Memphis to Chattanooga

Key strategy for both sides in the Civil War was the river systems. Moving equipment and troops as well as continuous communication made the rivers indisposable. Onboard presentations as well as historic ports-of-call offer opportunities to dive deep into the American Civil War.


Visit: Memphis, Ashport Landing, New Madrid, Cape Girardeau,Paducah, Savannah TN, Florence, Decatur, and Chattanooga


Cruise Details

Clock13 Days & 12 Nights

Double Occupancy from $8,799 pp/do*

CalendarOctober 7, 2024 | October 18, 2024

Book Now Request More Info

or call 800.578.1479

*Per person/double occupancy. Special single rates apply where listed. Excludes port fees.
Itineraries may operate in reverse.

Your Itinerary

    1Embark in Memphis, TN
    Enjoy your complimentary stay at the pre-cruise hotel. The evening is yours to become acquainted with the city. For your convenience, our Hospitality Desk will be located in the hotel, and our friendly staff can assist with everything from general questions about your upcoming voyage to reserving premium experiences.

    2Memphis, TN
    Memphis’ history and heritage begins with the indigenous people who lived by the mighty Mississippi. Throughout the years it has been home to cotton tycoons and enslaved people, to musicians who sounded the first notes of songs that still echo around the world today, and to civil rights icons including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Visitors embrace the diversity of this city that has been coined not only the home of the blues but also the birthplace of rock ‘n’ roll and its many music-themed attractions. As one of the most famous music destinations in the world, Memphis is a melodious port for American Queen Voyages guests to experience, including Beale Street Historic District, Blues Music Hall of Fame, Center for Southern Folklore, Graceland, Gibson Guitar Factory, Memphis Music Hall of Fame, Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum, St. Blues Guitar Workshop, Stax Museum of American Soul Music, Sun Studio and the W.C. Handy home and museum. Memphis is also rich with arts, sculpture and painting exhibits offering pieces form Rodin to Renoir. Explore the Dixon Gallery and Gardens, Memphis Botanic Garden, Memphis Brooks Museum of Art, Metal Museum, Belz Museum of Asian and Judaic Art, CrosstownArts and the Cotton Museum at the Memphis Cotton Exchange. If you prefer to discover a destination by walking its streets, boogie on down to Beale Street – it’s alive with quirky places to indulge in some authentic Southern barbeque, shop for souvenirs and sip on a Blue Suede Tini or some other music-inspired local libation.

    3Ashport Landing, TN
    Ashport Landing is situated southwest of Golddust and northeast of Ashport Revetment, a levee with an elevation of 223 feet. Ripley, the county seat, lies 14 miles to the east and Memphis is 40 miles north. Strategically placed above our boat’s docking area on the Chickasaw Bluffs is Fort Pillow, built by Confederate Brigadier General Gideon Johnson Pillow in early 1862 and used by both sides during the war. Fort Pillow is rich in both historic and archaeological significance. One of the most controversial battles of the Civil War occurred here. The Battle of Fort Pillow – also known as the Fort Pillow massacre – was fought on April 12, 1864. The battle ended with a massacre of 221 Union soldiers (many of them blacks) attempting to surrender. Military historian David Eicher concluded: “Fort Pillow marked one of the bleakest, saddest events of American military history.” Today, at Fort Pillow State Historic Park, among the restored fortifications, you can study cannons and other artifacts along the 20 miles of trails.

    4New Madrid, MO
    New Madrid is famous for being the site of a series of more than 1,000 earthquakes in 1811 and 1812, caused by the New Madrid Seismic Zone. During your visit to this port, explore the history of earthquakes in addition to Native American artifacts and Civil War artifacts. Located on the river in the former Kendall Saloon at the foot of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum reflects the history of the town from the Mississippian period up through the early 20th century. The Native American culture known as The Mississippian rose in the Mississippi Valley around 700 AD and lasted until approximately 1400 AD. The primary site of the Mississippians was near present-day St. Louis. The main settlement in the New Madrid area has come to be known as the Lilburn Fortified Village Site. The Museum is fortunate to have hundreds of items from this period from pottery to jewelry to stone tools and points. The Great Quakes of 1811-12 are also well documented in the Museum’s collections as is the potential for future seismic activity. The Great New Madrid earthquakes began on December 16th, 1811. On that day three quakes estimated to have been anywhere from 6.5 to 7.7 in magnitude struck the region in a natural disaster that would impact a huge chunk of North America. Almost 2,000 earthquakes hit in a three-month period and caused upheaval that lasted for years. The New Madrid area still experiences regular shakes and is at risk for large quakes in the future.

    5Cape Girardeau, MO
    Nestled along the western banks of the mighty Mississippi River, you’ll find Cape Girardeau, Missouri – a community rich in history and heritage. For more than 250 years, people have been drawn to Cape Girardeau and the river on which it lies. As you stroll along the riverfront, pause for a moment... you’ll feel the passion that led Mark Twain to write so eloquently about Cape Girardeau in Life on the Mississippi, the inspiration that Gen. Ulysses S. Grant used to lead with firm conviction as he took command of the Union Army in the historic downtown and the warmth and hospitality that community founder Louis Lorimier extended to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, while on the journey of a lifetime as they set forth to explore the Louisiana Purchase on their Corps of Discovery. Cape Girardeau, which has shown hospitality to the likes of Twain, Lewis and Clark, and General Grant, greets today’s guests in the same vein. Whether pedaling along the bike lanes that strip along the city streets, hiking through a state park, walking across one of many covered bridges, shopping for antiques, visiting area wineries, viewing murals that stretch the entire length of the downtown area, or stepping back in time at any number of historic sites, the Show Me State does not disappoint. Peeking through the long-standing architecture and handsome panoramas are moments that will mature into golden memories. Take time to embrace legends, discover a simpler time and relive the wonders of the past.

    6Paducah, KY
    Paducah’s significant American heritage can be traced to the city’s strategic location at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. Paducah, originally known as Pekin, was settled around 1815 in McCracken County. The community was inhabited by a mix of Native Americans and Europeans who lived harmoniously, trading goods and services. In 1827, William Clark, of Lewis and Clark fame, arrived in Pekin with a title deed to the land he now owned. The town was platted out and named in honor of the largest nation of Native Americans that ever roamed North America, the Padouca Indians. Lewis and Clark had made acquaintance with many of them on their trek west. Discover how Paducah played a pivotal role in American history from rivers to railroad transportation, the Civil War to civil rights. Museums and riverfront “Wall to Wall” murals by the Dafford Murals Team weave the story of Paducah’s past and guide viewers to experiences and landmarks throughout the town, where historical markers detail the significance and cultural heritage. In the hands of artists, modern Paducah was thrown into form. Fingertips muddied with passion and eased by the vision of river water glided along the surface to pull up the community and create the National Quilt Museum. Residents backstitch past into present, then bind appreciation for culture – ensuring that the seams of history will not soon come undone. The people of Paducah have taken great care to orchestrate every crevice of its community into a symphony of craft and color.

    7Scenic River Cruising
    Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.

    8Savannah, TN
    Located along the east side of the Tennessee River, Savannah's charming original name was “Rudd’s Ferry,” named for James Rudd, an early settler who established a ferry at the site in the early 1820s. Rudd’s Ferry was later purchased by a wealthy landowner, David Robinson, who renamed it “Savannah” after the hometown of Rudd’s wife, Elizabeth, in Georgia. The most common association with this historic town is the Battle of Shiloh – one of the bloodiest of the Civil War fought in 1862. Also known as the Battle of Pittsburg Landing, the conflict took place 10 miles southwest of town. Today, the Shiloh National Military Park is considered one of the best-preserved battlefields in the U.S. It spans 4,200 acres which includes a visitor center that houses many artifacts and an historic demonstration video for guests to get a better understanding of its importance. The Cherry Mansion just off the town square, while not open for tours, is one of 41 historic homes in the area. The circa 1830 house was built by David Robinson and later expanded on by his son-in-law William H. Cherry. It was commandeered by Union General Ulysses S. Grant for use as his headquarters during the war. American Queen Voyages guests can uncover all the history associated with Savannah and the Tennessee River Valley through interactive and educational displays at the Tennessee River Museum. Savannah is also renowned as the “Catfish Capitol of the World” so if you get peckish while exploring town, why not sample the local catch before returning to your boat.

    9Florence, AL
    Florence is home to the University of North Alabama, the oldest college in the state. From composed bluffs that overlook the Tennessee River to historic homes within the city’s beating heart, this college town harmonizes the twang of country with the coolness of R&B to create a culture all its own. Visit the only Frank Lloyd Wright-designed home in the state and tour the recording studios that launched the careers of such legendary performers as Aretha Franklin, Willie Nelson, The Rolling Stones, Paul Simon, The Osmond Brothers and Percy Sledge. This short list cannot encompass the many talented musicians who found their place in history by recording in nearby Muscle Shoals. FAME Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound, and a host of other recording studios made little Muscle Shoals, Alabama, the Hit Recording Capital of the World in the 1960s. It is said that musical heritage was the area’s birthright. W.C. Handy, the Father of the Blues, was born in Florence, and so were Sam Phillips and Buddy Killen, often considered to be the fathers of Rock and Roll. Today, there are recording studios all over the Muscle Shoals region, still making hits and propelling artists to fame. Stroll through the Sweetwater District, just past the Singing River Bridge, an up-and-coming neighborhood where the streets come to life with the scent of azaleas and dogwood trees. Within this melting pot, traditional meets contemporary to compose the beauty that is Florence. If your preference is nature, there are walking trails, legendary fishing, world-class golf, and water sports.

    10Decatur, AL
    Decatur is a city in Morgan and Limestone counties. The city, nicknamed “The River City,” is located in Northern Alabama on the banks of Wheeler Lake, along the Tennessee River. It is the largest city and county seat of Morgan County. History awaits in Decatur. Reach out and touch the past – with living stories of the Civil War at your fingertips. Did you know that Decatur was home to the largest collection of Victorian and earlier 20th century craftsman and bungalow homes in Alabama or that Hartselle was once the site of a bank robbery? Decatur is really a small town, but its charm is unmistakable. Discover the history of Morgan County at the area’s many historic locations, including the Old State Bank Building, one of only four structures in the town left unscathed by the Civil War. The oldest standing bank building in the state; its vault, with 22-inch-thick walls, was a haven from blistering bullets, mortar bombs and cannon fire. Whether you want to hike, rent a kayak or go fishing, get lost in Decatur’s dynamic geography. Home to hundreds of species of wildlife, birds and game fish, take advantage of the great bass fishing on Wheeler Lake or walk the trails of Point Mallard. Explore the new state-of-the-art natural science museum. Deciding what to do during your port call may be your biggest challenge. Relax, reach out and touch the past; take time out to experience this Tennessee River legend and absorb the living heritage it has to offer.

    11Scenic River Cruising
    Watch small river towns and lush landscapes slowly become lost in the horizon as sunlight plays upon the deck. Take hold of a literary classic, curl up on a plush chair in a cozy corner and relish in the moment of tranquility. Experience the fulfillment that river cruising offers.

    12Chattanooga, TN
    As your journey concludes, there are other opportunities for you to take in the town -- whether it's an optional premier post-cruise experience or a quick transfer to the airport for your final trip home -- your AQV team can pre-arrange everything for you.

Memphis to Chattanooga Itinerary Map

Cabin Categories

Cabin Single Price Double Price
Category A (Private Balcony)$14,799 pp
Category B (Open Veranda)$11,899 pp
Category E (Inside Stateroom)$8,799 pp

Ship Read more about the American Duchess

*Prices may vary due to seasonality

American Cuisine

Dining is an uniquely American experience aboard the ship. Local ingredients used to create regional delicasies will charm your tastebuds. In addition to the main dining room, there are also an alternative venue for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as 24-hour room service for your convenience.

Hop-On/Hop-Off Bus

You’ll spot the buses right away – they look just like the ship! Two buses travel alongside the boat from port to port. At every port, you’ll be able to board these buses for the Hop-On Hop-Off shore excursions. The bus will have a set route in the town, and you can ride until you see someplace you want to go. Then catch the bus the next time it comes thru.

Book Today

Memphis to Chattanooga

Book Now Request More Info

or call 800.578.1479