The American Queen Steamboat Company is to christen its new American Duchess on 13 August 2017 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
The 166-guest American Duchess will be the first purpose-built boutique paddlewheeler to offer guests large suites – ranging from 250 to 550 square feet – on the Mississippi River. Other onboard highlights include two dining venues with open seating and regionally-inspired cuisine.
Joining sisters American Queen and American Empress in the fleet, American Duchess will sail from New Orleans to other Louisiana destinations, including the Nottoway Antebellum Mansion in White Castle, the historic district in downtown St. Francisville, and museums and attractions in Baton Rouge.
“The American Queen Steamboat Company has led the way in a rebirth of US river cruising as thousands discover our heartland and the Pacific Northwest, served by an award-winning, All-American crew,” said Ted Sykes, American Queen president and CEO. “Demand for more capacity on the Mississippi River has been overwhelming the past two seasons and we look forward to delivering a new boutique all-suite experience and the flexibility of two riverboats sailing between New Orleans and St. Paul, Minn.”
Inland riverboat cruising grew 40% between 2015 and 2016 at the Port of New Orleans, with three paddlewheelers bringing a total of 21,391 passengers.
“Inland river cruising is a growing segment of our cruise portfolio,” said Brandy Christian, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans and chair of the American Association of Port Authorities’ Cruise Committee. “The history and charm of our historic city combines with the unique offerings of the Great River Road attractions to make cruising from New Orleans ideal for riverboat passengers.”