travel guide

This guidebook is the ultimate resource for guests of any of our USA river cruises.

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Download Expedition Cruise Travel Guide


Clothing Suggestions

We suggest that you check a national weather source to plan what to pack for your voyage.
Daytime dress is casual. Be sure to bring comfortable, non-slip walking shoes for ports
of call and shore excursions. Slacks and shorts are acceptable in all public areas of
the vessel and ashore. For evenings, we suggest country-club-casual attire. A dress, a
dressy skirt and blouse or a pantsuit are recommended for ladies. Gentlemen may wish to
wear a sport coat, but it is not required. We kindly request that guests do not wear
shorts to dinner in the main dining room. Our vessels are climate-controlled, but we
recommend that you pack a sweater or jacket in case it is cooler than you prefer on
board. Remember to pack warm or cool clothes according to the weather forecast, and
always bring rain gear just in case.


It is imperative that your luggage be clearly identified with American Queen Steamboat
Company luggage tags. Please ensure that the enclosed luggage tags are correctly filled
out and attached to your luggage prior to pre-cruise hotel check-in or arrival at the
vessel. That will expedite delivery of luggage to your room aboard the vessel. If you
have not received luggage tags or you have misplaced them, there will be an American
Queen Steamboat Company representative at your pre-cruise hotel or dockside to assist
you. Your luggage will be transported to your room after it clears mandatory security
screening at the landing.
Baggage taken onto the vessel is limited to two pieces per guest at a maximum weight of
50 pounds each. Airlines and other transportation providers have their own rules and
limitations; be sure you are in compliance with your airline or other transportation
provider’s requirements.
Your luggage may be searched or X-rayed during airport or vessel check-in. We recommend
placing all film in your carry-on luggage, which typically passes through less powerful
screening machines.
Guests are urged to obtain travel protection to cover their baggage in the event of
possible en-route loss or damage. Travel protection that will cover baggage only
throughout your cruise is available through American Queen Steamboat Company, or you may
purchase protection through your preferred vendor.

Luggage Storage

To maximize enjoyment of your room space, vessel accommodations have been designed so
that your suitcases can be stored under your bed. Each room has wardrobe(s) for the
hanging of garments and storage of shoes and smaller items.


We cannot be responsible for valuables left in your room. Each vessel accommodation has a
personal safe that will secure your valuables, to give you peace of mind during the


Clothing Suggestions

You are responsible for your transportation to and from the airport at your embarkation
and debarkation unless you have made specific arrangements with American Queen Steamboat
Company. Transfers to the airport from the vessel on disembarkation day may be purchased
on board.


Guests may embark starting at 3:00 p.m. All guests are required to be on board no later
than 30 minutes prior to departure. Check-in times and location for your specific voyage
are contained in your final voyage documents. Upon check-in, please be prepared to show
your photo ID and register a credit card to activate your onboard account.


For security reasons and due to the physical arrangement of riverfront facilities, we
regret that we cannot guarantee parking at our docking locations, but parking facilities
are generally available at the airport or a local parking garage. If you drive to meet
the vessel, drop your luggage at the docking location, then move your car to a nearby
parking lot or garage. Arrange for a taxi to take you back to the dock after you park.
The visitor centers and chambers of commerce for each of our ports can recommend parking
facilities in the vicinity of our landings. Contact information can be found in the Port
Information section or by contacting your cruise booking agent.

Departure Time

Departure time varies by port and itinerary. Your boarding documents will note the exact
time. If you arrive early and wish to explore your port of embarkation, please ensure
that you are back on board the vessel no later than 30 minutes prior to the posted
departure time. The departure time will be posted at the vessel’s boarding area while in
port. Please consult it each time before leaving the vessel. For your comfort and
convenience, and to allow the deck crew adequate space to put the gangways in place, we
request that you remain in the public areas or your room until advised that you may
proceed ashore.



Vessel accommodations include a flat-screen television with satellite programming
available, depending on satellite signal reception.

Air Conditioning/Heating

Our vessels are fully air conditioned or heated, as appropriate. In addition, each vessel
accommodation is individually equipped with a thermostat, allowing you to control the
temperature in your room. If you need assistance, please contact the onboard Purser’s

Electrical Appliances

Vessel accommodations are equipped with 110-volt, 60-cycle alternating current (AC)
outlets. Electric razors and toothbrushes will operate from bathroom outlets. Each
bathroom includes a hair dryer. Irons and ironing boards are available upon request.
Other small appliances not exceeding 1500 watts (110 volts) may be used in room outlets.
Please check with the crew before using any other appliance.

Room Key/Security

On the American Queen, a key will be in your room or provided during your onboard
registration. On all other vessels, your boarding card will also serve as your room key.
Your boarding card will identify you as a guest when you are re-boarding, and functions
as a charge card that will keep track of your onboard purchases to be billed to your
room account. You will want to carry that multipurpose card with you at all times. You
will need your boarding card to embark or disembark the vessel.

Telephone Communications

Your room is equipped with a telephone that you may use to call throughout the vessel.
Follow the directions on your in-room telephone to make calls or to program a wakeup
Depending on your service provider’s network coverage area, your cellular phone may
operate during your river cruise. Check with your provider for its network coverage
information and the possibility of incurring any roaming charges. If you are having
trouble making a call, contact the Purser’s Office or any crew member for assistance.


Country Club Casual Attire

Country club casual or elegant resort wear is appropriate dress for all evenings; shorts
are not appropriate for dinner in our main dining rooms.


Each morning, early riser’s coffee and a breakfast buffet are available in the
alternative dining venue. Traditional breakfast service is available in the main dining
room. Room service is also available; check your in-room Guest Services Directory.


Please refer to the River Times onboard daily planner for lunch times and applicable


Traditional dinner service is offered in the main dining room. An alternative dining
venue is also available on all vessels. Our alternative dining venues are complimentary,
but may have certain restrictions depending upon the vessel on which you travel. Refer
to the River Times for details.

Between Meals

A tantalizing array of items, including fresh fruits, popcorn, ice cream and freshly
baked cookies, may be available in the vessel’s alternative dining venue.

Room Service

Our vessels offer 24-hour room service for your enjoyment, comfort and convenience.

Meal Seating

The seating times for dinner vary among our vessels. Please refer to the River Times for

Special Dietary Requests

With adequate advance notice, special diet requests can usually be accommodated. Please
inform your travel agent, group leader or our Reservations Department at (888) 749-5280
regarding any special dietary restrictions as soon as possible, but no later than three
weeks before your departure date. Please be sure to confirm your requests with the
maître d’ and your server.


General Information

For general information about our excursions, please visit
online before your voyage. Once on board, you may consult the River Times or speak with
the shore excursions staff. The River Times is delivered to your room each evening, and
provides details on the following day’s activities.

Ports of Call/Shore Excursions

At each port, you will have the chance to learn firsthand about its culture – past and
present. Included excursions generally consist of a guided Hop-On Hop-Off motorcoach
tour of the town, allowing you freedom to explore as many, or few, of the included
attractions as you wish. Some ports offer a more structured guided tour of one or more
points of interest. All excursions and tour times are dependent upon navigational
conditions of the river, over which we have no control, and therefore are subject to
occasional change with short notice.

Premium Experiences

Premium experiences on your voyage are optional, in-depth excursions designed to satisfy
your specific interests, and are offered at an additional cost. Information on available
tours is included in your river cruise documents package. Premium experiences require
advanced reservations and are capacity-controlled to provide an intimate and excellent
experience. Activity levels vary.



Our vessels are equipped with several conveniences for guests requiring special
assistance. Elevators provide access to most decks, and handicapped-accessible
staterooms are available (see brochure for details). Should you require the use of a
wheelchair on board the vessel, we encourage you to bring your own. The wheelchairs
carried on board are not available for consistent guest use. The crew will provide any
needed assistance to move guests to and from the motorcoaches; however, staff are not
available to assist guests simply moving about the vessel or while on excursions. Guests
requiring assistance for general mobility should have a travel companion to assist them
during the voyage and excursions.


If you are taking any medications, or require the use of oxygen, please be sure to bring
an adequate supply for the entire cruise, as it may not be possible to refill your
prescriptions at ports of call. Several of our crew members are trained in providing
emergency first aid for injuries or sudden illness requiring immediate attention or
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). Because the vessel is never far from shore, we are
always within relatively close proximity to emergency medical facilities. If you have a
specific medical or physical limitation, please advise our Reservations personnel by
calling the toll-free number below so that we may better anticipate your needs. If you
have questions, please call your travel agent, group leader or our Reservations
Department at (888) 749-5280.


Activities On Board

American Queen Steamboat Company provides a wide array of onboard activities. You may do
as much or as little as you desire. You can attend one of the Riverlorian’s programs,
watch a video or recruit fellow guests for a card game. Perhaps complete serenity is
more tempting. Stroll with friends, relax with a book and binoculars on deck or enjoy a
cocktail in one of the vessel’s unique bars.

Daily Program

River Times, the vessel’s daily program, will be delivered to your room each evening. It
will provide a comprehensive schedule of the next day’s activities, including meal
times, shore excursion departure times, port arrival time, special activities planned by
our cruise staff, lectures, movies and entertainment features.


Accommodations Assistance

Housekeeping attendants are on duty each morning and evening. Apart from cleaning your
room, they will provide items such as extra towels and fulfill special requests to
ensure your comfort.

Crew Members

While on duty, all crew members wear distinctive uniforms and name tags. Our cruise staff
has been trained to help you in any way possible. If you have questions or need help,
please do not hesitate to ask. They are eager to assist you.

Purser’s Office

There, you may obtain answers to any questions and settle your onboard account. The
purser’s hours of operation will be published on board. If you need information, please
do not hesitate to contact the Purser’s Office by using your in-room phone.

Gratuities/Beverage Service Charges

Our crew works very hard to ensure that every aspect of your voyage meets the highest
standards. That includes crew members who serve you directly, such as wait staff,
beverage servers, housekeepers and many others who support their efforts, whom you may
never meet. To ensure that the efforts of all our crew members are recognized and
rewarded, gratuities of $19.50 per guest will be automatically added to your onboard
account on a daily basis. If our service exceeds or fails to meet your expectations, you
are free to adjust that amount at the end of the cruise by visiting the Purser’s Office.
Beyond the free-flowing house drinks, a 15% Beverage Service Charge is automatically
added to bar charges and dining room purchases of premium spirits, premium beers and
premium wines. These charges are paid entirely to American Queen Steamboat Company crew
members. In ports of call and on shore excursions, we suggest that you extend gratuities
consistent with customary local practices.


Daily News

Newspapers will be provided whenever possible.

Gift Shop

Our gift shops offer quality logo apparel for men and women, as well as souvenirs, home
décor, gifts, books and toiletries. Please refer to the River Times for operating hours.

Lost and Found

Please notify the Purser’s Office immediately of any items lost or found, and then submit
a lost-and-found form online at


Please drop your mail at the Purser’s Office for bi-weekly drop off, or feel free to
bring into town to drop off at local post office yourself.

Medical Services

Because of the proximity to cities along the river, we are never far from professional
medical care. A medical officer is on board, and is trained in basic emergency first
aid. The captain will contact the appropriate authorities for immediate professional
care. Guests requiring special medication should bring an ample supply with them, as it
may not be possible to get the medication while in port.

Special Requests

Our cruise director, pursers and other crew are here to help you. If you have questions
or need assistance, please do not hesitate to ask.

Purchase of Goods and Services On Board

Our vessels operate on a cashless basis for your convenience. Your boarding card doubles
as your onboard charge card. Each time you make a purchase, this will be added to your
room account. All of your onboard purchases – including gift shop purchases, gratuities,
premium shore excursions and premium bar and wine tabs – will be handled in that way.
Your account must be settled with the purser prior to disembarking the vessel.
MasterCard, Visa, Discover, Diners Club and cash are all welcomed.

Laundry Service

With the exception of the American Queen, which offers self-service laundry facilities,
dry cleaning, laundry and ironing services are generally not available on board, but may
be offered on select voyages as a complimentary service.


General Alarm

In an emergency, you will hear the general alarm wherever you are on board. The crew will
then direct you to your muster station in accordance with the instructions provided
during the safety briefing session on your first day aboard.

Bow Ramps/Gangways

The gangway will be put in place and its location announced as soon as possible after
docking. For security purposes, and to assist you, a uniformed crew member will be on
gangway duty at all times. As you embark and disembark, facial recognition technology
will ensure contactless control at the gangway, as well as passive temperature

Crew Emergency

Drills Crew members undergo full emergency drills and recurrent training. All life
preservation equipment is thoroughly checked on those occasions.

Fire Doors and Bulkheads

Our vessels have been designed and built to meet the highest fire safety requirements.
The engine room, galley and storage areas are enclosed by special fire bulkheads. Each
main compartment and the stairwells also have fire bulkheads. In the event of a fire,
those bulkheads will confine the fire for more than enough time for safe vessel egress,
if that is required.

Fire Drills

Fire drills will be conducted regularly by the vessel’s crew when all or most guests are
ashore. The drills train the vessel’s personnel on the use of the fire equipment, and
instruct them on the safe and proper methods of assembling and caring for guests.

Smoking and Fire Prevention

Smoking, including e-cigarettes or vaping, is expressly forbidden in all vessel
accommodations and public areas, as well as on balconies and verandas. Smoking is
permitted only in designated outdoor areas. Please dispose of smoking materials
responsibly. The most common cause of fire is a hot or smoldering cigarette thrown into
a wastebasket. You should never throw any cigarette stub, lighted or unlighted,
overboard because it may fall onto the decks below or harm the environment. Use only
ashtrays to dispose of smoking materials.

Life Preservers

Your room has been outfitted with adult Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs). Please make a
note of their location. Instruction cards are mounted on the back of your room door
showing how the devices are to be worn. If you are traveling with a child, please notify
the Purser’s Office so a child’s life vest can be placed in your room. In the event of
an emergency or upon hearing the general alarm, proceed immediately to your room and don
your life vest. Wait there for further instructions from the captain. The muster
stations are listed on the inside of your room door or inside of the closet door.

Muster Stations

The location of your muster station will be identified on the emergency card in your
room. The vessel is often near land at any given time. Should it become necessary for
the safety of the vessel and our guests, the captain would likely maneuver the vessel to
shore if feasible.

Guest Safety Briefing

On the day of departure, a mandatory safety briefing will be held by the captain. All
guests are required to participate. The briefing will acquaint all guests with life vest
donning instructions, muster station locations and emergency procedures. It is very
important that all guests participate in the safety briefing and that all instructions
are followed carefully.

Safety Information

Our officers and crew are trained in key areas related to the safety of the vessel and
our guests, and they conduct ongoing safety drills and inspections. The captain and crew
are pleased to answer questions you may have on the subject.

Safety and Security

Our river ports are regulated by the federal government. For your protection, Homeland
Security regulations require us to randomly screen baggage brought aboard the vessel. As
part of that process, some bags are opened and physically inspected. Please unlock your
bags before they are taken to the vessel. To board, you must present a government-issued
photo ID. In addition, you may be asked to participate in random screenings during your
river voyage.


Cruise Vessel Safety and Security Act (CVSSA) Passenger Security Guide: Vessel – American Queen 

In compliance with the Cruise Vessel Safety &Security Act, onboard the American Queen, you will find a medical officer, a Vessel Security Officer (VSO) and an alternate Vessel Security Officer (Alt VSO). Any of these highly trained individuals are available 24/7 by contacting the front desk, or in an emergency, by dialing 911 on any vessel phone.

CVSSA also requires us to describe the jurisdictional authority applicable, and the law enforcement processes available, with respect to the reporting of homicide, suspicious death, a missing United States national, kidnapping, assault with serious bodily injury, firing or tampering with the vessel, or theft of money or property in excess of $10,000, together with contact information for the appropriate law enforcement authorities for missing persons or reportable crimes which arise in the territorial waters of the United States.

At all times the American Queen remains within the jurisdiction of the United States of America. We do not travel to foreign countries.

Please report any of the above crimes, or suspected / alleged crimes, to the front desk who will in turn notify the Master / VSO.

At any time, guests may dial 911 externally (on a cell phone) to reach the 911 operator of the State in which we are travelling. If you do not have a cell phone, the front desk will assist you in dialing 911 externally

Alternatively for reportable crimes to the FBI, or USCG, contact details are below:

Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324)

United States Coast Guard (USCG)
Relevant Captain of the Port emergency contact details are below:

Sector New Orleans: 1-800-225-5324
Sector Lower Mississippi: 1-901-521-4822
Sector Upper Mississippi 1-314-269-2332 / 2463
Sector Ohio Valley 1-800-253-7465


Environmental Standards

Our vessels have been built to achieve the highest standards of compliance with
environmental concerns. It is the policy of American Queen Steamboat Company to operate
a responsible and environmentally sensitive cruise operation. We seek to protect and
preserve the integrity of the land, the air, the waters, the cultures we have the
privilege of sharing and the habitat of the birds, wildlife and marine life we view. To
accomplish our goal, we need your help and participation!

Environmental Friendliness

We are cruising in pristine waters, and our vessels have an outstanding onboard marine
sanitation sewage treatment plant that exceeds U.S. Coast Guard standards and preserves
the quality of the waters. However, to ensure that it can properly do its job, we need
your full cooperation. Please use only the biodegradable toilet tissue provided. Please
do not flush facial tissue, feminine hygiene products, cigarettes or any other items,
because they will affect the vessel’s entire system, and may cause an embarrassing
backup of black water in your bathroom. Please do not flush anything except body waste
and the tissue provided down the toilet.

Keeping the Waters Clean

Please do not throw anything overboard, including matches, cigarettes and food waste. Use
the ashtrays and garbage receptacles provided. When on deck, please be sure that
napkins, reading materials, disposable cups and plates are not left unattended or set
down where they can be blown overboard. When you have finished with such items, please
dispose of them in the receptacles provided.


For your own viewing enjoyment and that of your fellow guests, please try to talk softly
when the vessel is near marine life or wildlife. When we are in small ports, or when we
are docked close to other vessels, please be considerate with respect to noise levels.
We kindly ask evening occupants of the lounges to keep the noise levels at a moderate
level. Also, please be considerate concerning volume levels when you use the television
and music systems in your room.


While enjoying the unique, pristine attractions ashore, please be thoughtful and kind to
the fragile environment. Do not discard any refuse that may spoil the quality of the
experience for others. Please do not collect or destroy anything. That way, the next
visitor can enjoy it as well. Please be responsible. Leave only your footprints. Come
away with only cherished memories and your photographs. We want to ensure that the
magical environment we share with you today is the same for the next visitors and for
future generations.

Water Conservation

Although there are many advantages to a smaller vessel, there are a few limitations,
including the amount of fresh water that is stowed on board. Therefore, it is necessary
to be thoughtful and conservative when using water. When you have finished showering,
please make sure the water tap is completely turned off.