Our first introduction to American river travel was on the American Queen, and our journey did not disappoint. In fact, our voyage on the American Queen wasn’t just my first river cruise… it was my first cruise ever. Overall, I would rate both this boat and our experience a 5/5.
When we arrived at the dock of the boat, we were a bit awe-struck. The paddlewheeler was unlike anything we had ever seen before. And even from the exterior, we were able to get a clear sense of the grandeur we were about to experience. Once inside, we immediately understood why an American Queen voyage is THE quintessential Mississippi River cruise. From the Mark Twain Gallery, to the J.M. White Dining Room this boat has an elegance that even top hotels can’t beat. The staff onboard was so friendly, it was like being welcomed home by our new family. Everyone always had a bright smile and loved to share the experience with all of us on board. The food was absolutely amazing, (I could go on but the delicious meals alone could have a full review themselves) but trust me when I say these chefs know what they’re doing.
While we absolutely enjoyed the experience on board, the real highlight of the trip was all of the places that American Queen visits. American Queen Steamboat Company has plenty of options for on land experiences, and even includes convenient Hop-On Hop-Off Tours. There are dedicated buses to take guests throughout each town, which feature included attractions. We also enjoyed some more in-depth “Premium Excursions” but the included tours were a big hit. For instance, in Natchez, there was an abundance to do. We’re a bit on the younger side so we were even able to walk around the town to experience the stops like Charboneau Rum Distillery – where the distillers provide a sample and a thoughtful talk about their rum-making process. In addition to multiple historic museums that really provide insight into the past of the town and the south as a whole. One of the town’s barbers even kept a journal for 16 years detailing the important events and day to day life.