A river cruise along the Mississippi River and its tributaries with American Queen Steamboat Company is a journey back in time.

It’s an up-close venture into the heart of America that inspired Mark Twain. Historic river ports, vibrant cities, sweeping hillsides, agricultural fields and oak-lined plantations roll by from a vantage point unlike any other.

The “Mighty Mississippi” itinerary aboard the legendary American Queen is the best way to experience the most American of rivers. The 23-day trip, from New Orleans to Red Wing, Minnesota, begins with a complimentary overnight stay in New Orleans. The next morning, passengers embark on the American Queen, the largest and most opulent river ship in the world.

An homage to the American Victorian age, American Queen features all the comforts of the modern cruising era. She’s a welcoming enclave for a trip laden with sights from the history books. And, there’s much to experience in an itinerary highlighted by American landmarks large and small.

Guests visit Nottoway, the most splendid Antebellum mansion still standing. Dating back to 1859, the “White Castle” of the South sits amidst gardens and 200-year-old oak trees. They’ll explore elegant Natchez, the oldest city on the Mississippi; and Vicksburg, Mississippi, the site of storied Civil War battles. In Memphis, guests can tour famous recording studios, the Civil Rights Museum and other landmarks. And in Paducah, Kentucky, they’ll reach the Four-Rivers Area. The name comes from its proximity to the Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, and Mississippi Rivers.

From Cape Girardeau, Missouri, guests will explore the riverfront Twain wrote about in “Life on the Mississippi.” It’s also the town where Gen. Ulysses S. Grant took command of the Union Army. Lewis and Clark set off from there on the Corps of Discovery to explore the Louisiana Purchase.

St. Louis, with its iconic Gateway Arch, symbolizes the westward expansion of the United States. While Hannibal, Missouri is a legendary steamboat stop and boyhood home of Twain.

La Crosse, Wisconsin, is acclaimed for its breweries, historic residences and that funny game played with flailing sticks.

The cruise comes to an end in Red Wing, Minnesota. Known today for its pottery industry, National Geographic Traveler lists Red Wing as one of the most historic places in the world.

Complimentary shore excursions await at each port of call. American Queen Steamboat Company also operates its own dedicated fleet of motorcoaches.

And, the 436-passenger American Queen is a destination unto itself. Her filigreed exterior and interiors of rich woodwork and antiques conjure up a bygone era. Yet, her amenities provide modern-day luxuries. The ship features a spa, Emporium Gift Shop and Mark Twain Gallery library. Gourmet meals include complimentary wine and beer with dinner. And, coffee, tea, cappuccino, espresso, bottled water, and soft drinks are available throughout the day.

In addition to daily shore excursions, guests enjoy onboard lectures by the resident “Riverlorian” history expert. Evening options include lavish shows in the two-deck-high Grand Saloon. There are casual singalongs in the Main Deck Lounge, and perhaps best of all, a comfortable chair on the deck to watch the river go by under the moonlight.

A Mississippi River cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company is more attractive than ever. For a limited time, the 23-day Mighty Mississippi cruise departing August 19 is available for the price of the 16-day Mighty Mississippi cruise. The offer is valid until June 30, 2018, or until cabins are no longer available. It applies only to cabin Category C and above and other restrictions apply.

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