Formerly the Empress of the North, the American Empress will deliver opulence on a grand scale, following in the pedigree of the line’s namesake American Queen, and proudly serve as the largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi River. A U.S.-flagged vessel, the American Empress measures 360 ft. with five towering decks and accommodates 223 guests in seven stateroom categories.
“Over 30 skilled craftsmen and engineers have been hard at work preparing the American Empress for service over the last eight months focusing on the exterior, engine room and now the hotel portion of the vessel,” shared John Waggoner, Chairman and CEO of the American Queen Steamboat Company. “It is exciting to officially sign on the dotted line taking full ownership of the vessel and begin writing a new chapter in U.S. river cruising history.”
The American Empress was built in 2003 and operated by Majestic America Line from 2003 to 2008, sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage and the Pacific Northwest. Just as the American Queen brought luxury and grandeur to river cruising America’s heartland, the American Empress will do the same for the Pacific Northwest when she begins service April 5 after a christening ceremony in Portland, Oregon. Her maiden voyage will be a 9-day journey immersing guests in the splendor of the Columbia and Snake Rivers featuring stops to some of the region’s most celebrated ports including Astoria, Ore.; Stevenson, Wash.; The Dalles, Ore.; Sacajawea State Park, Wash. and finally Clarkston, Wash.
Complimentary shore excursions will be available in every port and include the cultural and historical landmarks that signify the living legacy of the region’s first settlers. Travelers with specific interests are encouraged to enjoy the variety of Premium Experience Excursions such as the Walla Walla Wine Trail or the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum. Daily lectures will also be provided by the Riverlorian, an onboard history and culture expert.
Limited space remains on the American Empress inaugural voyage and will offer an unforgettable experience for even the most seasoned of travelers. For additional information, visit online at AQSC.com.
Image Courtesy The American Queen Steamboat Company