A Special AQSC Thanksgiving

River Views™, a River Cruise Blog

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Thanksgiving is a time when people all over the United States sit down with their friends and families and not only share a meal, but also their gratitude for the blessings they have in their lives. In many ways, it is a shame that we most often take time to reflect on all that is positive only once a year when, of course, we should be exercising that same introspection each and every day. Onboard our Thanksgiving river cruise aboard the celebrated American Queen this week, our guests are no different than any of you reading this blog at home. They are sitting down to thoughtfully prepared meals and giving thanks for family, friends, health, happiness and success.

When was the last time you were overwhelmed with nature’s beauty, the kindness of strangers or the wonder of exploration? When was the last time you felt gratitude welling up inside you and thanked your lucky stars you were where you were, doing what you were doing, at the exact moment you were doing it? If you are aboard the American Queen as you read these words, you can probably think back to no more than a few hours ago. If you are reading this blog from home, it has likely been weeks, if not months, since you lost yourself in a feeling of contentment and gratitude at life’s smallest gifts.

It’s easy to see why river cruises on the American Queen, especially thanksgiving cruises during the holidays, engender such happiness. Each morning, we wake to an alarm, hit the snooze button, shower, and dress, prepare for a day and dive into the tasks at hand. This morning on the American Queen, guests arose when they felt like it, but those whose natural internal alarms brought them to their feet before sunrise were treated to a special gift. Sitting on a rocking chair, the banks of the river were just barely visible in the early morning purple mist. Imagine yourself there right now. A warm cup of chicory coffee in hand and plate of beignets by your side, you watch as the sun slowly creeps above the horizon, the mist melting away and long shadows of the new day’s promise extending across the landscape. The river glides by below almost silently thanks to the mighty paddlewheel located more than 400 feet away at the stern. It is moments like these that we all want to give thanks for having been blessed with yet another day on this glorious planet.

Later that morning, you might be enjoying a game of cards in the wood-paneled mahogany splendor of the Mark Twain Gallery with a couple you just met last night during pre-dinner cocktails in the Captain’s Bar. Though your hand might not be the best, you know that you have already won; these people are sure to be lifelong friends. Your gratitude at having met kindred spirits makes you reflect what a blessing all your friends, both those from the past and those that you have yet to meet, truly are in a world where many people barely acknowledge one another’s existence. There is just something about the atmosphere aboard the American Queen during a Thanksgiving cruise that brings out the best in everyone.

As Thanksgiving Day on the world’s largest and last authentic steam-powered paddlewheel riverboat unfolds, you find more and more reasons to give thanks. Perhaps it is because your favorite family staple, bourbon-chocolate pecan pie is available at lunch. Maybe the immaculate manner in which your attendant has made up your stateroom causes you to gush with praise as she gives you a hearty smile upon passing in the hallway. It could be the fortunate feeling you have as you receive a massage in the Spa, listen to a tale by one of our onboard Riverlorians in the Chart Room, or take your turn at the keyboard of the mighty calliope. And as for the exquisitely-prepared, tantalizing Thanksgiving dinner in the J.M. White Dining Room, while the social highlight of the day, is really just another moment to feel gratitude for the generous moments of happiness that life has bestowed upon you and, of course, all of us here at American Queen Steamboat Company.

Happy Thanksgiving!