American Queen Steamboat Company announces guests will no longer be required to wear masks on board or receive pre-cruise testing and can once again enjoy unrestricted hop-on hop off shore excursions beginning with all Mississippi, Ohio and Cumberland river sailings embarking after today. This policy update is a result of the cruise line’s vaccination requirement for both guests and crew, first announced in February 2021, making American Queen Steamboat Company the first and only fully vaccinated U.S. river cruise line. To celebrate this significant milestone, the company is rolling out the FREEDOM sale, a bonus savings of up to $2,000 on select 2022 bookings made by August 31, 2021.
“I want to thank our tireless crew, loyal guests, valued travel advisors and supportive port partners for their efforts as we have navigated this unique time in travel together,” shares Shawn Bierdz, president, American Queen Steamboat Company. “Thanks to their unwavering commitment, we have been able to evolve our policies to further deliver an authentic river cruise experience without confusing restrictions.”
The brand-new American Countess and boutique riverboat American Duchess began sailing in March under SafeCruise protocols, calling on ports including New Orleans, Memphis, Louisville, and Pittsburgh. The American Empress, sailing the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia and Snake rivers, welcomed her first guests as the first 100% vaccinated U.S. riverboat on June 14. American Empress guests will continue to participate in a PCR test at the pre-cruise hotel per Washington state guidelines.
“As we re-introduce our hop-on-hop off tours, it is exciting for guests to once again take in the cafés of Natchez, visit the antique shops of Cape Girardeau and stroll the Cincinnati waterfront ‘bubble-free’,” shares Kari Tarnowski, senior vice president of marketing, American Queen Steamboat Company. “We can now see guests’ smiles onboard and I encourage cruisers to take advantage of our FREEDOM sale to secure a 2022 sailing with these savings.”
In order to adhere to the 100% vaccination policy onboard, all guests must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination by uploading an image of their vaccination card prior to the pre-cruise hotel check-in. Guests who fail to provide proof will be denied boarding and subject to full cancellation penalties. Masks are no longer required onboard after embarkation, but a face covering must be worn during boarding and on shore excursion motorcoaches per CDC transportation guidelines. The SafeCruise health and safety procedures will continue throughout the entire cruise experience, and feature pre-boarding, boarding and onboard processes to enhance health and safety. Guidance may change at any time without notice based on local regulations. For additional questions, please visit the American Queen Steamboat Company website for ongoing health and safety protocols.
The FREEDOM sale is also applicable to Victory Cruise Lines’ 2022 itineraries. Charting all-new routes in addition to returning favorites, Victory Cruise Lines guests will travel to some of North America’s most desirable destinations on immersive and educational itineraries. Guests who book by August 31, 2021, can maximize savings and enjoy up to $2,000 off per stateroom on select 2022 Victory Cruise Lines itineraries, including the Ocean Victory and its inaugural season in Alaska, as well as new itineraries to Mexico and the Yucatán Peninsula and sailings along the U.S. southeastern seaboard.