Luxury riverboat operator American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) Invites Guests to Join for an 23-day Cruise from New Orleans, LA to Red Wing, MN

  Luxury riverboat operator American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) invites guests to join for an 23-day cruise from New Orleans, LA to Red Wing, MN June 23- July 15, 2019 onboard the American Queen, exploring America’s storybook towns and vibrant bustling cities. This voyage is packed with special events, such as blues by Memphis legend Joyce Cobb and her band, a solo cabaret by Glenn Springs and a homespun show by Dave Para and Cathy Barton featuring …

Read moreLuxury riverboat operator American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) Invites Guests to Join for an 23-day Cruise from New Orleans, LA to Red Wing, MN

The American Empress on the Columbia River

As a self-confessed history buff – especially of American history – I knew I would love it: An eight-day scenic cruise on the Columbia and Snake Rivers between the states of Washington and Oregon aboard the American Empress. This was the scene of so much adventure in 1805-06 when the Lewis and Clark Expedition sought to open up this part of the country and form a bond between the federal government in the east and some of …

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Aboard American Empress: If it’s Friday, it must be Kennewick – or Pasco, or Richland

ABOARD AMERICAN EMPRESS-This was our last day on ilch’eeahwana, the local Native American word meaning “the big river.”  (Sounds like “ill-cheat-gee-wanna.”) The American Empress is parked in Richland at the confluence of the Columbia and the Snake Rivers, and unfortunately I didn’t learn the local word for the Snake. The exact point where this union happened is now occupied by the Sacajawea State Park. The wonderful little free museum there has much intriguing information about the Lewis …

Read moreAboard American Empress: If it’s Friday, it must be Kennewick – or Pasco, or Richland

Aboard the American Empress: Showboat

ABOARD THE AMERICAN EMPRESS—I’m here to tell you that this ungainly looking river vessel with its fake smoke stacks and barely functioning paddle wheel has managed to come up with a fair number of pleasant surprises. As a veteran of more than 60 cruises, I swear to you this one has collectively the friendliest and probably the happiest crew I have ever seen. And a second positive aspect I gradually became aware of is how well it …

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Aboard American Empress: Visiting Stevenson, Washington

ABOARD THE AMERICAN EMPRESS—On Wednesday many of the cruisers on the Columbia River Gorge met Janet. Actually she was much more under the river than on it. Our Victorian-style paddle wheeler docked at a rather rustic-looking Washington town named Stevenson. Once more on the free hop-off, hop-on bus, we stopped at the Bonneville Lock and Dam, the same complex we had passed through on Tuesday. Some cruisers proceeded along the top to overlook the locks. We joined …

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Aboard American Empress: Tuesday on the Columbia River

ABOARD AMERICAN EMPRESS–Tuesday on the Columbia River – Throughout our third day today, our paddlewheeler was followed by a great white ghost. The snowy pyramid form of Mount Hood seemed to be always hovering in the back yards of all the forests and towns on the Oregon side while we progressed smoothly along the river. Many cruisers arose at 6 then made their way to the top-deck River Grill for “Locks and Lox,” a special breakfast to …

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Aboard the American Empress: We wake to fog in Astoria

ABOARD THE AMERICAN EMPRESS-Monday night on the Columbia River—Our morning curtains opened to nothing but bright fog today. Allegedly our boat had arrived at the historic town of Astoria, Oregon, where the river meets the ocean in a never-ending contest of wind and waves. The paddle wheeler was quiet and safe, but we couldn’t see a thing through the haze. After breakfast, sunny details quickly began to emerge through the atmosphere, and we boarded one of the …

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Aboard the American Empress: We begin our trip in Portland

ABOARD AMERICAN EMPRESS-Sunday night on the Columbia River – My wife and I flew into Portland, Oregon yesterday and taxied across the river ($40) to reach a hotel in Vancouver, Washington. Our first night of the American Empress experience was actually a recently refurbished Hilton, which served as a sort of land-based rallying point for cruisers and some crew members. The Empress herself was already resting at a nearby dock, her paddle wheels immobile for the time …

Read moreAboard the American Empress: We begin our trip in Portland

Rolling on the River-Preparing for a cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers

Sara and I are not precisely sure what to expect on our upcoming cruise. My wife and I are veterans of many an ocean voyage. Either she or I or both of us can count as many as 60, covering nearly all parts of the globe and always far from our home in the U.S.A. But this one will be different — a river cruise, and one not one flowing in an exotic location like the Danube, …

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American Empress cuisine puts spotlight on Pacific Northwest

The American Queen Steamboat Company has  introduced a new culinary program onboard the American Empress, which began her inaugural season April 5, 2014. Staying true to her Pacific Northwest surroundings, the culinary team is taking full advantage of the region’s freshest seafood and produce including sustainable fish, free-range chicken and artisan cheeses along with seasonal fruits and vegetables.  In addition, guests have the opportunity to taste the top local beers, wines and liquors as the vessel passes …

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