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The American Queen Steamboat Company, moving into its second season of operation, has announced it will raise fares, beginning Jan. 1, as a result of very high demand. The company said many of next year’s sailings on the 436-passenger sternwheeler are already selling out, particularly voyages between the ship’s homeport of Memphis and New Orleans. Overall bookings are up 300 percent compared to 2012 and the fare increase will be an average of $200 per guest per voyage.
“Since her return to the rivers this past April, the American Queen has rekindled the desire for travelers to discover the historic and enchanting river towns of the U.S. from Natchez, Miss., to Red Wing, Minn., with grace and elegance aboard the grandest riverboat in the world,” American Queen Steamboat Company CEO Jeffrey D. Krida stated. “Resulting from the popularity of river cruising she has forged once again, we are seeing tremendous volume in 2013 reservations.”
Among the 2013 Voyage Highlights:
• A total of 30 departures from Memphis and New Orleans, showcasing the Lower Mississippi’s plantations, civil war battlefields, history and Southern culture• Five special departures featuring Natchez’s Spring Pilgrimage Pageant• “Blue Hawaii,” an Elvis Tribute• New theme cruises: Blues & Barbeque, Louisiana History & Culture, Mystical Krewe of Steamboating Mardi Gras, Dixie Fest, Southern Spirits, Gardens of the River, In the Good Old Summertime, Baseball Legends, Manifest Destiny, The Great Steamboat Era and the first annual Delta Queen Steamboat Company and Paddlewheel Steamboat Society Of America Reunion voyages• Epic Civil War voyage between Memphis and Chattanooga, Tenn.
Fares will start at $1,345 per guest based on double occupancy beginning January 1, and include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in every port onboard the line’s own coaches, the truly remarkable cuisine of celebrity chef Regina Charboneau and complimentary wine and beer with dinner. The company has scheduled cruise lengths ranging from five to fourteen days, and the itineraries ensure that much of the U.S. can sail with little or no flying.