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Upper Mississippi St Louis to St Paul
An Upper Mississippi River cruise is a journey to the heart and soul of America, back to a time when life moved a little slower and riverboats slowly churned the waters. On this leisurely voyage from the dynamic town of St Louis to the twin cities of Minneapolis & St Paul you'll discover picturesque scenery, abundant wildlife and hidden gems. Sit back, relax and watch the very best of America's Heartland unfold in front of you from the deck of the world's most grand paddle streamer.
Price per person includes:
Return flights from UK to St Louis
Private transfer to the Hilton St Louis for one night
St Louis Gateway Arch excursion
Transfer to the port
Seven nights aboard the American Queen in an Outside Veranda Stateroom
Shore excursions in each port and nightly entertainment
Fine wine and beer with dinner and soft drinks throughout your voyage
Daily lectures by the onboard Riverlorians - Mississippi history and culture experts
Private transfer to airport for return flight
Please note, gratuities are not included and $16.50 per day/per person will be added to your on board account.
St Louis and the Gateway Arch
Museum of Westward Expansion
Mississippi River and Hannibal
Dubuque and Dubuque's Museum of Art
Historic La Crosse and Red Wing
Bon Voyage UK Chauffeur Service
Start in style and put the finishing touches to a memorable holiday with our Chauffeur Drive Service. Your smart, uniformed driver will meet you at your door and whisk you to and from the airport terminal so you are guaranteed a stress-free and relaxing journey. You’ll travel in a showroom condition Mercedes E Class for two people or a sumptuous Viano for families or groups up to six.
Your Bon Voyage travel consultant has all the details, so just mention if you’d like this option included in your holiday quote.
Day 1 : Arrive St Louis, Missouri
Arrive in St. Louis early evening and enjoy a private transfer to your luxury hotel.
This fascinating city dates back to 1764 when Pierre Laclede Liguest, recipient of a land grant from the King of France, and his young scout Auguste Chouteau, chose the site of St Louis as a fur trading post. The following year they built a village and named it after Louis IX of France, the rest is history.
In the evening head for Lacledes Landing, the original site of the village built by Liguest and Chouteau, this historic area is now home to unique restaurants, bars and Blues Clubs. Here you can enjoy romantic carriage rides along the cobbled streets, breathtaking river views, historic architecture, delicious food and exciting nightlife.
Day 2 : Embark St Louis
You have a free day today in St Louis before you board the American Queen for your Upper Mississippi River cruise which departs at 8pm.
No visit to St Louis would be complete without a visit to the Gateway Arch. In 1935, the federal government selected the St. Louis riverfront as the site for a new national monument honoring the pioneers who explored the American West. After a nationwide competition the design for a giant stainless steel arch was chosen as the winning entry. Construction on the Arch began in 1963 and was completed in 1965. Rising 630ft from the banks of the Mississippi, a journey to the top of the Arch is a must-do. Here you can enjoy awesome views over the city for up to 30 miles.
The Museum of Westward Expansion is located under the Arch. This free museum features exhibits on Lewis & Clark and 19th century pioneers who moved America’s borders westward. Just across the street from the Arch is the third part of the Memorial, the Old Courthouse. This historic building was the site of the famous Dred Scott slavery trial. Today, you can tour restored courtrooms and galleries.
To experience a real taste of St Louis, we recommend checking out the Blueberry Hill Restaurant, Sweetie Pies and Ted Drewe's Frozen Custard stand. Afterall, you are on holiday and calories don't count. Bon Voyage would be delighted to arrange private bespoke tours of St Louis, if you so wish. Please call for further details.
Boarding for the American Queen will commence mid-afternoon and the first evening you'll enjoy a Welcome Aboard Dinner.
Day 3 : River Cruising on the Upper Mississippi
Today, it's time to relax onboard with a Mint Julep and enjoy the scenery as you cruise gently along the Mississippi towards Hannibal.
Day 4 : Hannibal, Missouri
After a relaxing day cruising it’s time for your next port of call, Hannibal. Known as America’s Hometown, this quaint town keeps the days of Mark Twain well and truly alive. On your tour on the Twainland Express you’ll experience Hannibal through the eyes of Samuel Clemens, AKA Mark Twain. You’ll begin with a journey back in time to the Golden Age of railroading at the Big River Train Town before heading to The Mark Twain Boyhood Home and Museum where you’ll learn about this literary icon.
Next, it’s a spot of wine tasting in the Cave Hollow Complex, where you'll also be able to explore the caves where Tom and Becky were lost in the Adventures of Tom Sawyer . Before boarding the American Queen for an early evening departure there will be time to check out Hannibal’s Historic Main Street which boasts eclectic stores, cosy coffee shops and period buildings.
Day 5 : River Cruising on the Upper Mississippi
Today, it's another relaxing day cruising Ol' Man River. Mingle with new friends, enjoy a refreshing dip in the pool, sip cocktails on the deck or get better acquainted with the region by attending a lecture with the onboard Riverlorian.
Day 6 : Dubuque, Iowa
Your next port of call along the Mississippi is Dubuque, here the flags of five nations have flown over a city that lives and breathes river lore. Your tour today of Dubuque will include visits to Short Tower, a seven story structure built to produce lead shots for the civil war and the impressive Tiffany stained glass windows at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.
Next on your tour is the Dubuque’s Museum of Art, and the Fenelon Place Elevator where you'll enjoy a bluff-top view of the Mississippi River and downtown Dubuque. You'll also get to visit the oldest and most grand of more than 16 legitimate theaters which served the community; the Grand Opera House. Lastly you'll visit the Dubuque County Jail, which once housed the notorious Butch Cassidy who allegedly robbed the local bank.
Day 7 : La Crosse, Wisconsin
Resting on the banks of the Mississippi, La Crosse was established during the mid 1800s and is steeped in history. This part of Wisconsin is referred to as God's Country due to its towering bluffs, the mighty river and picturesque beauty. In the heart of the city is Historic Downtown La Crosse which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a joy to stroll around. You'll enjoy this charming area of the city as part of your tour today.
Day 8 : Red Wing, Minnesota
Nestled on the banks of the Mississippi under towering limestone bluffs is your next stop, the town of is Red Wing, Minnesota. Recently Red Wing was awarded the accolade of one of "The Best Historic Places in the World" - by National Geographic Magazine.
"A wonderful river community that has still has the charm of a small community .One can go boating on the river, and there are lots of interesting shops. The food was classic Midwest. One gets a profound sense of town life in middle America, especially pre-1950s."
Your tour today includes a stop at the Pottery Place District where you'll be able to stroll around the antique stores, gift shops and eateries. This is followed by a visit to the Sheldon Theatre; the country's first city-owned theatre, which showcases the best in arts and entertainment from Minnesota's heartland and beyond. You'll end the day at the Bush and Main Street Shopping District where you'll be able pop into the historic St James Hotel, view local art exhibits or visit the Native-American store.
Day 9 : Disembark The American Queen - St. Paul
Disembark the American Queen after breakfast and enjoy time at your leisure in the twin cities of St Paul & Minneapolis prior to catching your early evening flight back to the UK. Minneapolis and Saint Paul are known as the Twin Cities, but they are not identical twins by any measure. Saint Paul is the capital city and home of Minnesota state government, with stately buildings and historic sites. Minneapolis is the larger of the cities, and features modern buildings and lively entertainment, restaurants and shopping. With more live theatre seats per capita than any U.S. city except New York, it’s no wonder that the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area enjoys a national reputation as a cultural capital. In addition to theater, 10 dance companies, 30 classical musical groups and 60 museums are in the Minneapolis-Saint Paul area. Highlights include the world-renowned Minnesota Orchestra, the Guthrie Theater and the Walker Art Center, a top modern art museum in the world.
Minneapolis is home to restaurants known nationally, with James Beard Award winners and finalists cooking up a variety of remarkable cuisine. Complement that dinner with a show at one of many renowned theaters, boasting everything from Broadway-touring shows to up-and-coming underground productions. Or enjoy live music at a downtown nightclub; maybe even Minneapolis native Prince will show up.
Minneapolis is a perfect blend of urban chic and natural beauty, creating a city where outdoor fun is minutes from your door. Walk to places like St. Anthony Falls and the Stone Arch Bridge to see beauty normally reserved for postcards. Rent a Nice-Ride bicycle and ride around one of the lakes located minutes from downtown.
Shop til you Drop at the massive Mall of America; with 520 stores and activities, it is the largest shopping and entertainment complex in the U.S. As an added bonus, there is no sales tax on clothing or shoes in Minnesota.
Getting around the area is easy thanks to a light rail train that runs from the MSP Airport to Mall of America and Minneapolis; in June 2014 the light rail will also run to Saint Paul. Enjoy escorted city sightseeing tours, or tour the cities on your own schedule—Minneapolis offers a variety of attractions for every visitor.
This is the end of your cruise, however you may decide to extend your stay and perhaps spend a few days enjoying more of America's great cities, maybe a stop over in Boston or New York.
Call the USA travel specialists at Bon Voyage to discuss your perfect American Queen River Cruise - Upper Mississippi - St Louis to St Paul tour.