Our Themed Voyages
Vineyards, Vintages and Varietals
Inspire your palate with extraordinary wines of the Washington and Oregon regions on our “Vineyards, Vintages and Varietals” themed cruises. Our thoughtfully prepared wine cruises along the Columbia River bring the flavors of the vineyard to you in more ways than one. While cruising amidst the natural beauty of the region, you will have the opportunity to meet with local wine makers for exclusive tastings and pairings of their celebrated, hand-selected wines and get acquainted with the nuances of traditional wine-making. In addition to these special onboard tastings, pairings and lectures from partnering wineries, our award-winning chefs will incorporate local wines of the region into a variety of culinary creations throughout each voyage. Enjoy a wealth of onboard enrichment activities that will expose you to the history, culture, and landscapes that have contributed to each mouthwatering aroma, bite and sip. Not to be left out, we will also feature specialty coffees from this region known for its local roasters, as well as the products of several local craft breweries. If you have ever dreamed of experiencing America’s Pacific Northwest wine country, there is no better venue than on the river aboard the exquisite American Empress.
The Mighty Mississippi: Full-Length Mississippi River Voyage
Have you ever wondered what this country looked like to its early explorers and pioneers? Traveling on the Mighty Mississippi and its tributaries aboard the iconic American Queen or the all-suite American Duchess, you will be transported back in time to an era of leisurely and romantic travel. Storybook American towns and vibrant, bustling cities provide a bit of excitement between peaceful fields of gold, majestic, soaring mountains and high bluffs which inspired the works of Mark Twain. There is no better way to see America than from the perspective of the river, for the river has played a tremendous role in the shaping of this beautiful country and the lives of the people who inhabit it. After extensively cruising amidst the charms and gracious style of our unique vessels, you will forever be changed.
Holiday - Christmas Markets
Amid the glittering elegance of an American Queen holiday cruise is a seasonal spirit larger than life. Experience the best of the Antebellum South during a magical time of the year and delight in all of your favorite holiday treats while getting acquainted with the classic traditions of the Cajun and Creole cultures. Sip a glass of eggnog as you listen to the sweet sound of local choirs and bands serenade the American Queen upon departure from the enchanting ports of Vicksburg and Natchez. Receive a warm welcome from strolling carolers upon arrival to charming St. Francisville. Our exclusive lineup of Christmas markets offers a little something for everyone including music, seasonal goods and locally produced crafts for you to enjoy. You will also delight in a traditional Southern Ball performance followed by an elegant four-course meal at Nottoway Plantation. Your evening concludes with a grand Holiday Gala aboard the American Queen.
Make our home your home for the holidays...
Get “in the mood” for our sensational Big Band voyages and embark on a musical journey unlike any other. Touching on the distinctive, popular periods of the genre from the early 1930s to the late 1940s, special performances by our extraordinary American Queen ensemble, along with the 13-piece orchestra “The Great American Swing Band,” will play the tunes you know so well all in the original arrangements that made them legendary. Benny Goodman once said that Glenn Miller was so popular because his music had mass appeal, but that could just as well be said of all bands of the time. And it is as true today as it was back then. This is the iconic sound that kept people dancing through a depression and a war. Today, although times have changed, this is the music that can lift the human spirit, span the generations and bring everyone together - both the young and the young at heart. Each evening offers the opportunity to dance and swing to your heart's content with our dance hosts, so if you are a fan of the big band era, this is a sentimental journey you do not want to miss.
Discover America Mark Twain style...from the perspective of the river. As it is along the great Mississippi and its tributaries that Mark Twain discovered his own undying fascination with and love for America. Many would argue that Samuel Clemens, best known by his pen name Mark Twain, is quite simply one of America's greatest authors. On this magnificent journey along the Upper Mississippi River, you will delve deep into the life and work of Samuel Clemensas you witness his legendary words and wit brought to life onboard by an expert tribute artist who will leave you with the lasting impression that you just had an in-depth conversation with the legendary author himself. Our included Hop-on Hop-off tours allow you to explore Twain's childhood hometown of Hannibal, Missouri; the town from where much of the inspiration for his beloved classics such as The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is derived. You will not want to miss this opportunity to share the Mississippi River with Mark Twain.
Enjoy a whole new list of things to be thankful for with this special holiday cruise on the American Queen. Whether you fancy a traditional turkey dinner with all of the trimmings or perhaps something a bit different to change up your holiday on the river, your dining experience will be equally delightful! As you travel the lower Mississippi River, you will encounter gracious towns, explore stunning plantations and palatial mansions, delve into the rich storied past of the Civil War and soak in the romantic spirit of the Antebellum era. Surrounded by new friends onboard with the river rolling by, savor a delectable Thanksgiving meal, partake in festive enrichment activities, settle in the Grand Saloon for fabulous nightly entertainment and so much more. Choose to make our home your home for a uniquely American Thanksgiving holiday.
Our Bourbon themed cruise offers you a rare opportunity to experience an extraordinary journey through America’s heartland and into the roots of Kentucky’s bourbon region. This special themed voyage will take you behind the scenes and into the history books to show you where bourbon comes from, how it is made and the ways to distinguish the unique characteristics of different distilleries. While onboard, you can enjoy all things bourbon with special tastings, treats, and cooking demonstrations. Both onboard and ashore, each day presents an eclectic blend of music with special musical performances, creative workshops and a wealth of enrichment that can’t be found anywhere else. This dynamic blend of historic discovery, toe-tapping entertainment and complimentary tours of the finest bourbon distilleries creates a uniquely American river cruise that you simply cannot afford to miss!
New Year's Celebration
Resolve to have more fun and greet the New Year on the American Queen. The celebration carries throughout the week, but a special New Year’s Eve gala in the marvelous Grand Saloon will enchant you with elegant decor, confetti, champagne, newfound friends and the uplifting refrains of “Auld Lang Syne.” Be one of the select few who can claim to have celebrated New Year’s Eve aboard the world’s largest and most exquisite paddlewheel riverboat.
Our Civil War themed cruises take you on an amazing journey through "the havoc of war and the battle's confusion" where historic skirmishes pitted brother against brother in a nation once divided. You will have the opportunity to delve into the tactics, both military and political, that shaped the events of the American Civil War. Learn of the Mississippi River’s strategic value as both a transportation and communication route and explore the state of the country as it was in 1866 and how it still affects us today. Watch tribute artists bring key figures to life and listen to distinguished Civil War historians offer enlightening lectures on a multitude of Civil War topics. Join us for a thought-provoking journey designed to broaden your knowledge and provide insight surrounding the times and the causes that precipitated the conflict. Each Civil War voyage pays tribute to our American history in reminding us all of the fallen soldiers who gave their lives in a war that changed our nation. Your heart will be touched and your knowledge enriched as you capture the poignancy of it all.
Experience authentic Southern culture as you journey through living history along the Lower Mississippi River where it is easy to imagine that time has stood still. From the early 1800’s until the Civil War, the country’s economy began shifting and a cotton boom made plantations the center of southern commerce. With its rich soil, warm climate and ample moisture, the land is among the most fertile in the world and agriculture flourishes. From New Orleans to Baton Rouge, all along the great River Road, sugar cane is still grown as it was a century ago. In the late 1800’s Mark Twain noted on his adventures down the mighty Mississippi that there were so many plantations and dwellings along the river that is looked like a spacious street. Towering homes lay nestled in large patches of moss-draped oak trees and still today, you can catch a glimpse of what Mark Twain once saw as you cruise along the River and then tour the historic locations and iconic plantation homes.
Life on the Mississippi
The upper reaches of the Mississippi River are rich with frontier tales of fur traders and pioneers set among picturesque geography and abundant wildlife. The region reflects the spirit of the people who worked this land even before steamboats came to the river. As Mark Twain once said, "there are all the enlivening signs of the presence of active, energetic, intelligent, prosperous, practical 19th-century populations. The people don't dream; they work." Farming, fur-trapping, lumbering and mining were at one time the lifeblood of this region. As hard as the river and the region has been worked by its people, its scenery remains enchanting and largely unspoiled. Twain's Life on the Mississippi describes this area as a paradise and you will experience it for yourself as hidden gems around each bend of the river fuel your sense of discovery and the very best of America's heartland unfolds before you.
Music of America
The great rivers of America once carried more than just the sounds of steam whistles, churning paddlewheels and splashing waters, as they also served as conduits for spreading the music of a new nation wherever the waters flowed. Discover the sights and sounds of America's rivers and the roots from which sprung a variety of musical genres as you enjoy special onboard entertainment and focused lectures highlighting the music of the regions through which you are traveling. Whether it is the sound of New Orleans "Dixieland" Jazz, the strains of the uniquely American musical art form the Delta Blues - one of the earliest styles of blues music hailing from the Mississippi Delta, the Rock and Soul of Memphis, or the homegrown Country Music melodies from Nashville, it all harmonizes with the rhythms of the river.
Experience the glory of autumn in America from the unique vantage point of the river aboard the celebrated American Queen. Each autumn, nature takes out her paintbrush and splashes vibrant colors across the land creating triumphant scenery along the Mississippi; the rolling hills and manicured farmland of the Ohio River Valley; and the timeless beauty of the Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. White church steeples poke up amidst the colorful splendor, but look deeper and you will find more than just fall foliage in all its glory. Quaint, riverside towns come alive with the bounty of the harvest and a generosity of spirit that is reflected in the unabashed smiles of the local residents who welcome you in each port.
The 50s and 60s Remembered
Grab your poodle skirt and join us onboard as we rewind the clock and take you back to the feel-good music that dominated the 1950s and 60s. While the sound of the forties Big Band era lingered into the early fifties, the emergence of artists such as Bill Haley with chart-toppers like "Rock Around the Clock" had America swinging to a whole new sound by the mid-fifties. Along with the birth of Rock and Roll emerged other musical genres like doo-wop, rhythm and blues, and country which flowed into the early sixties. The early part of the sixties, much like the previous decade, was an extension of the doo-wop sounds and poignant ballads that had led the charts in the late fifties. The baby boomers, now teenagers, loved to dance and television shows like American Bandstand influenced the popularity of dance styles like the Twist, the Swim, and the Pony just to name a few. Enjoy a trip down memory lane with our full line-up of nostalgic activities and sensational, ensemble performances by the American Queen’s brilliant entertainers. Dance, sing and relive the pop culture crazes of the fifties and sixties on this fun-loving, carefree cruise catered to the young at heart!
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to spend a week with a company Chairman and his wife? If you so, then this cruise is for you. Join American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman, John Waggoner, and his wife, Claudette, on a round-trip cruise from their hometown of Louisville, KY. Find out what they enjoy and go along with them on shore excursions in quaint towns such as Maysville, Augusta and Madison.