The American Queen Steamboat Company announces hotel-side refurbishment details of the 436-passenger paddlewheeler currently underway at the New Orleans’ Bollinger Shipyards. As part of the American Queen’s scheduled annual layup, an abundance of enhancements totaling more than one-half million dollars will be evident to past guests boarding for her first 2013 voyage on February 23.
“The American Queen is a national treasure and our loyal guests of her 2012 inaugural season enjoyed a historic return to river cruising in the heartland,” explains American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “After her makeover, public areas will appear even richer and more opulent, while back-of-the-house changes and additions improve efficiency.”
A team of one hundred craftsman is currently dedicated to the American Queen, preparing her for an even more comfortable and enjoyable second season. New woodwork, custom-milled carpets and period fabrics in rich jewel tones not only heighten the sense of elegance but reflect the paddlewheeler’s heritage and pay homage to the glory days of river travel.
All furniture in both public areas and suites is being either reupholstered or replaced. As guests enter their stateroom or suite, they will be welcomed by new mahogany plantation shutters enhancing both privacy and ambiance. Added river scenes by noted artist Michael Blaser will adorn hallways throughout the boat, complementing the décor and reinforcing a sense of nostalgia.
Guests arriving in the J.M. White Dining Room will be greeted by a dramatic new marble and granite entryway, wallpaper and carpeting. New empire-style dining chairs are being added for a grand atmosphere. A mahogany wine wall showcasing a collection of both popular and boutique wineries creates a dramatic centerpiece. The room also features a new double-sided buffet to accommodate a greater selection of culinary specialties at breakfast and lunch. Behind the scenes, newly added appliances will also be welcomed by the galley staff to deliver Culinary Director Regina Charboneau’s signature cuisine.
A perennial favorite among guests, the Front Porch of America, will now become the Front Porch Café, offering a more comprehensive alternative dining option with the addition of a small prep kitchen executing a light menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner. New furniture will adorn this sitting area while the outdoor deck remains a favorite spot for reading a classic novel or simply watching the river pass by.
Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, American Queen’s fares will begin at $1,495 per guest based on double occupancy in 2013, and include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in every port onboard deluxe SteamcoachesSM, the acclaimed cuisine of legendary chef Regina Charboneau, and complimentary wine and beer with dinner. A variety of holiday lengths ranging from five days to fourteen offer exceptional value and convenience with little or no flying required.