The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) has announced
that Marissa Applegate, daughter of company chairman John Waggoner, will serve
as the godmother of the 166-passenger American Duchess, which launches in New
Orleans on Aug. 14.
AQSC announced last August that it had purchased a former
gaming vessel that it has gutted and converted into the all-suite American
Duchess. The company rebuilt the interior hotel, added a working paddlewheel
and transformed the vessel into an 83-suite ship, including three 550-square-foot
owner's suites and four 550-square-foot loft suites.
The American Duchess will be the third vessel to join the
AQSC fleet, following the American Empress -- which was christened by Waggoner's
wife, Claudette Waggoner, in Portland in 2014 -- and the American Queen, which
re-entered service in 2012.
The American Duchess will do overnight port stays in
Nashville, a new offering for the company, and will sail shorter roundtrip
itineraries between Nashville and New Orleans. There will also be departures
from Ottawa, Ill., a two-hour drive from Chicago, for the first time.
After its christening, the American Duchess will depart on
its 23-day inaugural voyage up the Mississippi River. Cruise prices begin at
$2,999 per person, including a pre- or post-cruise luxury hotel stay.