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 22-night learning adventure.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22501RJ
Length
25 days
Starts at
9,995
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Flights start at
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25 days
24 nights
69 meals
24 B 21 L 24 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Arrive, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
New Orleans, LA
D
Hotel Monteleone

Activity note: Hotel check in at 3:00 PM.

Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:30 - 4:30 PM. When you arrive at the hotel, proceed to the lobby to register with your Group Leader, get your welcome packet containing your name-tag, up-to-date schedule that reflects any last-minute changes, and other important information. If your arrival is delayed, please ask for your packet when you check in. Orientation: 4:30 PM. Your 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 Queen's hop-on/hop-off motorcoach. All routes, field trips, and excursions are subject to change as weather and river conditions may affect the itinerary. River conditions could affect the progress of the ship, making it run late and sometimes miss ports because it is not safe to dock. Because of this, the cruise itinerary should always be regarded as provisional. The operators reserve the right to change the content of field trips and excursions without prior notice.

Dinner: In a private meeting room at the hotel, we will have a buffet dinner with soda, coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

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

DAY
2
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA
B,L,D
Hotel Monteleone

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Head out for a visit to cultural and historical sites in New Orleans, with our study leader providing commentary and instruction.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue exploring sites in New Orleans.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: Our study leader will provide a lecture in a private meeting room at the hotel.

DAY
3
New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA
B,L,D
Hotel Monteleone

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: This morning we will continue to explore New Orleans, including surround areas, with our study leader onboard to provide narration.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Continue exploring historical and cultural sites in New Orleans.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: Our study leader will provide a lecture in a private meeting room at the hotel.

DAY
4
New Orleans, LA, Embark American Queen
New Orleans, LA
B,D
American Queen

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

Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy a leisurely morning as we prepare for a tour of New Orleans. We will check out of the hotel mid-morning and meet a motorcoach for a tour of New Orleans. Our luggage will be transferred to the motorcoach at check-out.

Lunch: Lunch on your own during New Orleans city tour. You will have free time in a vibrant and historic neighborhood to seek out your perfect lunch.

Afternoon: Continue New Orleans city tour then transfer to the vessel dock for embarkation at 3:30 pm. The time available in each port is set by the cruise line. Whenever possible, the Road Scholar daily schedule indicates port arrival and departure times (subject to change by the cruise line). Road Scholar delivers a robust educational program in each port, and this may mean that free time in port is limited.

Dinner: In the J.M. White Dining Room for the early 5:15 PM seating, 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
5
Nottoway Plantation
Nottoway, LA
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Early coffee at the Front Porch Café, choice of served breakfast or buffet in J. M. White Dining Room; juice, soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water included.

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 American Queen, choose from the extensive daily luncheon buffet or order a la carte; soft drinks, coffee, tea, and water included, other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll gather with our instructor for an afternoon presentation. Then experience the mesmerizing rhythm of the river as we roll along.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy performances, spend time with fellow Road Scholars, or just relax.

DAY
6
St. Francisville, LA
St. Francisville, LA
B,L,D
American Queen

Activity note: Disembark the boat, walk up a levee (golf carts available for those who prefer not to walk), and board motorcoach to field trip site.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: We embark on a trip full of second chances, rehabilitation, and redemption. Angola Prison—formerly America’s most dangerous penitentiary is known today as a model facility and takes great pride in the faith-based rehabilitation of its inmates. Your perceptions of a typical prison will be changed today as we wind through Angola’s vast, rich farmland where over five million pounds of produce are harvested by inmates each year. Gaze upon the fields that seem to expand forever as we pass inmates hard at work harvesting crops. We push on, passing inmate housing, cattle herds, the K-9 training facility, and the Rodeo arena. Discover the history of this plantation turned penitentiary, made famous for its troubling history and it’s truly inspirational turn-around, annual Rodeo, and numerous sightings in movies including the blockbuster, “Dead Man Walking.” We will stop in front of Angola’s first and most famous cellblock, stepping off the bus for an exclusive tour of the Red Hat cellblock. Listed on the National Registry of Historic Places, the penitentiary’s first cellblock was home to the escape artist Charlie Frazer and was the site of eleven executions by electric chair. Hear the history of the dark roads the prison had been to before its unbelievable transformation. The journey continues, arriving at the penitentiary’s largest chapel where guests will have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to hear the enlightening stories from current inmates and the journey of their transformation into the inspiration and well-rounded people they are today. Our exclusive excursion ends with a stop at the penitentiary’s on-site museum. While here, learn more about the ongoing effort to change prisons in America, the history of Angola and pick up a unique souvenir as a reminder of the ongoing effort to ensure public safety.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Our instructor will provide another afternoon presentation.Then relax and enjoy the ride as we glide down the Mississippi.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure. Delightful performances every evening.

DAY
7
Natchez, MS, Longwood & Stanton Hall
Natchez, MS
B,L,D
American Queen

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

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: Departing Louisiana, 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 Queen’s hop-on/hop-off motorcoaches (which are complimentary and run a continuous loop in each port) 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.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Board the motorcoach for a ride to the octagonal Longwood for an expert-led exploration. Longwood was an exotic departure from typical homes of the period, started in 1860 but interrupted by the Civil War. Of its 32 rooms, only 9 were finished. Stanton Hall, built in 1858, covers a city block and is the quintessence of elegant Greek Revival urban splendor. Carrera marble, mahogany doors, massive Corinthian columns, and delicate cast iron railings adorn the façade.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
8
Vicksburg, MS
Vicksburg, MS
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: Our instructor will lecture on "The Siege of Vicksburg and the Control of the Mississippi During the Civil War." 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, one of the larger monuments, and the U.S.S. Cairo ironclad gunboat and museum.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: With our instructor, we’ll have a presentation. The remainder of the afternoon is free to enjoy as you like.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
9
Greenville, MS
Greenville, MS
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we will use the hop-on/hop-off bus to explore Greenville, Mississippi. We will visit sites that include the Greenville History Museum, the Hebrew Union Congregation Temple and Museum, 1927 Flood Museum, E. E. Bass Cultural Arts Center, and the Washington County Courthouse.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: We’ll meet with our instructor for an afternoon presentation.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
10
River Cruising
On the Mississippi River aboard the American Queen
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: We’ll gather with our instructor for a presentation and discussion. You are then welcome to relax aboard the American Queen. You might like to drop in at the Engine Room and meet some of the people who keep the boat rolling.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Take advantage of the onboard activities as we head to Memphis, Tennessee. The Riverlorian, the ship’s onboard historian, is available for any unanswered questions you may have about the river.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
11
Memphis, TN
Memphis, TN
B,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we'll enjoy a city tour of Memphis. Experience Memphis through the eyes of Elvis, "The King" himself, on an exclusive experience through this musical southern city. We'll 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 musical surprises as we make our way to Graceland.

Lunch: Lunch on your own at the Graceland home of Elvis Presley. There are several Elvis-themed eateries on the grounds

Afternoon: After lunch we’ll meet our instructor onboard for an afternoon presentation.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
12
River Cruising
On the Mississippi River aboard the American Queen
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: There is always plenty to do between dawn and dusk on the river and today is the perfect day to enjoy the many public spaces and activities that are available to you onboard. Gaze at the beautiful landscapes and small river towns as you mingle with fellow guests and discuss the unique aspects of river life. If you fancy a moment for yourself, retreat to our Gallery adorned with ornate bookcases stocked with an imaginative selection.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: This afternoon our instructor will provide a presentation related to this portion of the river.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
New Madrid, MO
New Madrid, MO
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: New Madrid was founded in 1776 by Spanish Governor Esteban Rodríguez Miró and was sold to the United States in the Louisiana Purchase. We’ll use the hop-on/hop-off buses to explore the city and visit the New Madrid Historical Museum. There, we will learn more about the earthquakes of 1811 and 1812 that greatly affected the course of the Mississippi River, the Hunter-Dawson Historic Site, the New Madrid Courthouse, and the Higgerson School.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: The 1811–12 New Madrid earthquakes were an intense intraplate earthquake series beginning with an initial earthquake of moment magnitude 7.5–7.9 on December 16, 1811, followed by a moment magnitude 7.4 aftershock on the same day. They remain the most powerful earthquakes in recorded history to hit the contiguous United States east of the Rocky Mountains. They, as well as the seismic zone of their occurrence, were named for the Mississippi River town of New Madrid, then part of the Louisiana Territory, now within the state of Missouri. The New Madrid Historical Museum has very educational exhibits about the earthquakes, as well as Native American and Civil War artifacts.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

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

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we will join our instructor who will provide us with a presentation on the Mississippi River.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: The afternoon is free to explore Paducah, located at the confluence of the Ohio and the Tennesse Rivers, often called the Four-Rivers Area due to the proximity of the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers. Enjoy the magnificent paintings on the flood walls, the National Quilt Museum, the Lloyd Tilghman House, the Civil War Museum, the Paducah Railroad Museum, and the River Discovery Museum; where you can learn about the maritime legacy and lore with interactive, water-filled exhibits, including a working model of a lock and dam. Captain a towboat, pleasure watercraft or Coast Guard buoy tender through various scenarios in the new pilothouse simulator.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
15
Cape Girardeau, MO
Cape Girardeau, MO
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we will join our instructor for a presentation.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Explore Cape Girardeau on the hop-on/hop-off buses and learn about its history through the paintings on the downtown floodwalls. Explore the Red House Interpretive Center commemorating the visit of Lewis and Clark in 1803 as well as a Trading Post, displaying authentic items that would have been sold in the 19th century. Also visit the Queen Ann style Glenn House, St. Vincent Church, and the Cape River Heritage Museum.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
16
Chester, IL
Chester, IL
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we will stop in Ashport Landing where we'll visit historic Fort Pillow. Fort Pillow, now a National Historic Landmark, was the site of a brutal massacre of Union troops by Major General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Here you will learn the important role Fort Pillow played in securing the Mississippi River as a prized passage throughout the Civil War.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: This afternoon you have time to enjoy the ship board activities.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
17
St. Louis, MO
St. Louis, MO
B,L,D
American Queen

Activity note: The Gateway Arch is under renovation. We will not know until we arrive whether it will be available for us to visit today; possible crowded conditions.

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning explore Chester using the hop-on/hop-off buses. Visit the Cohen Memorial Home, dubbed by Mark Twain as “the house with the blue windows,” a historical home overlooking the Mississippi River from high atop the bluffs, and its Courthouse with a commanding 360 degree view of the Missisissipppi River. Head to the Randolph County Museum or learn more about the characters from the Popeye comic strip at the Spinach Can Collectibles and Museum located in the old Opera House Antiques, where creator Elizar Segar worked.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: This afternoon we will meet with our instructor for a lecture.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
18
Alton, IL
Alton, IL
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we will board a motorcoach for a city tour of St. Louis, called "The Gateway City." Trace the history of America’s iconic St. Louis beginning with the city’s original settlement, Laclede’s Landing. The landing features an incredible nine-block historic district overflowing with renovated and rustic buildings, shops, and eateries. Have your cameras ready as we pull in front of St. Louis’ most popular attraction, the famous Gateway Arch, the nation’s tallest monument! Admire the gargantuan piece of modern art commemorating the gateway to the west for thousands of 19th century pioneers, and the Old Cathedral, the oldest cathedral west of the Mississippi.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Afternoon at leisure to enjoy the American Queen activities aboard.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: Enjoy an evening show aboard the American Queen.

DAY
19
Hannibal, MO
Hannibal, MO
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: Join our instructor for a morning presentation.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: This afternoon 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 Sam 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. Lastly, visit the local Trinity Church, then return to the ship for departure.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
20
River Cruising
On the Mississippi River aboard the American Queen
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: Join our instructor for a morning lecture while we cruise down the river.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Enjoy the American Queen activities aboard the ship.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
21
Clinton, IA
Clinton, IA
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: Join our instructor this morning for an interesting lecture on the Mississippi River.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: Clinton is the eastern-most town in Iowa, situated at the intersection of the Lincoln Highway and the Great River Road. During the late 1800s, Clinton was known as the lumber capital of the U.S. Giant log rafts were floated down river from Wisconsin and Minnesota, cut into lumber in Clinton, and shipped to growing communities via the river and railroads. We’ll learn more about this charming city using the hop-on/hop-off bus.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
22
Dubuque, IA
Dubuque, IA
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

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 the American Queen.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration in Dubuque. You might want to take the American Queen's hop-on/hop-off motorcoach to the Grand Opera House.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
23
Lacrosse, WI, U of Wisconsin Library
La Crosse, WI
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning our onboard instructor will provide a lecture.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: This afternoon, we have a Road Scholar exclusive visit planned to the University of Wisconsin Library, housing the largest collection of steamboat photographs in the world, with a librarian. There will also be some time for independent exploration in LaCrosse.

Dinner: Aboard the American Queen.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
24
Red Wing, MN
Red Wing, MN
B,L,D
American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: This morning we will meet as a group to address questions, share closing remarks, collect listening devices, and discuss disembarkation information.

Lunch: Aboard the American Queen.

Afternoon: We will ride to Wabasha, Minnesota, the oldest city on the Upper Mississippi River, and visit the home of the National Eagle Center with an expert. 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. We’ll then return to the American Queen, which will remain in port overnight. There will be a talk on disembarkation with luggage tags distributed so that larger pieces can be tagged and loaded on the coach in the morning.

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
25
Disembark in Red Wing, Airport Transfer, Program Concludes
Red Wing, MN
B

Activity note: Disembark American Queen

Breakfast: Aboard the American Queen.

Morning: From Red Wing, we will transfer to the airport. This concludes our 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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