This 23-Day Paddlewheel Cruise Visits Small Towns And Cities On The Ohio And Mississippi Rivers

Can’t decide between a cruise vacation and a cross-country trip to view a variety of small towns and big cities across the U.S.? Why not do both? A North American river cruise company is kicking off a 23-day trip from Minneapolis to Pittsburgh in 2023.

Over the past decade, American Queen Voyages has built a fleet of vessels that travel North America. You can cruise throughout Canada, visit the New England states, journey to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula and travel to Alaska’s Inside Passage. In 2020, the company introduced the latest addition to its fleet of authentic paddlewheel ships, the American Countess.

American Queen Voyages shared a collection of photos of the American Countess on Facebook about a year ago.

“We can’t believe how far the American Countess has come since her days in the shipyard,” American Queen Voyages wrote on the post. “She’s been sailing since March along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, offering guests remarkable river views in modern and luxurious accommodations.”

On July 24, 2023, the American Countess will launch a new itinerary. The paddlewheel steamship will depart Minnesota, traveling down the Ohio and Upper Mississippi rivers. It will sail more than 1,700 miles, pass through 10 states, call on numerous ports and offer guided tours to guests.

“Guests have made the 16-day Mighty Mississippi voyage between Minneapolis (Red Wing) and New Orleans one of our most popular itineraries, and we are pleased to reveal an even more immersive itinerary sailing to Pittsburgh that now incorporates the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers,” Isis Ruiz, the chief commercial officer of American Queen Voyages, told Travel + Leisure.

The American Countess has 123 staterooms and four decks. Guests can enjoy Broadway-caliber performances in the ship’s theater, savor meals prepared by an award-winning culinary team, mingle with other travelers in the Parlor or the Card Room, or indulge in a spa treatment, according to the company.

American Queen Voyages

Fares for the 23-day trip start at $6,477.30 per guest and include the following:

  • One night pre-cruise hotel stay.
  • Ground transfers between hotel and vessel.
  • Unlimited guided tours.
  • Unlimited beverages.
  • Dining in multiple venues, including in-room dining.
  • Unlimited Wi-Fi.
  • Onboard entertainment and enrichment.
  • Bicycles and hiking sticks for exploring ports of call.

During the three-week-plus journey, travelers can see the baseball field from the movie “Field of Dreams” or view the 105 stained-glass Tiffany windows at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church in Dubuque, Iowa; visit Mark Twain’s childhood home in Hannibal, Missouri; see the Gateway Arch in St. Louis, Missouri;  take in the Audubon Museum & Nature Center in Henderson, Kentucky; try to spot Mothman in Point Pleasant, West Virginia; and so much more.

Although this excursion is nearly a year away, you can book the trip now on the American Queen Voyages website. Better start planning!