Onboard for the Holidays

American West Steamboat Offers Theme Cruises for Fall/Winter

By: Ana Figueroa

The American West Steamboat Company will offer “Lewis & Clark,” “Big Band” and “Holiday” themed cruises this fall aboard its sternwheelers Empress of the North and Queen of the West. The 11 themed cruises will depart from Portland, Ore., and travel more than 1,000 miles along the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers of the Pacific Northwest.

The line’s seven-night Lewis & Clark cruises will showcase the route made famous by the Corps of Discovery on its Columbia and Snake River explorations two centuries ago. Guest historians sharing facts about the historic journey, and pointing out landmarks along the Columbia River Gorge will entertain passengers. Shore excursions include admission to selected Lewis & Clark bicentennial events. The Lewis & Clark cruises aboard the Queen of the West depart November 5 and 12, and those aboard the Empress of the North depart November 6 and 13. Prices start at $2,019 per person, including savings of $300 per couple if booked six months in advance.

The Empress of the North will host seven-night Big Band cruises on October 24, November 27 and December 4. The cruises will showcase the music of the ‘30s and ‘40s. The 10-piece Russ Morgan Orchestra will entertain passengers in the ship’s Golden Nugget Lounge with music made famous by Glenn Miller, Guy Lombardo and the Dorsey Brothers. Prices for the Big Band cruises start at $1,679 per person, including a savings of $300 per couple if booked six months in advance.

Colorful decorations and thousands of festive lights will help passengers get into the holiday spirit during four seven-night Holiday Cruises on the line’s two sternwheelers. Departures are scheduled for November 19 (Thanksgiving) aboard the Queen of the West, and November 20 (Thanksgiving), December 11 and December 21 (Christmas) aboard the Empress of the North. Prices start at $1,040 per person including savings of 50 percent off the December 11 departure, or from $1,679 including savings of up to $400 per person on all other Holiday cruises.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary, American West Steamboat Company operates the 161-passenger sternwheeler Queen of the West year-round on the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers. The line introduced the newly built, 235-passenger sternwheeler Empress of the North in 2003.