OUR HOLIDAY RIVER CRUISES MAKE THE SEASON BRIGHT
There is something special about the holidays. We spend most of our year focused outward on the world around us whether it is through careers, volunteer efforts or simply attending to the minutia of our daily lives. There rarely seems to be a chance to take a deep breath and truly focus on our family and friends. More importantly, we don’t often take the time to truly appreciate those we love or to look inward and count our blessings. Life always seems to be getting in the way yet, ironically, it is life itself that is such a blessing.
There are plenty of holidays that provide an opportunity to appreciate our lives and our loved ones but not only do we not often take that opportunity, most holidays incorporate such thoughts as just a small part of the overall theme. On Independence Day, we appreciate our freedoms, but do we ever look around the picnic table and be thankful for those who are close to us? Even on Thanksgiving we still only spend a few hours in that warm feeling of home and family.
It seems as though it is the time leading up to and surrounding Christmas that is the only season that truly evokes an extended reflection on our blessings and a genuine appreciation and gratitude toward our family. Christmas might be celebrated only by Christians, but the spirit of the holiday itself infuses everyone. Significant holidays of other religions, such as Hanukkah, generally fall during the weeks near the Christmas holiday. Trying to ignore the barrage of television and internet advertising, not to mention the Christmas displays in stores, the holiday sales and the lights, is impossible. Whether one celebrates Christmas or not, the omnipresent nature of the holiday makes everyone take a look at their own lives, their family, their friends and the beauty and blessings of their lives.
For most people, the holidays are a time to be at home with loved ones. It seems that most traditions in every religion revolve around the place where people live and grow, share meals, hopes and fears, and connect with one another. While that might seem, true, it is not completely the case. That doesn’t explain why so many people don’t just travel to a relative’s house for the holidays, but choose to go on vacation. What better way to understand and appreciate one’s blessing than to go to a place where all stress is relieved and negative thoughts dissolve? It focuses and clears the mind. As we relax, it seems that love and gratitude seem to flow more easily.
Aboard the American Queen, we see guests who are overflowing with gratitude to be on the world’s largest and most elegant riverboat during a time of year when everything should take on a special meaning. Holiday decorations simply look better in the midst of the Victorian décor of a riverboat. Trees seem bigger, lights seem brighter, ornaments seem shinier and the food is tastier. And there’s no denying that food is a big part of holiday traditions, ranging from turkeys with all the trimmings to rhubarb and pumpkin pies. Throw in the many nuances that give Southern cuisine its special personality and guests’ expectations are always exceeded in the American Queen’s J.M. White Dining Room.
A holiday cruise with the American Queen Steamboat Company is a celebration of life, loved ones and the daily miracles in our lives. Our staff’s smiles are even bigger during the holidays as they both serve our guests and celebrate with them. On a holiday cruise, the friendships that naturally blossom on a regular American Queen voyage burn like wildfire. On voyages at other times of years, couples might show up to the dining room with another couple in tow who they just met, wanting to sit together at dinner. We notice that during holiday voyages, that’s not the case. Instead, we see large groups of people arriving for dinner together. One couple meets another couple who befriends a single traveler who, in turn, has become close to a couple traveling with their granddaughter. Soon, they are all at dinner together and, at least for this glorious holiday voyage, they are family.
We invite you to become part of our family this holiday season. Choose from our 9-day Lower Mississippi River cruises which sail from Memphis to New Orleans and vice versa. Allow us the honor of helping you reconnect with family, make new friends and appreciate the blessings and miracles that are part of your life, each and every day.