The new itinerary includes stops in Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi, and St. Francisville and Baton Rouge in Louisiana.
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American Queen Ship going down a river in St. Louisville
Credit: Courtesy of American Queen Voyages

American Queen Voyages is adding a new itinerary along the Lower Mississippi River to its roster this summer, sailing between Memphis and New Orleans, the company shared with Travel + Leisure.

The new itinerary will include nine days traversing the river on the American Queen, including stops in Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi, and St. Francisville and Baton Rouge in Louisiana. The trips will depart on June 5, 12, 19, and 26, according to the cruise line.

Guests staying in a Luxury or Owner's Suite will also receive additional perks like a complimentary cooking class and brunch hosted by famed southern chef Regina Charboneau at her Natchez cooking school as well as a pre-sail biscuit demonstration and champagne toast.

Throughout the itinerary, the best of southern cuisine is represented with dishes including panko-crusted alligator, pork rind-dusted pan-fried trout, blackened redfish and craft beer fried chicken.

"American Queen Voyages takes great pride in bringing a taste of the region to the dining rooms of its paddlewheelers as they churn up and down the Mississippi River," the river cruise line's senior vice president of marketing and sales, Kari Tarnowski, told T+L. "The flavors of the cuisine take inspiration from the river and are recreated with local ingredients and techniques unique to the south."

John Waggoner, the founder and chairman of American Queen Voyages, said in a statement the new offerings "mark the 10th Anniversary of American Queen Voyages," calling the sailings an "iconic itinerary." To celebrate, Waggoner himself will join the June 12 sailing, serving as an onboard host and sharing stories about the history of the company and the making of their newest paddlewheeler, American Countess.

American Queen Ship going under a bridge in Cincinnati
Credit: Sean McVeigh/Courtesy of American Queen Voyages

To sail on the voyages, fares start at $2,599 per person, or $7,699 per person for a Luxury or Owner's Suite.

American Queen Voyages — originally the American Queen Steamboat Company — sails river, lake, and ocean cruises, as well as plans to offer new expedition voyages to Central America and Alaska, including a cruise where guests can listen to the sounds of whales in real time. The company is also offering pre or post-cruise trips through the Canadian Rockies on the Rocky Mountaineer to celebrate the inaugural season of its Ocean Victory ship.

To sail, all guests must be fully vaccinated and show proof of a negative COVID-19 PCR test. After March 19, guests will be provided a complimentary antigen test within two days of embarkation, according to the company.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.