American Queen Steamboat Company announced plans today to launch a new river ship in June 2017, American Duchess. The 166-passenger paddle wheeler will join the Memphis-based company’s two other river ships, American Queen and American Empress, to sail itineraries on the Mississippi River. The ship will overnight in major ports, including Nashville — a first for the line.
American Duchess will sail round-trip cruises from Nashville as well as New Orleans. Other itineraries include Chicago to St. Louis and Memphis to St. Louis, and the ship will do everything from short five-day sailings to a 23-day cruise on the Mississippi.
Though not completely new (it was built in 1995), the all-suite ship will be completely restructured before it launches, adding seven 550-square foot suites that can sleep up to four and two restaurants serving regional dishes.
Like other American Queen ships, American Duchess will include some extras, including a hotel stay before the cruise, shore excursions, and complimentary drinks with dinner. Themes for the new ship's sailings haven’t been announced yet, but the line is known for cruises that focus on American history and culture, such as bourbon-tasting cruises or trips that focus on the Nashville music scene.