Five Things to Know About American Cruise Lines' Queen of the West Cruise Ship
Best for: Older cruisers looking for a stress-free way to follow in the footsteps of explorers Lewis and Clark
Sails: The Columbia River, the Snake River
At a Glance: Launched in 2015, this paddlewheeler features a friendly all-American crew, entertaining onboard experts, and an iconic itinerary in the Pacific Northwest.
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The Entertainment Is Local
One of the best parts about a trip on Queen of the West is being steeped in the history and landscape of the Pacific Northwest—both on and off the ship. Expect Native American guest performers and a resident river historian (dubbed a “riverlorian”) who regales passengers with entertaining lectures on everything from Lewis and Clark to the lock-and-dam system on the Columbia River.
The Cabins Are Snug
American Cruise Lines purchased this paddlewheeler and refurbished it, so staterooms are a bit smaller than they are on the line’s larger ships: Single cabins start at 149 square feet, while the Owner’s Suites are 280 square feet. The line added balconies, too—most staterooms have them.
The Food Is Pure Pacific Northwest
Dinner happens in the dining room, which is large enough to serve every guest at once. Whenever possible, ingredients—and recipes—are locally sourced: Think Pacific shrimp bisque, Widmer Cascadian Ale-braised Snake River Farms pork shank, and marionberry cheesecake.
You Won’t Get Nickle-and-Dimed
Don’t stress about that excursion tab: Usually, at least one tour per port is free, as is beer and wine with lunch and dinner and Wi-Fi throughout your cruise.
There’s No Bar Onboard
Before dinner every night, the ship throws a cocktail party for all the passengers, and you can have beer and wine at dinner. But if you know you’re going to want an after-dinner drink, make a point of buying your own bottles when you’re off the ship.