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American Queen Steamboat Company Announced New Timeline for 2020 Season (Video)

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 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 announcement with Ochsner Health and its new company-wide health and safety protocols.

“We are excited to get back on the rivers and deliver the high-quality experience we are known for. As we look to our new relaunch dates, the wellbeing of our guests, crew and partners remains our top concern,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “Our recent partnership with Ochsner Health in addition to our enhanced health and safety protocols and easy access to U.S. healthcare facilities, allows us to responsibly and safely resume operations in our two key markets, the Pacific Northwest and the Lower and Upper Mississippi River.”

Below, please find a full breakdown on 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, 2020 and intends to resume operating  the July 6-13 Pacific Northwest Splendors sailing from Portland (Vancouver, WA) to Spokane (Clarkston, WA).

*Please note this itinerary begins July 5 with the pre-cruise stay in Vancouver, WA.

American Duchess

The American Duchess, which sails on the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers, will extend its suspension through July 19, 2020 and intends to resume its operations with the July 20-27 Mark Twain’s Mississippi sailing from St. Louis, MO (Alton) to Minneapolis, MN (Red Wing).

*Please note, this itinerary begins July 19 with the pre-cruise stay in St. Louis, MO.

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 iconic American Queen will extend its suspension through July 15, 2020. AQSC is reviewing specific restart dates and will announce both vessels’ debut itineraries in the coming weeks.

For those impacted by the extended suspensions, AQSC is contacting all guests and travel agents 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.

AQSC thanks its guests, travel agent partners, vendors and team members for their patience and understanding during this rapidly developing situation. The company will continue to work closely with ports of call and the local communities it visits, as well as the recommendations of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and U.S. Coast Guard to prepare for sailings when they resume. 

American Queen Steamboat Company remains proactive and looks forward to delivering the extraordinary river cruising experience that our guests have come to expect.

To view a full overview of the new health and safety protocols being implemented by AQSC, please visit

American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the operator of the U.S.-flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world. Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities, including Memphis, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, Pittsburgh, St. Louis and Minneapolis. In April 2014, AQSC began serving the Pacific Northwest with the opulence and grandeur of the American Empress, and added the American Duchess to the Mississippi River in August 2017. AQSC’s fourth vessel, the American Countess, will debut on its inaugural voyage in 2020.



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