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American Duchess Brings Luxury to the Rivers

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© American Queen Steamboat Company PHOTO: American Duchess. (photo courtesy American Queen Steamboat Company)

By Ana Figueroa, TravelPulse

American Duchess’ christening in August 2017 launched a new era in river travel.

Created from a 1995 hull, the ship was reconfigured by American Queen Steamboat Company into the country’s first all-suite paddle wheeler. She now carries 166 guests with a level of luxury, comfort and style not previously seen on America’s rivers.

Suites aboard American Duchess range from 180 to 550 square feet in size. Especially notable are her two-level Loft Suites. The lower level features a full bathroom, small dining area, a lounge area furnished with a queen sofa-bed and desk area, along with sliding doors to access a private balcony. Upstairs, there’s a semi-private bedroom, full bathroom and closet space.

Dining options aboard American Duchess include the elegant Grand Dining Room, with its dark wood accents, rich fabrics and sweeping river views. The River Club and Terrace offers a more casual atmosphere. But, it nonetheless sports its own tasteful appeal. The ambiance includes an open-view kitchen and double-sided bar, hand-blown Murano glass accents and covered resort-style outdoor seating.

Regardless of where guests choose to dine, they’ll enjoy gourmet selections incorporating fresh, local ingredients. American Duchess sails through America’s heartland on the Mississippi and her tributaries. And, the ship’s culinary bounty reflects that backdrop. In addition to fine dining, guests also enjoy complimentary wine and beer at dinner. Complimentary cappuccino, espresso, bottled water and soft drinks are available throughout the voyage.

While river cruising is known for its relaxed nature, activities abound aboard American Duchess. Each cruise features expert-led talks on the region’s cultural heritage and landmarks. And, each destination includes a complimentary shore excursion. On land, as on the river, American Duchess guests travel in style. The ship operates its own dedicated fleet of deluxe motor coaches.

Back on board, there’s always time for a workout before the evening program begins. The fully-equipped gym features cardiovascular equipment as well as free weights. In the evenings, a diverse lineup of entertainment takes center stage in the majestic Show Lounge-Auditorium.

The low staff-to-guest ratio ensures that all American Duchess guests receive personal, attentive service. Guests booked in Owner’s and Loft Suites receive an additional layer of pampering with Commodore Services. Those services include pre-boarding privileges; a welcome fruit basket and bottle of wine; preferred dining arrangements; reserved seating in The Show Lounge theater and dinner with the ship’s senior officers.

Additionally, guests in Owner's and Loft Suites enjoy the services of a River Butler. The butler unpacks and hangs guests’ clothes, and also re-packs for them. He arranges laundry and other onboard services, as well as in-suite afternoon tea, pre-dinner canapes and post-dinner sweets. Upon request, the butler will also serve breakfast or dinner for guests on their balconies.

As American Duchess travels through historic locations, it’s a steward of the rivers, as well. The Passenger Vessel Association recognizes American Queen Steamboat Company as a member of its Green WATERS Program for the vessel operation’s dedication and commitment toward a cleaner, greener marine environment.

American Duchess offers cruises of six to 16 days in length. Itinerary themes include the Antebellum South, American Music, the Mighty Mississippi, as well as several holiday-time sailings.

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American Duchess Brings Luxury to the Rivers
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