At this time of the year, most of the talk about short cruises revolves around getting away to places like the Caribbean or Mexico; voyages operated aboard big ships carrying thousands of passengers.
To be sure, January is a quiet time for quick river cruises – but not for American Queen Steamboat Company, which has some great last-minute short voyages aboard their brand-new American Duchess in store for late December and early January.
These short cruises are the perfect fit for those who want to try something different, but without the full commitment of a seven (or even 10) day voyage. Not only are they less expensive, but the fact that these short cruises range in length between five and six days means that it’s easier to book one of these quick sailings without fear of being away from home or work for too long.
First up, a six-day New Year’s Eve celebration departing on December 28, 2017. Sailing roundtrip from New Orleans, this short cruise aboard the American Duchess is a great way to ring in the start of the New Year.
Stopping in Oak Alley and Nottoway, Louisiana, this quick voyage cruises through the heart of the Antebellum south, with all the imagery of grand old mansions and plantations that that conjures up. A full day of exploration in each port, with included, complimentary shore excursion options, allows guests to discover these two unique locales at their leisure.
Back onboard, there is time to sail the Mississippi and enjoy the splendors of the American Duchess, from her finely-appointed public rooms to her spacious open decks.
Then, it’s off to sing Auld Lang Syne and toast champagne as the clock strikes midnight. Aboard the American Duchess, American Queen Steamboat Company puts on a full New Year’s Eve Gala, complete with confetti, champagne, and live music, all situated in the ship’s elegant surroundings.
Ringing in the New Year is a special occasion, but the chance to do it while cruising the Mighty Mississippi in the opulent grandeur of yesteryear is a real event. Similar to the river cruises through Europe’s Christmas Markets, many guests choose to do these itineraries year after year. It doesn’t take long before a one-off quick getaway cruise becomes an annual tradition.
If you miss this year’s sailing (it does, after all, depart in a little under a week’s time), you can always take part in next year’s New Year’s Eve celebration cruise. This departs aboard the American Duchess on December 30, 2018 and concludes on January 3, 2019. At five nights in duration, this roundtrip New Orleans voyage features a full day of scenic cruising on the mighty Mississippi before stopping in Nott0way and St. Francisville, Louisiana.
Another short voyage departs in early January aboard the American Duchess. This five-night cruise leaves roundtrip from New Orleans on January 4, 2018, returning on January 8.
On this voyage, say hello to the New Year with a quick cruise through the Antebellum south. American Duchess calls on St. Francisville and Nott0way, Louisiana, where both included and premium (extra cost) shore excursion options are offered.
One of the latter is a fascinating tour of the Angola Penitentiary. A former plantation, it has been featured in Hollywood blockbusters like Dead Man Walking, and like many areas of the South, boasts a dark and often troubling history.
Today, however, Angola has been transformed from one of the most dangerous prisons in the country into a productive one, with over five million pounds of produce grown and harvested by inmates each year. A model facility, it takes great pride in the faith-based rehabilitation of its inmates, many of whom will never regain their freedom.
At the conclusion of this interesting excursion, guests will have the chance to hear enlightening stories from current inmates about their past, and their transformations while at Angola.
Of course, the simple pleasures of sailing down the Mississippi are never far from reach aboard the American Duchess, which brings Mark Twain’s legendary tales of riverboating to life for a new generation to enjoy.
If these voyages don’t fit the bill, additional short cruises are offered throughout the year aboard American Queen Steamboat Company’s flagship, the grand American Queen.
These encounters may be brief, but the memories they create will last a lifetime.