Editor's note: American Queen Voyages ceased operations in February of 2024.
The thought of river cruising often conjures up images of quaint European villages passing by as you sip Champagne on the sun deck of a miniaturized cruise ship. While that notion is true, there's a whole other side of river cruising that can be experienced in America. For river cruises that offer incredible value, immersive experiences, and lavish accommodations right here in the States, consider sailing with American Queen Voyages.
Keep reading for our top six reasons to cruise with American Queen Voyages.
1. Each cruise is all-inclusive
American Queen Voyages offers all-inclusive fares — sans any hidden costs or fees. And, with rates starting at $999 per person, the all-inclusive voyage makes for a value-packed, budget-friendly vacation.
All in all, your cruise comes complete with a plethora of amenities both on and off the ship. For example, travelers can enjoy a one-night, pre-cruise hotel stay plus transfers from the hotel to the vessel. While onboard, guests are also privy to unlimited drinks (including alcohol), all meals (24-hour room service, too!), free wifi, and live entertainment. Plus, in port, cruisers can take advantage of unlimited guided tours and the use of bikes and hiking sticks for self-guided adventures.
2. There are 35 itineraries to choose from
American Queen Voyages travels along five different routes: the Lower Mississippi River, the Upper Mississippi and Illinois Rivers, the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers, the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers, and the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Each route features multiple itineraries, allowing travelers to venture into famous cities like St. Louis, Louisville, Nashville, and New Orleans. While most trips start and end in different places, some itineraries are round-trip, which may be more convenient for some travelers.
3. A strong emphasis on seasonal dining
Foodies will be delighted to know that all onboard cuisine highlights seasonal and local ingredients. And, don't worry if you have an allergy or preferred diet: The chefs are more than happy to make meals according to your needs, whether it be gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, or something else.
Each ship also boasts a wide selection of American wines, offering passengers the opportunity to try much more than a Chardonnay from California. Additionally, 24-hour room service is available for any late-night snacking needs.
4. Each ship is unique in its own way
American Queen Voyages currently has four paddlewheel vessels, each offering something special. For example, at 418 feet, American Queen is the largest steamboat to ever be built. Nightly entertainment here takes place in the Grand Saloon, which is designed to resemble a 19th-century opera house.
Meanwhile, American Countess has a portside bar with panoramic views of the surrounding scenery. Two-story loft-style rooms are available on the American Duchess, which feature floor-to-ceiling windows, a lounge, and a private dining area. Lastly, art and history buffs will want to sail aboard American Empress, which boasts an extensive collection of artwork and artifacts from Native Alaska, Russia, and the Gold Rush era.
5. Elegantly appointed staterooms
Even the smallest staterooms on American Queen Voyages are well-appointed with decent storage space, flat-screen TVs, printed wallpaper (select ships), and writing desks (also select ships). Larger balcony rooms either have an open balcony (where you will see other guests) or a private balcony (where you can enjoy the peaceful sounds of the river passing by without the peering eyes of others). If you're craving extra space, splurge on one of the suites outfitted with plush sitting areas.
6. Bucket-list-worthy excursions
One of the best parts about cruising is immersing yourself in new cultures through shore excursions. On American Queen Voyages, these excursions range from learning about blues and rock 'n' roll in Memphis to exploring Churchill Downs in Kentucky.
Most shore excursions are guided hop-on, hop-off motor coach tours, allowing travelers to see and do as much or as little as they want in each locale. Those who want a closer look at some of the highlights can book one of the premium experiences, which offer more in-depth encounters. Keep in mind that these experiences cost extra and should be booked in advance due to capacity limitations.
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