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O SAY CAN YOU SEE – The chance to spend Independence Day onboard the American Queen is a rare treat! Experience plenty of fanfare and one of the nation’s largest fireworks displays in beautiful St. Louis from the spacious decks of the American Queen.

The grand American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built, truly a gracious and elegant triumph of American ingenuity. Although filled with today’s modern amenities, her rooms and accommodations display all the opulence of the American Victorian era. Glistening woodwork, fresh flowers and antiques adorn her interior spaces. Outside, lacy filigree evokes memories of the many stately riverboats that preceded her and so inspired her designers. While on board, you can select a volume from the library’s vast collection in the Mark Twain Gallery, enjoy a sing-along in the Main Deck Lounge, and then tap your toes to a lavish show in the two-deck-tall Grand Saloon, the most elegant showplace on the river. Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady of the river epitomizes the grace and grandeur that has made river cruising a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries. One voyage and you’ll see why!

Day 1 – Home to Memphis, TN

Board our flight to Memphis where our journey begins with a deluxe hotel stay in Memphis. Tomorrow afternoon we will board the American Queen.

Hotel: Sheraton 


Day 2 – Memphis – Board American Queen

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Memphis today during a narrated driving tour in which we will see such landmarks like Sun Studio, The Peabody Hotel, National Civil Rights Museum (The Lorraine Motel) and cruise past Beale Street. Experience the most musical town in the world at the Elvis Statue and the Levitt Band Shell; where Elvis made his first performance. Then enjoy a self-guided tour of the Graceland Mansion and its outlying museums. This afternoon, we will board the American Queen to begin our voyage!

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Boat: American Queen 


Day 3 – Scenic River Cruising

Enjoy the sights and sounds of river cruising as you spend a leisurely day onboard.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 4 – New Madrid, MO

Today we explore New Madrid and relive scenes out of the battle as we see the war through the eyes of local soldiers. First we will stroll down the 120 foot observation deck and view the 8 mile long “Bessie Bend Oxbow” at the New Madrid Observation Deck. Then we will discover how culture is reflected in this ever changing river town from the Mississippian Indian period and on at the New Madrid Historical Museum. After that, enjoy some ice cream, shop for souvenirs, or just take a stroll around as we stop at Main Street. Then, you can take a short walk to Veteran’s Park which honors New Madrid County citizens who served or are currently serving in the armed services. Other stops along the way are the New Madrid County Courthouse, and the cypress framed 15-room antebellum home of Hunter-Dawson State Historic Site. Next we will stop at Higgerson SchooI, built in the 1940’s, this primitive schoolhouse serves as a window to the educational practices that shaped rural America. Lastly, we’ll stop by the oldest home in New Madrid, the Hart-Stepp House Art Gallery.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 5 – Cape Girardeau, MO

We dock in Cape Girardeau where our tour begins with the impressive Mississippi River Tales Mural. Depicting Cape Girardeau’s rich history and heritage, the Mississippi River Tails Mural and the Missouri Wall of Fame highlight some of Missouri’s most notable citizens. Steps away, the historic downtown offers a wide variety of great shopping opportunities. The Red House Interpretive Center reveals what life on the Mississippi was like more than 200 years ago. Directly across the street is Old St. Vincent’s Church with its beautiful Renaissance architecture and ornate interior. The Glenn House is a historic Queen Anne style home with authentic period furnishings gracing its late Victorian interior. Next, we’ll stop at River Campus, home to the Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts. At the Crisp Museum’s Crossroads Gallery, interactive kiosks and exhibits highlight the history of southeast Missouri, while the Old Bridge Overlook and Park provide a dramatic view of the impressive Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge. The Cape River Heritage Museum uniquely showcases the region’s culture and history. Last stop is at the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 6 – Chester, IL

We will begin our tour at the Spinach Can, located in the old Opera House where creator of Popeye, Elzie Segar worked. Today, the Spinach Can serves as the international headquarters for the Popeye Fan Club and store for everything Popeye. Also at this stop is Pinky’s – this small historic building is now a specialty shop for cake pops, cupcakes, cakes and handmade greeting cards. Guests can’t miss this quant sweet-shop clad in a rosy bright pink hue. Then, take a stroll to the Gazebo to discover Wimpy—a fellow Popeye character. Enjoy a great photo opportunity here alongside the large murals and Popeye cutouts. Next stop, The Courthouse and Randolph County Museum. Here, guests can enjoy an outstanding 360-degree view of the Mississippi River, Missouri farmlands and Chester alongside Olive Oyl and Sweet Pea. At the Annex Museum, guests can tour the 1864 stone Gothic structure museum and explore artifacts that display the rich history of the early French settlers. After that, we’ll stop at the Welcome Center, marked by a larger-than-life bronze statue of Popeye, the Chester welcome center offers a lookout point which gives a fantastic vantage point to observe the majestic Mississippi River below. Samuel Smith built the first home in Chester, established a ferry system, and began the construction of a mill in 1829. He is said to be the town’s founder. It was his wife Jane Thomas, a native of Chester, England, who gave Chester its name as a tribute to her home town. Our final stop is filled with charm and whimsy, the Cohen Home, dubbed by Mark Twain as “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.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 7 – St. Louis, MO

Enjoy the day in St. Louis. Perhaps you will choose to visit the Gateway Arch or take in a ballgame.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner 


Day 8 – St. Louis to Home

Disembark in Alton, IL and transfer to airport for our flight home.

Included Meals: Breakfast

Travel Bucks

$50 Travel Bucks per person earned with this tour

Deposit Due

$500 deposit per person due at time of reservation. Full payment due 90 days prior to depart.

Passport Needed


Tour Pace

Moderate Walking

Price Includes

RT Airfare including taxes, fuel surcharges, & baggage fees! 18 Meals, Hotels & Activities as stated in brochure, ALL GRATUITIES!

The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 90°
Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
American Queen Upper Mississippi River Cruise
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Tour Highlights

The only authentic overnight
paddlewheel steamboat in America
The acclaimed cuisine of famed American
chef Regina Charboneau
The only steamboat with multiple, specialty
dining options, all at no additional charge
Complimentary bottled water, soft drinks, &
specialty coffees throughout your voyage
Complimentary wines and beers at dinner
Gracious, friendly service from a professionally trained all-American staff
The warm and inviting ambiance of an antebellum mansion
Public rooms and accommodations are decorated with Victorian charm & carefully selected antiques

Travel with R & J Tours to a warm destination where it is...
Minneapolis, Mn
American Queen Upper Mississippi River Cruise
The average temperature while R&J is visiting is 90°
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