American Queen Voyages has kicked off its Pacific Northwest river sailing season, with celebrations held onboard the American Empress on March 14.
The paddlewheeler’s Godmother, Claudette Waggoner (pictured third left, with a white necklace), was there to welcome regional leaders onboard – including Vancouver Mayor Anne McEnerny-Ogle (third right), Visit Vancouver WA President and CEO Cliff Myers (center), as well as hospitality industry and port leaders, before an evening sail away.
“I was honored to christen the American Empress eight years ago and since that time it has been inspiring to watch the American Empress officers and crew introduce thousands to this magnificent region,” said Claudette Waggoner who is also the wife of American Queen Voyages Founder and Chairman John Waggoner.
“This is such a special year for American Queen Voyages as the company celebrates its 10th anniversary and I wish to thank the city of Vancouver for the ongoing partnership and warm hospitality,” Claudette Waggoner added.
According to a press release, the current sailing features American Queen Voyages Culinary Ambassador Regina Charboneau (pictured second left) as a special guest, showcasing the cuisine and culinary history of the Pacific Northwest.
Waggoner and Charboneau hosted a tour and luncheon onboard, which included cauliflower carrot soup, crispy duck breast and poached pear complimented by Willamette Valley pinot noir.
Vancouver, WA, situated across the Columbia River from Portland serves as a homeport of the American Empress with 40 sailings scheduled March through mid-December in 2022.
American Queen Voyages – which is part of the Hornblower Group – operates nine-day, one-way itineraries between Vancouver and Spokane (Clarkston, WA) along with seven-day roundtrip voyages from Vancouver. Featured stops are Astoria, OR; Stevenson, WA; The Dalles, OR.; Richland, WA.; and Clarkston, WA.
Guests enjoy a pre-cruise hotel night, unlimited included guided tours, lectures and evening entertainment.
“We are proud to welcome American Queen Voyages passengers once again,” said Anne McEnerny-Ogle, mayor of Vancouver. “The American Empress continues to be an important economic driver for our region and we look forward to her many guests visiting our community again and again.”
American Queen said that a river cruise onboard its American Empress offers “scenic cruising along the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, following the historic route of Lewis and Clark.” The ship boasts a vast collection of artifacts and artwork from native Alaska, the Gold Rush and the sternwheeler era in and around Portland, Oregon.
The American Empress has a capacity for 224 guests and features four decks and 112 staterooms, including single rooms for solo travelers and luxury suites.