Enriching and Engaging


Whether you wish to savor the subtleties of bourbon or pinot noir, learn culinary techniques from a celebrated guest chef or enjoy music from local legends, American Queen’s themed cruises, dubbed “Experiential Cruises” , appeal to travelers who wish to share our award-winning itineraries, luxurious accommodations, gourmet cuisine, and onboard enrichment, in the company of like-minded travelers.

When you set sail on a theme cruise, the benefit is that your fellow guests share your passion for the subject matter. And the experience has been carefully curated to inspire many of the experiences, from performances and workshops to vineyard visits and demonstrations.

Experiential or themed cruises at American Queen Voyages fall under 4 categories. View the list of current offerings below for more information on how to book these cruises.

“The discovery of a new dish does more for human happiness

than the discovery of a new star.” – J.A. Brillat-Savarin, epicure

Regina & Friends 

Embark on a delectable cruise with our Culinary Ambassador Regina Charboneau and her esteemed friends. When renowned chefs and food experts come together you are in for a gastronomic experience like no other as these special guests showcase their culinary prowess through interactive cooking demonstrations, exclusive tastings, and wine-pairing dining experiences. You will have the opportunity to learn from the best, savor exquisite dishes, and forge unforgettable connections with like-minded food enthusiasts.


Set sail on a spirited adventure through the heart of bourbon country, where the rich heritage and craftsmanship of this iconic American spirit come to life. Immerse yourself in the lore of legendary whiskey distilleries, as masters of their craft share their passion and expertise. From exclusive onboard tastings to hands-on workshops ashore, every moment is a celebration of the art of bourbon-making. Raise a glass to unforgettable memories as you sip and savor a curated selection of bourbons, surrounded by the scenic beauty of the river.


Indulge in the ultimate sensory escape with an American Queen Voyages wine cruise, a journey that combines the elegance of a cruise with the enchantment of the country’s best wines. Explore renowned vineyards, where expert vintners unveil the secrets of their craft, while you savor the velvety flavors and aromas that dance on your palate. During onboard wine tastings, sommeliers and local wine makers will guide you through a curated selection of vintages. Let not Ernest Hemingway’s regret be yours, that he did not drink more wine.

Local Spotlight: Salmon Fest

Savor salmon on a theme cruise that celebrates this succulent seafood, from the thrill of the catch to the culinary delights that await. You will have the chance to reel in the catch of the day and experience the thrill of the hunt alongside a Salmon Fishing Expert. Indulge in premium cooking demonstrations and taste freshly caught salmon paired with exquisite wines, all prepared by our onboard culinary experts.

Special Guest: Chiara Rose Shannon

Join Chiara Rose Shannon on a Pacific Northwest adventure. Chiara is an advanced sommelier with extensive industry experience and a leading voice in the conversation around mindfulness and wine. Shannon has niche expertise in organic, Biodynamic, natural and sustainably grown wines. Join Shannon’s Mindful Wine Tasting Technique aboard American Empress on October 1st.

“Holidays – any holiday – are such a great opportunity

to focus on bringing loved ones together.” – Lidia Bastianich, chef

Mardi Gras

Embrace the vibrant spirit of New Orleans and celebrate in style with a Mardi Gras themed cruise. Let the sounds of jazz and the aroma of Cajun cuisine transport you to the heart of this iconic festival. Experience all the revelry, from the colorful parades and dazzling costumes in port to the lively entertainment on board your riverboat. Indulge in traditional Mardi Gras delicacies and raise a glass to the rhythmic pulse of this annual celebration.

Salute to America 

Let’s salute America while reuniting with fellow past guests of American Queen Voyages. Celebrate the bonds forged through our loyalty program as you embark on a journey filled with special events, exclusive gatherings, and unforgettable moments. From themed parties to onboard activities that pay homage to the spirit of America, this is a perfect opportunity to reconnect, honor our shared values, and create lasting memories together.


Join us for a Thanksgiving celebration cruise that captures the essence of American heritage surrounded by stunning river views. Indulge in a traditional feast featuring all the beloved classics such as roasted turkey, baked ham, dressing, sweet potatoes, green beans, pumpkin pie, pecan pie, and more. Experience the warmth of the holiday season as we honor cherished traditions, create new memories, and give thanks.

Holidays on the River: Christmas Markets

Sail and savor this unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the local holiday traditions. In celebration of the season, Christmas Markets have been created in Natchez especially for American Queen Voyages guests. Shop for handcrafted goods from local artisans and some home-baked holiday treats to enjoy back on the boat. Bonfires will be lit on the river levees at Nottoway Resort in observance of the age-old Cajun ritual. Enjoy carolers, photos with Santa, and hot chocolate or Christmas cocktails, depending on your mood. There will also be Giving Trees along the route to help local charities.

Holidays on the River: Christmas Cruises

The magic of the holidays comes to life on one of our Christmas cruises that will transport you to a winter wonderland on the river. Delight in festive onboard decorations and the river towns decked out with holiday décor and twinkling lights. Enjoy cheerful carolers and performances of holiday classics. Indulge in delectable seasonal libations, from eggnog to assorted Christmas cocktails. Aboard an enchanting voyage where holiday magic abounds, American Queen Voyages promises a journey of cherished memories that will fill your heart with the warmth, love and joy of the season of giving.

Holidays on the River: New Year’s Celebration

Ring in the new year in style aboard a festive holiday cruise from American Queen Voyages, where every moment sparkles with excitement and anticipation. As the year past fades into yesterday and the new year dawns upon us, let us toast to the hopes, dreams, and aspirations it brings as we bask in excitement for  untold adventures and opportunities that lie ahead. Celebrate on board with your loved ones with a gala New Year’s Eve dinner, sip on flowing Champagne, and dance the night away on this celebratory cruise that promises to usher in another brand new year with a bang.

“Music is the universal language of mankind,—poetry their universal pastime and delight.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, poet

Country to the Blues

From country hits to the best of the blues, this music cruise invites you to embrace the spirit of the music, connect with fellow music lovers, and experience the magic that happens when country meets the blues on the river. During the voyage, immerse yourself in the rich tapestry of American musical heritage, from toe-tapping country melodies to the electrifying sounds of blues. Enjoy live performances from talented musicians and savor authentic regional cuisine inspired by the heartland. Discover the magic and beauty of America thru music from the center of its very heart.

Rhythm of the Rivers

Join us for a riveting music cruise where the sights and sounds of America’s rivers spring to life in the form of various musical genres. Listen for the smooth multi-melodies in country music and the rhythmic beat of the drums in jazz. Enjoy remarkable music performances from the onboard entertainment team and special guest performers. Whether you enjoy bluegrass, pop, rhythm and blues, or Memphis blues, head to the theater, sit back, relax, and get ready for the musical journey of a lifetime.

“We do not remember days, we remember moments.” – Cesare Parvese, author

President’s Cruise

Join special guests Cindy D’Aoust, AQV President; John Waggoner, Founder & Chairman, his wife Claudette Waggoner, American Empress® Godmother; and Regina Charboneau, AQV Culinary Ambassador and experience the special perks of the President’s Cruise, including a jazz brunch, hosted premium shoreside excursions, and onboard enrichment. Aboard this cruise, guests get up close and personal with the leaders of American Queen Voyages! Celebrate this milestone voyage by deeply discovering North America at iconic Lower Mississippi River destinations, including Nottoway, St. Francisville, and Natchez.

Baseball Legends

Celebrate America’s independence by immersing yourself in the excitement of America’s favorite pastime. Join fellow baseball fans in celebrating the game’s rich history and traditions. Enjoy special Fourth of July festivities onboard, complete with fireworks, themed parties, and patriotic displays, adding an extra layer of excitement to your baseball adventure. From lively discussions to friendly competitions, this cruise is a home run for baseball enthusiasts and fourth of July revelers alike.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained.  And venture belongs to the adventurous.” — Navjot Singh Sidhu, cricketeer

Mighty Mississippi

Embark on a 16-day mighty Mississippi themed cruise, retracing the iconic journey that begins at the headwaters of the river. Follow in the footsteps of literary classics as you immerse yourself in the settings of Mark Twain’s beloved tales, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” Cruise along the legendary river, witnessing the picturesque landscapes that inspired Twain’s stories and discovering the charm of the small towns and vibrant cities that dot its shores.

Extended Journeys

Set sail on a remarkable journey along the shores of the Mississippi and Ohio rivers, where history’s magic comes alive. Follow in the footsteps of Mark Twain as you make your way to Hannibal. Visit Louisville, the birthplace bourbon. Delight in the rich aromas of Cajun cooking to tantalize your taste buds. Discover Dubuque, where the iconic Field of Dreams stadium stands along with nostalgia of America’s favorite pastime. All this and more, the Mississippi and Ohio rivers promise an extraordinary adventure with its many treasures waiting to be discovered.

Terms and Conditions: All offered services and programs, including but not limited to cruise sail dates/times, itineraries, pricing including applicable fare promotions and/or special amenity offers, any/all excursions or special events, and any/all policies, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

©2023 American Queen Steamboat Operating Company, LLC. Ships’ Registry: United States and Bahamas