6 Traditions That Make Our Holiday River Cruises Unforgettable

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog

Plan now to escape the chaotic crowds of the holiday season, and instead enter the oasis of the gracious and elegant world of river cruising for a uniquely American experience that you will not soon forget. Decked out in elegant finery, with lighted garlands, glittering trees, mouthwatering holiday cuisine, and memorable Southern traditions, the American Queen® and American Duchess™ offer holiday river cruises like none other.
The heartwarming ambiance onboard is unmatched, making you feel so welcome, so at home, and just like family while affording you the opportunity to become acquainted with the best of the antebellum South and classic traditions of the Cajun and Creole cultures.
Here are the top reasons you should choose to spend a portion of your holiday season on a cruise on the Mississippi River aboard the American Queen or the American Duchess:


All that glitters is gold aboard the American Queen and the American Duchess. Imagine twinkling lights and captivating, festive trees adorned with enchanting ornaments, exquisitely wrapped gift boxes perfectly placed beneath their branches. These vessels are floating winter wonderlands that stir the soul of the child inside us all.


Dining onboard the American Queen or American Duchess is always a treat, but our epicurean delights take a turn for the extra-special during this awe-inspiring time of year – from hors d’oeuvres to desserts – and you can leave all the cooking and cleanup to our gracious, all-American culinary and service staff. Just sit back, count your blessings, and delight in the deliciousness of it all.


If you could have all the sentimental music, caroling, and singalongs that make the holidays special, and combine them with brilliant performances from our stellar professional entertainers, then you would be imagining life onboard one of our stunning vessels. You may also encounter a screening of a classic holiday film in one of our grand theaters, or perhaps cookie decorating in one of our more casual dining venues.
Other entertainment options get your creative juices flowing as guests enjoy competing for fun prizes as they display their skills at decorating – from gingerbread houses and cookies to ornaments to their very own cabin doors!

Social Interaction

Friends are quickly made aboard American Queen Steamboat Company vessels, and throughout your journey, you will have the opportunity to spend time having fun and making memories as you engage in daily activities such as Bingo, seasonal trivia, a scavenger hunt, Match Game, Liar’s Club, and more. It’s even better if you have brought your family along to share in the fun!

Exclusive Nottoway Plantation Celebration

Enjoy the holidays in one of the most lavish and luxurious settings the South has to offer. Enter the stunning White Ballroom in the Louisiana attraction, where a spectacular performance re-creates the extravagant Southern balls attended there during the planation era. You will then make your way to Nottoway’s beautiful Randolph Ballroom for mouthwatering hors d’oeuvres or decadent desserts and a lively holiday gala.
As you make your way back to the vessel, take pleasure in the time-honored tradition of ceremonial bonfires along the levee, which extend a warm and mesmerizing glow across the waters of the Mississippi River. Spend the remainder of the night onboard dancing and singing to your favorite holiday classics!
We are proud to note that Nottoway Plantation’s dock is used exclusively by American Queen Steamboat Company. Nottoway Plantation is a special place that will live in your memory always.

Christmas Markets

Our exclusive lineup of regional Christmas markets offers a little something for everyone, including music, seasonal goods, and locally produced arts and crafts, perfect for gift-giving.
Make our home your home for the holidays and see why people of all ages choose to take their holiday cruise with American Queen Steamboat Company during this magical time of year.

Find the perfect holiday river cruise for you by searching our website or calling our friendly reservations team!