1Hotel stay in St. Louis
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.
2Embark in Alton, IL
Part of the Metro-East region of the Greater St. Louis metropolitan area, Alton is located on the Mississippi River about 18 miles north of St. Louis. The area was home to Native Americans for thousands of years before being settled by European Americans. An important river town, at one time, Alton was even growing faster than nearby St. Louis. Its fluctuating wealth in the early days was largely dependent on river traffic, manufacturing and shipping, and agriculture.
Located 100 miles north of St. Louis on the Mississippi River, Hannibal is one of Missouri’s and the region’s best tourism destinations. Hannibal could be described as ordinary, but the father of American literature would beg to differ. The town, with style and dignity, comes to life in the writings of Mark Twain. People, entities, and livelihoods of Hannibal’s past endure within the pages of “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” and “Life on the Mississippi,” and the town’s preservation efforts allow visitors to step right onto the page where Twain left off.
4Leisurely 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.
Situated in southeastern Iowa, Bettendorf is part of a large metro area called the “Quad Cities,” a collection of river vistas and metropolitan communities that meld Midwestern neighborliness with rich educational, cultural, and recreational opportunities. Comprised of the Mississippi riverfront towns of Bettendorf and Davenport in Iowa and Moline and Rock Island in Illinois, these distinctively different urban areas, without friction, blend into the melting pot that the region celebrates.
Victorian meets bohemian in this ever-growing Mississippi River gem that’s sure to leave dazzling memories. In Dubuque you can check off your outdoor bucket list in the perfect nature getaway, and explore historic districts peppered with preserved history. Take a ride on the historic Fenelon Place Elevator, which is also the shortest, steepest, scenic railway, spanning 296 feet in length. Admire the 105 stained-glass Tiffany windows at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, home to “one of the five finest religious Tiffany collections in the world.” See all the wildlife displays and hands-on exhibits at the National Mississippi River Museum. Cap your day in Dubuque with a tasting at one of the local vineyards or tasting rooms including Stone Cliff and Park Farm wineries. Be sure to take a little piece of Dubuque home with you with goodies from Betty Jane Candies, named the “Top Culinary Gift in Iowa” by People magazine.
7La Crosse, WI
La Crosse resides along the famous Great River Road National Scenic Byway, considered by some as the most scenic drive in America. This river town also has a long-standing romance with the steamboat era, and as our paddlewheeler kisses its port, guests are welcomed by its eye-catching vistas and expansive waterfront park. The La Crosse Region is a proud part of the Driftless Region, a part of the world with an ancient, distinct topography and unparalleled views. “Drift” refers to glacial drift; the rock and sediment deposited by a glacier as it moves over an area of land. During the last Ice Age, a small piece of the Upper Mississippi Region was miraculously left untouched by glacial erosion and deposits. The surrounding landscapes that once featured prominent bluffs were leveled to plains and rolling hills, yet no glaciers entered one small pocket; thus, the Driftless Region became the last remnant of the natural, rugged terrain that once spanned today’s Upper Midwest.
8Red Wing, MN
Red Wing was included on National Geographic Traveler’s list of the world’s most historic places. The port city offers endless opportunities to travel back in time and learn about settlers and pioneers who occupied the land or admire the craftsmanship and creativity of local artisans of both the present and the past. The first settlers in town built small mills, factories, and workshops, similar to ones they were familiar with in New England where many came from. Immigrants from Germany, Ireland, and Sweden were also skilled craftsman. Some early and persistent industries are tanning and shoe-making. Other businessmen made farm equipment, bricks, barrels, boats, furniture, pottery, and buttons. Consumables included beer and lumber. Service industries including stone-cutting, hospitality, and retailing. The Saint James Hotel remains a working token of the earlier time.
9Disembark in Red Wing, MN
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.