American Queen Voyages, a cruise company specializing in U.S. river cruises, recently announced its longest sailing ever—a river cruise through 10 states and covering nearly 1,800 miles between Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers.
The company’s 16-day “Mighty Mississippi” voyage between Minneapolis and New Orleans was so popular that the company decided to develop an even more comprehensive sailing all the way to Pittsburgh.
While the 23-day sailing starts and ends in major cities, most of the stops along the way are smaller, lesser-known Midwestern towns. Some of the standouts include LaCrosse, Wisconsin, which is known for its nearly 600-foot Granddad Bluff with sweeping Mississippi River Valley views; Chester, Illinois, the home of the Popeye the Sailor Man cartoon; and Cincinnati, Ohio, the birthplace of baseball. The real highlight of these cruises is that passengers will get to see and experience a slice of life in charming riverfront towns they may not otherwise visit.
Each day will feature a stop in a new place, where guests will have the opportunity to get off and explore the communities, either on their own or with a free guided tour, which includes the “Field of Dreams” experience in Dubuque, Iowa (where guests go to the original site of the 1989 baseball movie), and a visit to the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory in Louisville, Kentucky.
The first sailing will take place on July 24, 2023, aboard the 245-passenger paddlewheeler American Countess, which is modeled after the classic steamboats that rolled along U.S. rivers in the 19th century. The American Countess features a Grand Dining Room that serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner with menus inspired by the company’s Southern heritage. There is also a theater where nightly shows are performed in a lounge-like setting, a fitness center, a library, a card room, and a sun deck. The 123 guest rooms range from deluxe staterooms with private verandas to smaller inside cabins with a queen bed but no windows.
After reaching Pittsburgh, the ship will turn around and sail back to Minneapolis on August 13. Meals and drinks are included (alcohol too), as is a one-night precruise hotel stay, unlimited Wi-Fi, on-board live entertainment, and complimentary bicycles and hiking sticks that passengers can check out. Rooms are bookable on the American Queen Voyages website with rates starting at $10,197 per person.