Experience the Magic of Holiday Cruises with American Queen Voyages

american queen sailing at night

Explore the waterways of North America in an all-new light with our holiday cruises. At American Queen Voyages, we provide holiday river cruises that are uniquely tailored to celebrate the festive season in style. These journeys provide a spectacular blend of tradition, culture, and nature, ensuring a memorable holiday experience for all our guests. From historic town visits to delightful dinners, our holiday cruises promise enchanting experiences that would make your holiday unforgettable.

Whether you are an adventurer seeking new landscapes, a history enthusiast intrigued by ancient narratives, or a food lover yearning to try new cuisines, our holiday cruises have something for everyone. Immerse yourself in the festivities of the season and create lasting memories onboard our stunning vessels.


Introducing Festive Activities on Holiday Cruises

Celebrate the Season with Aboard and Ashore!

This holiday season, American Queen Voyages is excited to introduce a range of special themed holiday activities on our Holidays on the River themed cruises, adding an extra layer of festive fun to your journey. Every night is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the holiday spirit in a different way.

  • Festive Film Nights: In our onboard theater, we will be showcasing classic holiday films. Whether you’re watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” or “Elf”, it’s a cozy way to end your day.
  • Culinary Demos: Our talented Culinary Ambassador Regina Charboneau will be hosting special culinary demos on select sailings, showcasing how to prepare some festive delicacies. Whether it’s crafting the perfect mince pie or mixing a mean eggnog, there’s a lot to learn and savor.

We believe this festive activity will add an extra touch of magic to your already enchanting journey with us. Each of these voyages has been carefully designed to blend the timeless traditions of the holiday season with the unique experience of cruising North America’s majestic rivers. So, while the daytime brings exploration and discovery, your evenings on the American Queen will be filled with festivity, fun, and unforgettable memories.

Celebrate, Revel, and Make Memories!

At American Queen Voyages, every detail matters. Our onboard festivities are yet another testament to our commitment to ensuring that your holiday cruise is filled with moments that you’ll cherish for years to come. We invite you to experience this festive wonder firsthand, making your holiday season truly special.

So, don your festive attire, bring your holiday cheer, and join us in making this year’s holiday cruises the most memorable yet!


What’s New in 2024: Upcoming Holiday Experiences

As we continue to innovate and curate exceptional experiences for our guests, we’re thrilled to offer a sneak peek into what awaits you on our 2024 holiday cruises. Building upon the resounding success of our themed nights, we’ve incorporated feedback and fresh ideas to bring even more magic to your festive river journey.

Christmas Markets: Drawing inspiration from the famous European Christmas markets, we’re bringing the festive market experiences in partnership with Natchez, Mississippi. Meander through stalls filled with artisanal crafts, unique holiday gifts, and mouth-watering treats. It’s the perfect place to find that special gift for a loved one or a holiday keepsake for yourself.

New Year’s Eve Gala: Usher in 2025 in grand style with our spectacular New Year’s Eve Gala. Featuring live music and a midnight champagne toast, it’s the perfect way to celebrate new beginnings.

Interactive Holiday Storytelling: Join our Riverlorian as they weave enchanting tales of holiday traditions, folklore, and the rich history of the regions we visit.

With 2024 just around the corner, now is the perfect time to plan your festive voyage with American Queen Voyages. Our 2024 holiday cruises promise to be a harmonious blend of the familiar and the new, ensuring that each journey remains etched in your memory for years to come.

Holiday Cruises on North America’s Rivers

decorated christmas tree in the grand salon


Our holiday cruises present you with the opportunity to savor the winter chill while relishing a laid-back holiday vacation on North America’s majestic rivers. When you step aboard one of our holiday cruises in 2023 and 2024, you’ll be greeted with a warm ambience that resonates with holiday cheer. Picture yourself cruising through charming river towns adorned with festive decorations, and witnessing the captivating winter landscapes that create a perfect backdrop for your holiday journey.

Our meticulously planned itineraries ensure a unique blend of relaxation and exploration. Indulge in our luxurious accommodations, relish delectable meals, and soak up the panoramic river views that transform with the season. Our holiday river cruises are designed to encapsulate the true essence of North America’s waterways during the holiday season, offering you an immersive and enchanting journey.

Diverse Options for Your Holiday Cruises

At American Queen Voyages, we believe in creating the perfect holiday experience for each guest. That’s why our holiday cruises offer an array of options to match your vacation preferences. Whether you are planning a grand celebration with family and friends or yearning for a peaceful retreat, our holiday cruises in 2023 and 2024 will cater to your desires.

You can choose from an assortment of destinations and experiences. Be it a mystical journey through the historic towns along the Mississippi River or a tranquil cruise through the serene waterways, our itineraries are thoughtfully curated to deliver the ideal holiday escape. As you explore the diverse offerings on our holiday cruises, you’ll find that each voyage has its unique charm and allure that complements the festive season.

Holiday Cruises: Exploring Historic Towns

The heart of our holiday river cruises lies in the exploration of quaint, historic towns along the Mississippi River. Our itineraries are designed to bring you closer to the rich history and unique charm of these towns. Step off the boat and walk the streets lined with century-old buildings, local shops, and vibrant cafes. Each town has its own tale to tell, and our guided tours aim to weave these narratives into memorable experiences.

Our holiday cruises don’t just limit themselves to exploration. They also promise an epicurean journey with festive menus carefully curated by our renowned Chef Regina Charboneau. Revel in the traditional Réveillon dinner, savor delightful meals onboard, and experience local flavors during your shore excursions. By combining cultural exploration with gastronomical delights, our holiday cruises ensure a truly enriching holiday experience.

NEW for 2023: Christmas Markets

From handcrafted ornaments to yuletide delights, our cruises with Christmas Markets offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local holiday traditions. In Natchez, special European-style authentic Christmas markets have been created especially for American Queen Voyages. Enjoy strolling through craft stalls for a gift or treats to enjoy back on board.

gingerbread house with icing and gum drops

Roundtrip New Orleans Holiday Cruises

Plenty of cultural and rich history awaits you on this cruise itinerary. Explore the historic streets in the French Quarter or Garden District and eat the most fantastic Cajun dishes.

Then you will board the American Queen and travel north along the Lower Mississippi River.

You will make several stops in Mississippi, including Natchez, a historic southern town known for its hospitality and preservation of historic homes. Most homes that survived the American Civil War are still in use today. Their histories flow in abundance along the Mississippi River.

Here are the port stops that include excursions on the mainland: 

      • New Orleans, Louisiana
      • Nottoway, Louisiana 
      • St. Francisville, Louisiana
      • Natchez, Mississippi 
      • Vicksburg, Mississippi 

Learn More About this Cruise  


Memphis to New Orleans Holiday Cruises

The Mississippi River is the second longest river in the United States. The southern portion is filled with dramatic history and rich cuisine that will delight your tastebuds. You will enjoy the charming bayous, and small towns lit up at night with beautiful string lights. 

Here are the port stops that include excursions on the mainland: 

      • Memphis, Tennessee 
      • Cleveland (Terrene Landing), Mississippi 
      • Vicksburg, Mississippi 
      • Natchez, Mississippi 
      • Baton Rouge, Louisiana 
      • Nottoway, Louisiana 
      • New Orleans, Louisiana

Learn More About this Cruise


New Orleans to Memphis Holiday Cruises

Alternatively, you can book the New Orleans to Memphis cruise, you get an introduction to the American South and its unique sights. There is always something new waiting around each bend on the beautiful Mississippi river, so enjoy every moment! 

Here are the port stops that include excursions on the mainland: 

      • New Orleans, Louisiana 
      • Nottoway, Louisiana 
      • St. Francisville, Louisiana 
      • Natchez, Mississippi 
      • Vicksburg, Mississippi 
      • Memphis, Tennessee

Learn More About this Cruise  


Our Christmas Cruise Amenities 

Our cruises include a pre-cruise hotel stay the night before you board the cruise line. The evening is yours to explore on your own! Our hospitality desk is conveniently located in the hotel and can assist with anything you may need related to your upcoming voyage. 

The vessels also include a one night pre-cruise hotel stay, transportation between vessel and hotel, unlimited beverages and open bars in lounges, regionally inspired cuisine, unlimited Wi-Fi, and live daily onboard entertainment, and live music. 


holiday garland decoration on wrought-iron balustrade


Packing List for Christmas Cruises 

Carry-on bag 

Whether you bring checked luggage, you’ll need a carry-on bag to access your necessities quickly. Your bag should have your ID, wallet, cell phone, medications, water, snacks, sunscreen, sunglasses, and anything else valuable to you. 

Dinner attire 

For most cruise lines, dinner attire generally means cocktail dresses, dress slacks, dress shirts, and jumpsuits. Many people also wear sports jackets and suits. At American Queen Voyages, we recommend coming country-club casual to dinner. 

Mix-and-match clothing 

It’s a good idea to pack light so if you can limit your suitcase to three or four tops and two or three bottoms, you’ll have more room in your suite and won’t have to worry about packing up so much stuff at the end of your trip. Pack light clothing and bring a light jacket and some accessories like scarves and hats if you need to keep warm. We recommend that you bring comfortable walking shoes, a hat, lightweight rainwear, an umbrella, and a jacket or sweater to wear in the evenings. 

Comfortable shoes 

You can expect to do a lot of walking during the shore excursions, so pack a comfortable pair of walking shoes. Even if you never step foot off the ship, there is still plenty of walking 

Over-the-door organizers 

Over-the-door organizers with pockets on the outside are ideal for holding hygiene products, makeup, and jewelry because they save counter and drawer space. These organizers make it easy to find what you’re looking for! You can also pack a shoe organizer in the closet or bathroom door. 



Bottom Line 

Cruising on a paddlewheeler is an experience that cannot be found anywhere else in the world. The sound of the paddlewheel is mesmerizing and exciting, and it’s a unique way to see North America.

American Queen Voyages provides an authentic way to experience the banks of America by sailing on their luxurious vessels. This is one of the most memorable experiences you will have on vacation, thanks to American Queen Voyages’ expert navigation and attention to detail.

American Queen Voyages provides various accommodations options that fit all singles, couples, and families. Whether you want to stretch out in spacious suites or staterooms, our cruise lines have something for you. Our luxury accommodations and free Wi-Fi make traveling aboard our ships an enjoyable experience, regardless of your destination.



FAQs – Holiday Cruises


When do the holiday cruises start and end?

Our holiday cruises typically begin in late November, offering Thanksgiving cruises that allow you to celebrate this festive day in a unique setting. The holiday cruise season continues through December with special Christmas and New Year cruises. Each cruise varies in length, typically ranging from 7 to 14 days. For exact start and end dates, please refer to the specific cruise itinerary of your interest.


What is included in the holiday cruise package?

Our holiday cruise package includes a variety of amenities designed to provide a seamless and enjoyable experience. These include comfortable accommodation onboard, all meals with special festive menus, unlimited beverages, and daily onboard entertainment. We also offer shore excursions at each port of call, providing opportunities to explore local sights and attractions. Our package includes a one-night pre-cruise hotel stay, as well as transportation between the hotel and the vessel. Plus, we offer unlimited Wi-Fi so you can stay connected throughout your journey.


How can I book a holiday cruise for 2023 or 2024?

You can book a holiday cruise for 2023 or 2024 directly through our website, where you’ll find a dedicated section for holiday cruises. Each cruise listing provides detailed information on the itinerary, including dates, prices, and what’s included in the package. If you need further assistance, our Guest Care Center would be delighted to help you choose the cruise that best suits your holiday preferences. You can reach them via phone or email.


What is the dining like on a holiday cruise?

Dining on our holiday cruises is a gastronomic delight. We offer a variety of options that cater to different tastes and dietary preferences. Our onboard dining includes buffet breakfasts, multi-course lunches, and dinners featuring regional specialties. For the festive season, our renowned Chef Regina Charboneau creates special menus that incorporate holiday classics and exciting culinary creations. Expect traditional holiday treats, festive cocktails, and a beautiful ambiance that will make each meal an unforgettable experience.


Are there any special events or entertainment during the holiday cruises?

Yes, we aim to make our holiday cruises a festive celebration on the water. You can expect special onboard events like holiday-themed parties, live music, and performances that capture the spirit of the season. Additionally, each cruise offers unique entertainment options like historical lectures, cooking demonstrations, and even special guest performers. During shore excursions, we often plan visits to local holiday events and festivals, where possible. The detailed itinerary of each cruise will provide more information on the specific events planned.


(Original Publish Date: September 13, 2022)