(PRESS RELEASE)_NEW ALBANY, Ind., June 17, 2020 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower® Family Company, announced a new timeline for the resumption of operations across three of its vessels for the 2020 season. The American Duchess will resume service on July 20 as previously announced. While the American Empress will suspend services through July 19, and the American Countess and American Queen will suspend services through August 8. The decision to further delay operations on the American Empress, American Countess and American Queen was made in an abundance of caution due to local regulatory compliance and ongoing governmental restrictions across ports, cities and public institutions.
“Here at AQSC, we are beyond thrilled to begin cruising again this July 20. We would like to thank our guests whose continued support, enthusiasm and excitement to sail again has continued to inspire the AQSC family,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “We hope that with this extended suspension and our ongoing work with local partners in each of the communities we visit will help bring our guests back to the river and allow us to continue offering the same high quality, extraordinary cruise experience they are desiring.”
The decision to update the 2020 season timeline follows AQSC’s recent partnership announcement with Ochsner Health, a leading Louisiana-based healthcare provider, and its new company-wide health and safety protocols. Ochsner Health will work with AQSC on implementing disease prevention and mitigation strategies across the entire AQSC fleet. A hallmark of this partnership includes real-time access to infectious disease experts within the Ochsner nation-wide telehealth system, allowing guests and crew to see a physician without leaving the safety and comfort of their stateroom. Supplementing this partnership, AQSC has relationships with regional health care providers along all of its routes and the ability to transport passengers ashore quickly and efficiently for treatment.
“Throughout this entire process, our number one priority has been and will remain the wellbeing of our guests, crew and partners,” shares John Waggoner. “With our recent Ochsner Health partnership in addition to our enhanced health and safety protocols, we look forward to welcoming guests back on board next month in July.”
Below, please find a full breakdown on each vessel and its planned timeline for resuming its 2020 operation.
The American Duchess, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, intends to resume operations with the July 20-27 Mark Twain’s Mississippi sailing from St. Louis, MO (Alton) to Minneapolis, MN (Red Wing) as previously announced.
*Please note, this itinerary begins July 19 with the pre-cruise stay in St. Louis, MO.
Updated: American Empress
The American Empress, which sails the Columbia and Snake rivers, will extend its suspension through July 19, 2020.
Updated: American Countess
the American Countess, the latest paddlewheeler to join the AQSC fleet on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, will extend its suspension through August 8, 2020.
Updated: American Queen
The iconic American Queen, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, will extend its suspension through August 8, 2020.
AQSC will be contacting all guests and travel agents impacted by the extended suspensions, to offer a future cruise credit for 125 percent of the cruise fare valid through 2022 and discuss available rebooking options.
AQSC thanks its guests, travel agent partners, vendors and team members for their patience and understanding during this constantly developing situation. The company will continue to work closely with ports of call and the local communities it visits, as well as the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Coast Guard to prepare for sailings when they resume.
To view a full overview of the new health and safety protocols being implemented by AQSC, please visit https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/health-and-safety-protocols/.
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