This New Mississippi River Cruise Looks Like a Week and a Half of Southern Bliss

by TK Sanders
(Photo by: Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

Cruise company American Queen Voyages recently added a new itinerary along the Mississippi River to its list of offerings. This particular cruise promises travelers nine glorious days of southern spectacle as the ship traverses between Memphis and New Orleans.

The company’s cruiser, the American Queen, will stop in four cities along the way: Vicksburg, Natchez, St. Francisville, and Baton Rouge. Four separate trips will depart throughout the month of June, staggered once per week.

Onboard the Mississippi River cruise, guests will get to taste a wide array of southern classics. Dishes like panko-crusted alligator, pork rind-dusted pan-fried trout, blackened redfish, and craft beer fried chicken will take center stage, according to the company.

Furthermore, special guests staying in a luxury suite will receive a bevy of perks; including a complimentary cooking class and brunch hosted by famed southern chef Regina Charboneau at her Natchez cooking school. They will also receive a pre-sail biscuit demonstration, and a champagne toast.

“American Queen Voyages takes great pride in bringing a taste of the region to the dining rooms of its paddlewheelers as they churn up and down the Mississippi River,” Kari Tarnowski, senior VP of sales and marketing for the company, said. “The flavors of the cuisine take inspiration from the river and are recreated with local ingredients unique to the south.”

Guests of this Mississippi River cruise can expect significant health and safety protocols

John Waggoner, the founder and chairman of American Queen Voyages, said the new Mississippi River cruise marks the 10th anniversary of the company. He also called the new itinerary “iconic,” and promised to set sail, himself, on the ship’s second voyage in June. Waggoner will serve as an onboard host and will share stories about the history of the company and the making of their newest paddlewheeler, American Countess, during the itinerary.

Fares for the grand experience start at $2,599 per person; or $7,699 per person for a Luxury or Owner’s Suite.

American Queen Voyages (originally the American Queen Steamboat Company) sails river, lake, and ocean cruises all across the continent. The company also plans to begin offering Alaskan and Central American experiences in the coming months; as well as a foray into the Canadian Rockies.

To sail on the Mississippi River cruise, or any of the company’s offerings, guests must show proof of COVID vaccination and a negative test. After March 19, guests will be provided a complimentary antigen test within two days of embarkation, according to the company.

In its website’s safety section, the company also provides a detailed list of safety protocols for food and beverage. Some of the initiatives include hand-washing stations, frequent sanitization with records kept on file, and the washing of all glassware, even if unused.