For those of us who love to cruise and have found much joy from the experience of a river cruise in Europe, the American river cruise is now becoming more and more popular as an alternative or complimentary experience and is now a firm fixture on the all-important cruising bucket list for many UK travellers.
Until recently, one of the best kept secrets in cruise travel, the American river cruise is now very much a must for the culturally interested and destination focused, and, in this blog, we explore the top five reasons why an authentic steamboat cruise on an American paddle wheeler just must be added to your future cruise plans.
1). History & Culture
For many, immersing oneself in the history and culture of a place is now a hugely important part of any cruise. If you enjoy traversing places of historical and cultural interest in Europe such as castles, palaces and vineyards, you’ll be amazed by what’s on offer on an authentic American Steamboat cruise. American Queen Voyages even offers specifically themed historical cruises, exploring such fascinating and relevant topics as the American Civil War, Mark Twain’s Mississippi, 1950s and 60s rock music and much more.
2). Expert-led enrichment
Cruising with the experts is an increasingly popular and expected part of the river cruise offering these days, as guests are seeking greater immersion in the culture, history and surroundings of their visited destination. The great rivers of America are a fascinating source for such tailored enrichment. In fact, American Queen Voyages has taken this whole concept a step further by introducing the ‘Riverlorian’ to their cruises.
The Riverlorian is resident to the ships and acts as the storyteller of the river, a person very well versed in the history of river travel and the uniqueness of the chosen ports of call. This position certainly sets these river cruises apart from others and enhances the guest experience. Riverlorians will share engaging stories and information with guests on a daily basis, including River Chats about the town or city you are visiting, educational presentations and more. On-board, guests can borrow books on the topic to read at leisure, as well as binoculars to witness wildlife and natural beauty as it slowly passes by.
3). Regionally Inspired Fine Dining
The very best cuisine is not only now offered on many a European river cruise, but it is expected too. Dining remains at the very heart of the inclusive cruise experience, with variety, choice and quality of ingredients, often locally sourced, now the benchmark of river based adventures.
Directly inspired by America’s heartland, the Southern heritage and the Pacific Northwest, your menus will showcase the varied cultural and culinary influences of the USA. Meals aboard all of our elegant vessels will keep you savouring the memory of the flavours and sharing your excitement over our excellent service even after you leave, with award-winning culinary teams taking full advantage of each region’s diverse bounty of fresh, local ingredients to fashion authentic dishes.
Each grand vessel boasts a magnificent main dining room for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They also offer alternative dining choices as you enjoy a relaxing breakfast or lunch in one of our casual dining venues. On the American Duchess and American Empress, these unique restaurants become an elevated reservation-only, dining experience each evening. All of our vessels feature 24-hour room service, for your comfort and convenience.
So if a Mississippi inspired ‘Smothered Crawfish and Grits’ sounds appealing, or perhaps the ‘Red Snapper and Shrimp Creole’ followed by the eponymous ‘Mississippi Mud Pie’, this experience is definitely for you. Alternatively, moving North the ‘Seafood Chowder’, ‘Washington State Dungeness Crab’ or ‘Sugar-Free Washington Apple Dumpling’ may be the order of the day!
4). It’s all included
The concept of leaving the wallet at home is a common one when it comes to river cruising, even more so with the pound being so weak against foreign currency. The river cruise has become a popular choice as it offers such an inclusive product for guests – and American Queen Voyages cruises are no different. With us you can enjoy the fact that the following is all included in your fare:
- Regionally inspired fine dining with complimentary beverages
- Broadway-calibre entertainment and enrichment
- Complimentary, guided shore excursions in every port
- Complimentary, company owned & branded ‘Hop On Hop Off’ coaches in port
- Included daily lectures with history experts and our resident Riverlorians
- Deluxe pre-cruise hotel stay included on every voyage
- Deluxe Staterooms with en suite facilities
- Return scheduled flights from London
- Port taxes and fees
- Pre-paid gratuities
- Unlimited Wi-Fi
5). Seamless land experiences
At the very heart of the river cruise are the land and shore experiences. The main attraction on any American Queen Voyages experience is the award-winning shore excursions, both included and premium, all of which have been thoughtfully designed to optimise each cruise by providing plenty of activities and enjoyment ashore.
What makes the American Queen Voyages off-boat experience even more compelling are our enhanced land benefits, such as our own dedicated fleet of deluxe motor coaches, piloted by talented drivers and shore excursions staff who will be waiting to assist you in each port-of-call as soon as you disembark. These comprehensive, guided ‘Hop-On Hop-Off’ excursions offer you the freedom to customise your experience and choose your own path at leisure. On an American Queen Voyages excursion you can expect hassle-free access to many historic and cultural attractions as part of our narrated driving and walking tours, either independent or with a certified local guide.
Additionally there are complimentary hotel stays and even bicycles on each vessel, allowing our guests to explore each port-of-call at their own pace, seeing the areas of the town that interest them the most. These steamboats are magnificent, but the off-boat experience is equally as fabulous.