American Queen Steamboat Company Welcomes American Empress Back to Service in Pacific Northwest

American Queen Steamboat Company announces the American Empress will embark on the first sailing of the 2021 Pacific Northwest season today. This sailing is the first overnight river cruise with 100% COVID-19 vaccinated guests and crew in the United States. It also marks a return to cruising on the Columbia and Snake rivers for American Queen Steamboat Company, which is almost sold out for the 2021 season. Sailing from Portland, Ore. (Vancouver, Wash.) to Spokane, Wash. (Clarkston, Wash.) or reverse, the popular Pacific Northwest Splendor itinerary showcases the lush natural beauty and historic sites of the region.

“Today is an important milestone for both American Queen Steamboat Company and Pacific Northwest tourism as we restart operations in the region and cruisers can once again relish the majestic beauty of the Columbia and Snake rivers,” shares Shawn Bierdz, president of American Queen Steamboat Company. “We look forward to safely welcoming guests on board the American Empress to sail through this diverse environment and discover the communities that make it such a unique travel experience.”    

American Queen Steamboat Company was the first U.S.-based cruise company to announce a 100% vaccination policy for guests and crew in February, which will go into effect fleetwide, including Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland river departures, after July 1, 2021. The U.S.-flagged American Queen Steamboat Company resumed cruises with the newly christened American Countess and boutique-style American Duchess, in March 2021.

To adhere to our 100% vaccination policy, all guests onboard American Empress must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination at check-in by providing a valid vaccination card or an image of a valid vaccination card. Guests who fail to provide proof of vaccination at check-in will be denied boarding and subject to full cancellation penalties.


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