American Duchess Review
American Duchess Overview
The 340-foot-long American Duchess is the first all-suite paddlewheel on U.S. rivers, and the third vessel in American Queen Steamboat Company's fleet. Launching in August 2017, the ship will sail on the Mississippi River between New Orleans and St. Paul, Minnesota and on its tributaries, offering overnight stays in Nashville and New Orleans.
American Duchess has five suite categories. Three 550-square-foot Owner's Suites and four 550-square-foot Loft Suites have two levels. The lower levels offer full bathroom, dining and living room with private balcony. The upper level is a loft with a semi-private bedroom, a full bath and large closet. There is also a small sun deck near the Owner's Suites.
There are two 450-square-foot Deluxe Suites, 24 Veranda Suites that range in size from 240 to 330 square feet, and 30 Interior Suites ranging from 180 to 220 square feet.
The handicapped-accessible suites in each category include 36-inch-wide doors, closets with a pull-down rail system and bathrooms with roll-in showers and lowered sinks. The Deluxe, Owner's and Loft suites have shower/tub combos. The Veranda and Interior categories only have showers.
American Duchess has two dining venues. The Grand Dining Room, which has a single seating, is described as "cozy." The more casual Grill Room, which has open seating, allows diners a view of the kitchen and has a double-sided bar. Both offer regionally inspired cuisine. Complimentary beer and wine are served at dinner. There are also two bars/lounges that offer nightly shows.
Onboard amenities include complimentary cappuccino, espresso, bottled water and soft drinks throughout the trip; daily lectures by the Riverlorian, an onboard history and culture expert; a fitness center; complimentary 24-hour room service; elevator; library; and a small shop.
The typical traveler is an eager explorer, nearing or at retirement age but with no intention of slowing down. Most are well-traveled, active lifelong learners who appreciate a high-quality vacation from an American-run company.