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American Queen's 2016 includes first full Mississippi runs

American Queen's 2016 includes first full Mississippi runs
The American Queen Steamboat Co.'s 2016 sailing schedule features American Queen's first sailings the full length of the Mississippi River, from St. Paul, Minn. to New Orleans. And, in the Pacific Northwest, American Empress will continue for a third season on the Columbia and Snake rivers.

The two full Mississippi itineraries are available to book in their entirety or as segments. There will also be more Lower Mississippi sailings than before.

The American Queen steamboat's 2016 season will begin Feb. 21 with a New Orleans round-trip followed by the first of 28 voyages between Memphis and the Crescent City throughout the year. There will be 31 Lower Mississippi cruises on this stretch between the two cities or round-trip New Orleans.

The full-length Mississippi voyage will begin in St. Paul on Aug. 7 and conclude in New Orleans Sept. 5, followed by the same itinerary up river. American Queen will operate eight Upper Mississippi voyages between St. Louis and St. Paul and return to the Cumberland River with two cruises including Nashville, Tenn.

Other sailings feature the Ohio River with itineraries between Cincinnati and St. Louis with a stop at Paducah, Ky.

Beginning March 19 through Nov. 27, American Empress will return to the Columbia and Snake rivers with nine-day sailings between Clarkston and Vancouver, Wash.

Stops include Astoria and The Dalles in Oregon and Stevenson and Richland in Washington. Shore excursions to key sites are included at every port, while extra-charge premium experiences are available such as the Walla Walla Wine Trail or a journey to the volcanic crater of Mount St. Helens.

Per person, double-occupancy fares begin at $2,799 on the American Queen and $3,999 on the American Empress and include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, wine and beer with dinner and other amenities.