A message from our Chairman and CEO:

At American Queen Steamboat Company, our guiding principle has always been dedication to our customers through outstanding service from a knowledgeable, enthusiastic team, with top-of-mind safety awareness and a focus on environmental and social responsibility. From our flagship vessel, the American Queen, to the rest of our growing fleet, we are deeply proud of our boats and the amazing journeys they provide.

My lifelong love of sailing led to a bachelor’s degree in marine biology – and later an MBA – from California Polytechnic State University. As director of marine operations for Hornblower Dining Yachts’ fleet of 29 dinner-cruise vessels, I longed to start my own business, and opening Hornblower Marine Services in 1994 gave me a deep sense of accomplishment and personal pride.

That business, now called HMS Global Maritime, has grown over the decades from one employee to more than 860 and we are pleased to have been recognized numerous times for that sustained growth. We were named among Louisville Business First’s Fast 50 and a finalist for its Business of the Year Award for several consecutive years. HMS Global Maritime has also made the Inc. 5000 list a number of times, won a One Southern Indiana ONE Award for Business of the Year, secured various Travvy Awards – most recently 2019 Best River Cruise Line, U.S. – and acquired numerous other accolades, each of which we appreciate and cherish.

Being able to purchase and renovate the American Queen – a true icon of this nation’s rivers – and launch her in April 2012 made this lifelong mariner’s dream a reality. The successive launches of her sisters, the American Empress, American Duchess and, coming in 2020, the American Countess, mean just as much, and the dream continues to flourish through the hard work and dedication of some of the most talented people in the industry.

My team and I do what we do because we love boats, and genuinely relish the opportunity to allow people to experience cruising in the most elegant and comfortable accommodations with attentive, personal service that will leave them with memories to last a lifetime. With a variety of itineraries and sailing dates, a river cruise on any of our gorgeous vessels offers a perspective of this great country like no other. Give us a call or contact your travel agent to learn what amazing opportunities await out on those rivers, and come to share our passion for this unique and enriching travel experience.
John W. Waggoner,
Chairman and CEO,
American Queen Steamboat Company


First-time cruisers, earn $300 on board credit per stateroom!

Come explore America's rich history with us on a uniquely American River Cruise. Valid on any available April through June 2019 itinerary.

What you can use onboard credits for:

- Premium experiences
- Ultimate Beverage Package or additional premium bar purchases
- Gift shop purchases​


Featured Voyages

American Queen

Jun. 16 | Antebellum South

Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history and soak in the romantic spirit of the antebellum era. Memory flows deep and sentiment eddies and swirls along the Lower Mississippi River. Revitalized river towns, historic mansions and Civil War battlefields transport travelers back in time on this momentous voyage.

FARES FROM: $2,299 per person*


American Empress


Apr. 28

Nowhere is the timelessness of rivers more apparent than in the pristine Pacific Northwest – a captivating corner of America that boasts its awe-inspiring, natural beauty to leave you breathless. Cruise past fertile fields, impressive mountains and vertical canyons to bear witness to the precious land just as it appeared to Lewis and Clark in 1805 – majestic and unimaginably glorious.

FARES FROM: $3,399 per person*


American Duchess

Jun. 2 | Antebellum South

Century-old oak trees, indigenous wildlife, Civil War memorials and vast plantations await you on a Lower Mississippi River cruise. Look back: each battlefield, passing landscape and epochal river town has a story to tell. Celebrate the living, breathing places where Southern culture continues to enjoy a modern-day renaissance.

FARES FROM: $2,999 per person*



What's included in your cruise fare:

Regionally Inspired Dining

Broadway-Caliber Entertainment and Enrichment

Comprehensive, Guided Shore Excursions

Authentic Paddlewheel Riverboats

Terms and conditions:
*New customers receive a $150-per-person onboard credit ($300 per stateroom) on any available April through June 2019 voyage date on the American Queen, American Empress or American Duchess. Onboard credit has no cash value, cannot be applied to gratuities or taxes and is non-transferable. Must book by 5/31/19.

Offer expires on 5/31/19 or when no valid cabins remain. No single-supplement offer is available. Offer is valid only on new, paid-in-full bookings. Full payment at time of booking is required to redeem this offer. Offer is based on cabin availability, and only while inventory lasts. Not valid on group bookings or existing reservations. Promotional fares and amenities are capacity-controlled, may vary by sailing and may be withdrawn without notice. Cruise fares quoted are in U.S. dollars, are per person and do not include government taxes and fees, port charges, gratuities, airfare, insurance, personal expenditures or transportation costs incurred while traveling to and from embarkation ports. Not responsible for errors or omissions. Additional terms and conditions may apply. Call for details, and mention offer code FIRST TIME BUYER.