What is New for AQSC’s River Cruises in 2017?

River Views®, a River Cruise Blog

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There is something special about anything new, especially a new year. With each one, we all find ourselves day dreaming about what is to come. It is a time for modifications and trying something new. As we are anxiously awaiting our newest adventure with the American Duchess™, we are also working on many other new features in the near future. Here are seven new things for American Queen Steamboat Company in 2017:

1. New Vessel – The American Duchess

The most prominent addition to our Uniquely American River Cruises™ is the debut of the American Duchess this summer. Our team has been working tirelessly to completely strip the once casino vessel down to the hull, reconfiguring the layout and rebuilding into a luxurious floating hotel. She will be the first of her kind on U.S. rivers featuring soaring ceilings, all-suite accommodations, single-seating dining and entertainment, a unique Loft-Suite and, of course, a big red paddlewheel.

2. New Ports – Chicago (Ottawa, IL)

The American Duchess is slightly smaller in size than the American Queen®, allowing us to begin travelling up the Illinois River to reach Chicago. While docking in the quaint town of Ottawa, IL, guests will have the chance to spend some time in the “windy city” with our included pre-cruise boutique hotel night, as well as our optional premium shore excursions and immersive, post-cruise city stay package. Also new to our list of ports of call on the Illinois River are Peru/LaSalle, IL; Peoria, IL and Beardstown, IL.

3. New Accommodations – Luxury Suites on the American Queen

The American Queen will begin her 2017 season with new Luxury Suites available. During layup this year, our team is combining eight smaller rooms to create four larger suites to fulfill demand for this type of accommodation.

4. New Dining Area – River Grill Upgraded on the American Queen

The River Grill on the American Queen is also getting a fresh, new look! It will include a larger bar, built from walnut, with a short peninsula connecting it to the calliope keyboard. The overhead is also being replaced with solid wood planks and pewter ship lights to create a cozy and intimate atmosphere in the evening.

5. New Itineraries – Roundtrip Portland, St. Louis to Chicago

The American Empress® will start and end her 2017 season with new, roundtrip Portland itineraries, carrying guests to the ports of Astoria, OR; The Dalles, OR; Stevenson, WA and Portland, OR. Other new itineraries include roundtrip Louisville and roundtrip Minneapolis cruises on the American Queen, as well as cruises between St. Louis and Chicago and roundtrip Nashville cruises on the American Duchess.

6. New Themes – Chairman’s Cruise, Musical Heritage of the Delta, Chicago Blues Cruise

If you are a looking for something different, try one of our new themed river cruises. On the American Queen, you have the rare opportunity to cruise with our Chairman and CEO, John Waggoner, and his wife, Claudette, from their home of Louisville, KY. If music peaks your interest, consider our Chicago Blues, Musical Heritage of the Delta or Big Band themed cruises.

7. New Faces – Guests and Friends

The best part of any American Queen Steamboat Company cruise is the people! We cannot wait to meet many new guests who will undoubtedly leave as friends, hear your stories and celebrate the beautiful cultures and landscapes we travel to.