TORONTO — American Queen Steamboat Company is sailing into its seventh season with its American Queen, American Empress and new American Duchess riverboats offering itineraries on the Mississippi, Cumberland, Ohio, Tennessee and Columbia Rivers.
Operating the most luxurious riverboat fleet in the U.S., the ships have all-inclusive itineraries with shoreline excursions in each port.
“The American Queen Steamboat Company is coming off an incredible year as we expanded our fleet and showcased the beauty of America’s heartland and the Pacific Northwest to more guests than ever before,” says American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO, Ted Sykes.
He adds: “We’re moving full speed ahead into 2018 in anticipation of another record breaking season as we showcase our authentic American experience to both returning guests and first timers.”
Nine-day sailings on the American Queen begin at US$1,999, American Empress fares begin at $2,399 and American Duchess fares begin at $2,699. All nine-day journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities.
Highlights of the 2018 season include:
- Family Suites onboard the American Queen offer respite from a busy day on the river. With an open veranda and private sitting area, guests can watch the river banks of the U.S. heartland drift by from the comfort of their own suite. The amenities of these spacious, single-room suites accommodate a variety of travel needs and are the ideal choice for families and friends vacationing together, says Sykes.
- New American Duchess itineraries on the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland Rivers as well as on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River including a nine-day Kentucky Derby-focused itinerary from Louisville to Cincinnati. Other new itineraries include Cincinnati to Memphis, Louisville to Pittsburgh and vice versa, and Nashville to Chattanooga and vice versa.
- Pacific Northwest Adventure theme cruises on the American Empress offer soft-adventure activities that appeal to guests of all ages, making it a good option for summer family vacations. Shore excursions include a tandem ride on a kayak or zip-lining through towering trees.
The first all-suite paddlewheeler on the U.S. rivers, the American Duchess can carry up to 166 guests. The paddlewheeler, whose superstructure was completely built out new in 2017, is being launched as an all-suite vessel, one of the most luxurious in the country, featuring some loft suites, single-seating dining and entertainment venues and high ceilings. With 49 sailings in 2018, the American Duchess will mirror the route of the American Queen, with new stops and overnights in vibrant ports including Nashville and Chicago.
The largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi, the 223-guest American Empress, is embarking on her fifth season sailing the Pacific Northwest starting March 17, 2018. Embarking on compelling stops along the Columbia and Snake Rivers, such as Multnomah Falls, Mt. St. Helens and the Walla Walla Wine Trail, the riverboat features 39 departure dates sailing between Portland/Vancouver, WA and Clarkston, WA. Highlights include five-day roundtrip Portland sailings which bookend the 2018 season as well as the newly added Pacific Northwest Adventure Theme cruises taking place in July.
Meanwhile the historic American Queen steamboat explores the diverse and unique destinations along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Embarking on her seventh season on Feb. 19, 2018, American Queen takes passengers back in time to relive the grandeur of bygone eras such as the Antebellum South, Music of the 50s and 60s, and the Civil War, says Sykes. With 42 total itineraries in 2018, each voyage is steeped in history and culture from pre-cruise hotel stays in New Orleans to tracing the steps of Mark Twain in Hannibal, MO.