River Cruises

Explore the Mighty Mississippi and beyond on our authentic paddlewheelers


Inspired by the great steamboats of the 19th century, our four vintage-style paddlewheelers relive the experiences of a previous generation on a range of cruises to the historic Deep South or Pacific North-West, with all the modern, luxurious amenities that today’s travellers expect.

Experience the romance of the river in a boat as gloriously ornamental as the white ‘wedding cakes’ created in the Victorian era, but with every modern amenity. With four remarkable paddle wheelers in our fleet, we are able to provide a unique vantage point from which to experience the unfolding panorama of American history along the river banks. Join us on board one of these iconic vessels and connect with America’s history in authentic style and luxury.

It’s miles and miles of soul as you meet contemporary players while journeying deep into the musical legacy of Memphis, birthplace of the blues and rock and roll. Experience American history through the stories of Mark Twain and General Ulysses S. Grant and walk the hallowed ground of Vicksburg where 17,000 Union soldiers rest. Mingle with the inmates of the infamous Angola penitentiary as they rehearse for the oldest continuous prison rodeo and learn how to cook up the legendary biscuits of Natchez Native Regina Charboneau from the woman herself — in her own kitchen. Entertaining, illuminating — and deeply rewarding — guided excursions ashore are the pinnacle of every port adventure.

Discover Unlimited Beauty

American Empress

All-Inclusive River Cruising

Return scheduled flights from London

2-night Pre-cruise Hotel Stay+

Premium City Highlights Tour (Embarkation Day)+


Unlimited Included Guided Tours

Acclaimed Cuisine in Multiple Venues

In-room Dining Available

Unlimited WiFi

Bicycles* and Hiking Sticks

Live, Daily Onboard
Entertainment & Enrichment

Pre-Paid Gratuities

Open Bars & Lounges

Port Taxes & Fees

Unlimited Beverages

*River Cruises Only

+1-night on Minneapolis -New Orleans and Snake & Columbia itineraries/No City Highlights Tour


the rivers we sail

We offer the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America with pre-cruise hotel stays, unlimited drinks, included shore excursions in each port and tantalising, regionally inspired cuisine.

The lower region of the Mississippi exposes you to centuries-old shaded oak trees, elegant antebellum plantations and Civil War memorials – it’s like taking a step back in time. The upper region of the Mississippi reveals the inspiration behind Mark Twain’s famed literary classics while acquainting you with storybook American towns, vibrant cities and indigenous wildlife.

Climb aboard an iconic steamboat and explore a slice of American history on our Mississippi River cruises. Offering a unique on-the-river perspective, our voyages create the perfect getaway for nature and history lovers alike. Enjoy our richly appointed paddlewheelers and steamboats that offer beautiful staterooms and suites, restaurants and spacious decks for watching the river sights go by. A Mississippi river cruise is the perfect getaway for nature lovers and history buffs alike. Join us for an unparalleled journey through authentic America; it is a unique experience unlike anything you have ever encountered!

Mississippi River

Experience the historic authenticity of the Mississippi River aboard the celebrated American Queen, the American Duchess or our newest vessel the American Countess, and discover America from the indescribable perspective of the river.


Columbia & Snake Rivers

In the footsteps of Lewis and Clark in the Pacific Northwest


These frontiers have called to explorers of history and adventurers of today for centuries. Here, the paths paved by Lewis and Clark chart through the timber and wild coastline, balanced by beautiful wine country and rich native American history. Here, adventure is always just around the bend.

The mighty rivers of the United States of America once served as the great highways of early exploration and inspired dreams of discovery.  Today, the American Empress follows in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark, the intrepid explorers who have come to define the historical context of our Pacific Northwest voyages. The soaring mountains and dramatic landscapes remain majestic, unspoiled and unimaginably glorious with an abundant wildlife and fascinating frontier spirit.

Our voyages are tailored to maximise daytime river cruising for optimal viewing of this spectacular scenery. Each American Empress voyage offers unique perspectives on the region’s history, culture and landscape that you can’t get anywhere else: up-close, in-depth and unforgettable.

Get a glimpse of beauty and history as the soul of the American South flows – the Cumberland & Tennessee rivers meander between majestic bluffs, yield golden horizons, and more. Witness a serenity in river living, as the lull of the paddlewheel churns past small-town America from gorges and the Great Smokey Mountains with the rhythms of country music and Nashville always exudes.

Downtown Chattanooga harmonises its water worlds, verdure, and industry into a picture- perfect melody. A pedestrian bridge stretches over the Tennessee River to connect south side to north shore. Here, visitors delight at the myriad boutiques and specialty shops that offer an assortment of treasures from the quaint to the quirky.

Tennessee & Cumberland Rivers

Discover the magic of Memphis and Tennessee


ohio & mississippi Rivers

Born of high stakes and Mad Hatters


Soul-stirring river views and Midwest warmth welcome those who pursue relaxation. Mysteries of the past enlist life-long learners while sprawling parks and trails make way for recreation. Discover hidden American gems best reached by riverway.

Lovers of adventure, connoisseurs of culture, and devotees of cuisine — welcome to the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.

Experience one of America’s greatest rivers and enjoy the idyllic countryside and warm hospitality of the Ohio River onboard a unique riverboat. It’s a scenic voyage that lands you in small-town America, each with its own charms and museums that highlight its past.   

Discover the key role the Ohio river played in the development of the American West and unveil a new element with each port of call. As you cruise the river, you can expect to learn about the history of the surrounding area involving the Civil War. And with several itineraries to choose from, American Queen Voyages’ Ohio River cruises offer a vast array of cultural diversity that will captivate your heart.  

Meet Our Paddlewheelers


2019 Gold Winner Best River Cruise Line – U.S.

2019 Cruisers’ Choice for Best in U.S. & Canada

2018 Best New Ship (American Duchess)

2012 – 2018 Best Shore Excursions

2014 – 2017 World’s Top River Cruise Lines Finalist

2012 – 2015 Best Cruise Value: Specialty Cruise Lines

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