In less than 24 hours, we are scheduled to leave on the first leg of our next cruise adventure, one that in our 25 years of cruising, we’ve never experienced: An American riverboat sailing.
For the next week or so, we’ll be on the Ohio River sailing aboard the world’s largest riverboat, American Queen, as guests of American Queen Voyages (AQV). Our only previous river cruise was in Germany, where we had a wonderful time.
Our cruise begins in Louisville and concludes in Pittsburgh. In between we’ll make stops in Madison, IN., Cincinnati, OH., Maysville, KY., Point Pleasant, WV. and Marietta, OH.
AQV, headquartered in Ft. Lauderdale and celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is a leader in American river cruising, with a fleet that serves the Pacific Northwest, mid-America, Alaska, the Great Lakes and Mexico. Upon acquiring Victory Cruise Lines in 2018, they are deploying two expedition boats as well.
Before leaving, we got the news we’ve been waiting for: Following the lead of other cruise lines, as of August 1 (the first day of our trip), AQV will no longer require pre-COVID testing for their river excursions. May we just say, hallelujah! Those little nasal swabs will not be missed. COVID-19 vaccination is still required for all guests and crew, and vaccination documentation must be provided prior to boarding.
The Ohio River cruises have been a relatively recent addition, and we’re looking forward to finding out what it has to offer.
Our sailing includes a pre-cruise stay at a hotel. In our case, they have booked us at the Brown, a Louisville landmark which will observe its 100th anniversary next year. It’s listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and located less than two miles from the port where’ll board American Queen.
As we are all painfully aware, air travel hasn’t been a picnic this summer, so we hope there’s no hitches as we go from Palm Beach International to Louisville, via Atlanta. Here’s hoping both us and our luggage make it safely without an unruly passenger or weather event.
As we start our voyage of discovery, please join us. Assuming the Wi-Fi gods are smiling, Pam and I will keep you posted on what we hope will be an exciting new chapter in our book of cruises.
American Queen (Courtesy of American Queen Voyages)
See sailings here American Queen Voyages Cruises (cruisecompete.com)