These days Avalon Waterways is known for its riverboats that boast some of the most spacious suites available on rivers anywhere as well as a new vessel sailing Southeast Asia. Now the cruise company adds a third element that makes it standout among its contemporaries—two 2013 voyages along the Mississippi River aboard the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America.
Avalon will partner with the American Queen Steamboat Company to offer journeys aboard its Victorian-style paddlewheel steamboat, American Queen. The "First Lady of the Mississippi" will take guests on the 12-day America's Heartland: From Music City to the Big Easy itinerary and the 11-day Fall Foliage Spectacular: From the Windy City to the Two Cities. During these two voyages, Avalon will host up to 40 guests.
So why book these Mississippi River cruises with Avalon when you can just as easily book them directly with American Queen? The fact is: the experience will be different when traveling with Avalon. To start, an Avalon tour director will accompany guests from ship to shore for some very unique experiences.
In Natchez, Mississippi, travelers will visit Chef Regina Charboneau's home, where they'll sample drinks with a Southern flair as well as light snacks.
While aboard the paddlewheel steamboat, Avalon guests will enjoy all the benefits of sailing with American Queen, including complimentary shore excursions, bottled water and soft drinks throughout the cruise, wine and beer with dinner, onboard entertainment, and special "Culture & Cruise" experiences. It's worth it to mention that, unlike almost every other cruise ship you've boarded, the paddlewheel steamboat is crewed by an all-American staff.
American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built and it blends Victorian décor with modern technology and high-end amenities. Inside and outside staterooms are available as well as deluxe, superior, and suite accommodations with verandas.
From a visit to the Route 66 Hall of Fame in Pontiac, Illinois, to Abraham Lincoln's birthplace in Springfield to Nashville's Grand Ole Opry, these Mississippi River cruises promise a low-key way to explore the rich history that's right here in our own backyard.
Photo courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company