Memphis to Nashville - 10 Days

Memphis to Nashville Cruise Summary

Begin your journey in the Home of the Blues and witness the beauty of nature in all its transformative glory, on a cruise between the greatest musical destinations in North America. Standing on deck, breathe in the distinctive scent of the equinox seasons, as birdsong graces each morning on a river-bound celebration filled with fellowship.

Discover the attractions of New Madrid and soak up the atmosphere of Cape Girardeau, immortalised by Mark Twain in “Life on the Mississippi.” Explore the UNESCO Creative City of Paducah, known as the “Quilt Capital of America” – and in Dover, tour Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park, where Confederate General Buckner surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant.

Hop-On Hop-Off tours feature in virtually all our ports-of-call, including Clarksville, a place of Antebellum mansions and Civil War history.

This is a voyage filled with entrancing scenery, topped and tailed by the rhythmic legacy of Memphis’s Beale Street and America’s legendary “Music City”.




  • An included pre-cruise stay in the ‘Birthplace of Rock ‘n’ Roll,’ Memphis, Tennessee
  • The Civil War history of New Madrid, Cape Girardeau and Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park
  • Chance to extend your cruise for two more nights, on our Nashville Music City Post-Cruise Experience



2024 All-inclusive fares from £4,199 pp

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day-by-day itinerary


Day 1: Hotel Stay – Memphis, Tennessee

Arrive in Memphis for your 2-night pre-cruise hotel stay.


Day 2: Hotel Stay – Memphis, Tennessee

Enjoy your time in Memphis at your leisure. Representatives from American Queen Voyages and our local port/city partner will be available to provide you with dining, entertainment and sightseeing options to maximise your time here.


Day 3: Memphis, Tennessee

Departure 5:00 PM
Today is the day you have been waiting for! Prepare to embark on an unforgettable journey down America’s largest and most historical river. If you haven’t gotten your full dose of Memphis yet, visit the AQSC Hospitality Desk (Open at 8:30 AM) for ideas about how to spend your day. The official Voyage Check-In will be open from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. During this fast and easy procedure, our representatives will arrange your transfer to the vessel and answer any questions you might have. The process is simple and we will have you back to exploring in no time. If you think of any more questions, the Hospitality Desk will be at your service until 3:00 PM, when the complimentary boat transfers will begin. It’s then time to start your voyage and begin a luxurious voyage down the Mississippi River, where memories will be made that will last a lifetime!

Included Shore Excursions


National Civil Rights Museum – Located at the Lorraine Motel, the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., chronicles key episodes of the American Civil and human rights efforts globally, through collections, exhibitions, and educational programs (Admission Additional).

Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum – See the complete story of Memphis music history, as researched by the Smithsonian Institution. This museum tells of the musical pioneers and legends of all racial and socio-economical backgrounds who, for the love of music, overcame obstacles to create the musical sound that changed the world.

Premium Shore Excursions

Including Graceland Mansion, the all-new Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex, and a Guided Excursion Through Memphis Including a Walk on Beale Street

Begin your journey along the Mississippi River with a king’s treatment as we depart the hotel and weave our way through the streets of Memphis toward the home of “The King” himself – Graceland! An interactive audio tour will guide us through the mansion before we enjoy free time to explore the recently opened Entertainment Complex. The multitude of exhibits feature everything from Elvis’ wardrobe to his automobiles. Stop for a bite to eat at one of the Elvis-themed restaurants before continuing to Beale Street, the heart and soul of Memphis! Follow our local guide down the most famous street in the city before concluding our excursion at the dock of the vessel.



Experience Memphis like never before, with singing and live music interjected between thoughtful narration, we will see Beale Street, Sun Studio, the stage where Elvis first shook his hips, and the church where Johnny Cash got his start — all this and more on this musical tour of Memphis, Tennessee! Memphis is a crossroads of modern culture and historical appeal. We’ll explore the “Home of the Blues” on a driving tour of the city while being treated to musical performances every step of the way. Our expert guide, also a professional Beale Street musician, will play and sing soulful selections while showcasing Memphis’ history and musical heritage.

Day 4: Scenic 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 fulfilment that river cruising offers.


Day 5: New Madrid, Missouri

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 artefacts and Civil War artefacts. 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. 

Included Shore Excursions


New Madrid Historical Museum Located in the former Kendall Saloon off of Main Street, the New Madrid Historical Museum shares the history of this river town from the Mississippian period through the 20th century. Here, guests can explore the great earthquakes of 1811 and 1812, documented with seismographic recordings, Native American artefacts, Civil War artefacts, early family life in the city of New Madrid during the 19th and 20th centuries, and the gift shop! Suggested Visit: 30 minutes – 1 hour.


Day 6: Cape Girardeau, Missouri

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. 

Included Shore Excursions


Mississippi River Tales Murals The Mississippi River Tales Mural is the largest and most dramatic of Cape Girardeau’s murals and is located on a portion of the downtown floodwall. Covering nearly 18,000 square feet, this 1,100-foot-long mural features 24 historically themed panels that vividly portray Cape Girardeau’s rich history and heritage. The Missouri Wall of Fame Mural features 47 individuals who were born in Missouri or achieved fame while living in the state. View this beautiful artwork and be sure to stop at the descriptive markers that provide an explanation of each panel. Suggested Visit: 15 – 30 minutes

Red House Interpretive Center The Interpretive Center commemorates the life of community founder French-Canadian, Louis Lorimier, as well as the visit of Meriwether Lewis and William Clark in November 1803. It also houses an early 1800s exhibit that reflects the lives of the early settlers of the old Cape Girardeau district. In addition, a rendering of Lorimier’s Trading Post displays authentic items that would have been sold at the turn of the 19th century. The gardens on the north side of the house show the types of garden you might have seen in 1803 with flowers, vegetables, cooking herbs, and medicinal herbs. Suggested Visit: 15 – 30 minutes

Old St. Vincent’s Church The Renaissance architecture, referred to as English Gothic Revival style, is not only beautiful but also extremely rare, as very few churches of this style exist in America today. Explore the many artifacts preserved in the church as you admire the arches and woodwork lining the interior of the chapel. Discover this fully restored beauty as it transports you back in time. Suggested Visit: 30 minutes

Glenn House Completed in 1883, the Glenn House is a fully restored historic museum in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. It is a prime example of the Victorian period lifestyle including the architecture, furnishings, clothing, and décor. The Glenn House was built for David A. Glenn, who was an influential figure in the city’s history. He and his family occupied the home until 1915. Before they vacated the home, it was renovated in 1900 to the Queen Anne Style. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the furnishings and features of the home have been restored to their original beauty and have been kept authentic to the Victorian time interior. Suggested Visit: 30 – 45 minutes

Crisp Museum Located inside Southeast Missouri State University’s River Campus, the Crisp Museum collects in three thematic areas: archaeology, history, and fine art. The archaeology collection has several collections of prehistoric Native American artifacts, which illustrate aspects of the daily and ceremonial lives of the indigenous peoples who lived in southeastern Missouri from 13,500 B.C. to 1400 A.D. The museum’s historical collections cover a wide range of artifacts with strengths in the areas of militaria, firearms and their accessories, clothing, and hand tools. Suggested Visit: 45 minutes – 1 hour

Cape River Heritage Museum Since its founding in 1981, the Cape River Heritage Museum has focused on the stories of Cape Girardeau while preserving the 1908 building at the corner of Frederick and Independence streets. Located in an old police and fire station, the museum features rotating exhibits depicting the history of the region. Discover the founding of Cape Girardeau, see a gallery of antique typewriters, and a new display of vintage Ford automobiles. Suggested Visit: 30 -45 minutes

Premium Shore Excursions
Embark on an in-depth tour of one of America’s most historic sites. Retrace the route taken by displaced Native Americans at the Trail of Tears State Park. The park’s visitor centre tells the tale of heartache that was dubbed the “Trail of Tears.” Throughout your journey in the park, discover the history behind this cultural banishment utilised by the United States Government to free land for settlers. To look back at this heartbreaking tale will remind you of our society’s evolutions that have overcome past mistakes and reflect on issues that may still surround us today.

Day 7: Paducah, Kentucky

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. 


Included Shore Excursions


The National Quilt Museum Celebrating 30 years in 2021, the National Quilt Museum is the largest of its kind in the world. It is the portal to the contemporary quilt experience, and features exhibits and workshops by renowned quilters who implement creative approaches to fiber art. The museum features over 600 pieces of art highlighting a collection of modern quilts and changing thematic exhibitions that celebrate the talent and diversity of the global quilting community. The National Quilt Museum shares the artistic tradition of quilt making and played an integral role in Paducah’s designation as a UNESCO Creative City in 2013. Visit the Museum Shop & Book Store for Kentucky-crafted items and quilt-related instructional and collector books. Suggested Visit: 30 minutes – 1 hour

Premium Shore Excursions
With simple white lettering across the front porch reading “Hotel Metropolitan,” this rustic colonial structure became a safe haven for traveling African American musicians in the early 1900s. As we step off the motorcoach and into the radiating heat of the Kentucky sun, we will meet Miss Maggie, a ball of southern energy and hospitality. As she personally welcomes us inside, time turns back a century. Follow Miss Maggie through the rooms as she shares the rich history that has been stowed in the hotel’s walls. Listen as she gossips about its past boarders, including B.B. King, Billie Holiday, and Ike and Tina Turner, just to name a few in the hotel’s famous guest book.

Day 8: Dover, Tennessee

In 1805 a state-appointed commission purchased a 30-acre plot on the Cumberland River from Robert Nelson and established the county seat of Dover. By 1850 the Tennessee frontier town had blossomed into a large river trade center and the second largest steamboat port on the Cumberland. A resting dock meets American Queen Voyages guests in Dover, a town that reveals the value of serenity in river living, where peace and quiet are interrupted only by birdsong and cricket chirps. Adventure through Fort Donelson – Dover’s touchpoint during the Civil War – which has been resurrected into Fort Donelson National Battlefield Park, a nexus of history and natural riches. Fort Donelson was the site of a major Union victory. Here, hilltops harbour somber stories, country roads lose themselves in golden horizons and historic treasures are kept secret behind the tree lines. Union troops, who had occupied the town since the fall of Fort Donelson in 1862, set fire to Dover to prevent the town from falling into the hands of General Nathan Bedford Forrest; only four buildings survived the conflagration.  

Included Shore Excursions


Fort Donelson River Batteries Late in 1861 Confederate military leaders selected locations in Stewart County, Tennessee, to construct two earthen forts to hinder anticipated Union naval advancement up the parallel and strategic Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers. The first was Fort Henry, located on the east bank of the Tennessee River. Twelve miles to its east, on the other side of “Land Between the Rivers,” Fort Donelson and more than two miles of outer works were erected. Substantial river batteries with large artillery were positioned to fend off newly designed and armoured Union gunboats. On February 14, 1862, an intense naval bombardment occurred between the flotilla and the Upper and Lower batteries, ending in a Confederate victory for the day. Brigadier General S.B. Buckner surrendered the southern garrison to Grant on February 16.


Day 9: Nashville (Clarksville) Tennessee

Clarksville is a modern, booming city with a charming small-town feel, located about 40 minutes northwest of Nashville. Clarksville is one of Tennessee’s oldest cities, founded in 1784 before Tennessee achieved statehood. The city prospered from river trade, especially tobacco, through the 19th century. The Customs House Museum, an ornate, Victorian building from 1898, offers local history and art exhibits, plus model trains. Northeast, surrounded by parkland, the vast Dunbar Cave complex dates back thousands of years. The McGregor Park Riverwalk follows the meandering, tree-lined Cumberland River. The river’s history is traced at the As the River Flows Museum. Fort Defiance, on a bluff 200 feet above the confluence of the Red and Cumberland Rivers, has been a hub of activity for more than two centuries. During the Civil War, the hilltop was chosen by Confederate troops as a site to defend the river approach to Clarksville. In 1862 the fort was captured by Union forces, renamed, and occupied for the remainder of the war.

Premium Shore Excursions
The spirits of Dixie are alive and well! Experience the history, sights, sounds – and tastes – of some of the classic vices of the American South on today’s visit to Clarksville, Tennessee. We will go behind the scenes for in-depth tours of the Tennessee Valley Brewing Company, Old Glory Distilling Company, and Beachaven Vineyards and Winery. Not only will we learn about the process from the craftsmen who create these vices, but we will also enjoy plenty of tastings!

Day 10: Nashville, Tennessee

Thank you for cruising with us! We hope that you had a memorable experience and look forward to welcoming you aboard in the future. Enjoy Nashville at your leisure. As the journey concludes, why not add the the Nashville Music City Premium Tour with transfer to the airport or extend your stay by adding a two night city stay package with transfer to the airport for your flight back to the UK.


always all-inclusive

Return scheduled flights from London

2-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay+

Premium City Highlights Tour (Embarkation Day)+


Unlimited Included Guided Tours

Acclaimed Cuisine in Multiple Venues

In-room Dining Available

Unlimited WiFi

Bicycles* and Hiking Sticks

Live, Daily Onboard
Entertainment & Enrichment

Pre-Paid Gratuities

Open Bars & Lounges

Port Taxes & Fees

Unlimited Beverages

*River Cruises Only

+1-night on Minneapolis -New Orleans and Snake & Columbia itineraries/No City Highlights Tour


Memphis to nashville


22 June

16 Nov





sailing aboard

Terms and Conditions

Lead in fares shown are to be used as a guide only, based on the lowest cabin category for two people sharing. Pricing may be subject to change based on flight pricing & availability. Other cabin categories are available. Single cabin grades are available on selected vessels and cabins for sole occupancy are available at a single supplement. All itineraries can be tailor-made to your specification with cruise only, additional hotel nights, flight upgrades and UK regional airport departures (subject to availability).  Additional pre-voyage and post-voyage city stay packages (2 nights) may be purchased for an additional charge. Guests are required to present a credit card upon hotel check-in to cover their incidental charges. In lieu of an included pre-voyage hotel night on any voyage, a $50 per person onboard credit is available upon request and dependent upon voyage date. On a back-to-back voyage, two included hotel nights or a combination of one included hotel night plus a $50 per person onboard credit will be granted in lieu of taking a second included hotel night. All fares, itineraries, hotels, entertainment, shore excursions and other voyage attributes are subject to change, and we are not responsible for errors or omissions therein. American Queen Voyages is represented in the UK & Europe by Light Blue Travel (ABTA D6183 & V9324 ATOL 5489). Full Booking Conditions.


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