American Queen Steamboat Company


A long time ago, any formal meal in a restaurant, hotel, steamship, riverboat or train was a multi-course affair. In today’s world where time is of the essence, the concept has gone the way of the dodo bird, for the most part. Here at the American Queen Steamboat Company we are committed to recreating a simple, more elegant time in travel with all the amenities and style of a contemporary boutique hotel. However, the idea of 8 or 10 courses for each meal is no longer appropriate today. While we have wonderful multi-course meals featuring local fresh ingredients with a contemporary flair added to traditional recipes, even we have had to reign things in a bit to four or five courses.

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We have to admit that we’re having a ball operating the American Queen. The response and feedback from our guests have been phenomenal but there is always a recurrent theme. As much as everyone likes tradition, they also want us to try new things now and then. Well, we didn’t just hear you, we listened. That’s why in 2014 we scheduled voyages that will place the American Queen in Pittsburgh on the Fourth of July for the very first time. The past few years, she has spent the day in St. Louis but both you and the American Queen Steamboat Company decided it was time for a change.

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Some people view the Mississippi River as just a river. They look it as a geographic feature of extraordinary size but as nothing more than a collection of facts and figures. Some travel companies that specialize in trips on or along the Mighty Mississippi view it as more than that. They see it as a destination unto itself and an integral part of their business plans.

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It’s official: the 223-guest American Empress, the largest riverboat in the Pacific Northwest, has joined the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet. She was named on Saturday and is currently in the midst of her nine-day maiden voyage showing guests the majesty of the Columbia and Snake Rivers. She sailed from Vancouver, Wash. across the Columbia River from downtown Portland. Featured stops include Astoria, Ore.; Stevenson, Wash.; The Dalles, Ore.; Sacajawea State Park, Wash. and finally Clarkston, Wash.

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Most likely, you’ve planned at least one big party in your life. Probably more. It might be a wedding, a retirement party, a wedding anniversary, or a milestone birthday. If so, then you know the stress and pressure you felt. Now, take that party, elevate it 100-fold, invite the media and key dignitaries and you come a bit closer to understanding what’s been going on behind the scenes at the American Queen Steamboat Company this week as we prepare for the American Empress Christening Celebration this Saturday. Did we mention that while there are a variety of ways to celebrate a birthday, anniversary or wedding, the weight of thousands of years of maritime history is behind the christening of a river vessel? Man has been building ships for millennia and the tradition of naming each one is as revered as the ships and riverboats themselves.

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