American Queen’s design to be reverted to the look of 1995

November 8th, 2011 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company, River Cruise News Comments Off on American Queen’s design to be reverted to the look of 1995

American Queen, 2005 at St. Louis

American Queen, 2005 at St. Louis

The Great American Steamboat Company is renovating the steamboat American Queen and will revert her design to the clean and crisp look of her early days when she has been launched in 1995. That’s the design steamboat fans liked most and that’s as close as can be to the look of many historic paddlewheelers.

After Ambassadors International bought the American Queen together with other steamboats and riverboats from Delaware North Companies, Inc. the then newly formed and now bancrupt cruise line Majestic America Line decided to change the design of the American Queen, very much to the dismay of her fans. Majestic America Line logos replaced the original Delta Queen Steamboat Company’s eagle, removed the yellow/golden stars from the bow, red and blue trimmings were added, parts of the boat were painted dark blue and the color of the paddlewheel changed from bright red to maroon.

Great American Steamboat Company has now decided to redesign the paddlewheel steamboat to its original appearance with nearly all white livery. The inaugural voyage of the American Queen will start in New Orleans on April 13, 2012. The American Queen will also pick up an old tradition started by the historic Delta Queen and will go to Louisville, KY, to race the Belle of Louisville in May, tratidionally in the week of the Kentucky Derby. This cruise will be a 4 nights cruise out of Cincinnati, May 4-8, 2012.

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ACL announces expanded entertainment aboard Queen of the Mississippi

September 21st, 2011 Franz Posted in American Cruise Lines, River Cruise News Comments Off on ACL announces expanded entertainment aboard Queen of the Mississippi

American Cruise Lines has announced plans for an extensive entertainment program for its 2012 Mississippi River itineraries aboard the new paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, currently being built in Salisbury, Maryland. According to the press release from ACL the program will feature entertainment reminiscent of America’s legendary steamboating era. The grandest riverboat to ever grace the Mississippi, the sternwheeler will be a floating palace filled with luxuries and pleasures, and will certainly accommodate passengers who enjoy dancing and live entertainment and have a passion for the deep history of the mighty Mississippi and its river towns.

One of the seven lounges planned for Queen of the Mississippi, guests will enjoy getting together in the Paddlewheel Lounge, a festive, comfortable and luxurious sitting area where they will enjoy the sultry sounds of solo acts or live music of Dixieland bands, and dancing and laughing with new friends. Passengers will be able to play the calliope or enjoy a drink in the Calliope Lounge; step back in time with a Mark Twain impersonator or share stories with onboard experts and lecturers who will educate, captivate and entertain Queen of the Mississippi’s passengers.

“The entertainment on Queen of the Mississippi will be substantial,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “It’s an important element of our Mississippi cruises and we look forward to offering passengers the best entertainment program; one that will truly take them back in time and have them talking about for years to come.”

Dependent on itinerary, Queen of the Mississippi will feature shows featuring spectacular costumes and entertainers as talented as they come. Specific details of the entertainment program will be available in the near future such as entertainers, lecturers, music programs and more.

The Queen of the Mississippi will boast 75 staterooms larger than those on any former Mississippi riverboat, spacious private balconies and all of the amenities today’s travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance and traditional Victorian luxury of classic turn of the century Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the authentic sternwheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, with the option of cruising at significantly higher speeds than any past Mississippi riverboat to make more itineraries possible than ever before on the Mississippi River, with longer visits to the river towns and less night traveling, especially on upriver itineraries. A number of unique 7-, 10-, and 14-day cruises are planned that take passengers as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River.

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American Queen Itineraries and Cruise Rates

September 21st, 2011 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company, River Cruise News Comments Off on American Queen Itineraries and Cruise Rates

The Great American Streamboat Company has revealed the itineraries and cruise rates for the American Queen’s 2012 “inaugural” season. Though there are no big surprises in the schedule, there are in fact some surprising differences to the schedules Majestic America Line and Delta Queen Steamboat Company had in place when they were still operating the American Queen. Rates are targeting, no surprise either, to the premium cruise market. Booking will be open from Sept. 30, 2011.

The American Queen will start out in New Orleans on April 13, go to the Ohio River for April and early May and then back to the South for until end of June. July and August will be Ohio River months while the AQ stays on the Upper Mississippi River from September to as late as mid-November for fall foliage cruises. For the winter she’ll be cruising down south, alternating between New Orleans and Memphis.

2012
nights Itinerary Theme
Apr. 13–19 6 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Houmas HouseNew Orleans Southern Culture
Apr. 19–27 8 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, HelenaMemphis Southern Culture
Apr. 27–May 4 7 Memphis, Henderson, Louisville, MadisonCincinnati Steamboat Race
May 4–8 4 Cincinnati, Louisville, MadisonCincinnati Kentucky Derby
May 8–15 7 Cincinnati, Madison, Louisville, Henderson, Paducah, New MadridMemphis Springtime on the River
May 15–22 7 Memphis, Helena, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak AlleyNew Orleans Springtime on the River
May 22–29 7 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Houmas HouseNew Orleans Springtime on the River
May 29–Jun. 4 6 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Baton Rouge, Houmas HouseNew Orleans Springtime on the River
Jun. 4–9 5 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Baton RougeNew Orleans Southern Culture
Jun. 9–16 7 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Baton Rouge, Houmas HouseNew Orleans Southern Culture
Jun. 16–21 5 New Orleans, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak AlleyNew Orleans Southern Culture
Jun. 21–28 7 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, HelenaMemphis Music of the 1950s
Jun. 28–Jul. 5 7 Memphis, New Madrid, Paducah, Cape GirardeauSt. Louis July 4th
Jul. 5–11 6 St. Louis, Cave-In-Rock, Henderson, BrandenburgLouisville July 4th
Jul. 11–18 7 Louisville, Madison, Cincinnati, Maysville, Point Pleasant, Marietta, WheelingPittsburgh Music of the 1960s
Jul. 18–22 4 Pittsburgh, Point Pleasant, MaysvilleCincinnati Music of the 1960s
Jul. 22–27 5 Cincinnati, Maysville, Point Pleasant, Marietta, WheelingPittsburgh Music of the 1960s
Jul. 27–Aug. 3 7 Pittsburgh, Wheeling, Marietta, Point Pleasant, Maysville, Cincinnati, MadisonLouisville Big Band
Aug. 3–10 7 Louisville, Henderson, Paducah, New Madrid, MemphisVicksburg Big Band
Aug. 10–20 10 Vicksburg, Helena, Memphis, Ashport Landing, Paducah, Savannah, DecaturChattanooga Epic Civil War
Aug. 20–30 10 Chattanooga, Decatur, Florence, Savannah, Paducah, Ashport Landing, MemphisVicksburg Epic Civil War
Aug. 30–Sep. 7 8 Vicksburg, Helena, Memphis, HendersonLouisville Civil War
Sep. 7–14 7 Louisville, Owensboro, Henderson, Paducah, Cape GirardeauSt. Louis Music of the 1950s
Sep. 14–21 7 St. Louis, Hannibal, Dubuque, La Crosse, Red WingSt. Paul Fall Colors
Sep. 21–28 7 St. Paul, Red Wing, La Crosse, Dubuque, Davenport, Burlington, HannibalSt. Louis Fall Colors
Sep. 28–Oct. 5 7 St. Louis, Hannibal, Dubuque, La Crosse, Red WingSt. Paul Fall Colors
Oct. 5–12 7 St. Paul, Red Wing, La Crosse, Dubuque, Davenport, Burlington, HannibalSt. Louis Fall Colors
Oct. 12–19 7 St. Louis, Hannibal, Dubuque, La Crosse, Red WingSt. Paul Fall Colors
Oct. 19–22 3 St. Paul, Red Wing, Lake PepinSt. Paul Fall Colors
Oct. 22–29 7 St. Paul, Red Wing, La Crosse, Dubuque, Davenport, Burlington, HannibalSt. Louis Fall Colors
Oct. 29–Nov. 5 7 St. Louis, Hannibal, Dubuque, La Crosse, Red WingSt. Paul Fall Colors
Nov. 5–12 7 St. Paul, Red Wing, La Crosse, Dubuque, Davenport, Burlington, HannibalSt. Louis Old Fashioned Holidays
Nov. 12–19 7 St. Louis, Cape Girardeau, New Madrid, Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton RougeNew Orleans Old Fashioned Holidays
Nov. 19–25 6 New Orleans, Oak Alley, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton RougeNew Orleans Thanksgiving
Nov. 25–Dec. 2 7 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, HelenaMemphis Old Fashioned Holidays
Dec. 2–9 7 Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak AlleyNew Orleans Old Fashioned Holidays
Dec. 9–14 5 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, HelenaMemphis Old Fashioned Holidays
Dec. 14–21 7 Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak AlleyNew Orleans Old Fashioned Holidays
Dec. 21–28 7 New Orleans, Oak Alley, St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, HelenaMemphis Old Fashioned Holidays
Dec. 28–Jan. 4 7 Memphis, Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, Baton Rouge, Oak AlleyNew Orleans New Year’s Big Band

Rates include beer and wine at dinner as well as bottled water and softdrinks throughout the whole cruise. Staterooms are equipped with coffee brewers and Starbucks coffee. Early bookings until end of December will receive a free land excursion package and a free pre-cruise hotel night at the port of embarcation.

category nights / rates in US$
3 4 5 6 7 8 10
LS 2,459 3,395 4,195 4,995 5,795 6,695 8,495
AA 2,295 2,995 3,795 4,545 5,195 5,995 7,495
A 1,845 2,445 3,095 3,695 4,295 4,945 6,145
B 1,695 2,245 2,795 3,345 3,895 4,495 5,545
C 1,445 1,995 2,495 2,995 3,495 3,995 4,995
D 1,395 1,895 2,395 2,845 3,295 3,795 4,695
E 1,345 1,795 2,295 2,745 3,195 3,645 4,595
F 1,245 1,645 2,095 2,495 2,895 3,295 4,145
G 1,095 1,445 1,795 2,145 2,495 2,845 3,595
AAA 2,395 3,195 3,995 4,795 5,595 6,395 7,995
H 1,045 1,395 1,695 2,045 2,395 2,745 3,445
I 995 1,145 1,395 1,695 1,995 2,295 2,845
SI/Single 1,495 1,795 1,995 2,495 2,995 3,695 3,995

additional port charges and will be added to this rates:

nights port charge
3 $49.00
4 $50.00
5 $69.00
6 $89.00
7 $99.00
8 $109.00
10 $119.00

Steamboats.org recommends Phyllis Dale Travel for details and booking, as Phyllis knows the American Queen very well and is a very experienced travel agent for river cruising and small ship cruise vacation: www.phyllisdale.com , email: phyllisdaletravel@att.net

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Oceania Cruises’ Tim Rubacky joins Great American Steamboat Company

August 7th, 2011 Franz Posted in American Queen Steamboat Company, River Cruise News Comments Off on Oceania Cruises’ Tim Rubacky joins Great American Steamboat Company

Tim Rubacky, joins the new river crusie line Great American Steamboat Company. He has, until now, been Director of Communications at Prestige Cruise Holdings, which is the parent company of the renowned luxury cruise lines Oceania Cruises and Regent Seven Seas Cruises.

In a first statement on the steamboats.org messageboard he wrote: “I am honored to be party of the Great American Steamboat family and the reason I chose to join is because of the history, heritage, nostalgia and above all else, passion that is the fabric of this team and the Steamboating experience.”

Tim Rubacky also asks steamboat fans for some patience until the offices of the new company at memphis, TN, have been set up and are running.

At the same time, Rubacky said Great America Steamboat Company’s “goal is simple – to bring the AQ back and deliver an experience that is even warmer, richer and friendlier than ever.”

Earlier this year, Great American Steamboat Company had announced that the American Queen will come back to the river cruise business in April 2012, doing most of the traditional routes and itieraries along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.

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Great American Steamboat Company starts operative business

August 6th, 2011 Franz Posted in River Cruise News Comments Off on Great American Steamboat Company starts operative business

The Great American Steamboat Company has obviously finalized the purchase of the steamboat American Queen, according to sources from Cruise Industry News and our own sources. On their website the new river cruise line is offering various jobs, from Deck Mate to Chief Engineer and Master.

The Great American Steamboat Company also has a Facebook fanpage now, with the first status message reading “At long last, the American Queen is returning to America’s waterways. Known as the largest steamboat in the world, the American Queen will travel the Mississippi River and its surrounding tributaries. Offering vacations filled of nostalgia, history, romance and adventure, visitors will delight aboard this truly remarkable steamboatin’ experience.

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Launching of the Queen of the Mississippi

August 6th, 2011 Franz Posted in River Cruise News Comments Off on Launching of the Queen of the Mississippi

Here is a video of the launching of the Queen of the Mississippi on July 17, 2011, that is currently under construction at the Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland. With her relatively small size, she’s being launched the traditional way: sideways. Unusual for the industry in these days is also the fact that the launch was nine week ahead of schedule.

After the launch two additional decks will be added and the riverboat will be outfitted. In total the Queen of the Mississippi will have 75 staterooms. She’ll also feature an authentic paddlewheel, a steam whistle and even a calliope. The inaugural voyage of the Queen of the Mississippi is scheduled for August 2012.

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New at steamboats.org: River Cruise News

August 5th, 2011 Franz Posted in River Cruise News Comments Off on New at steamboats.org: River Cruise News

As river cruising on the US Inland Rivers is coming back especially to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, steamboats.org today announces a new section on our website: Steamboats.org River Cruise News. This news section will focus – as the name already says – on river cruising, which to our delight mainly means paddlewheel riverboat cruising, and in some case even steamboat river cruising.

Steamboats.org River Cruise News will cover the Great American Steamboat Company’s American Queen as well as American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi and their Columbia River cruise ships Queen of the West. And we’ll include important news about the Str. Natchez, the Belle of Louisville and other paddlewheel riverboats and steamboats as well. And of course all other river cruise ships on US Inland Rivers that might be launched the future.

In case you’ve got great information or news about these topics, please contact us. We’ll be more than happy to have voluntary freelance correspondents all over the country – though, to be very honest – we won’t be able to pay any fees as steamboats.org still mostly is a non-profit website.

In case you’re the PR representative or communications director of a cruise company, please also get in contact and send us your press releases. We’ll be more than happy to cover stories and news around river cruising in the US. If the fast growing European/German market is of interest for you, we’re also writing a major cruise blog in Germany: www.cruisetricks.de

Contact: Franz Neumeier, franz.neumeier |at| steamboats.org

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