• TRAVEL NOTICE: Learn more about COVID-19
  • Write a Review
  • Boards
  • Log In
  • Find a Cruise
  • Deals
  • Excursions
  • More
You may also like
Dismiss
Live from Louisiana: Details on American Queen Steamboat Company's New Cruise Ships
Live from Louisiana: Details on American Queen Steamboat Company's New Cruise Ships
American Queen Steamboat Company News: River Cruise Ship American Queen Returns to Service
Stairs on American Queen

American Queen Steamboat Company News: River Cruise Ship American Queen Returns to Service

American Queen Steamboat Company News: River Cruise Ship American Queen Returns to Service
Stairs on American Queen

August 09, 2021

Aaron Saunders
News and Features Editor
  • Facebook
  • Pinterest
  • Twitter

(9 a.m. EDT) -- U.S.-based river line American Queen Steamboat Company has returned its namesake flagship to service today, welcoming the first revenue passengers in 18 months.

The legendary Mississippi paddlewheeler American Queen becomes American Queen Steamship Company's fourth vessel to return to service since the start of the global health pandemic. The ship is embarking passengers today in New Orleans, officially kicking off its 2021 season on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

While American Queen has returned its newer vessels to service -- including the new American Countess and the Pacific Northwest-based American Empress -- its 1996-built flagship American Queen has been sidelined since the global health pandemic began.

That all changed today - and the timing couldn't be better. August 8 marked the 10th anniversary of the purchase of the legendary paddlewheeler, originally constructed for the now-defunct Delta Queen Steamboat Company, on August 8, 20211.

“The purchase and restoration of the American Queen ushered in a new renaissance of U.S. River cruising ten years ago,” John Waggoner, founder and chairman of American Queen Steamboat Company, said in a statement. 

“Our close-to-home cruise experience resonates more than ever, and I feel such pride seeing how far our offerings have expanded. Today the American Queen embarks from New Orleans, the American Empress welcomes guests in Clarkston, Wash.; our boutique paddlewheeler, the American Duchess, is docked under the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and our newest riverboat, the American Countess, is calling on Nottoway Resort in White Castle, LA.”

American Queen Steamboat Company currently requires proof of vaccination for all passengers onboard -- making it the only U.S.-based river cruise company to require such a mandate.

Featured Videos

Our Favorite Things Aboard Viking Venus

Our Favorite Things Aboard Viking Venus

Regent Seven Seas Splendor Returns to the Seas

Regent Seven Seas Splendor Returns to the Seas

Silversea's New S.A.L.T. Program

Silversea's New S.A.L.T. Program

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

Wonder of the Seas Construction Update: Sea Trials

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

NCL's Restart: What It's Like On The First Norwegian Cruise Ship Back in 16 Months

Cruise Critic and JJ Cruise : Our Experience Onboard Celebrity Edge (June 2021)

Cruise Critic and JJ Cruise : Our Experience Onboard Celebrity Edge (June 2021)

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

Here's What It's Like Onboard the First Large Cruise Ship to Alaska in 21 Months

LIVE Q&A: Cruise Critic and Emma Cruises Chat About All Things Cruise

LIVE Q&A: Cruise Critic and Emma Cruises Chat About All Things Cruise

Our Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Experience: March 2020 vs. July 2021

Our Celebrity Silhouette Cruise Experience: March 2020 vs. July 2021

Cruise Executives Wish Cruise Critic a Happy 25th Anniversary

Cruise Executives Wish Cruise Critic a Happy 25th Anniversary

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Freedom of the Seas: What's It Like Onboard a Test Cruise? (Cruise Critic & Royal Caribbean Blog

Q&A with Celebrity Cruises' Captain Kate McCue (2021)

Q&A with Celebrity Cruises' Captain Kate McCue (2021)

Back on Celebrity Silhouette: Here's What It's Like On One Of Our Favorite Ships 15 Months Later

Back on Celebrity Silhouette: Here's What It's Like On One Of Our Favorite Ships 15 Months Later

Freedom Of The Seas Resumes Sailing With New Rules

Freedom Of The Seas Resumes Sailing With New Rules

Cruise Critic | EatSleepCruise: What's It Like Onboard Celebrity Edge?

Cruise Critic | EatSleepCruise: What's It Like Onboard Celebrity Edge?

‘Top Chef’ Winner Kristen Kish Joins Holland America Line’s Award-winning Culinary Council

‘Top Chef’ Winner Kristen Kish Joins Holland America Line’s Award-winning Culinary Council

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of The Magic Carpet

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of The Magic Carpet

Q&A: Cruisers and Crew Chat About The Joy of Cruising's Return

Q&A: Cruisers and Crew Chat About The Joy of Cruising's Return

Celebrity Apex -- Eden

Celebrity Apex -- Eden

Celebrity Apex -- The Retreat

Celebrity Apex -- The Retreat

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of the Infinite Veranda Cabin

Celebrity Apex -- Video Tour of the Infinite Veranda Cabin

Q&A with Celebrity Apex's Cruise Director

Q&A with Celebrity Apex's Cruise Director

Celebrity Apex -- Pools & Resort Deck

Celebrity Apex -- Pools & Resort Deck

Celebrity Apex -- Embarkation Process (2021)

Celebrity Apex -- Embarkation Process (2021)

Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?

Live From Adventure of the Seas: What's the Same, What's Different and What's Better?

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Here's What We Packed For Our Royal Caribbean Cruise (June 2021)

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

Celebrity to Restart from U.S. Homeport, PLUS Royal Caribbean Given Green Light for Test Cruises!

LIVE From MSC Virtuosa! Embarkation, the Buffet, COVID Protocols and MORE!

LIVE From MSC Virtuosa! Embarkation, the Buffet, COVID Protocols and MORE!

CRUISE NEWS Countdown! This Week's Top 5 Stories

CRUISE NEWS Countdown! This Week's Top 5 Stories

NEWS: CDC Loosens Mask Restrictions; Norwegian Reveals NEW Ship Class

NEWS: CDC Loosens Mask Restrictions; Norwegian Reveals NEW Ship Class

NEWS: What Does the Latest CDC Guidance Mean? We Explain, Cruisers & Cruise Lines React

NEWS: What Does the Latest CDC Guidance Mean? We Explain, Cruisers & Cruise Lines React

Alaska 2021: Inside Passage Businesses Talk About A Devastating Season Without Cruise Tourists

Alaska 2021: Inside Passage Businesses Talk About A Devastating Season Without Cruise Tourists

CRUISE NEWS: Two Brand-New Cruise Ships From Disney And Celebrity Revealed, See Photos!

CRUISE NEWS: Two Brand-New Cruise Ships From Disney And Celebrity Revealed, See Photos!

BREAKING NEWS: CDC Says Cruises From the U.S. Could Start by "Mid-July"

BREAKING NEWS: CDC Says Cruises From the U.S. Could Start by "Mid-July"

CRUISE NEWS: Two States Sue CDC Over Cruise Restart, New MSC Virtuosa Photos & More

CRUISE NEWS: Two States Sue CDC Over Cruise Restart, New MSC Virtuosa Photos & More

CRUISE NEWS: The CDC Battle Over Cruise Continues!

CRUISE NEWS: The CDC Battle Over Cruise Continues!

NEWS: Norwegian Makes HUGE Waves with Restart Plans (Bonus! Live From an Alaska Cruise)

NEWS: Norwegian Makes HUGE Waves with Restart Plans (Bonus! Live From an Alaska Cruise)

River Cruising: Video Q&A With John Waggoner On American Countess, American Queen Steamboat Company's Newest Ship

River Cruising: Video Q&A With John Waggoner On American Countess, American Queen Steamboat Company's Newest Ship

Where Can You Cruise To -- And From -- In Summer 2021?

Where Can You Cruise To -- And From -- In Summer 2021?

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

Odyssey of the Seas -- From Steel Cutting to Delivery 2021

CRUISE NEWS: The CDC's Silence And Where Vaccinated Passengers Can Sail in 2021 -- VIDEO

CRUISE NEWS: The CDC's Silence And Where Vaccinated Passengers Can Sail in 2021 -- VIDEO

BONUS NEWS! Royal Caribbean, Celebrity to Resume Cruising in June

BONUS NEWS! Royal Caribbean, Celebrity to Resume Cruising in June

BREAKING: A Big Cruise Line Says Guests Need the Jab, Another Announces U.K. Return

BREAKING: A Big Cruise Line Says Guests Need the Jab, Another Announces U.K. Return

NEWS: This Cruise Line is Returning to Cruise SOON!

NEWS: This Cruise Line is Returning to Cruise SOON!

Odyssey of the Seas' Debut in Israel, and Where Royal Caribbean Might Restart Next

Odyssey of the Seas' Debut in Israel, and Where Royal Caribbean Might Restart Next

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Video Of Odyssey Of The Seas Conveyance March 2021

Cruise Restart, Rising Cruise Prices & The Vaccine's Impact On Bookings (Video)

Cruise Restart, Rising Cruise Prices & The Vaccine's Impact On Bookings (Video)

Exciting Disney Cruise News, More Vaccine Mandates & MSC Seashore Sneak Peek (VIDEO)

Exciting Disney Cruise News, More Vaccine Mandates & MSC Seashore Sneak Peek (VIDEO)

Why Lines Aren't Canceling Alaska Cruises, Robot News and More

Why Lines Aren't Canceling Alaska Cruises, Robot News and More

CDC Mask Mandate, Cruise Vaccine News and Canada's Cruise Ban Through 2022

CDC Mask Mandate, Cruise Vaccine News and Canada's Cruise Ban Through 2022

Cruisers and Cruise Lines Talk Vaccines, Big Azamara News and More

Cruisers and Cruise Lines Talk Vaccines, Big Azamara News and More

Royal Caribbean Group Sells Popular Cruise Line, Mandatory Vaccines and More

Royal Caribbean Group Sells Popular Cruise Line, Mandatory Vaccines and More

Exciting Cruise News From Carnival Corp., Pause Extensions & More

Exciting Cruise News From Carnival Corp., Pause Extensions & More

Exciting New Ships in 2021 - This Week in Cruise News

Exciting New Ships in 2021 - This Week in Cruise News

Rudi Sodamin Makes A Special, Thanksgiving-themed "Food Faces" Video For Cruise Critic

Rudi Sodamin Makes A Special, Thanksgiving-themed "Food Faces" Video For Cruise Critic

Coin Ceremony For Celebrity Cruises' New Ship, Celebrity Beyond

Coin Ceremony For Celebrity Cruises' New Ship, Celebrity Beyond

Cruising In Maine During COVID-19, On the Only Ship Sailing in the U.S.

Cruising In Maine During COVID-19, On the Only Ship Sailing in the U.S.

Former Cruise Ship Captain Offers "Ghost Tours" of Empty Cruise Liners in South England

Former Cruise Ship Captain Offers "Ghost Tours" of Empty Cruise Liners in South England

Variety Cruises' Galileo, The First Eastern Mediterranean Cruise In The COVID Era

Variety Cruises' Galileo, The First Eastern Mediterranean Cruise In The COVID Era

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Royal Caribbean Group Announces E-muster, Keyless Cabin Check-in And Other App Improvements

Drone Footage Of MSC Grandiosa Docked In Genoa For First Sailing Since The COVID-19 Pandemic

Drone Footage Of MSC Grandiosa Docked In Genoa For First Sailing Since The COVID-19 Pandemic

First Look At Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

First Look At Virgin Voyages' Scarlet Lady

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Bolt - Top Deck Roller-Coaster at Sea on Carnival Mardi Gras

Norwegian Encore - Hull Art Reveal - Artist Eduardo Arranz Bravo

Norwegian Encore - Hull Art Reveal - Artist Eduardo Arranz Bravo

Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Wish

Disney Cruise Line Announces Disney Wish

Virgin Voyages Unveils Beach Club And Entertainment

Virgin Voyages Unveils Beach Club And Entertainment

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Royal Caribbean Odyssey Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection To Debut In 2020

Ritz Carlton Yacht Collection To Debut In 2020

Virgin Voyages Reveals Suite Design New Cruise Ship

Virgin Voyages Reveals Suite Design New Cruise Ship

Celebrity Edge Sneak Peek: Why You Should Be Excited About Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship

Celebrity Edge Sneak Peek: Why You Should Be Excited About Celebrity Cruises' Newest Ship

Celebrity Edge Shipyard Hyperlapse Tour

Celebrity Edge Shipyard Hyperlapse Tour

Marella Cruises Cast Members Rehearse New Show Debut

Marella Cruises Cast Members Rehearse New Show Debut

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shipyard Tour: Royal Caribbean’s Symphony Of The Seas Gets Its Finishing Touches -- Video

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Shaquille "Shaq" O'neal Named Chief Fun Officer Of Carnival Cruise Line

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Carnival Cruise Line's "Choose Fun" Commercial

Live From MSC Seaside:  A Cruise Ship Designed For The Outdoors

Live From MSC Seaside: A Cruise Ship Designed For The Outdoors

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Royal Caribbean’s Spectrum Of The Seas Celebrates Keel Laying

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Sneak Peak At Symphony Of The Seas

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Spectrum Of The Seas Steel Cutting At Meyer Werft

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

Anthem Of The Seas Welcomes Gigi The Giraffe

HRH Prince Phillip Visits Cunard's Fleet

HRH Prince Phillip Visits Cunard's Fleet

Royal Rendezvous: 3 Cunard Queens Arrive In Southampton

Royal Rendezvous: 3 Cunard Queens Arrive In Southampton

Celebrity Silhouette's Conveyance (2011)

Celebrity Silhouette's Conveyance (2011)

That mandate is designed to keep passengers, crew and locals in port cities visited by American Queen safe; something that is of vital importance to tourism in the local communities American Queen Steamboat Company calls on, fleet-wide.

“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,” shares Shawn Bierdz, president of American Queen Steamboat Company. “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 elegant American Queen -- patterned after a classic Mississippi riverboat with all modern amenities -- will sail the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers through the remainder of the year. Itineraries are open for reservation, but booking early is recommended: American Queen Steamboat Company says it is sold out on several voyages, and only has limited availability on Thanksgiving and Holiday sailings this year.

How was this article?

Featured News

1
Carnival Cruise Line Scraps Terminal-Based COVID-19 Testing Plans
5
Regent Seven Seas Becomes Latest Cruise Line to Resume Sailing
Want to cruise smarter?
Get expert advice, insider tips and more.
By proceeding, you agree to Cruise Critic’s Privacy Policy and Terms of Use.