American Countess

Former name: Kanesville Queen (casino boat)

American Countess current position

American Countess current location is at Gulf of Mexico (coordinates 30.16563 N / -91.00633 W) cruising en route to NOTTOWAY. The AIS position was reported 12 minutes ago.

Current Position

Specifications of American Countess

Year built2021 new ship
Flag state USA
BuilderGulf Island Shipyard (Houma, Louisiana)
Classpaddle-wheel steamship
OwnerHornblower Group Inc (via Hornblower Cruises and Events)
OperatorAmerican Queen Voyages
Speed12 kn / 22 kph / 14 mph
Length (LOA)97 m / 318 ft
Beam (width)24 m / 79 ft
Passengers245
Crew110
Decks4
Cabins123
Decks with cabins2
Last Refurbishment2019-2020
Former namesKanesville Queen (casino boat)
Christened byAngie Hack

American Countess Review

Review of American Countess

The 2020-built/2021-inaugurated American Countess cruise ship is a newbuild paddlewheel steamboat reconstructed with the hull of MS Kanesville Queen (1995-built paddle-wheeler, casino ship of "Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino and Hotel"). The vessel was originally scheduled to enter service on April 5, 2020 (inaugural cruise), following drydock lengthening by Gulf Island Fabrication Inc (at Gulf Island Shipyard in Houma Louisiana).

The 245-passenger riverboat is the 4th in the US-flagged fleet of American Queen Voyages (fka AQSC), having as fleetmates American Duchess (2017), American Empress (2003), American Queen (1995).

riverboat American Countess cruise ship

The vessel's lengthening included cutting the existing hull in two and adding a 60 ft (18 m) long prefabricated midship section. Nearly 150 workers are currently involved in this project.

Decks and Cabins

American Countess staterooms (123 total) are mainly cabins with step-out balconies (excluding only the 43 Interior cabins). Each cabin veranda is equipped with 2 wicker chairs and 1 cocktail table.

All cabins offer as standard amenities individually controlled air-conditioning, smart HDTV (satellite reception), dark wood wardrobe, dressers (ample drawer space), mini-bar (fridge), electronic safe box (in the closet), direct-dial phone, alarm clock, Keurig brewer (tea/coffee machine), binocular (in-cabin use only), luxury bath amenities (toiletries by Clarins, terry robes, hairdryer), plenty of outlets and lighting.

Just like the cruise ship’s public rooms, staterooms are decorated and equipped with Victorian-style antiques and reproductions. All cabins as decorations feature polished wood, Victorian-era wallpaper patterns, framed paintings. Beds are comfortable, with ample under-bed storage space, luxury bedding sets.

Handicap / wheelchair-accessible cabins (for disabled passengers) are also available. The ship has no connecting or family cabins.

The boat has 8 decks, of which 2 are with cabins. Three Elevators (1x Aft and 2x Forward passenger Lifts) interconnect decks 1-2-3.

Shipboard facilities

The paddle-wheeler American Countess is a return to a more classical decor found on American Queen and American Empress. Complimentary shore excursions are offered in all ports of call. All excursions are served by cruise company's own fleet of modern motorcoaches operating hop-on-hop-off tours in the visited destinations.

Complimentary beverages (local wines and beers) are served with all dinners in the Restaurant (main dining room). Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are open-seating. Just like the fleet mates, American Countess has a separate specialty dining venue.

  • The Fitness Center provides brand new equipment along with a dramatic river backdrop. The modern cardiovascular equipment includes treadmills and static bicycles. There is also a workout bench, dumbbells, and free weights.
  • Perks SPA
  • The Theater features nightly Broadway-caliber entertainment. As history plays a large part of the cruise experience, there is often a diverse lineup of guest historians onboard who take to the stage and transport guests to another era. These noted speakers offer astounding insights on the heritage and culture of the heartland of America and the deep South. 
  • Grand Lobby
  • The Grand Dining Room features an award-winning culinary team that takes advantage of each region’s fresh, ingredients to create authentic dishes. The MDR is furnished with a refined decor of rich walnut accents and custom Italian fabrics, so guests can enjoy their meals morning, noon and night in the exquisite venue which comfortably accommodates all passengers. Sweeping windows reveal an exciting backdrop of river views to further enhance the dining experience.
  • The Library
  • The Card Room is the perfect spot for passengers to meet friends and mingle with fellow travellers
  • The River Grill features a more casual atmosphere than the Grand Dining Room and is served with beverages by its own Bar. With seating for half the capacity of the MDR, guests are offered a cozy ambiance. The venue's outdoor terrace provides covered, resort-style seating for both relaxed dining and leisurely lounging.
  • Chart Room

The top-deck is a Sun Deck with Walking Track, shaded seating, Pilot House (Navigation Bridge/Wheelhouse).

riverboat American Countess cruise ship

Inaugural cruise itineraries 2020

American Countess riverboat cruises on Ohio River and Lower Mississippi River (including tributaries), operating various itineraries from homeports Memphis Tennessee and New Orleans Louisiana (downstream and upstream one-ways). Usually 7 days in length, these voyages are themed on the history of Southern USA's Antebellum era (late-18th century until 1861) and the American Civil War (1861-1865).

Next are listed the planned for 2020 inaugural cruise itineraries, all of which were eventually canceled due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis. Homeport departures are at 5 PM. Homeport arrivals are at 8 AM.

  • 7-Night from New Orleans to Memphis, visits New Orleans, Nottoway Plantation, Francisville LA, Natchez MS, Vicksburg MS, Greenville (Mississippi Delta, Lake Fergusson), Memphis TN. Departure dates (2020) April 5-19, May 3-17, July 19, August 2-16, October 4-18, November 15.
  • 7-Night from Memphis to Alton, visits Memphis TN, New Madrid MO, Paducah KY, Cape Girardeau MO, Chester IL, St Louis MO, Alton IL (St Louis MO). Departure dates (2020) May 24, August 23.
  • 7-Night from Alton to Louisville, visits Alton IL (St Louis MO), Paducah KY, Henderson KY, Brandenburg KY, Madison IN, Louisville KY. Departure date (2020) May 31.
  • 7-Night from Louisville to Pittsburgh, visits Louisville KY, Madison IN, Cincinnati OH, Maysville KY, Point Pleasant WV, Marietta OH, Wheeling WV, Pittsburgh PA. Departure dates (2020) June 7 and 21.
  • 7-Night from Pittsburgh to Louisville, visits Pittsburgh PA, Wheeling WV, Marietta OH, Huntington WV, Augusta KY, Cincinnati OH, Madison IN, Louisville KY. Departure dates (2020) June 14 and 28.
  • 7-Night from Louisville to Memphis, visits Louisville KY, Madison IN, Brandenburg KY, Owensboro KY, Henderson KY, Paducah KY, New Madrid MO, Memphis TN. Departure date (2020) July 5.
  • 7-Night from Alton to Red Wing, visits Alton IL (St Louis MO), Hannibal MO, Clinton IA, Dubuque IA, La Crosse WI, Red Wing MN. Departure dates (2020) August 30, September 13.
  • 7-Night from Red Wing to Alton, visits Red Wing MN, Winona MN, La Crosse WI, Dubuque IA, Bettendorf IA, Burlington IA, Hannibal MO, Alton IL (St Louis MO). Departure date (2020) September 6.
  • 14-Night from Red Wing to New Orleans, visits Red Wing MN, Winona MN, La Crosse WI, Dubuque IA, Bettendorf IA, Burlington IA, Hannibal MO, Memphis YN, Vicksburg MS, Natchez MS, Nottoway Plantation, NOLA New Orleans. Departure date (2020) September 20.
  • 7-Night from Memphis to Chattanooga, visits Memphis TN, New Madrid MO, Paducah KY, Savannah TN, Decatur AL, Chattanooga TN. Departure date (2020) October 25.
  • 7-Night from Chattanooga to Memphis, visits Chattanooga TN, Decatur AL, Florence AL, Savannah TN, Paducah KY, New Madrid MO, Memphis TN. Departure date (2020) November 1.
  • 7-Night roundtrip from New Orleans visits St Francisville LA, Natchez MS, Vicksburg MS, Baton Rouge LA, Nottoway Plantation. Departure date (2020) November 29.
  • 5-Night roundtrip from New Orleans visits St Francisville LA, Nottoway Plantation, Baton Rouge LA. Departure date (2020) December 29.

American Countess ship's Maiden Voyage (March 21-28, 2021) was a 7-day roundtrip from New Orleans (northbound Mississippi itinerary) visiting Nottoway Plantation and Natchez.

American Queen Steamboat Company cruise deals

Operated with all-inclusive cruise packages, American Countess cruise tour deals are inclusive of:

  • all shore excursions (“Steamcoach Tours” by luxury motorcoaches)
  • 1-night pre-cruise hotel package
  • soft drinks and bottled water (offered throughout the voyage)
  • wines and beers (offered at dinner only)
  • 24-hour room service (menu has the standard for breakfasts fare, plus sandwiches, burgers, macaroni & cheese, fresh salmon, desserts)
  • Wi-Fi Internet
  • Pilot House tour (of the ship's Navigation Bridge).
  • Smoking inside the cabin and on the balcony is forbidden. The only smoking-allowed area on the ship is the sun deck.

"Commodore Services" is the company's set of exclusive services reserved for American Countess cruise passengers booking categories LFS-Loft and OS-Owner suites. The list of bonus perks (price-inclusive / complimentary privileges) includes:

  • gifts (upon arrival) - fruit basket and a bottle of wine
  • suite tour (upon arrival)
  • priority boarding and dining arrangements
  • reserved balcony seating in "The Auditorium" (boat's theatre/show lounge), with a personal escort to the reserved seats
  • private reception party with the ship's Captain and Senior Officers
  • personal River Butler
  • unpacking, hanging the clothes in the closet, packing, laundry, pressing service, shoeshine (conditioning)
  • in-cabin dining - Afternoon Tea service, Breakfast and Dinner service (on the suite's balcony, upon request), pre-dinner canapes, post-dinner sweets).

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American Countess Wiki

The casino ship MS Kanesville Queen was bought by AQSC in 2016. The vessel had IMO 8642921, LOA length 83 m (272 ft), hull length 80 m (264 ft), width 24 m (78 ft), GT tonnage 6837 tons. Main Deck Casino was sized 1177 m2 (12670 ft2). Upper Deck Casino was sized 1269 m2 (13660 ft2).

Kanesville Queen casino boat

After the acquisition, the boat was moved from Council Bluffs to Jeffersonville (Indiana USA) and docked at Marine Builders Inc shipyard. From there, in October 2018, under its own power, the ship left Jeffersonville IN and arrived in Houma LA, where its reconstruction started.

The ship lengthening project involved adding a 60-ft / 18,3-m long midship prefabricated section (hull and superstructure).

The American Countess riverboat successfully completed river trials on February 19, 2020. The river trials were carried out on Louisiana's waterway section between Houma and Morgan City. The ship's christening ceremony was originally scheduled for April 4, 2020 (in New Orleans) and to be followed by the Maiden Voyage (on April 5).

On March 21, 2021, in New Orleans was held the boat's christening ceremony led by godmother Angie Hack (daughter of John Waggoner / AQSC's CEO and founder). The naming ceremony was attended by John Waggoner, Billy Nungesser (Louisiana state's Lieutenant Governor), Brandy Christian (Port NOLA's President and CEO), and Kevin Rabbitt (Hornblower Group's CEO).

American Countess ship's Inaugural Cruise was a 7-day "VIP Cruise" (northward Mississippi River itinerary/March 21-28) roundtrip from New Orleans to Nottoway Plantation and Natchez.

Note: You can see the CruiseMapper's list of all river cruise ships and riverboats in the "itinerary" section of our River Cruises hub. All companies and their fleets are listed there.

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