2003 Fall Foliage Steamboatin' thru the Heartland of America

Cruising the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers
Kentucky & Tennessee
Enjoy a lazy bridge vacation through the heartland of America with two nights in Cincinnati, six nights steamboatin’ on the Mississippi Queen and three nights in Nashville as autumn’s brilliant colors light up the landscape. We’ll kick off our tour in Cincinnati with two nights at the Westin Hotel on historic Fountain Square. Explore the sights and sounds of this riverfront city and its famous “Tall Stacks Festival” with steamboat races on the Ohio River (17 race entries for 2003). Then board the magnificent Missisippi Queen for six nights “Paddlewheelin’ and Dealin’” as we sail the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers with historic ports-of-call in Paducah, Henderson and Louisville (KY), as well as Dover (TN). Disembarking in Nashville, the Country Music capital, we’ll enjoy three nights at the historic & elegant Hermitage Hotel, touring fine estates and country western heritage sites. From riding the Underground Railroad just north of the Mason-Dixon line to reliving the legends of Daniel Boone and Davy Crockett, from strolling Churchill Downs in Louisville, KY to touring backstage at the historic Grand Ole Opry, from Andrew Jackson’s “Hermitage” to ‘boot-scootin’ at the famous Wildhorse Saloon, we’ll do and see it all. We’ll enjoy special bridge events hosted by local bridge players in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Nashville along with four sessions shipboard with our own group in the Paddlewheel Lounge directed by Finesse West Tours’ very own Fred Theurkauf!

Dates: October 18 to 29, 2003 - 12 days
Cost: from $3,465 per person/double occupancy

Tour Schedule
Day 1 Arrive Cincinnati
  Arrive Cincinnati and transfer to the Westin Hotel in the heart of historic downtown Cincinnati on Fountain Square. Tonight, join Fred Theurkauf and your fellow travelers for our special hosted Welcome Cocktails and Dinner at our hotel.
Hotel: Westin Hotel
Meal(s): , Dinner
Day 2 Cincinnati
  Christened the “Queen City” by Longfellow, Cincinnati has been heavily influenced by Scots-Irish and German immigrants as well as its role in the shipping industry on the Ohio River. This morning, we’ll take a guided tour exploring this beautiful river city with its scenic parks and fascinating architecture with stops at Krohn Conservatory, Eden Park Overlook and Devou Park. This afternoon, we’re off to the banks of the Ohio to enjoy the celebrated Tall Stacks Festival. Step back in time and relive the grace and charm of a river town in the mid-1800’s as we watch steamboats race on the Ohio River (17 race entries for 2003).
Hotel: Westin Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner

 We’ve been invited by Linda Wolber, the President of the Cincinnati Bridge Association, to join local Cincinnati players for a specially planned dinner and Charity Bridge Event.
Day 3 Cincinnati - Embark

The spectacular Art Deco rotunda of
Cincinnati's Union Terminal
This morning depart for an exciting journey on the Underground Railroad as we tour Springboro, OH, a major stop on the Underground Railroad from 1820-1865 with eighteen confirmed “safe” houses or "depots" within the city limits. In the afternoon, enjoy a visit to the Museum Center at historic Union Terminal in downtown Cincinnati. Built as the city’s main train station in the early 1930’s, the giant half-dome structure offers the largest tile mosaics in the United States and is home to many famous museums. This evening, board Delta Queen Steamboat Company’s luxurious Mississippi Queen.
Hotel: Mississippi Queen
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 4 Cruising - Louisville

The "Run for the Roses" at Churchill Downs
Today, enjoy an included shore excursion in Louisville (KY), a city that evokes images of genteel afternoons sipping mint juleps and the "Run for the Roses" (the Kentucky Derby). While touring, we’ll explore two city icons. First, enter the home of baseball bats and the sportsmen who’ve wielded them over the years at the Louisville Slugger Museum. Then take an exciting walking tour of the beautiful grounds and race track at Churchill Downs, site of the “fastest two minutes in sports.”
Hotel: Mississippi Queen
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 This evening, we’re invited to join Barbara Moir & Paul Coulter and the players of the Louisville Bridge Center for a special hosted dinner, fun duplicate session and fine "southern hospitality" at their club.
Day 5 Cruising
  Relax as we cruise all day, steamboatin’ through America’s heartland encountering beautiful fall foliage, rolling hills and valleys and quaint riverfront towns along our way.
Hotel: Mississippi Queen
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 Enjoy an afternoon session of duplicate with just our own group in the Paddlewheel Lounge aboard our vessel, directed by Fred Theurkauf.
Day 6 Cruising - Henderson
  Home to John James Audubon for nine years, the congenial town of Henderson was first settled in 1784. Explore the shops around the classic town square or take a "Hoosier Holiday" into neighboring Evansville and the surrounding region, including a stop at the magnificent Victorian Reitz Home Museum in nearby Evansville, unique for its Moorish design. Also, enjoy a stroll through the historic streets of gracious Newburgh, founded by flatboatman John Sprinkle in 1803.
Hotel: Mississippi Queen
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 After lunch, join our group for an afternoon bridge sesssion in the Paddlewheel Lounge.
Day 7 Cruising - Paducah

The Mississippi Queen cruisin' on the
Cumberland River
Named for the Chickasaw Indian chief Paduke, Paducah (KY), at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennesse rivers, has been the center of the inland waterways' shipping industry for decades. Prepare to be greeted at the landing by legions of cordial hospitality guides wearing red coats. Stroll the brick-lined streets and don’t miss the famous riverfront floodwall murals displaying western Kentucky’s rich heritage in living color as painted by American artist, Robert Dafford.
Hotel: Mississippi Queen
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 Join Fred Theurkauf and the gang in the Paddlewheel Lounge for an afternoon session of duplicate as we cruise through this beautiful area.
Day 8 Cruising - Dover
  Anchors aweigh at Dover as we head for Fort Donelson Military Park, site of the first major Federal victory of the Civil War during Ulysses S. Grant’s push to gain control of the Mississippi Valley. A visit to the Military Park will bring the events of this battle vividly to life. You’ll also have the opportunity to explore the beautiful “Land Between the Lakes” region as well as Elk & Bison Prairie for a glimpse of what the heartland looked like in the days when Daniel Boone walked the prairies.
Hotel: Mississippi Queen
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

 Again, an afternoon session of duplicate has been planned for just our group in the Paddlewheel Lounge.
Day 9 Disembark - Nashville

Inside the famous Grand Ole' Opry
This morning, we disembark our beautiful cruising vessel and immediately head into historic downtown Nashville. You’ll enjoy time in the beautiful Bicentennial Mall, Tennessee’s newest state park, as well as a tour backstage at the Grand Ole' Opry, home of the longest-running radio show in the world. You’ll get an insider’s look at the makings of this legendary show. This evening, we’ll check into Nashville’s premier property, the lavishly renovated classic Hermitage Hotel.
Hotel: Hermitage Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Lunch

 We're the invited guests of local Nashville players this afternoon for an elegant luncheon and duplicate session at the Hillwood Country Club.
Day 10 Nashville
  Set off for Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Museum of Art this morning for an insider’s view of this beautiful plantation estate with time to browse the gardens. This afternoon, enjoy a special tour of the cultural and architectural crown jewel of the city, the Country Music Hall of Fame as well as a guided tour of the State Capitol Building. This evening, we’ll head to the heart of Nashville to enjoy some ‘finger-lickin’ southern barbecue at Jack’s BBQ. A few doors down is the famous Wildhorse Saloon, where we’ll join in the boot-stompin’ good fun as we learn to line dance with the best of them. Drinks are on us!!
Hotel: Hermitage Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 11 Nashville

Andrew Jackson's stately Hermitage
Today we have a special excursion planned to Andrew Jackson’s meticulously preserved 650-acre estate, The Hermitage. Expect southern hospitality and a lively tour that will recount the colorful life of our nation’s seventh president, his family and daily life at the Hermitage in the early 19th century. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure before our exciting evening events. Tonight, join your fellow travelers and Fred Theurkauf this evening for hosted Farewell Cocktails and Dinner at our hotel. Remember, “anything goes!”
Hotel: Hermitage Hotel
Meal(s): Breakfast, Dinner
Day 12 Nashville - Depart
  This morning, we bid farewell to Nashville and head home via independent flights.
Meal(s): Breakfast

Your 12-Day Package Includes

 2 Nights in historic downtown Cincinnati at the Westin on Fountain Square.

 6 Nights cruising the Mississippi Queen on the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers.

 3 Nights in Nashville at the landmark turn-of-the-century Hermitage Hotel.

 Free air from most major U.S. cities (Book by June 15th).

 All sightseeing in Cincinnati, Louisville, and Nashville.

 All meals while cruising and 11 meals off the boat.

 Airport and baggage transfers.

 Seven (7) sessions of ACBL-sanctioned bridge including card fees, masterpoints and prizes (includes three (3) special bridge evenings hosted by local players in Cincinnati, Louisville and Nashville).

Click here for a full-color brochure.