American Duchess Review and Specifications
Specifications of American Duchess
|Year built||2017 / Age : 3|
|Builder||Nichols Brothers Boat Builders (Freeland, Whidbey Island WA)|
|Owner||American Queen Steamboat Company|
|Operator||American Queen Steamboat Company|
|Speed||12 kn / 22 kph / 14 mph|
|Length (LOA)||104 m / 341 ft|
|Beam (width)||30 m / 98 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||3560 gt|
|Decks with cabins||2|
|Former names||Bettendorf Capri (casino boat), Isle of Capri|
|Christened by||Marissa Applegate|
Review of American Duchess
American Duchess cruise ship is a paddlewheel steamboat. The vessel started operations for the shipowner American Queen Steamboat Company in 2017 (August 14), following the christening ceremony in New Orleans. The all-suite, 166-passenger riverboat became USA's first newbuild paddle-wheeler on Mississippi River.
In September 2016, the company announced a fleet expansion with a new ship (American Duchess), scheduled for launch in July 2017. However, due to Mississippi's unseasonably high water levels, the launch was pushed back 6 weeks to August 13. The inaugural cruise was on August 14, with prices starting from USD 1500 pp (double-occupancy Interior Suite rates).
For the new all-suite ship was used the hull of a former casino ship ("Isle of Capri") homeported in Bettendorf (Iowa USA). The casino boat was retrofitted for premium cruises on Mississippi River and its tributaries. Ship conversion included adding a new (3rd) deck and a new stern paddlewheel. The vessel has capacity 166 passengers and features the largest US river cruise industry's suites (sized up to 550 ft2 / 51 m2). The ship also features the river travel industry's ever first Loft Suites (2-level staterooms).
American Duchess cruise itinerary program offers several overnight port stays and shorter roundtrip itineraries from Minneapolis-Saint Paul, Nashville TN and New Orleans, and also (for the first time) from Chicago (Ottawa, Illinois).
In addition to Mississippi, the riverboat cruises on Ohio, Tennessee and Illinois rivers. Cruise fares start from around USD 3000 pp.
Staterooms (all in suite categories) as sizes range between 180 ft2 / 17 m2 (Interior Suite) and 550 ft2 / 51 m2 (Owners Suite and Loft Suite). All cabins offer as standard amenities individually controlled air-conditioning, flat TV (satellite reception), dark wood wardrobe, dressers (ample drawer space), mini-bar (fridge), personal safe, direct-dial phone, alarm clock, Keurig brewer (tea/coffee machine), binocular, luxury bath amenities (toiletries by Clarins, terry robes, hairdryer), plenty of outlets and lighting.
Staterooms are decorated and equipped with Victorian-style antiques and reproductions. All cabins as decoration 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.
Most cabins are with private step-out balconies. Each cabin veranda is equipped with 2 wicker chairs and 1 cocktail table.
American Queen Steamboat Company cruise deals
Operated with all-inclusive cruise packages, American Duchess 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 Duchess 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).
American Duchess - user reviews and comments
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American Duchess Wiki
The casino ship MS Isle of Capri was bought from "Isle of Capri Casinos Inc" in August 2016. The vessel had MMSI 367020470, length 85 m (280 ft), width 30 m (87 ft).
American Duchess riverboat's launch was delayed by 6 weeks, resulting in changes in the ship's 2017 cruise schedule. The completely renovated riverboat was launched on August 13 (2017) instead of the pre-scheduled July 1. Several of its summer 2017 Inaugural itineraries were affected.
Marissa Applegate served as the ship's Godmother. She is the daughter of the cruise company's Chairman John Waggoner. The christening ceremony was on August 14, 2017, held in New Orleans. Highlights of the naming ceremony included a bottle of Maker’s Mark bourbon (instead of the traditional Champagne) and live performances by local musicians. The special event was led by godmother Marissa Applegate (daughter of John Waggoner - the Steamboat Company's Chairman).
The Inaugural Cruise on Mississippi River (23-days itinerary, August 13 - September 4) was from New Orleans (Louisiana) to Red Wing (Minnesota). Prices started from USD 7300 pp (double occupancy Interior Suite rates), inclusive of 1-night Boutique Hotel in New Orleans. The maiden voyage's ports of call were New Orleans LA (overnight hotel stay), Nottoway LA, Francisville LA, Natchez MS, Vicksburg MS, Greenville MS, Memphis TN, Ashport Landing TN, New Madrid MO, Paducah KY, Cape Girardeau MO, Chester IL, St Louis MO, Clinton IA, Dubuque IA, La Crosse WI, and Red Wing MN (overnight onboard stay).
The vessel is a retrofitted (functioning) paddle-wheeler that cost USD 2 million. Additionally, the shipowner AQSC-American Queen Steamboat Company paid nearly USD 3 million for steel alone, building the hull from the ground up. Also new is the boat's propulsion.
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.
American Duchess Itineraries
The below listed American Duchess cruise prices on itineraries are only indicative and Per Person (in US dollars, based on double occupancy). These are the cheapest American Queen Steamboat Company fares on the ship’s lowest category cabins available for booking. Cruise fares typically change with departure dates approaching, last minute deals, discounts, promotions, independent travel agency offers.
|Date||Cruise Name||Departure Port||Price from|
|2020 Apr 14||5 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Clarksville TN||$2393|
|2020 May 18||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$3003|
|2020 May 25||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$3008|
|2020 Jun 01||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2990|
|2020 Jun 08||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$3002|
|2020 Jun 15||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$3001|
|2020 Jun 22||20 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$7694|
|2020 Jul 13||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Red Wing MN||$2809|
|2020 Jul 20||6 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Alton IL||$2806|
|2020 Jul 28||6 days, round-trip 8 Night Roundtrip Minneapolis (Red Wing) Cruise and Land Tour||Red Wing MN||$2392|
|2020 Aug 03||14 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Red Wing MN||$5709|
|2020 Aug 17||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$2604|
|2020 Aug 24||6 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2608|
|2020 Aug 31||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Louisville KY||$2707|
|2020 Sep 07||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Pittsburgh PA||$3002|
|2020 Sep 14||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Louisville KY||$2702|
|2020 Sep 22||6 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Clarksville TN||$2700|
|2020 Sep 28||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN|
|2020 Oct 05||6 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Alton IL||$2992|
|2020 Oct 12||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Red Wing MN||$2991|
|2020 Oct 19||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Alton IL||$2409|
|2020 Oct 26||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2995|
|2020 Nov 02||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$2999|
|2020 Nov 09||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2995|
|2020 Nov 16||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$3005|
|2020 Nov 23||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2608|
|2020 Nov 30||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$2401|
|2020 Dec 07||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2295|
|2020 Dec 14||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$2306|
|2020 Dec 21||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||Memphis TN||$2408|
|2020 Dec 28||7 days, round-trip 8 Night Roundtrip New Orleans Cruise and Land Tour||New Orleans||$2400|
|2021 Mar 29||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$2105|
|2021 Aug 16||7 days, one-way from Budapest to Budapest||New Orleans||$2300|
|2021 Dec 27||7 days, round-trip 8 Night Roundtrip New Orleans Cruise||New Orleans||$2103|
American Duchess User Reviews
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