Originally set to launch on July 1, 2017, the American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the American Queen and American Empress, will now launch service on its new American Duchess when it sets sail from New Orleans on August 14, 2017, following its christening there a day earlier.
The all-suite, 166-guest American Duchess will be the first purpose-built boutique paddle wheeler offering guests the largest suites on the Mississippi River, according to the river cruise line. The American Duchess follows in the pedigree of the company’s namesake American Queen and will offer overnight stays from New Orleans.
Other Louisiana stops on the American Duchess itinerary include the Nottoway Antebellum Mansion in White Castle, the historic district in downtown St. Francisville, and museums and attractions in Baton Rouge.
The American Duchess has suites ranging from 250 square feet to 550 square-foot loft suites. The ship will also have two dining venues with open seating and regionally-inspired cuisine similar to that of the American Queen.
Because the launch date was set back nearly a month and a half, guests who booked on cruises cancelled or delayed due to this change are being contacted by the American Queen Steamboat Company or their respective travel agents. The new sailing schedule with affected sailing dates is available at www.aqsc.com/contact-us/alerts. Beginning with the September 17, 2017 sailing, the American Duchess will sail the previously published scheduled itineraries.
Guests booked on any of the affected voyages will have the choice of moving to a similar itinerary later in 2017, or, if they cannot cruise any of the remaining 2017 departure dates, they will receive a full refund including airfare cancellation costs.