American Queen Voyages, part of Hornblower Group, has released its 2024 season, marking “the furthest in advance a season has opened for reservations in the company’s 10-year history.”
According to a press release, American Queen Voyages River experiences will begin the 2024 season with its Lower Mississippi route between New Orleans and Memphis on the paddlewheelers the American Duchess, American Countess and the American Queen, guiding guests through the cities and port towns of the South. The paddlewheelers will also sail through America’s heartland, showcasing the Ohio and Cumberland rivers through cultural experiences and immersive excursions.
The Mighty Mississippi journeys will also return, giving guests a chance to experience “the best of American culture and history,” the cruise line said.
Expanding upon its offerings in Lakes and Ocean cruising, American Queen Voyages will deliver “encounter-driven itineraries” along the coastal waters of the U.S., Canada and the Great Lakes, beginning with voyages to Mexico’s Yucatán Peninsula where guests will visit Chichén Itzá’s ruins and El Castillo – the Temple of Kukulkan and partake in shore excursions led by bilingual guides explaining Mexico’s heritage.
According to the press release, guests will be able to traverse an urban exploration between Niagara Falls and Chicago or enjoy a late spring/early summer voyage between Canada and New England with stops in the northeastern port cities like Martha’s Vineyard, Bar Harbor and Newport.
“Following a momentous year for the company, we are eager to introduce a full season of itineraries under the new American Queen Voyages name, establishing our River, Lakes & Ocean and Expedition offerings to cruisers as they plan out their future travels,” said Shawn Bierdz, the chief operating officer for American Queen Voyages.
“As the desire for close-to-home travel experiences continues to grow, we look forward to discovering new destinations, and returning to those that have captured our hearts, alongside our valued guests for years to come,” he added.
The 2024 season will mark American Queen Voyages Expedition’s third season in the market and its second season with two vessels operating in Alaska – the Ocean Victory and Ocean Discoverer. The newly built 186-passenger vessels, created for “intimate access with an innovative X-Bow design,” will sail immersive journeys through the less-traveled regions of Alaska’s Inside Passage with an expedition team onboard.
The release news follows American Queen Voyages’ achievement of “several milestones” in 2021, it said. These include the rebrand of American Queen Steamboat Company and Victory Cruise Lines into American Queen Voyages, the American Countess’ christening and inaugural season, the company’s 10th anniversary, the opening of the new Fort Lauderdale office and “multiple record-breaking booking days” throughout 2021.
The release of the 2024 season also follows the recent transformation of American Queen Voyages Lakes and Ocean vessels, the Ocean Voyager and Ocean Navigator, previously named Victory I and Victory II under Victory Cruise Lines, which will chart new routes as revealed in the 2024 season launch.