The Cruise Line guest blogger, Anthony Nicholas returns today with a wonderful insight into the world of paddle wheeler cruising aboard the simply gorgeous, American Queen.
She looks like something straight out of a novel about Huckleberry Finn. Deck after deck rising up straight, white and symmetrical, like the tiers of a giant wedding cake. A pair of tall, spindly black funnels, standing proud against the early morning sky. Passengers in rocking chairs sipping mint juleps as a paddle wheel as large as a church organ thrashes the ancient, winding Mississippi into a frothy white mass. Then there is the roar of a steam whistle, sharp, loud and proud. It’s a vision from a century ago or more, unreal, yet undeniable.
This is the American Queen and, while she has an almost dreamlike presence and stance, this modern day paddle wheeler is all too real. She is the only vessel of her kind licensed to make overnight sailings on that ancient, storied waterway, and she has become a true star in her own right.
Inside, the American Queen is pure theatre; Gone With The Wind set afloat. The interior is a fussy, ornately gilded brew of grand, sweeping staircases and heroic chandeliers that hold sway above a riot of deep, rich carpeting, and all garnished with a soundtrack of sweet, sassy Dixieland jazz. Soul food on the river.
Food wise, the beautiful J.M. White dining room serves up lavish local specialties, such as succulent seafood and crunchy corn fritters. There’s a forward facing café that’s ideal for an early breakfast as the sun rises over the mighty Mississippi. And, overlooking the massive paddle wheel, the River Grill and Bar serves up down at home comfort food in a setting quite unlike anything else afloat.
Cabins run from compact, comfortable insides to expansive balcony suites offering fabulous views of the passing scenery. And in terms of entertainment, the Victorian style Grand Saloon is the venue for nightly bluegrass, blues, and, of course, some blistering jazz sessions, guaranteed to keep you ‘rolling down the river’ in matchless style.
The American Queen takes you on two trips at the same time. Firstly, on a voyage of thrilling adventures down one of the most fabled and mythical rivers anywhere and, secondly, back in time, to a more sublime age of steamboats, card sharps, graceful antebellum mansions, and colonial afternoon tea.
For modern living, American Queen also has a fully equipped gym and an expansive spa, but the overall experience is simply a voyage down memory lane in a style quite unlike anything else afloat today. Quite simply gorgeous.
American Queen EXCLUSIVE cruise packages
Our in-house cruise experts have put together 4 amazing cruise packages aboard the American Queen. Each one is utterly unique and will offer you the opportunity to really explore what the southern US states have to offer.
Mardi Gras – Departing 28 February 2014 for 10-nights. To view this cruise please click here
Southern Culture -Departing 21 March 2014 for 10-nights. To view this cruise please click here
Thanksgiving Festival -Departing 20 November 2014 for 11-nights. To view this cruise please click here
Civil War – Departing 09 May 2014 for 8-nights. To view this cruise please click here
For more information on cruises aboard the American Queen or to find out more about this extraordinary vessel, please call one of our Cruise Experts on 0800 008 6677.