Search for your ideal Cruise
Where would you like to go?
Departure month
Cruise type
Cruise line

American Empress

Why cruise on this ship?

Proudly serving as the largest overnight riverboat west of the Mississippi River, the American Empress cruises the Columbia and Snake Rivers delivering a rich sense of history in modern comfort.

find your perfect cruise

Dining

Dining aboard the American Empress is as decadent as it is delightful. Their award-winning culinary teams take full advantage of each region’s diverse bounty of fresh ingredients to prepare uniquely exquisite dishes while our gracious, all-American staff charms you with friendly, attentive service so that you may enjoy each meal in a most relaxed atmosphere.

American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Interior The Astoria Dining Room.jpg

Astoria Dining Room

Your first decision each morning: whether to relax in bed with a cheerful breakfast tray of freshly brewed coffee and piping hot beignets, linger in the elegant dining room, or enjoy the informal atmosphere of an alternate venue. Menu choices are many, including made-to-order omelette, egg strudel with spinach, tomato and feta, andouille hash with corn cakes, and decadent bananas Foster French toast.

Aboard the American Empress, you’ll savour each bite of the nightly five-course dinner in the lavish décor of the Astoria Dining Room, a glorious and elaborate homage to the Pacific Northwest with gilded columns, marble, rich upholstery, and crystal chandeliers. A sumptuous array of selections is thoughtfully prepared each evening to tempt your palate. Begin with a delightful appetiser such as fresh crimini mushrooms sautéed and wrapped in a delicate crepe, served with a Willamette Valley pinot noir reduction. For the entrée, perhaps you will indulge in our lightly seasoned Puget Sound, Weathervane scallops seared to golden perfection, served with braised fennel and artichoke ragout along with creamy polenta.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert and you will not be disappointed with the heavenly confections that are artfully prepared each evening to satisfy your sweet tooth and offer a sweet exclamation to end another perfect day.

Features

  • Experience: Cover
  • Food type: Classic
American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Exterior River Grill & Bar.jpg

River Grill & Bar

Offering a more casual setting with both indoor and alfresco dining, the River Grill & Bar has quickly become a favorite location for guests to dine and take in the majestic scenery. In addition to delectable buffet breakfast and luncheon spreads served daily, the River Grill & Bar transforms into a reservation-only, specialty restaurant in the evening where menu highlights include local smoked and grilled salmon, Dungeness crab, freshly cut steaks and indulgent desserts. Guests may enjoy up to two dinner reservations per cruise in this complimentary, specialty restaurant.

Features

  • Experience: Cover
  • Food type: Bbq

Entertaining

Each day and evening aboard the American Queen and the American Empress lends a splendid variety of entertainment to keep you fully engaged throughout your voyage. Whether it is a themed voyage special event, a captivating tale told by our onboard Riverlorian or an energised musical performance led by top entertainers, there is always an impressive line-up of entertainment that is sure to satisfy.

American Queen Steamboat Company General Images Show Lounge.jpg

The Show Lounge

The Show Lounge on the American Empress boasts rich décor, enormous crystal chandeliers, comfortable seating, and an elevated ceiling which provides the perfect venue for their acclaimed entertainment.

The warm ambiance of the Show Lounge allow them to present a variety of high-caliber entertainment that is most notable. Their house band and singers are some of the best around, so rest assured that every cruise offers wonderful entertainment to keep your toes tapping.

Features

  • Theatre

Paddlewheel Lounge

A more intimate atmosphere can be found in the vessel’s Paddlewheel Lounge; a popular alternate venue featuring smooth solo performances and soft piano music in the afternoon.

Take pleasure in this intimate atmosphere which is ideal for sharing pre-dinner cocktails. For your late-night entertainment, they’ll pick up the pace and play all your favourites as you dance the night away.

Features

  • Lounge

Enrichment

The main attraction on any American Queen Steamboat Company cruise is the award-winning shore excursions. Their shore excursions, both included and premium, provide plenty of activity and endless enjoyment for guests.

All of their shore excursions are thoughtfully designed to optimise the guest experience; helping you to get the most out of the charming river towns and historic sites.

Capt. Clark 1.JPG

Guest Historians

As history plays such a large part of your river cruise experience, the American Queen and the American Empress often feature guest historians who take the stage and transport you to another era. You’ll enjoy a diverse lineup of noted speakers who offer insights on the culture, people, and history of the destinations you’ll visit. Relive a tale from Mark Twain or enjoy a recounting of the Lewis & Clark Expedition for a spellbinding evening. Their Riverlorians are onboard for every cruise to impart the history and legends of the very stretch of river on which you are cruising.

Features

  • Education

Hop-On Hop-Off Guided Shore Excursions

Their signature Hop-On Hop-Off guided shore excursions are the best way to experience the freedom of choosing your own path in these great cities. You will receive a map with the Hop-On Hop-Off tour route and its numbered stops. You may visit each attraction with a gold star, show your boat ID, and your admission is included. Some of these attractions do not require an admission fee, but they would love to know that you are a guest of the American Queen or the American Empress.

Features

  • Excursions
American Queen Steamboat Company General Images Narrated Tours.jpg

Narrated Tours

With their deluxe motor coaches, you will have the freedom to board at the dock and enjoy a locally narrated tour throughout each port of call. They encourage you to hop off the motor coach whenever the urge catches you, because another one is on its way to pick you up and continue the historical narration of your river port city. Motor coaches typically stop every 15 to 20 minutes. At each stop, you will have access to many attractions and historical sites along with plenty of unique places to find that perfect souvenir.

Features

  • Excursions

Premium Shore Excursions

While their complimentary Hop-On Hop-Off guided tours are a great way to get acquainted with the historically rich ports that you’ll encounter on your river cruise journey, their Premium Shore Excursions offer you the opportunity to delve even deeper into your specific interests.

Premium Shore Excursions are available for purchase and provide comprehensive, in-depth and rare experiences at an amazing value.

Features

  • Excursions

Onboard Art Collection

Boasting a vast collection of some of the finest historical artefacts and artwork of the Native Alaska, Russian, Gold Rush and sternwheeler eras, the corridors of the American Empress hold nearly as much beauty and intrigue as the dramatic scenery unfolding on the river outside. You needn't be an art enthusiast to appreciate the captivating display of Pacific Northwest heritage that this unique collection represents.

Features

  • Art Gallery

Health and fitness

The river is always flowing and while life here may move at a genteel pace, there is always plenty of activity onboard and ashore for the adventurer in all of us.

American Queen Steamboat Company General Images Complimentary Bikes.jpg

Complimentary Bikes

Complimentary bicycles and helmets are made available at each port on your river cruise. With so many picturesque towns along the rivers, cycling is a great way to explore the shops and sites while getting in your daily dose of cardio. The onboard staff will also provide you with local attraction maps and guides so that you may explore each port as you wish along your river journey.

Features

  • Wellness

Kids and teens

Please note: there are no facilities dedicated to Kids & Teens onboard American Empress.

Accommodation

Welcome to your home on the Columbia and Snake Rivers. Each American Empress accommodation features a custom-built hardwood entertainment centre and spacious, illuminated armoire. Fine linens and plush bedding will ensure you are well-rested to fully enjoy every included shore tour, historical lecture and toe-tapping musical performance. A flat-screen TV, mini refrigerator, coffee maker and safe are provided for your comfort and convenience.

American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Accommodation Luxury Suite with Veranda.jpg

Luxury Suites with Veranda (AE - LS)

Feel as if you own the American Empress in this expansive suite. You are treated to sweeping river views through large windows facing forward and starboard. Step out onto your private veranda, and scan the riverbanks for wildlife. Converse in your spacious sitting room complete with a large flat-screen TV, premium sound, cocktail table and wet bar. As a guest of our Luxury Suite, you will be treated to exclusive suite-level Commodore Services and amenities, as well as River Butler service. View stateroom floor plan.

Commodore Services®

Guests holding reservations for Luxury Suite (LS) accommodations will receive our exclusive Commodore Services, which includes a bottle of wine from the region and a fruit basket upon arrival, preferred dining arrangements in The Astoria Dining Room, reserved seating in The Show Lounge, and an invitation to dine with Senior Officers of the American Empress.

Guests of these elite-level suites will also receive the services of a friendly River Butler. These services include a warm welcome with a tour of your suite, unpacking and hanging of clothes, preparation and packing of your luggage, laundry and pressing services, shoe shine and conditioning, afternoon tea served in your suite, breakfast and dinner served on your private veranda upon request, in-suite pre-dinner canapés and post-dinner sweets, and a personal escort to your reserved seating in The Show Lounge.

Each of the Luxury Suites includes:

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed
  • Shower
  • Sitting area with sofa
  • Private Veranda

Features

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Room Service Available
  • Butler Service
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Accommodation Suite with Veranda.jpg

Suites with Veranda (AE - A)

Enjoy a large suite with a comfortable sitting area and premium sound system. Your semiprivate veranda provides splendid river views from four stories above the river and direct access to the wraparound Vista View Deck, perfect for sharing a view and socialising with fellow guests.

Each of the Suites with Veranda includes:

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed
  • Shower
  • Sitting area with sofa
  • Semi-private Veranda

Features

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Lounge Area
  • Shower
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Accommodation Superior Veranda Stateroom.jpg

Superior Veranda Staterooms (AE - B)

Enjoy your spacious stateroom with a cozy sitting area or panoramic view through large forward-facing windows. Your private veranda provides a quiet place to watch the ever-changing scenery.

Each of the Superior Veranda Staterooms includes:

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed
  • Shower
  • Sitting area
  • Private Veranda

Features

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
American Queen Steamboat Company American Empress Accommodation Deluxe Veranda Staterooms.jpg

Deluxe Veranda Staterooms (AE - C)

Deluxe veranda staterooms are a popular choice for many couples. Share a toast on your private veranda as you glide through the fresh air of the Pacific Northwest.

Each of the Deluxe Veranda Staterooms includes:

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed
  • Shower
  • Private Veranda

Features

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Single Outside Staterooms with Veranda (AE - CS)

The single outside stateroom is slightly scaled down for the single traveler, but allows you to take full advantage of the splendid features of our Deluxe Veranda staterooms.

The Single Outside Stateroom with Veranda includes:

  • One twin bed
  • Shower
  • Flat-Screen TV with DVD Player
  • Private Veranda

Features

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Safe
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk
The American Queen Steamboat Company - American Empress - Veranda Stateroom AE - E.jpg

Veranda Staterooms (AE - E)

Enjoy a great value with our efficient, yet spacious Veranda staterooms. Your semi-private veranda provides a quiet place to watch the ever-changing scenery.

Each of the Veranda Staterooms includes:

  • Two twin beds or one queen bed
  • Shower
  • Flat-Screen TV with DVD Player
  • Semi-private Veranda

Features

  • Queen or Twin Configuration
  • Shower
  • Hair Dryer
  • Telephone
  • Desk

Deck plans

The American Queen Steamboat Company - American Empress - Deck 4 Vista View.png

Vista View Deck

  • River Grill & Bar
  • Pilot House
  • Suites with Veranda
  • Superior Veranda Stateroom
  • Veranda Staterooms
The American Queen Steamboat Company - American Empress - Deck 3 Discovery.png

Discovery Deck

  • Luxury Suite with Veranda
  • Superior Veranda Staterooms
  • Deluxe Veranda Staterooms
The American Queen Steamboat Company - American Empress - Deck 2 Frontier .png

Frontier Deck

  • Paddlewheel Lounge
  • Luxury Suite with Veranda
  • Superior Veranda Stateroom
  • Deluxe Veranda Staterooms
  • Single Veranda Stateroom
The American Queen Steamboat Company - American Empress - Deck 1 Explorer.png

Explorer Deck

  • The Astoria Dining Room
  • Purser's Office
  • Gift Shop
  • The Show Lounge
  • Outside Staterooms with Window
Ship facts
Passengers
223
Crew
Launched
2003
Last refit
2014
Tonnage
5975t
Length
116m
Width
29
Speed
kts
Decks
4
Wheelchair cabins
No
Currency
USD