The new all-suite, American Duchess, has arrived in New Orleans to undergo final preparations for her August 14, 2017 inaugural sailing.
The vessel is owned and operated by the American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) and the paddlewheeler will join the American Queen and American Empress to become the third riverboat for the company.
AQSC chairman John Waggoner said: “The American Duchess performed beautifully as she made her way to New Orleans, undergoing sea and river trials supervised by the U.S. Coast Guard and company technicians, including exercises in the Gulf of Mexico, She exceeded all expectations from a technical standpoint and I can’t wait for our first guests to experience her first-hand very soon.”
The 166-guest ship will sail the Mississippi and her tributaries. New for the line, the American Duchess will offer overnight stays in port including the heart of Nashville as well as shorter roundtrip itineraries from the “Music City” and New Orleans. For added convenience, guests can also enjoy departures from Chicago (Ottawa, Il.) for the first time.
Rupert Thomson, managing director of Light Blue Travel, which handles all UK, Ireland & European sales and marketing for AQSC said: “ We’re very pleased with the interest we have received from the UK & Europe in US river cruising – it really is something different. It was clear we needed more capacity on the Mississippi and welcome the Duchess to the AQSC portfolio – saying that it is fully booked until October so we have no availability before then!”