5 Tips for First Time River Cruisers

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog



Have you been considering U.S. river cruises, but aren't sure which one is right for you? Riverboat cruises are a unique way to explore America's waterways and discover the picturesque towns that have sprung up alongside them. At American Queen Steamboat Company, we offer a wide variety of cruises tailored to suit different interests. Now is the best time to book a ticket. However, if you're a first time cruiser you may not know all the tips to get the most out of the experience. So we've put together these five tips for taking an American River cruise.


1. Book Early for Big Savings

It's no secret that booking early can give you access to the best deals. At American Queen Steamboat Company, we offer an extensive range of savings for early bookings. You can find savings of up to $1,800 per stateroom on certain routes. Another advantage of booking early is that it gives you plenty of time to plan an extended vacation in one of the ports, which brings us to the next tip.


2. Extend Your Vacation in the Port

Scenic river cruises begin and end at major port cities including Memphis, New Orleans, and Chicago. Those places are amazing destinations in their own right, and many of our cruisers want to explore them further. That's why we offer City Stay packages. Our packages vary but may include accommodations, breakfasts, and tours of local attractions. You can book for before or after your cruise. This option lets you extend your trip and experience the magical musical scene of Memphis, the history and vibrant culture of New Orleans, and more.



3. Research What is Included

Each vessel and each cruise offer different experiences, so you'll want to do a little research to know what you can expect. Get an itinerary of the included excursions and, look up the local weather before the departure date so you'll know what to pack. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us and one of our friendly staff will be happy to help you. Your booked cruise will typically include onboard meals, porterage, and transfers. Other amenities vary by the vessel and cruise.


4. Hit the Shore With Fun Excursions

Shore excursions are what really make our cruises stand out. We have created itineraries customized for each cruise theme, whether it's the Bourbon Trail or searching out America's best music. Our packages feature included and premium excursions. The premium options cost extra but are well worth it. Through these, you get VIP treatment and exclusive access to attractions and sights that aren't usually on a typical tour itinerary. They can really enhance your cruise experience.



5. Choose the Right Vessel

Each of our vessels have their own unique character and offers different amenities. You can choose the right vacation experience, whether you want a nostalgic journey through golden eras past or modern comforts and décor.


Our Vessels

The American Duchess - A charming, traditionally styled paddleboat that includes modern amenities and décor.
The American Queen® - The largest steamboat ever built, this vessel offers an amazing variety of onboard entertainment in opulent surroundings.
The American Empress® - A paddleboat with nostalgic décor that combines classical elegance with an impressive collection of historical artifacts.


River Cruises for First Timers

Taking a cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company is a fun, exciting adventure. To make the most of it:
  • Book early.
  • Explore the ports.
  • Do your research.
  • Hit the shore.
  • Choose your vessel.
We're looking forward to seeing you on deck. Contact us today to book a cruise or find out more!