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We are excited to begin our exclusive Wine Cruises on the Columbia River with Koi Pond Cellars! This great winery from Ridgefield, WA will be hosting an onboard tasting and answering your wine questions while your cruise aboard the S.S. Legacy visits many wineries in the ever-growing Northwest wine region. Michelle (featured in the video) and Wes from Koi Pond will be your hosts. Plus see many of the great regional highlights that we love on the Columbia River cruises. Learn all about this cruise: Columbia River Wine Cruise with Koi Pond Cellars
On Saturday, we took a group of nearly 80 clients on board the American Empress. The boat officially started its season on Sunday, boarding passengers for the cruise east towards Clarkston. The Empress’ season lasts through November, so be sure to book your cruise soon!
To get the COMPLETE American Empress experience, we rode the Hop-On/Hop-Off American Empress motorcoach! I’ve always been impressed with the effort they’ve made to make the motorcoach look like the boat – which would make it so easy to spot when you’re exploring a port city you’ve never been to and need a ride back. But I was equally impressed with how comfy the seats were, and how nice the drivers were. Thanks Mark and Diane from #ShoreExofAm!
Once on board the boat, we broke up into small groups to tour the boat. We got to see cabins of differing categories, from the smallest to the Owner’s Suite! The suites do come with fun perks! Each hallway is lined with art, and there are identifying numbers underneath. If you ever happen to be bored (which is hard to do on this boat!), you can use the gallery handout to explore the art!
The River Grill is the alternate dining option on the American Empress – but its totally my favorite option! The River Grill serves buffet-style breakfast and lunch, and the cooks will make your eggs to order in the morning. Their goal over the course of the week is to know you so well, they’ll start your breakfast as soon as you walk in the door! But for dinner, the River Grill is reservations-only. If you’re on board to celebrate an anniversary or birthday, make your reservation for that night! Have a special evening and enjoy yourselves.
I always like to visit the pilot house! I’m not sure why. So many buttons, and I don’t know what any of them do. But one of the ship’s captains explained a little about what’s happening with all those buttons and screens.
The Astoria Dining Room is beautiful. And the menu is too yummy for words!
Our afternoon ended with a presentation in the Show Lounge. We heard about the shore excursions and Riverlorian program, as well as some information about the American Queen on the Mississippi River. We even got to hear a few numbers from the band while enjoying fresh canapes and wine!
Explore the American Empress for yourself! This boat is a fantastic way to experience the history, culture, and cuisine in the Pacific Northwest. For more pictures, Here’s the Album from our luncheon on board last year.
There are a few cabins still available on the one sailing this year with the unique theme of Bourbon! This Ohio River cruise travels from St. Louis to Cincinnati just once this year: July 4, 2015. That first night is an included pre-cruise hotel in St. Louis – a perfect location for enjoying Independence Day!
What makes the cruise a Bourbon theme? You will have a tour of Buffalo Trace Distillery. And Don Flinn from Buffalo Trace Distillery will present a bourbon tasting! Seminars will be available by Bourbon historian and author, Michael Veach. The menu will be enhanced by the flavors of bourbon each day, and you’ll receive commemorative gifts each night!
We offer lots of wine cruises, and a few beer cruises, but there’s only one bourbon cruise! Call our agents to find out what the best deal is on the Bourbon Cruise aboard the American Queen: 800-578-1479!
If this date is just not going to work for you this year, there is one cruise date with a Bourbon and Bluegrass theme in July 2016. Take a peak at the 2016 Sailing Schedule of the American Queen!
The American Queen put together this video with photos of Civil War destinations and the fun historic presentations they have onboard. October 17th is their only 2015 Civil War themed cruise! Book yours today.
“On the Front Lines of the Civil War”
Mark Twain and his writings are the inspiration for modern day river boat cruises. Check out this Edison Film of Mark Twain from 1909 that was recently restored, it’s a must see: