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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Cruise Trivia: Name the American Queen godmother

Choosing a godmother for a vessel is a great responsibility. When the boat is christened, that is the official start of the vessel’s life. For the christening of the American Queen, the event in April 2012 was celebrating not only the new launch of the vessel but also the rebirth of the legendary riverboat. Built in 1995, the American Queen was once part of a trio of  beautiful sisters. Originally owned by the Delta Queen Company, the …

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American Queen chooses Memphis for homeport

If you happen to see the American Queen cruising along one of America’s rivers, take a close look at that name beneath the big red paddlewheel. Proudly posted on the back of the riverboat is the American Queen’s new homeport – Memphis, Tennessee. “We are very happy to be the new home of the American Queen,” said Jonathan Lyons, public relation manager for the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau. “Our city officials worked hard to get that …

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Cruise Ship Trivia: Name the vessel

If you’ve ever cruised on this vessel, you might have relaxed in this very spot and watched the sun set on a beautiful day. For a bit of cruise ship trivia, see if you can recognize this popular vessel. Don’t look at the answer below until you have formulated yours. A hint: Mark Twain was fond of this form of travel. If you recognize it, good for you. If you don’t, make plans to book a cruise. …

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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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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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