American Empress: Little sister to the American Queen

When I was invited to join the inaugural cruise of the American Empress from Spokane, Washington to Portland, Oregon in early April, I jumped at the opportunity to experience the rebirth of the riverboat formerly known as the Empress of the North. The classic paddlewheeler had been laid up since 2008, when her former owner, the Majestic America Line, went bankrupt. After being purchased by the American Queen Steamboat Company from the U.S. Maritime Administration, the 223-passenger …

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The American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Empress christened by godmother Claudette Waggoner

American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Empress was christened in downtown Portland, Ore. The 223-guest riverboat, the largest west of the Mississippi River,  officially joins the company’s fleet with the Memphis-based American Queen. Claudette Waggoner, wife of chairman and CEO John Waggoner, is the godmother of the American Empress and broke a bottle of local sparkling wine on the boat’s hull culminating the ceremonial festivities. Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, longtime leader for the U.S. maritime industry …

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The American Empress to kick off wine program with Oregon’s Willamette Valley Vineyards

In celebration of the American Empress inaugural season and her itineraries through the heart of Oregon and Washington wine country, the American Queen Steamboat Company announces an innovative wine program featuring over 40 vineyards from across the region. Special tastings, visits to wineries and onboard winemaker lectures are among the program highlights.  To kick off the christening voyage and VIP celebration on April 5, Willamette Valley Vineyards has been selected as the first featured vineyard. “We are …

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The American Empress to call Vancouver, Washington home and headquarters

The American Queen Steamboat Company announces its second vessel, the 223-guest American Empress, which will make Vancouver, Wash. her home port. The largest riverboat west of the Mississippi, she will officially join the fleet’s Memphis-based American Queenon April 5, 2014. In addition, the company is pleased to announce that its Pacific Northwest office will also be based in the southwest Washington city of Vancouver U.S.A., just across the Columbia River from Portland, Ore. “We are delighted to …

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Godmother Claudette Waggoner and former transportation secretary Ray LaHood to lead American Empress christening

The  American Queen Steamboat Company announces christening ceremony details for the U.S riverboat owner and operator’s second vessel. The 223-guest American Empress, the largest riverboat west of the Mississippi, will officially join the fleet with the American Queen on April 5, 2014. Claudette Waggoner, wife of Chairman and CEO John Waggoner, will serve as godmother and officially name the vessel as part of the festivities in downtown Portland, Ore. Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, longtime leader …

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The American Queen Steamboat Company closes on purchase of American Empress

The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the U.S-flagged American Queen, announces the closing on financing and full ownership of its second vessel, the American Empress.  The company entered into a purchase agreement of the 223-guest riverboat with the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) in May 2013 and has had a team onboard preparing for her April 2014 launch on the Columbia and Snake River.  All documents were signed by MARAD and American Queen Steamboat Company …

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The American Queen Steamboat Company announces details on American Empress Experience: Pacific Northwest voyages begin April 2014

The American Queen Steamboat Company, will launch its newly  refurbished the American Empress on her maiden voyage departing Portland, Ore. on April 5, 2014.  The nine-day journey aboard the largest and most elegant riverboat west of the Mississippi River will immerse guests in the splendor of the Columbia and Snake Rivers featuring stops to some of the region’s most celebrated ports including Astoria, Ore.; Stevenson, Wash.; The Dalles, Ore.; Sacajawea State Park, Wash.; and finally Clarkston, Wash.  …

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American Queen Steamboat Company Announces Partnership with National Trust for Historic Preservation

This week, the American Queen Steamboat Company announced a partnership with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, pledging to make a corporate donation of five dollars to the National Trust for every river cruise booking.  They will also offer their guests the chance to make a matching donation. Beginning June 30, 2013, the company will begin to promote the work of historic preservation professionals in both onboard and onshore demonstrations of preservation concepts and techniques.  Passengers aboard the American Queen will …

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