JACKSONVILLE, FL – American Queen Voyages, part of the Hornblower Group, celebrated Presidents’ Day by marking two company milestones. Ocean Voyager, the first Lakes & Oceans vessel to return to U.S. waters with guests in over two years, was welcomed at Jacksonville Port Authority (JAXPORT) after completing her maiden Southeast U.S.A. voyage. Not to be overshadowed, the grand American Queen departed New Orleans for Memphis marking the beginning of the company’s 10th anniversary season on the Mississippi River. American Queen Voyages executives celebrated both milestones with JAXPORT Chief Operating Officer Frederick Wong at the new homeport of Ocean Voyager’s Southeast U.S.A. season.
“Our location in the heart of the Southeast U.S. makes Jacksonville an ideal host city for passengers looking to explore the region,” said Wong. “From beaches and history to world-class golf, shopping, and dining, Northeast Florida has so much to offer passengers before and after their cruise. We are proud to welcome American Queen Voyages passengers and thank them for beginning and ending their journey in Jacksonville.”
The Southeast U.S.A. season on Ocean Voyager began February 11 and runs through mid-April before returning in November. The 12-day round trip itineraries sail from Jacksonville through mid-April visiting the region’s many historic ports including Amelia Island (Fernandina Beach), FL; Brunswick, GA; Savannah, GA; Charleston, SC; Port Canaveral, FL; and Freeport, Bahamas.
On the same day of Ocean Voyager’s maiden Southeast U.S.A. voyage return to Jacksonville, the first guests of the American Queen Voyages’ 2022 Rivers season set off on the flagship American Queen from New Orleans on a nine-day Lower Mississippi River sailing. The voyage kicks off the 10th anniversary river season with the cruise line’s most popular itinerary connecting two of the Mississippi’s most iconic ports – Memphis and New Orleans. In response to unprecedented demand for the itinerary in 2022, new departures of June 5, 12, 19 and 26, 2022 have been added. Ports of call include Cleveland (Terrene Landing), OH; Vicksburg, Natchez, and St. Francisville, MS; Baton Rouge and Nottoway, LA.
“As we celebrate American Queen Voyages’ 10th anniversary season with multiple milestones throughout the year, I want to thank the JAXPORT team for their warm hospitality welcoming guests on this new portion of our Lakes & Oceans season,” shared John Waggoner, founder and chairman, American Queen Voyages. “I look forward to many more milestone moments across North America in 2022, with the largest fleet deployment in our history, including the inaugural Alaska expedition season on Ocean Victory.”
Ocean Navigator, sister vessel to Ocean Voyager, will return to service in Savannah, GA. on April 11 and make her way up the Atlantic coast and through the St. Lawrence Seaway for the Great Lakes season. Boutique paddlewheeler American Duchess sets sail from New Orleans for the Ohio River on March 6, while the newest riverboat in the fleet American Countess returns to service from New Orleans on March 8 and Pacific Northwest paddlewheeler American Empress departs from Vancouver, WA on March 13. The brand new expedition ship Ocean Victory will debut on May 6 sailing between Vancouver, B.C. and Sitka, AK.