'We look forward to welcoming more families and larger groups in 2018 thanks to the newly renovated suites aboard the American Queen and the loft suites aboard the American Duchess,' said Ted Sykes, president and chief operating officer.
American Queen's new family suites provide an open veranda and private sitting area for river-watching. According to the company, the amenities of these spacious, single-room suites accommodate a variety of travel needs and are ideal for families and friends.
American Duchess will operate new itineraries on the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers as well as on the Upper Mississippi and Illinois River including a nine-day Kentucky Derby-focused cruise from Louisville to Cincinnati. Other new routes include Cincinnati to Memphis, Louisville-Pittsburgh and Nashville-Chattanooga.
Pacific Northwest adventure theme cruises on American Empress offer soft-adventure activities for travelers of all ages, making an ideal family vacation. Shore excursions, such as a tandem ride on a kayak or zip-lining through towering trees, highlight the region's terrain.
The all-suite American Duchess can carry 166 passengers. The paddlewheeler, whose superstructure was rebuilt in 2017, features some loft suites, single-seating dining and entertainment venues, soaring ceilings and all the other features associated with the brand.
With 49 sailings in 2018, American Duchess will mirror the route of American Queen, showcasing the Mississippi River with new stops and overnights in ports including Nashville and Chicago.
In the Pacific Northwest the 223-passenger American Empress embarks on a fifth season beginning March 17, 2018. The vessel plies the Columbia and Snake rivers, affording visits to attractions like Multnomah Falls, Mount St. Helens and the Walla Walla Wine Trail. Some 39 sailings are offered between Vancouver, Washington (just across the river from Portland, Oregon), and Clarkston, Washington. Highlights include five-day round-trips that bookend the 2018 season and the adventure theme cruises taking place in July.
American Queen, meanwhile, will sail between New Orleans and Memphis, visiting destinations along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Embarking on a seventh season on Feb. 19, 2018, the authentic paddlewheel steamboat highlights history such as the antebellum South, music of the 1950s and '60s and the Civil War. Forty-two sailings are offered.
Nine-day cruises on American Queen are priced starting at $1,999, while American Empress fares begin at $2,399 and American Duchess fares at $2,699. All nine-day journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and other amenities.