Sure, cruising in Europe is fantastic, and many have ‘done’ the Danube, the Rhone and the Seine. But have you considered cruising the mighty Mississippi and other legendary rivers in the USA? If not, you are really missing out on wonderful cruising experiences on the waterways made famous by explorers, written about in the classics and serenaded in many a song.
American Queen Steamboat Company has three authentic paddle steamers in its fleet – American Empress, American Duchess and the flagship, American Queen – with a fourth, American Countess, to be added in 2020.
The elegant and luxurious American Empress cruises the waters of the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, sailing between Vancouver – this Vancouver is in Washington State near Portland and is not to be confused with Vancouver, Canada - and Clarkston. The cruises trace the steps of Lewis and Clark, who opened up this land way back in 1805-6, and deliver unbridled beauty along with fascinating history that includes visiting the Dalles, the end point for the Oregon Trail.
American Duchess is an all-suite boutique paddlewheeler cruising the Mississippi. She is a floating masterpiece that carries up to 166 guests through America’s heartland, on cruises that include the Ohio River from Pittsburgh to Louisville, itineraries on the Upper and Lower Mississippi and an epic 23-day cruise from Red Wing (Minneapolis) all the way down to New Orleans.
Ride the American Queen
American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship, the 436-passenger American Queen, is the largest and most opulent steamboat ever built. The six-deck vessel features the charm and elegance of the American Victorian, which you can enjoy while meandering down the Mississippi on seven-night itineraries, many of which run between New Orleans and Memphis. The history is palpable in this land of Antebellum houses, ‘gators, blues and jazz. The vessel will steam past cotton fields, sugar cane plantations and Civil War battlefields.
Before or after your cruise, get to know New Orleans, which is so vibrant with its historic French Quarter oozing music from every nook and cranny, as well as its Creole and Cajun cuisines. In Memphis, follow Elvis’s story, step in music history down Beale Street, and soak in its many other charms.
Between New Orleans and Memphis, American Queen will also take you to Nottoway, St Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg and Greenville, all with their own stories to tell. Between stops, read a book from the ship’s library, the Mark Twain Gallery, enjoy sing alongs in the Main Deck Lounge, or take in a lavish show in the Grand Saloon – the most dazzling showroom on the river. Best of all, just set on the deck and watch life on the river, with its waters “running as smoothly as a Southern drawl.”
The culinary offering on board the ships is excellent, and all feature exceptional entertainment. American Queen even has a spa and fitness centre on board.
There are a range of themed cruises available too, focusing on areas that may be of interest, including Mark Twain, Bourbon, American music, Civil War, and life on the Mississippi – just to name a few.
With so many options, it will be hard to decide, but all of the itineraries are on an authentic paddlewheeler, chugging down some of the great rivers to immerse guests in American history.