We traveled on the American Duchess during Christmas time on a Nashville to Memphis Cruise. It was absolutely beautiful. The boat and some of the towns were decorated for the holidays truly making it a unique experience. The time we spent onboard was phenomenal, all the staff is friendly and genuinely cared about making sure we were having a great time. The pursers were available to answer all of our questions, and our shore excursions specialist was great in helping us decide which tours were best suited for us. The food was amazing and the boat offered a great variety of dining options that well suited my picky eating habits.
All of the small river towns were so charming and the included tours offered made us feel like we were getting way more than we paid for. The bus drivers stayed with us the whole week and were so friendly. They went above and beyond to provide assistance to make sure we were having an effortlessly fun time in each port. I’m a bit of an adventurer and believe you should experience as much as you can with the time that you have, so we went out on all the included tours and even purchased the premium tour options in some of the ports that we knew we couldn’t pass up. The most memorable port for me that we visited was Paducah, Kentucky. I never heard of it before until we booked the itinerary for this voyage, but that small town is something I’ll never forget! From the second the boat pulled into port, townspeople were there to greet us with big smiles! As we got off the boat they all waved and greeted us and wished us a happy stay in Paducah. The local tour guides were knowledgeable and energetic and made me fall in love with the town. This was one of the ports we purchased the premium excursion in, and it did not disappoint! They took us to the Hotel Metropolitan where we were greeted by the owner. She took us through the whole history of the hotel mentioning all the great musicians who had come through to stay there with special and unexpected surprises thrown in. The host was funny and hospitable and made us feel like we were reliving a time when the Hotel Met was at its peak. It was an unforgettable experience, and we even got some delicious pie at the end! As we departed Paducah for the next port on our itinerary, the townspeople that were there to greet us were also there to wave goodbye as we sailed away. It was extremely charming and made me feel like a special guest in their hometown.
That’s how it felt the entire trip. You can tell all the people in these towns are proud of where they’re from and want to show off the great unique qualities each one has to offer. The American Queen Steamboat Company did a great job with their shore excursions that showcased and highlighted the best qualities of each town and made you feel that even though we only got a short time in each port, we left with memories we could take with us and experiences that were truly priceless. Do yourselves a favor and book a trip – go to these towns you’ve never heard of and do as much a you can while there! You won’t regret it!
Response from BriannaH, Guest Relations @American Queen Voyages