American Queen Steamboat Company Christens New Ship

American Queen Steamboat Company's American Duchess.

American Queen Steamboat Company’s newest ship, the American Duchess, was christened in New Orleans on the banks of the Mississippi. Marissa Applegate, the daughter of Chairman and CEO John Waggoner, is the godmother of the American Duchess and broke a bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon on the boat’s hull, concluding the ceremony.

The 166-guest riverboat is the first all-suite paddlewheeler on America’s rivers, according to the company. It joins the company’s fleet with the Memphis-based American Queen and the American Empress, based in the Pacific Northwest.

Marissa Applegate christening American Duchess 

During the ceremony, remarks were made by Waggoner, Ted Sykes, American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO; Wayne Arguin, New Orleans Port Captain at the U.S. Coast Guard, and Bill Samuels, Jr., Chairman of Maker’s Mark. There was also a presentation by Maker’s Mark to celebrate the partnership between the two companies. 


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The American Duchess has three 550 sq. ft. Owner’s Suites, four 550 sq. ft. Loft Suites, spacious Veranda Suites with sliding glass doors to private balconies, and Interior Suites. There are two dining venues with open seating: The Grand Dining Room and The River Club and Terrace.

The inaugural voyage will take the ship up the Mississippi River with stops in Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi, Memphis, Tennessee, Paducah, Kentucky, St. Louis, Missouri, and other ports before arriving in dismemberment in Red Wing, Minnesota. 

American Duchess will sail variety of voyage lengths, ranging from six days and up, and fares beginning at $2,999 per guest. Pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay, all bottled water and soft drinks, wine and beer at dinner and complimentary shore adventures are included in each port of call.

For more information, visit

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