Marissa Applegate named Godmother for American Duchess

August 4th, 2017 Franz Posted in American Duchess, American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on Marissa Applegate named Godmother for American Duchess

American Queen Steamboat Company has announced Marissa Applegate as the godmother of the American Duchess. Marissa, who is the daughter of company Chairman John Waggoner, will name her in a christening ceremony in New Orleans on August 14. Highlights of the festivities will include performances by local musicians and a bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon crashing against the bow.

“It is an honor to name my daughter Marissa as godmother of the American Duchess, following in Claudette’s footsteps, my wife, who christened the American Empress just a few short years ago in Portland,” shared Chairman John Waggoner. “The entire American Queen Steamboat Company team is our family and we are so proud to carry on the rich legacy of U.S river cruising.”

The 166-guest American Duchess, the third vessel of the riverboat company, follows in the pedigree of the line’s namesake American Queen, sailing the mighty Mississippi and her tributaries. New for the line, the American Duchess will offer overnight stays in port including the heart of Nashville as well as shorter roundtrip itineraries from the “Music City” and New Orleans. For added convenience, guests can also enjoy departures from Chicago (Ottawa, Il.) for the first time.

As the middle daughter of John Waggoner, Marissa works as a registered nurse at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, where she lives with her family. Marissa and her father have a longstanding tradition of competing in road races and triathlons together, and have competed in such events as the Registers Annual Great Bike Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), a 500 mile Bike ride, RAGNAR Relay races a 200 mile team event, SOMA Half Ironman, LA Marathon as well as many other races.

“It is a tremendous honor to be named as the godmother of the American Duchess,” stated Marissa. “I am beyond proud to be joining my father at the christening ceremony in New Orleans, a city dear to my heart.”

Immediately after its christening, the American Duchess will depart for her inaugural voyage up the Mississippi River with stops in Natchez, Ms., Vicksburg, Ms., Memphis, Tn., Paducah, Ky., St. Louis, Mo., and other charming ports before arriving in her disembarkation city of Red Wing, Mn. near the northern terminus of the river. This 23-day voyage will span the length of the mighty Mississippi and will provide guests with an unforgettable vantage point of America’s heartland.

A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from six days and up, and fares beginning at $2,999 per guest, offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. Pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at diner and complimentary shore adventures are included in each port of call.

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Details about American Duchess Suites

October 25th, 2016 Franz Posted in American Duchess, American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on Details about American Duchess Suites

American Queen Steamboat Company says it will be the first and only all-suite boat with lofts on the Mississippi River with the addition of the new American Duchess. The first purpose-build boutique paddlewheeler will offer the river cruiser an intimate and relaxing experience through America’s heartland with the option of five different suite categories in 2017.

“As we are the first in offering loft suites in the North American market, we are proud to announce that our luxury suites will allow guests to stay in some of the largest accommodations on the rivers,” shares Ted Sykes, American Queen Steamboat Company president and COO. “Relaxing and gathering with friends, family and fellow cruisers in these luxury suites will enhance the cruising experience on the American Duchess as she travels the Mississippi.”

(all images: American Queen Steamboat Company)

The luxury paddlewheeler will have five different suite category options for her 166 passengers including Owner’s Suites and Loft Suites at 550 sq. ft., Deluxe Suites at 450 sq. ft., Veranda Suites ranging from 240-330 sq. ft., and Interior Suites ranging from 180-220 sq. ft. Unique to the American Duchess are her spacious Loft Suites. The lower level features a full bathroom, small dining area, a beautiful lounge section furnished with a queen sofa-bed and desk area, along with sliding doors to access a private balcony. The loft area upstairs, as pictured above, is a tranquil retreat with its semi-private bedroom, a full bathroom and gracious closet space.

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American Queen Steamboat Company Opens Reservations for New All-Suite American Duchess

October 12th, 2016 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on American Queen Steamboat Company Opens Reservations for New All-Suite American Duchess

American Queen Steamboat Company has announced reservations are open for voyages on the new boutique, all-suite American Duchess. The first purpose-build boutique paddlewheeler will offer the river cruiser an intimate experience through America’s heartland in 2017. Those eager to be among the first to sail on the 166-guest luxury paddlewheeler can now view itineraries and book voyages along the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

“We are thrilled to officially open reservations for sailings on the newest member of our fleet, the American Duchess,” shares Ted Sykes, American Queen Steamboat Company president and COO. “As demand for more capacity on the Mississippi River has been overwhelming the past two seasons, we look forward to offering river cruisers more opportunities to explore our country’s heartland.”

American Queen Steamboat Company will be promoting the vessel to travel agents beginning in June 2017 and will set sail with the first Mighty Mississippi voyage on July 3. New itineraries offered on the American Duchess include overnight stays in the heart of Nashville as well as shorter roundtrip itineraries from the “Music City” and New Orleans. For added convenience, guests can also enjoy departures from Chicago (Ottawa, Il.), a first in the company’s history.

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The American Queen Steamboat Company announces expansion as American Duchess joins foeet

September 14th, 2016 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on The American Queen Steamboat Company announces expansion as American Duchess joins foeet

The American Queen Steamboat Company has announced the new American Duchess will join the U.S.-flagged fleet in June 2017. Construction begins soon on a recently purchased American-made hull that will become the third vessel of the Memphis-based company. The all-suite American Duchess will be the first purpose-built boutique paddlewheeler offering the river cruiser an intimate experience through America’s heartland. She will feature the largest suites on the river in every category, which will be fitted to the American Queen Steamboat Company’s highest standards.

The 166-guest American Duchess follows in the pedigree of the line’s namesake American Queen, sailing the mighty Mississippi and her tributaries. New for the line, the American Duchess will offer overnight stays in port including the heart of Nashville as well as shorter roundtrip itineraries from the “Music City” and New Orleans. For added convenience, guests can also enjoy departures from Chicago (Ottawa, Il.) for the first time.

“The American Queen Steamboat Company has led the way in a rebirth of U.S. river cruising as thousands discover our heartland and the Pacific Northwest, served by an award-winning, All-American crew,” shares Ted Sykes, company president and COO. “Demand for more capacity on the Mississippi River has been overwhelming the past two seasons and we look forward to delivering a new boutique, all-suite experience and the flexibility of two riverboats sailing between New Orleans and St. Paul.”

The American Duchess will feature a generous space ratio showcased by three 550 sq. ft. Owner’s Suites, four 550 sq. ft. Loft Suites, a U.S. riverboat first; and spacious Veranda Suites and Interior Suites. The new vessel will be incorporating the highest standards of service, entertainment and shore excursions customers have come to expect from the American Queen Steamboat Company. Featuring open seating with two dining venues, The Grand Dining Room and The Grill Room will offer regionally inspired cuisine similar to that of the American Queen.

“In five short years, the American Queen Steamboat Company has grown to over 500 employees and we look forward to hiring about 100 more, right here in the U.S., in anticipation of the American Duchess inaugural season,” shares John Waggoner, the line’s chairman as well as president and CEO of HMS Global Maritime, operator of over 85 U.S.-flagged vessels. “I am proud of the economic impact we continue to have in leading U.S. river cruising, which can be seen in our homeport of Memphis and the many cities we visit including New Orleans and St. Louis.”

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American Queen Steamboat Company 2017 Brochure Showcases Sixth Season

May 6th, 2016 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on American Queen Steamboat Company 2017 Brochure Showcases Sixth Season

American Queen Steamboat Company has announced the release of its 2017 deluxe brochure. The full-color, 76-page brochure presents an overview of itineraries and river cruise offerings for the sixth season of the U.S.-flagged cruise line and its American Queen and American Empress riverboats.

Inspired by the great steamboats of the 19th century, traveling aboard the American Queen and American Empress allows guests to relive the experience of a previous generation, but with all of the modern amenities that today’s travelers expect. Combining the best of the old with the new, personal touches and attention to detail abound, from the itineraries to the boats themselves.

“Our goal is to make river cruise vacations more enticing than ever,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “We celebrate an authentically American experience that has no equal in terms of cuisine, hospitality, extraordinary entertainment, and unique experiences ashore.”

The brochure captures this authentically American experience by highlighting American Queen’s trademark level of quality dining, friendly all-American crew and interesting, content-filled itineraries. Guests can begin planning their 2017 holiday on the American Queen and American Empress exploring the waters and towns throughout the Heartland of America and Pacific Northwest.

Highlights in the 2017 season include:

The American Empress season will open and close with a new themed voyage “Vintages, Vineyards, and Varietals.” Traveling roundtrip to and from Portland, Ore., guests are invited to inspire their palates with wines, coffees, and craft beers of the Northwest while cruising amidst the natural beauty of the Columbia River.

Ports of call added to several American Queen itineraries include vibrant Nashville, Tenn., and historic Chattanooga, Tenn.

Commodore Services have been extended to both vessels this year, offering an exclusive level of hospitality and amenities to guests staying in suite-level accommodations onboard the American Queen and the American Empress. Commodore Services featurespecial access to the pre-voyage hotel’s club lounge, access to private voyage check-in and pre-boarding privileges, a bottle of wine from the region or fruit basket upon arrival, preferred dining arrangements, reserved balcony seating in the Grand Saloon theater or the Show Lounge theater, a private reception with Senior Officers of the ship and River Butler services for those staying in Luxury Suites.

The popular “Mighty Mississippi Voyage” will sail once in the 2017 season—traveling the entire length of the river with a southbound itinerary spanning three fabulous weeks cruising amidst the antebellum charms and gracious style of the American Queen.

“Holiday – Christmas Markets” cruises are back with an exclusive lineup of markets offering a little something for everyone including music, seasonal goods and locally produced crafts. Booking for these magical itineraries starts in early May.

The inaugural season of the “Chairman’s Cruise” where guests can join American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman and CEO John Waggoner and his wife Claudette onboard the American Queen for a round-trip cruise from their hometown of Louisville, Ky.

American Empress Itinerary Overview

The largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi, the 223-guest American Empress, embarks on her third season sailing the Pacific Northwest beginning March 5, 2017. 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 38 departure dates sailing between Portland/Vancouver, Wash. and Clarkston, Wash. The season begins and ends with two roundtrip Portland itineraries highlighting the extraordinary wines of the Washington and Oregon regions.

American Queen Itinerary Overview

From carefree New Orleans to vibrant Memphis, the historic American Queen steamboat explores the diverse and unique destinations along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers. Embarking on her sixth season on Feb. 19, 2017, the American Queen transports guests back in time to relive the full grandeur of bygone eras such as the Antebellum South, Music of the 50s and 60s, and the Civil War. With 44 total itineraries in 2017, 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.

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Maker’s Mark President as Special Guest on Bourbon Themed Cruise

January 22nd, 2016 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on Maker’s Mark President as Special Guest on Bourbon Themed Cruise

American Queen Steamboat Company has several exciting themed cruises planned for 2016. Themed-cruises are a favorite among guests, and the Bourbon Cruise was a smashing hit in 2015, according to the cruise line. As an exclusive feature to this themed-cruise, a special guest will be onboard the American Queen as it travels the Ohio River from St. Louis to Cincinnati July 10-18.

“We are thrilled to announce that Bill Samuels Jr., son of Maker’s Mark founder, Bill Samuels Sr., will be joining us onboard for an exclusive Maker’s Mark presentation and tasting,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “His presence complements that of Buffalo Trace’s own Don Flinn and Bourbon historian Michael Veach who are already scheduled to be onboard. We look forward to learning more about the American spirit whose roots are dug deep in the foothills of Kentucky and the Ohio River.”

Highlights of the Bourbon Cruise include:

  • Onboard Bourbon tastings and seminars led by experts
  • Specialty Bourbon-enhanced menu items daily
  • Bourbon themed gifts each night
  • Cooking with Bourbon demonstration
  • A choice of included distillery visits (Buffalo Trace, Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center, Maker’s Mark, Jim Beam, Wild Turkey, Willett Small Batch)
  • From Madison, Ind., a “Special Land Event” includes a city tour of Frankfort, Ky., a guided tour of Buffalo Trace Distilleries and lunch at the famous ‘Claudia Sanders Dinner House’
  • A special performance by the Juggernaut Jug Band
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American Queen and American Empress 2016 Lay-Up

January 20th, 2016 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on American Queen and American Empress 2016 Lay-Up

American Queen Steamboat Company announced lay-up details für the American Queen and American Empress as part of the off-season before moving full steam ahead into the 2016 sailing schedule. Each year, both vessels are scheduled a “lay-up” period which consists of cleaning, repairs and updates to both boats. The American Queen will be docked for five weeks in Gretna, La., while the American Empress will be docked for four months in Troutdale, Ore.

“In 2015, we enjoyed a banner year for both vessels, bringing the pleasure of river cruising to a record number of guests and adding itineraries to the season in order to accommodate the large number of reservations,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “With necessary repairs and improvements, we are delighted to have 2016 underway in style.”

The off-season is actually quite bustling and a time of rapid change for the vessels. With a dedicated crew, the management teams have organized a schedule, budget and list of priority items to accomplish during the lay-up such as cosmetic changes including new paint, carpet and upholstery in public areas.

Lay-up repairs and improvements include:

  • – New carpeting and upholstery in public areas and select staterooms
  • – Sanding and repainting of deck door frames and doors
  • – Replacement of wall coverings in select state rooms
  • – Painting of hotel interior including dining room
  • – Installation of mahogany deck rails
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American Empress Announces 2016 Season

December 2nd, 2015 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on American Empress Announces 2016 Season

American Queen Steamboat Company is celebrating the success of the American Empress’ 2015 seasonand preparing for 2016 with the announcement of newly added amenities and menu options. Known as being the largest, most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest, the American Empress had an outstanding 2015 season showcasing the beauty of the region during her voyages along the Columbia and Snake Rivers.

“The American Empress had a banner year in 2015, adding itineraries to the season in order to accommodate the large number of reservations and those interested in experiencing these cruises,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “We look forward to continuing the success of this year into the 2016 season.”

Highlights of the 2016 American Empress season include:

  • – Newly added Commodore Services for guests holding select suite-level accommodations. Guests of the Luxury Suites will also receive the additional services of a friendly River Butler.
  • – An exquisite array of menu options for breakfast, lunch and dinner inspired by the Pacific Northwest and prepared by an award-winning culinary team. Menu choices include made-to-order omelets for breakfast, creative soups, salads and hearty entrees for lunch, and nightly five-course meals for dinner in the Astoria Dining Room. The River Grill & Bar is also a favorite among the guests on the American Empress.
  • – Numerous premium shore excursions are available including a pre- or post-cruise tour of Mount St. Helens in Portland, Ore., a scenic jet boat experience at Hells Canyon in Lewiston, Idaho or the Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum in The Dalles, Ore.

Fares for nine-day sailings on the American Empress begin at $2,649 per person based on double occupancy. All 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.

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American Queen Steamboat Company’s 2015 Holiday Crusies feature newly added christmas markets

July 31st, 2015 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on American Queen Steamboat Company’s 2015 Holiday Crusies feature newly added christmas markets

The American Queen Steamboat Company is encouraging families and friends to spend the holidays onboard the grand American Queen this season. The most opulent riverboat in the world will travel the waters of the Mississippi River to and from Memphis, Tenn. and New Orleans, La. Guests of the American Queen will be surrounded by southern history and culture on these nine-day cruises that embark beginning this Thanksgiving.

New and exclusive to the American Queen holiday sailings this season are Christmas markets along the river in ports, offering music as well as seasonal and locally produced crafts and goods. All old-fashioned holiday themed sailings include special entertainment such as strolling carolers in St. Francisville, La., departure serenades from the levees of Vicksburg and Natchez, Miss. and the favorite Steamboat Syncopators singing holiday favorites throughout the journey as well as Christmas markets in Greenville, Miss. and Nottoway Plantation.

“We are excited to offer these new holiday cruises that incorporate the local traditions and festivities of our beloved river communities as a way to celebrate the 2015 season,” shares American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “The holidays are a special time of the year for everyone and we couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate the season than cruising the Mississippi aboard the American Queen.”

Old-Fashioned Holiday Sailings on the American Queen include:

Memphis, Tenn. To New Orleans, La. Nov. 21 – 29, Dec. 5 – 13 and Dec. 19 – 27, 2015
Explore fertile cotton fields, vast sugar cane plantations and imposing pillared mansions as the American Queen cruises from Memphis to New Orleans. A highlight of the late-November voyage includes a Thanksgiving feast and celebration onboard the elaborately decorated boat.

New Orleans, La. To Memphis, Tenn. Nov. 28 – Dec. 6 and Dec. 12 – 20, 2015
The bayous and woodlands along the shore create dramatic landscapes that are virtually unchanged since the days of the French fur trades. Guests can take in the beautiful sights and sounds of these gracious towns and as an exclusive event of the December 12th voyage, enjoy a Christmas Ball at the historic Nottoway plantation in Nottoway, La. The “White Castle of Louisiana” will be adorned with complete Christmas décor and lighting throughout the grounds, public spaces, and mansion for this festive evening. Guests may enjoy costumed carolers and dancers as they stroll the gardens and front lawn before entering the mansion for a private dinner featuring a combination of Cajun cuisine.

Roundtrip New Orleans, La. December 26, 2015 – January 3, 2016
Ring in the New Year with the diversity and drama of the Lower Mississippi while discovering the romance and antebellum charms of famous plantations like Oak Alley, located in the Saint James Parish.

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Extended 2015 Season for American Empress

July 27th, 2015 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company Comments Off on Extended 2015 Season for American Empress

The American Queen Steamboat Company has announced two added sailings onboard the American Empress, traveling roundtrip from Vancouver, Wash. (Portland) on November 15 and November 22. With eight-day itineraries steeped in culture, exclusive museum tours and winery tastings, the American Empress voyages continue to deliver a vacation through the eyes of the region’s first settlers, as the cruise line calls it.

“We are thrilled to announce two added sailings onboard the American Empress for the end of the 2015 season,” writes American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “With the next 15 sailings on the vessel almost sold out, we are happy to be able to offer our guests two additional opportunities to enjoy the riverboat, its amenities and this special excursion down the Columbia river. Also the time of year makes these two voyages especially unique so we were inspired to create a special Roundtrip Portland itinerary, which not only offers guests a low price point, but also saves our guests time and money on air travel.”

Highlights of the American Empress itineraries include:

  • – Riverwalk along the Columbia River in Astoria, Ore. – Also known as the Astoria River Trail, this four-mile paved walkway stretches the entire length of the city’s waterfront, connecting restaurants and breweries, museums, and dozens of other attractions.
  • – Visit to Bonneville Dam in Stevenson, Wash. – Completed in 1938, the hydroelectric generator is located 40 miles east of Portland, Ore. and is named after Captain Benjamin Bonneville, a soldier, trader and explorer.
  • – Included Tour: Western Antique Aeroplane and Automobile Museum (WAAAM) – Located at the end of the Oregon Trail in The Dalles, Ore., guests of the WAAAM step back in time to when flight was a novelty rather than a daily mode of transportation and the automobile required a crank, all while touring the property in an authentic Ford Model T.
  • – Included Tour: Sunshine Mill Winery in The Dalles, Ore. – The included Hop-on Hop-Off Tour will feature Sunshine Mill Winery, housed in the first building in The Dalles to have electricity that now includes an amphitheater for wine tastings.
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