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Clearly the powers behind the Great American Steamboat Company haven’t missed the emphasis on name entertainers that has transformed ocean-going cruise ships. The company recently announced its lineup for the 436-passenger American Queen during her first season in 2012, focused on the ship’s two-deck Grand Saloon. Musical selections will include everything from Broadway hits to Dixieland Jazz, big band, bluegrass, ragtime, rock and roll, showboat-style cabaret and old-fashioned radio shows ensuring that evenings will not be dull onboard.
“The American Queen and her fabled predecessors were consistently renowned and acclaimed for their lavish, award-winning entertainment and we could not be more pleased to offer our guests all of these legendary names onboard the most legendary riverboat in the world,” stated Christopher Kyte, president of Great American Steamboat Company.
American Queen also carries forward the 100-plus years of Delta Queen history by bringing back Mary Charlton, who served as Riverlorian onboard the Delta Queen, Mississippi Queen and American Queen in the past. The Glenn Miller Orchestra sails July 27, Aug. 3, and Dec. 28; the Harry James Orchestra April 19 and 27; the Rat Pack Show May 8, 15 and 22, June 28, July 18, Oct. 22 and Dec. 14; B.J. Thomas (“Hooked on a Feeling”) July 11, 18 and 22; the Lovin’ Spoonful July 11, 18 and 22; the Platters and Bill Haley’s Comets Sept. 7, The New Orleans Jazz All-Stars April 13 and 19. And that is only a sampling.
Cruises run three nights to 10 nights with fares beginning at $995, and there are early booking bonuses. The Steamboating Plus program offers a complimentary luxury hotel stay before or after sailing, along with transfers, a welcome brunch and more. Under the guidance of American chef Regina Charboneau, the ship’s cuisine is offered in a choice of four dining venues at no additional charge.
Sensitive to past problems, the company announced that it exceeds all current federal financial protection guidelines, offering a Total Financial Security Program where 100 percent of fares paid are held in escrow accounts until the cruise is completed.