American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC), a Hornblower Family Company, announced a new timeline for the suspension and resumption of operations across all vessels. AQSC’s new timeline was prepared in response to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic and following the continued wide-spread governmental restrictions across ports, cities and public institutions. The decision to update the 2020 season itinerary dates follows AQSC’s recent partnership with Ochsner Health and its new company-wide health and safety protocols.
Here is a full breakdown for each vessel and its planned timeline for resuming its 2020 operation:
- American Empress: The American Empress, which sails the Columbia and Snake Rivers, will extend its suspension through July 5 and intends to resume operating the July 6-13 Pacific Northwest Splendor sailing from Portland to Spokane; note this itinerary begins July 5 with the pre-cruise stay in Vancouver.
- American Duchess: The American Duchess, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, will extend its suspension through July 19 and intends to resume its operations with the July 20-27 Mark Twain’s Mississippi sailing from St. Louis, MO to Minneapolis, MN; note that this itinerary begins July 19 with the pre-cruise stay in St. Louis.
- American Countess and American Queen: The American Countess, the latest paddlewheeler to join the AQSC fleet on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee Rivers, and the American Queen will extend its suspension through July 15; AQSC is reviewing specific restart dates and will announce both vessels’ debut itineraries in the coming weeks.
For those affected by the extended suspensions, AQSC says it is contacting all guests and travel advisors regarding their upcoming cruises and available options. For guests that are booked during this time, the company will be providing a future cruise credit for 125 percent of the cruise fare or a full refund. Any future cruise credits issued may be returned at any time for a refund of the original payment amount. All full refunds will be processed within 90 days.
For all 2020 sailings after July 5, guests can cancel up to 24 hours before sailing or up to December 31, 2020, whichever comes first. Reservation is subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount. Any reservation may move to another sail date in 2020 and their current cancellation penalty applies to the new sail date. New sail date must be of equal or greater value and guest is responsible for any increase in fare. AQSC will cover flight change fees for those guests that immediately move to a new sail date.