American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship back in the water
Photo Credit: American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship back in the water

NEW ALBANY — American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship vessel, American Queen, is back in the water, welcoming back its first revenue guests in 18 months on Aug. 9.

As the fourth vessel in its fleet to return to service, the American Queen, the world’s largest and grandest paddlewheeler, set sail from New Orleans to resume its 2021 season on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers. 

The milestone moment held extra significance since it came nearly a decade to the day since the company closed on the purchase of the American Queen.

“The purchase and restoration of the American Queen ushered in a new renaissance of U.S. river cruising 10 years ago,” said John Waggoner, founder and chairman of American Queen Steamboat Company. “Our close-to-home cruise experience resonates more than ever, and I feel such pride seeing how far our offerings have expanded.”

According to Waggoner, American Queen Steamboat Company bookings for 2021, 2022 and 2023 continue to reflect pent-up demand for cruising close to home. The cruise line reported over 10 record-breaking individual booking days in 2021, and the current sailing season is almost sold out, with limited availability on remaining 2021 Thanksgiving- and holiday-themed voyages. 

American Queen Steamboat Company is also offering the FREEDOM sale, a bonus savings of up to $2,000 on select 2022 bookings made by Aug. 31, 2021.

The U.S.-flagged cruise line began a phased restart in March under SafeCruise protocols and became the only fully vaccinated U.S. river cruise line for both guests and crew on July 1. As part of its 100% vaccination policy, all guests must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination with their vaccination card prior to pre-cruise hotel check-in. 

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