Commemorate America's birthday on a dual 11-day rail-river cruise vacation.
Commemorate America's birthday on a dual 11-day rail-river cruise vacation. Start your journey in the Midwest metropolis of Chicago. Take time at leisure to explore this beautiful city by visiting classic highlights such as the Art Institute, Field Museum, shopping down Magnificent Mile and seeing the city from high above at the Willis Tower observation deck.
Following your days of exploration in Chicago, celebrate July 4th as you board the Steamboat Express bound for St. Louis. Visit the legendary St. Louis Arch for the perfect view of the country's largest fireworks display.
From St. Louis board the steamboat American Queen for your journey up the Mississippi. Enjoy the nostalgia of riding on a classic American steamboat and take in the sights as the banks of the Mississippi envelop you. Your first stop is the quintessential location for a steamboat adventure, Mark Twain's hometown, Hannibal, Missouri. Witness firsthand the place that Twain wrote vividly about in his writings.
After your time in Hannibal continue your journey north to the river town of Dubuque, Iowa. Full of antique shops and Victorian style houses, the quaint town of Dubuque is the perfect way to spend the day. Continue your steamboat journey to La Crosse, Wisconsin. From the small shops, beautiful waterfront and Frank Lloyd Wright homes, this picturesque town is the ideal steamboat destination. From La Crosse, head towards Winona. Considered to be one of the most beautiful places in the country, there is plenty of cultural and architectural sights for you to discover.
Your trip is almost over, but not before you visit the 19th century river town of Red Wing, Minnesota. Covered in old-fashioned storefronts and classic downtown, this is an ideal destination to have a final port of call. Disembark in St. Paul for the conclusion to your rail-river cruise vacation.
Highlights and Inclusions
- Complimentary train travel to Chicago from any Midwestern city when booked early. Guests living in the West or East may take advantage of our special $99.00 train fare to Chicago when booked early.
- Fully hosted by professional tour manager from start to finish to handle all of the details. Also, special cocktail parties and events, both on the boat and ashore are included.
- Two-night deluxe hotel stay in the heart of downtown at the fabled Palmer House Hilton, in the heart of Chicago's entertainment district.
- Travel aboard the Riverboat Express, our own classic 1940's Streamliner train between Chicago and St. Louis with complimentary meals and drinks while aboard. A beautifully restored Club Car originally built for the Santa Fe Railroad, this is a great start to the holiday and evokes the heyday of grand train travel.
- Overnight hotel accommodations in St. Louis at the Hilton Doubletree at
Union Station. We have left plenty of time free for exploring St. Louis
including the famous Arch and Union Station.
• St. Louis sightseeing tour on sailing day by its most acclaimed historian, Nini Harris, including Forest Park, the Cathedral of St. Louis and the Euclid District. Many of guests consider this in-depth brilliant tour one of the highlights of the entire vacation.
- Rare seven-night Steamboat cruise from St. Louis to St. Paul aboard the paddlewheeler Queen of the Mississippi with ports of call including Hannibal, Burlington, Davenport, Dubuque, La Crosse, and Red Wing. All meals and entertainment while aboard are included.
- Special $99.00 train fare home to any US city after the tour. (Travel back to Chicago may require an overnight stay due to train schedule).
Day 1- Arrive Chicago
Guests arrive in Chicago today and check in to the Historic Palmer House Hotel and begin a two-night stay in this choice location, just blocks from the Museum Campus of the Shedd Oceanarium, Adler Planetarium, and Field Museum. Tonight features a special evening cocktail reception, a nice way to meet your fellow travelers. Overnight at the Palmer House Hilton. (R)
Day 2- Overnight Chicago
All day to enjoy everything Chicago has to offer. Enjoy the perfect beach on the shores of Lake Michigan. Great shopping is nearby as is the Art Institute, Grant Park, and the Magnificent Mile. Or perhaps Chicago's famed architectural river cruise. Guests have all day and evening to enjoy the Windy City.
Day 3- Arrive St. Louis
All Aboard! We depart the hotel this morning and board our train, the Riverboat Express' bound for St. Louis over the route of Union Pacific Railroad. Upon arrival in St. Louis, we transfer to the Hilton Doubletree at Union Station. This evening witness the spectacular fireworks show which St. Louis is famous for. Overnight at the Hilton. (CB, L)
Day 4- Set Sail
We depart this morning for a complete sightseeing tour of this historic city, taking in Forest Park, the lovely Cathedral of St. Louis and the Missouri Botanical Gardens. A special treat is a visit to nearby Meramac Caverns - a sprawling underground cave once used as a hideout by the infamous Jesse James. Later today, we board the Queen of the Mississippi docked right under the Arch, and soon the calliope plays, the big red paddlewheel turns and we set sail on our voyage of Discovery through America. Your first evening aboard this riverboat is certain to be memorable, the first of many memories to be made as we paddle north to the twin cities.
Day 5- Hannibal, MO
Hannibal, “America's Hometown,” is a place where you can rediscover adventures from Mark Twain's era. Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn are alive in this charming Missouri town, where you can run your hand along Aunt Polly's fence, explore Injun Joe's Cave, and get reacquainted with one of the world's most beloved authors.
Day 6- Burlington, IA
The ancestral home of the Sauk Indians, Burlington resounds with the myths and memories of their past. Enjoy a tour of Historic Fort Madison, where you'll learn about life at the first military fort built on the Upper Mississippi from costumed interpreters.
Day 7- Davenport, IA
Voted one of the Most Livable Small Cities in America, Davenport is often described by newcomers and life-long residents alike as a lively, active city with a hometown feel. This vibrant city features the Legacy of John Deere, the largest agricultural exhibit in the world. Music enthusiasts will enjoy Davenport's many music festivals, including the Mississippi Valley Blues Festival, The Mississippi Valley Fair, and the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Jazz Festival, which is dedicated to native jazz musician Bix Beiderbecke.
Day 8- Dubuque, IA
Dubuque, IA with its antique stores and Victorian buildings welcomes us today and we have included a very special visit to wonderful Galena, Illinois, an excursion offered complimentary only to our guests, since the boat does make this available at a charge to other passengers.
Day 9- LaCrosse, WI
Picturesque La Crosse, WI with its great collection of Frank Lloyd Wright homes, lovely riverfront, small shops (including one of the best cheese stores in the country) welcomes us today.
Day 10- Red Wing, MN
Nestled among the scenic bluffs of the upper Mississippi River, Red Wing's beauty has inspired artisans, craftspeople and artists for over 150 years. Red Wing delivers a diverse blend of arts, entertainment and activities for your pleasure. Enjoy a show at the historic Sheldon Performing Arts Theatre or observe the beauty of nature at one of Red Wing's 38 parks.
Day 11- St. Paul, MN
We disembark in St. Paul and guests return home today. For guests that would like to explore the ‘Twin Cities' of Minneapolis-St.Paul, a post-cruise hotel stay is available for $145 per person.
Dates & Prices
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