticket to Graceland Mansion and all of the outlying museums. Enjoy a self-guided tour of Graceland and enjoy free time for lunch on your own at one of the Elvis-themed eateries on the grounds. During this exclusive narrated driving tour of Memphis, you will see such landmarks as Sun Studio, the Peabody Hotel, the National Civil Rights Museum (The Lorraine Motel) and St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Free Time. Enjoy a relaxing afternoon as the boat prepares to depart Memphis. Watching the city skyline from one of the upper decks is a great way to welcome the second segment of our journey north.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
18
Helena, AR
Helena, AR
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture this morning from your Study Leader relevant to the local area.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Free time to explore the local area.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
19
Vicksburg, MS
Vicksburg, MS
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Our instructor will lecture on a topic relating to the history of Vicksburg. We will then encounter a unique blend of old and new in Vicksburg, Mississippi, beginning at Vicksburg National Military Park and Battlefield. Highlights include the visitors center and the U.S.S. Cairo Ironclad Gunboat and Museum.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Afternoon talk by our Study Leader.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
20
Natchez, MS, Longwood & Choctaw Hall, Gospel Choir
Natchez, MS
B,L,D
American Duchess

Activity note: Longwood and Choctaw Hall mansions are short walks from the motorcoach; standing in mansions.

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: We will head into Mississippi and explore Natchez, where numerous antebellum mansions recall a bygone era. Our group leader will lead us on the American Duchess’s hop-on/hop-off motorcoaches as we try to imagine the lifestyles of the 19th Century with visits to Rosalie Mansion and the William Johnson House (home of the “Barber of Natchez”), with our Road Scholar instructor providing commentary.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Board a motorcoach for a ride to the octagonal Longwood Mansion for an expert-led exploration. Longwood was an exotic departure from typical homes of the period, begun in 1860 but interrupted by the Civil War. Of its 32 rooms, only 9 were finished. Choctaw Hall was built around 1836 and features a blend of Greek Revival to Federal styles. There are 4 floors and with the Bed and Breakfast's four bedrooms residing on the ground floor, with separate entrances from the main top three floors of the home which are connected by a swirling oval staircase. Double porches with white columns bookend the front and back of the house making every scene a picture perfect backdrop. Here we will be hosted by the present owners who live in the house.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
21
Baton Rouge, LA
Baton Rouge, LA
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: This morning we will use the hop-on/hop-off bus to visit the Louisiana State Capitol and the Old State Capitol.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Afternoon talk with our Study Leader.

Dinner: Aboard the boat.

Evening: At leisure. There will be an evening program presented by ship entertainment staff.

DAY
22
St. Francisville, LA, Angola Prison
St. Francisville, LA
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat.

Morning: The quaint town of St. Francisville, situated on bluffs of the Mississippi River, has more than 140 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, from beautiful plantation homes to distinctive commercial and civic buildings and churches. With an expert, we will see the historic downtown and learn about the history of the settlement. Next, we’ll visit Rosedown Plantation and Gardens built in 1835. Rosedown is one of the loveliest plantations in the area of St. Francisville. The owner, Daniel Turnbull, was one of the richest men in the country before the Civil War, thanks to the cotton boom. The house was begun in 1834 and completed only a year later. The extensive gardens, the province of Mrs. Martha Turnbull, eventually covered 28 acres. At its height, Rosedown comprised nearly 3,500 acres mostly planted in cotton. None of it would have been possible without the labor of an army of slaves. We’ll learn about cotton farming, plantation life, and the institution of slavery.

Lunch: Aboard the boat.

Afternoon: Continue your visits to the numerous other sites and to the U.S.S. Kidd docked right next to our boat.

Dinner: Aboard ship

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy one last show, then prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
23
Nottaway Plantation
Nottoway, LA
B,L,D
American Duchess

Breakfast: Aboard the boat

Morning: Nottoway Plantation, the South’s largest remaining antebellum mansion. This stunning historical plantation lies between Baton Rouge and New Orleans and offers a view of a truly grand plantation. The mansion flaunts three-floors, 64-bedrooms, and displays an incredible 22 white square columns which contribute to its’ nickname—“The White Castle of Louisiana”. The most popular room among guests is the White Ballroom, which is painted entirely in white and displays elaborate gold décor throughout. Rooms are trimmed in custom plaster frieze made from Spanish moss, clay, plaster, and mud and is all original to the house. And as if that weren’t enough, this immaculate mansion was constructed with 365 openings—one for each day of the year. Enjoy a guided walking tour of an American Castle as we explore within the pristine walls of Nottoway followed by a stroll through the lush grounds and gardens

Lunch: Aboard the boat

Afternoon: Return to the ship. This afternoon we'll gather together for last minute questions with our Study Leader, a disembarkation talk, and to collect listening devices.

Dinner: Aboard ship we’ll have our farewell dinner. Share your favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy one last show, then prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
24
Program Conclusion- Disembark
New Orleans, LA
B

Breakfast: Aboard the boat

Morning: Disembark the ship. You can be transferred to either the ship's hospitality suite at a local hotel or directly to the airport. This concludes our program. A special 3 night extension is offered in New Orleans. Please see program # 23288. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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