Some years ago I had the wonderful experience of sailing on the American Queen riverboat when it was still being operated by Delta Queen Cruise Lines. As I recall, we sailed from New Orleans to Natchez, but maybe even further north.
We enjoyed it so much that a year later we bought a trip for my mother-in-law and friend to celebrate her 80th birthday.
Yesterday we received confirmation of what we had been hearing for months, the American Queen will again be sailing the Mississippi River beginning April 2012.
Here are some details:
The Great American Steamboat Company is pleased to announce the return of the reigning queen of the Mississippi river, the grandest and most opulent steamboat afloat, the American Queen. Resumption of fabled river voyages on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers begins this coming spring, on April 13, 2012.
For the first time in many years, travelers will again enjoy the iconic experience, celebrated by Mark Twain and others, of riverboat cruises on the great rivers of the America’s heartland. Every departure will feature the storied American Queen, the largest, most lavish steamboat ever built. With convenient departures from some of the United States’ most iconc cities such as Memphis, New Orleans, Vicksburg, St. Louis, Louisville, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, this legendary mode of travel will be easier than ever to enjoy.
The American Queen will employ a polished all-American crew that is eager to please. Few things are nicer than mint juleps on deck on a glorious summer afternoon on the Ohio River or morning coffee in the dining room as she steams into St. Paul. With a homeport of Memphis, the American Queen carries with her the same devotion to exceptional dining and entertainment, including Dixieland jazz and gracious southern charm and hospitality.
Inspired by the greatest steamboats of the 19th century, the American Queen offers an opulent two-level ‘Grand Saloon’, an elegant two-deck high Grand Dining Room, lavishly appointed staterooms, many with their own private veranda and all of the modern amenities today’s travelers expect. Personal touches and finite attention to detail abound, from fresh baked cinnamon rolls each morning, to complimentary wine and beer with dinner, and proper evening turn-down service, complete with a praline on the pillow. Of note is the fact that in an age of mega-ships accommodating more than 4,000 guests, the American Queen carries only 436 privileged guests, surrounding them in an atmosphere of rich paneling, crystal chandeliers, period furniture and Victorian elegance.
“While many travelers are familiar with ocean cruising or river cruising in Europe, we believe steamboating on the great rivers of America is distinctive and tantalizingly different. Our guests will experience an America that evokes a simpler time, where an entire town proudly turns out to greet a gleaming white steamboat,” stated Christopher Kyte, president of the Great American Steamboat Company.
A variety of voyage lengths, ranging from three nights to 14 nights, and fares beginning at $995 per guest, offers exceptional value and convenience, with little or no flying required. And with one of the best early booking bonuses in the industry, our ‘Steamboating Plus’ program offers a complimentary luxury hotel stay before or after sailing along with transfers, a welcome brunch and much more.
The Great American Steamboat Company not only has an exceptional management team behind it but exceeds all current federal financial protection guidelines, offering an exclusive ‘Total Financial Security Program’ where 100% of fares paid are held in escrow accounts until the voyage is completed. The Great American Steamboat Company has assembled many of the same talented individuals that made the steamboat experience one of the most successful and acclaimed cruise products of its day. Every one of the senior executives has a total commitment and passion for the very unique niche steamboats occupy in American history and legend.
Given the long absence of steamboats from the great rivers of America, it is anticipated the inaugural season will fill quickly and prompt reservations are encouraged to avoid disappointment. For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the Great American Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at www.GreatAmericanSteamboatCompany.com or call your professional travel agent.