The launch of American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC)’s newest riverboat, the American Duchess, is coming up quickly. The line is hard at work stripping the former gambling boat down to her hull, completely changing her layout and rebuilding it from the ground-up into one of the most lavish and luxurious riverboats in the United States.
The line promises that the all-suite American Duchess will be the first of her kind on the waterways of America, with grand, soaring ceilings, single-seating dining and entertainment, unique loft suites, and the line’s signature oversized red paddlewheel mounted at her stern.
American Duchess offers suites that range from 180 square feet to 550 square feet, among the largest such accommodations on the waterways of America. A total of five separate cabin categories are offered, including economical Inside Suites; spacious Veranda Suites with private balcony; Deluxe Suites that measure 450 square feet apiece; 550 square foot Loft Suites; and the ship’s three 550-square-foot Owner’s Suites.
While Owner’s Suites offer the maximum amount of space both inside and out (verandas wrap around the bow of the ship and are situated just below the Pilot House), it is the new Loft Suites aboard American Duchess that are likely to be among the most popular types of accommodations.
A first for a U.S.-based riverboat, these loft suites will feature a full bathroom and a small dining room and lounge section located on the lower level. The upper level will feature a semi-private bedroom, another full bathroom, and generous closet space. It’s just one of the many ways that the American Queen Steamboat Company is changing the way people think of river cruising in the United States.
Itineraries along the Lower Mississippi range from five days to nine days between Memphis and New Orleans, with a few trips roundtrip New Orleans. Themes ranges from Antebellum South to A Taste Of The True South to Creole Christmas and take in all of the iconic cities along the Lower Mississippi.
From Memphis to New Orleans, the river rolls slowly and expansively. The bayous and woodlands along the shore create dramatic landscapes that are virtually unchanged since the days of the French fur traders. Gracious towns with palatial mansions and tree-lined streets abound. History is everywhere – in silent Civil War cemeteries, in the soulful gospel blues of Helena and virtually everywhere you turn in Memphis, best known for jazz, barbecue, and of course The King of Rock and Roll and his home at Graceland.
Like all AQSC cruises, pre-cruise stays gives guests time to explore their surroundings before setting off on their riverboat adventure. Representatives are stationed at the hotel to provide local information, restaurant suggestions, advice on must-see attraction, and customized touring advice based on guests’ personal interests.