For the first time in its history, American Queen Steamboat Company will position three paddlewheelers to operate a full season in the Midwest with 30 dedicated Ohio River sailings currently scheduled for 2022.
In response to guest demand for less-traveled routes in North America, the American Queen, American Duchess and American Countess will sail through the U.S. heartland from Kentucky to Ohio to Pennsylvania.
“With the addition of the American Countess, our team has the flexibility to develop more itineraries than ever before, including routes that showcase the Ohio River in particular, as our guests continue to seek out more accessible, close-to-home cruising options,” said Shawn Bierdz, president, American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines, in a press announcement.
“From major urban centers like Louisville, KY, and Pittsburgh, PA, to charming port towns like Madison, IN, and Brandenburg, KY, we are thrilled to introduce our guests to these compelling destinations along the Ohio River.”
Among the line's 2022 itineraries that feature routes along the Ohio River are these:
Louisville to Pittsburgh (or reverse): The nine-day "Ohio River Exploration" itinerary will include visits to Pittsburgh, PA; Wheeling, WV; Marietta, OH; Huntington, WV; Augusta, KY; Cincinnati, OH; Madison, IN; and Louisville, KY.
Highlights and options will include visiting the Heinze History Center and the Duquesne Incline in Pittsburgh; learning about the region's history at the Ohio River Museum in Marietta, OH; sampling wines from the oldest commercial estate winery in America at the Baker-Bird Winery in Augusta, KY; visiting Fountain Square, the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center and the Cincinnati Art Museum in Cincinnati; touring the Kentucky Derby Museum and Churchill Downs.
Memphis to Louisville (or reverse): This nine-day sailing will take guests on a journey along the Ohio River with a stop in Paducah, KY, a UNESCO Creative City of Crafts and Folk Art.
In Brandenburg, KY, cruisers will have an option to visit the Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historic Park, tour the Lincoln Museum and explore the legacy of General George S. Patton at one of the United States Army’s most renowned military complexes, Fort Knox. Other Kentucky ports of call will include Owensboro, Henderson and Columbus.
Louisville to Nashville (or reverse): This nine-day "Soul of the South" itinerary will include stops in Paducah, Henderson, Owensboro, Brandenburg and Louisville, KY, as well as Dover and Clarksville, TN.
Guests will select from a number of excursions including a visit to Fort Knox and the General George Patton Museum of Leadership in Brandenburg; a private tour of the Churchill Downs back-stretch in Louisville; and in-depth tours of Tennessee Valley Brewing Company, Old Glory Distilling Company and Beachaven Vineyards and Winery in Clarksville.
Consumers will receive significant savings for 2022 bookings with the recently announced Spring Sale, including up to $2,000 bonus savings per stateroom. It's valid on select 2022 sailings, including Ohio River itineraries, when booked by June 30, 2021 using the code "SPRING."
American Queen Steamboat Company resumed operations in March 2021 under enhanced health and safety policies. Those include but are not limited to pre-cruise COVID-19 testing of all guests and crew, a mask mandate in all public areas where social distancing is not possible and partnership with leading health advisors including VIKAND Medical Solutions.
The company also has enacted a COVID-19 vaccination mandate for all guests and crew that will go into effect for all sailings beginning July 1, 2021.