American Queen Resumes Service on Mississippi, Ohio Rivers

American Queen Steamboat Company has announced that its flagship paddlewheeler American Queen resumed service after 18 months, becoming the fourth vessel to return to service for the U.S.-flagged cruise line. Marking the 10th anniversary of the company closing the purchase of the paddlewheeler on August 8, 2011, American Queen set sail from New Orleans on Monday to kickstart the 2021 season on the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers.  

Tourism reportedly represents the second-largest economy on the Mississippi River and the return of the cruise line’s fleet to the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers is seen as a boost to the region’s hospitality industry, according to the cruise line. “American Queen guests will have an immediate economic impact on the port cities she calls on from pre-cruise hotel stays to visiting attractions and patronizing small businesses along the river,” Shawn Bierdz, president of American Queen Steamboat Company, explained in a press release. “To meet the needs of having the entire fleet operational, our company is up to over 500 team members once again and continuing to grow with open shipboard and shoreside positions.”    

The company says that bookings are continuing for 2021 and well ahead into 2022 and 2023, indicating a strong demand for cruising close-to-home. In addition, the cruise line reported over 10 record-breaking individual booking days in 2021, adding that the current sailing season is almost sold out with limited availability on remaining 2021 Thanksgiving- and holiday-themed voyages. American Queen Steamboat Company is also offering a “Freedom” sale, a bonus savings of up to $2,000 on select 2022 bookings made by August 31, 2021.   

The cruise line began a phased restart in March under “SafeCruise” protocols and became a fully vaccinated U.S. river cruise line for both guests and crew effective July 1. All guests are required to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination prior to pre-cruise hotel check-in. “SafeCruise” policies are subject to municipality and state rules based on current regional conditions and may be modified without advance notice to adhere to local health and safety guidelines.  

For more information on American Queen Steamboat Company, visit

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