Day 1: St. Louis, MO
Departure 5:00 PM
Explore St. Louis at your leisure or consider a pre-cruise Premium Shore Excursion with afternoon transfer to the vessel.
Day 2: Hannibal, MO
Hannibal, Missouri has a rich history, diverse industrial economy, and truly remarkable arts. The city was founded in 1819 by Moses D. Bates and became a popular stop along the river for many steamboats traveling up the Mississippi. Hannibal offers more parks per citizens than most towns in the Midwest and was included in the famous “50 Miles of Art.” Today, the most popular draw of this quirky town is Hannibal’s very own, Samuel Langhorne Clemens, recognized world-wide as Mark Twain. Many of the popular characters featured in Twain’s novels were based on people Sam had known while growing up in Hannibal. Many of the characters and influences of this American icon are weaved into the streets, shops, restaurants, and museums of Hannibal waiting to be uncovered.
Included Shore Excursions:
Big River Train Town
Embark on a journey back in time when the steam coach stops at the Big River Train Town Model Train Museum. Here’s we will embrace the golden age of railroading. This Hannibal gem is packed with more toy trains than you have probably ever seen. Enjoy authentic replicas as they move swiftly along the tracks or learn the history of the models and the trains they are made after. As you walk around, relive your childhood and learn the stories of the railway’s past as you view some authentic memorabilia.
The Mark Twain Boyhood Home & Museum
Learn everything there is to know about this literary icon. The mission of the Mark Twain Home Foundation is to promote awareness and appreciation of the life and works of Mark Twain and to demonstrate the relevance of his stories and ideas to citizens of the world. This included tour visits eight buildings, six of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and two that are highly interactive museums showcasing fifteen original Norman Rockwell paintings! Learn about the Hannibal of Samuel Clemens’s childhood and explore the stories created through the powerful imagination of American icon, Mark Twain. Building 1: Interpretive Center – Here, explore interactive exhibits highlighting the stories and life of Samuel Clemens. Building 2: Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home & Garden – See the home where Clemens was raised, and where the adventures of Tom Sawyer took place, along with the home’s lovely gardens. Building 3: Boyhood Home Gift Shop – The original museum which was built in 1937 and goes even further into the life of Clemens. Building 4: Huckleberry Finn House – The childhood home of the real Huck Finn, who goes by the name, Tom Blankenship. Building 5: Becky Thatcher House – The home of Laura Hawkins, the inspiration for Becky. Building 6: J.M. Clemens Justice of the Peace Office – The location where Sam’s father held court. Building 7: Grant’s Drug Store – The location where the family lived briefly and where John Clemens died. (Display through window). Building 8: Museum Gallery – This lovely 2-story building features interactive exhibits, the Norman Rockwell Gallery, and treasured Clemens family artifacts. Live performances are played throughout the day at specific times. Tom & Huck Statue – Located at the foot of Cardiff Hill and offers a perfect location for a photo!
Trinity Episcopal Church
A stunning historical church in the heart of Hannibal featuring beautiful interior and exterior decorations and architecture. For more than 150 years, the Sanctuary of Trinity Episcopal Church, designed by architect Joseph A. Miller, has stood the test of time. With an interior consisting of a deeply arched heavy wooden beamed ceiling, beautiful bronze lanterns and side wall lamps, an impressive pipe organ and 18 illustriously conceived stained glass windows, Trinity Church is truly an historic marvel. As you step into the church, you are immediately transported back into time and enveloped by Hannibal’s past. Early church members commissioned well-known artists to design the Sanctuary’s beautiful stained glass windows. With signature designs by Charles Booth, Emil Frei, Jr. and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Glass Company, these windows are truly remarkable in their diverse artistic style, thematic construction and conceptual execution.
Hannibal History Museum
Hear the history of this historical town along the Mississippi. View artifacts, photos, and exhibits explaining how the city evolved to where it is today.
Steve Ayers has been a professional potter for 30 years and has been making pottery in Hannibal for 20 of those years. Ayers Pottery is recognized nationwide for its beautiful form and intense color-rich glazes. Especially notable are his deep rich red colors that are difficult to attain. Steve makes pottery with the customer in mind, pottery that is both attractive and functional. Handles must feel comfortable, spouts must pour, pottery must be microwaveable, oven-safe, and fit in the dishwasher. All of Ayers Pottery is lead free and food safe. Take some time to browse the showroom then take home a piece of functional art hand made in Hannibal. (Admission Additional)
Cave Hollow Complex
Explore the wild imagination of iconic American writer, Mark Twain, through the caves that inspired the many stories of his childhood. (Admission Additional. Tour Takes 55 minutes to complete, bring a light jacket). Mark Twain Cave Complex hosts the first show cave in Missouri dating back to 1886. Explore the natural wonder, beauty and the history, fictional and non-fictional, offered in this remarkable landmark that has been listed as a Registered National Natural Landmark since 1972. Discover the inspiration Twain had as he ran through the caves as a young boy and enjoy samples of wine as you do it! (Admission Additional, located at the Cave Hollow Complex. Tour takes 55 minutes to complete, bring a light jacket)
Day 3: Leisurely River Cruising
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. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish every moment of serenity. Our fitness facility, business center, movie theater and grand lobby offer a more stimulating day on the river for those who wish to indulge in more energy-infused activity. However you wish to spend your day, make it your own and revel in every moment.
Day 4: Clinton, IA
The city of Clinton has much to offer, all with the beautiful backdrop of the Mississippi River. Situated at the crossroads of the Lincoln Highway and the Great River Road, Clinton is the Eastern-most point in the State of Iowa. At the height of its local economy during the late 19th Century, Clinton was regarded as the lumber capital of the nation; a history that is reflected as visitors pass many old sawmills. Today, agriculture plays a big part in Clinton’s economy, which is visible in the beautiful rolling fields filled with luscious, fresh harvest crops. Explore the history of this fascinating river town and discover a lifestyle that will stand out from today’s norm!
Included Shore Excursions:
Clinton County Courthouse
Explore the history of Clinton’s historical Courthouse. Discover artifacts, articles, and photos depicting the stories of the structure and admire the architecture of this Clinton treasure.
Windmill Cultural Center
Walk through the Windmill Cultural Center, as you explore the different styles of windmills with impressive replicas and learn about the history and importance of the windmill throughout the century. The Windmill Cultural Center was dedicated in April of 2010 and showcases 22 European windmills, varying in sizes up to six-feet tall. The windmills can be traced to Belgium, Denmark, England, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, and The Netherlands. Their different backgrounds gives each windmill its very own unique design, demonstrating the culture and heritage of each country. Located inside the Windmill Cultural Center, a charming gift shop is available for guests, where unique gifts like fresh stone-ground flour, Delft pottery, and windmill souvenirs can be purchased.
Tour this functional windmill and learn how the wind-powered structure helps the town’s economy as well as provides some highly desired resources. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to visit one of two working Dutch windmills left in the United States! This impressive windmill, that goes by the Dutch Windmill, as well as, De Immigrant Windmill, and stands nearly 100 feet tall in the city of Fulton. It was assembled by Dutch craftsmen in 1999 and placed on the flood control dike in the heart of the city. It is fully operational today, turning its sails to generate wind power. The mill also assists a few blue basalt millstones to produce a variety of flours. Stone-ground buckwheat, corn, rye, and wheat flours are all manufactured here. (Located at the same stop as the Windmill Cultural Center)
Discover Clinton’s past as you walk around this museum highlighting the city’s first source of large economic income – lumber. Hear the history of the town and the struggles to get on their feet and how, with the help of lumber, the town began to flourish. Lumber was an essential resource in the city of Clinton, not only for construction of buildings and barns, but also contributing heavily to the industry that brought the railroad, the immigrants, and the entrepreneurs. Here, discover the stories that made the lumberjack a national hero, then experience what life was really like in a lumber camp. Hear the buzz of the saw mill as logs are cut into lumber and envision the workings of the Struve Mill where hundreds of pieces of wood became beautiful trims, doors, and flooring.
George M. Curtis Mansion
On this guided tour, explore this beautiful mansion that has been listed on the National Register of Historical Places. Indulge in wine tastings on this relaxing and beautiful visit to one of Clinton’s historical mansions. This restored Victorian home of lumber baron George M. Curtis is a prime example of period architecture with its original Tiffany glass windows, delicately carved banisters, ornate wood trim, and massive fireplaces. Rich in the history of the area, this mansion makes an elegant backdrop for special events. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The tour of the Mansion will end with a sampling of local Wide River Wines on the wrap-around front porch.
Clinton County Historical Museum & Library
Since its establishment in 1946, the Clinton County Historical Association and Museum has established a collection of over 30,000 artifacts from Clinton County. The museum has impressive collections of Redford Glass, rare and valuable pieces for collectors across the country, as well as a large collection of Native American relics, including more than 1,000 artifacts. Exhibits and galleries take up two floors of the building and display local art, Civil War artifacts and history, Native American Settlement, antique musical instruments, and much more! After exploring the expansive and incredibly fascinating and interactive museum floors, guests can stop into the gift shop, where an assortment of local historical books, prints, and souvenirs can be purchased!
Day 5: Prairie du Chien, WI
As the oldest community on the Upper Mississippi, Prairie Du Chien has been a traditional gathering place for centuries. The native people of the area met on the prairie in friendship to exchange goods. In the late 17th century, French fur traders used the prairie as a site of spring and fall rendezvous. It was during these years that the land received its name, which translates as “Prairie of the Dog” in French. When the British took over the fur trade, Prairie Du Chien became of greater importance for whoever controlled the prairie, controlled the entire Upper Mississippi watershed. After years of fighting for control of this land, the British eventually left the fort, leaving the residents of Prairie Du Chien and the Indians. Discover the rich history lining the streets of this historical city as you explore the treasure Prairie du Chien has to offer!
Day 6: Winona, MN
Explore Winona, Minnesota, one of the most beautiful places in the country. The city is referred to as the “Island City” by locals because of the large sand bar it was built upon. Evidence suggests that the land’s history reaches back as early as 9500 B.C., while present-day Winona was founded as the small village of Keoxa in 1851. Nestled between the covered limestone river bluffs of the Mississippi River, this quaint port is full of culture and small town Americana. Enjoy stunning views of the rolling bluffs as they plummet to the mighty Mississippi below in this beautiful and historic city, filled with incredible museums, galleries, and parks.
Day 7: Red Wing, MN
Red Wing, Minnesota was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of most historic places in the world. Discovered in the early 1850’s, the lands were used mostly for harvesting wheat that would be transported up the river. Later in Red Wing’s history the economy began to flourish due to the thriving pottery industry, which became a main source of income between 1877 and 1967. Today, the city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and travelers that occupied the land before today, or to admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past.
Day 8: Red Wing, MN
Arrival 8:00 AM
Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy nearby Minneapolis at your leisure or consider a Post-Cruise Premium Shore Excursion with airport transfer.