(PRESS RELEASE)_NEW ALBANY, Ind., Jan. 28, 2020 – American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower® Families Company, is a leader in immersive shore experiences and Broadway-caliber onboard entertainment. New in 2020, AQSC will elevate its programming with brand new special interest sailings ranging from Pacific Northwest Wine Cruises on the American Empress to the American River BBQ Challenge on the American Countess, American Queen and American Duchess along the lower Mississippi River.
“All of our river cruises are a reflection of the regions they sail,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “When it comes to these unique voyages, each element of the special interest whether it be wine or marquee Americana events, is thoughtfully woven into curated itineraries that ignite our guests’ curiosity and exploration.”
Special Interest Series
AQSC’s uniquely themed river cruises feature special entertainment, exclusive events and opportunities that guests would not experience on any other sailing. Whether guests want to taste the various styles of Southern barbecue on the American River BBQ Challenge cruise, learn about the Civil War in a journey through history or experience the best of the Pacific Northwest’s wine country – there’s a specialty cruise for everyone. AQSC is thrilled to introduce new sailings including but not limited to the following:
Beauty in Aging Wine Cruise
For wine afficionados who want to explore the Pacific Northwest’s unique twists on winemaking and soak up the natural beauty of the region, the American Empress is offering a specialty Wine Cruise on its signature Clarkston, W.A. (Spokane) to Vancouver, W.A. (Portland) sailing.
Aboard the largest, most elegant riverboat in the Pacific Northwest, guests will experience immersive lessons in wine tastings and pairings led by experts Manny Nieves, certified sommelier, Jim Laughren, certified wine educator and Michael Lynch, certified advanced sommelier. This specialty cruise will sail March 15-22, 2020 and March 22-30, 2020.
American River BBQ Challenge
The American River BBQ Challenge runs between Memphis, Tenn. to Alton (St. Louis), Ill. on the American Queen (AQ), American Duchess (AD) and American Countess (AC), the newest paddlewheeler to join the fleet on the Lower and Upper Mississippi. This sailing incorporates three barbeque masters – from New Madrid and Cape Girardeau, Mo., and Chester, Ill. The best of the best in the barbeque business will create unique experiences in each port along the way. Guests will indulge in each authentic, local culinary craft, and then rate each participant -- including the AQSC culinary team. At the conclusion of each journey, the winner will be announced, as chosen by guests.
Ports and Dates:
AC Sailings: May 24- 31 and August 23-30
AD Sailings: September 27-October 5 and October 18-26 (excludes a stop in St. Louis)
AQ Sailings: July 19-27
Maiden Voyage to Pittsburgh
Journey up the Ohio River into the breathtaking scenery of the valley that was cut from the landscape during the Ice Age. Guests on the Maiden Voyage to Pittsburgh sailing on the American Countess will visit river towns that helped build the steamboat era, and subsequently, river transportation in America. The views and towns on this section of the Ohio River have made this voyage a longtime guest favorite. This specialty cruise will sail June 7-14, 2020.
Bourbon to Blues
Learn what makes a centuries-old tradition as during this rare opportunity to experience an extraordinary journey through America’s heartland and into the roots of Kentucky’s bourbon region. This voyage will take guests 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. This sailing will include special tastings, creative menus, and cooking demonstrations, and to be announced special onboard guests. This specialty cruise will sail July 5-12, 2020 on the American Countess and August 23-31, 2020 on the American Duchess.
American Music Festival
A very special guest will bless this voyage - country music icon and writer of “God Bless the USA,” Lee Greenwood. Straight from his hometown, Clarksville, Tenn., Greenwood will take to the stage to perform his chart-topping hits in the boat’s intimate venue – The Show Lounge. His exclusive concert is just one of many exciting guest performances planned for this captivating voyage. The American Music Festival cruise will showcase the beauty of American music styles and is sure to be a vacation filled with melodious memories. This specialty cruise will sail May 3-11, 2020 on the American Duchess and May 10-18, 2020 on the American Countess.
For additional information and reservations, please contact American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5289, visit www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com or call a professional travel agent.
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