CA: Launch of new riverboat American Duchess pushed to Aug. 13
The launch of a new Memphis-based riverboat has been pushed back six weeks to Aug. 13.
The company bought the former Isle of Capri casino in Bettendorf, Iowa last summer and had it retrofitted for luxury cruises on the Mississippi River and tributaries.
It will operate in addition to the American Queen, which company officials said is enjoying its busiest season yet.
“A key reason for this schedule change is the delayed delivery of the vessel to the shipyard in Louisiana from the Upper Mississippi due to unseasonable high waters,” president and chief operating officer Ted Sykes said. “As the buildout process began, AQSC also saw several opportunities for enhancements that could be undertaken to increase the customer experience and exceed expectations for the August debut.”
The company returned overnight cruising to the Mississippi River in 2012 with the 436-passenger riverboat the American Queen. It announced plans for the more upscale American Duchess in hopes of offering cruises of shorter duration that appeal to working professionals.
Sykes said,“The American Queen Steamboat Company is having its most successful season and there is much demand for the new luxurious American Duchess, which is destined to take U.S river cruising to new heights.”
Company officials were contacting guests and travel agents about the impact of schedule changes. They posted a new sailing schedule at www.aqsc.com/contact-us/alert.