The most opulent riverboat to ever cruise the Columbia River is back in business. Formerly known as Empress of the North, the American Queen Steamboat company has revived and renovated this vessel and brought it back to the water. (For more on the acquisition of this ship, see this blog post).

Christened the weekend of April 4, 2014 and also taking her maiden voyage soon-thereafter, our very own Cindy and Mary were onboard to take in all of the excitement.

A United States-flagged vessel, the American Empress has five decks and measures 360 feet in length. There are seven classes of staterooms, ranging from outside staterooms with windows, to luxury suites with verandas. Features of the American Empress include a main dining room, a showroom for lectures and performances, an indoor/outdoor alternative dining venue, and a gift shop.

As for updates made to the Empress, the vessel’s infrastructure (such as lighting and plumbing) have been upgraded. Refurbishments replaced parts of the hull and overhauled the engines. Updates to the interior of the vessel include fresh carper, new linens, and wallpaper in 42 of the staterooms.

The ship’s guest rooms have upscale amenities that are the equivalent to a luxury hotel room, including private outside decks to all by seven cabins. And even said rooms have outside views.

See below for pictures of Cindy and Mary’s voyage, and give us a call to take advantage of some great 2-for-1 specials on the American Empress!

Cindy and Mary in front of the American Empress tour bus, which charters guests around during shore excursionsCindy Mary Empress bus

American Empress tour bus

Empress bus

Front of tour bus

Empress_front of bus

Hop on and off the tour bus during shore excursions

Empress_hop on and off

The American Empress docked on the Columbia River

Empress docked

The ship’s functioning, beautiful red paddle wheel

Empress padde wheel

Empress Suite

Empress Suite

Empress Suite

Empress Suite 2

Empress Cabin

Empress 209

Empress Suite

Empress 210

Cabin Amenities include a flat screen TV, coffeemaker, and refrigerator

Empress amenities

Cabin Washroom

Empress washroom

Empress Showroom that features lectures and live performances

Empress showroom

The Paddlewheel Lounge

Empress Paddle Wheel Lounge 3

The Paddlewheel Lounge

Empress Paddle Wheel Lounge 2

The Paddlewheel Lounge

Empress Paddle Wheel lounge

The River Grille Interior Dining Space

Empress River Grille Interior

River Grille Interior Dining Space

Empress River Grille inside

River Grille Outdoor Deck Dining Space

Empress River Grille deck 2

River Grille Outdoor Deck Dining Space

Empress River Grille deck

The beautiful Astoria Dining Room

Empress Astoria dining room


Gorgeous fresh flower arrangements

Empress dining room flowers


Delicious, beautifully presented cuisine

Empress cuisine


Bikes onboard for guest use

Empress bikes

One of our agents, Nadine, with the American Empress captain!

Empress_ Nadine with captain

Meet Jim, owner of Shore Excursions of America!

Empress_Jim American Shore tours

The service onboard is outstanding! Here is Jim again with Nikki, the head bartender on the American EmpressEmpress_Jim and Nikki head bartender

Here is Mary with Lawrence, an onboard historian

Empress_Lawrence onboard historian

Musician/historian performing Arlo Guthrie river songs

Empress_musician_historian_Arlo Guthrie river songs

Esther Short Park in Vancouver, WA

Empress_Esther Short Park

The Marshall House in Vancouver, WA

Empress_Marshall house

Pearson Air Field in Vancouver, WA

Empress_pearson air field

The Grant House on Officer’s Row, Vancouver, WA

Empress_Grant House

Fort Vancouver

Empress_fort vancouver

Bridge of Astoria

Empress_bridge of Astoria

One of the many barges and tankers on the river


Cindy with the amazing collection of art onboard


Empress_gallery of artwork

Artwork Close-up

Empress artwork

Vancouver Hilton over looks this beautiful Washington park

Empress_Vancouver Hilton


American Empress Pilot House

Empress_pilot house


Cindy in front of the Pilot House

Empress_Cindy Pilot House


The beautiful American Empress

American Empress


For full itinerary and more details, click here!

Then call (800) 578-1479 for reservations!!