This week, I am sailing aboard American Queen Steamboat Company‘s classy replica paddlewheel steamer, the 360-foot long, 223-guest American Empress, on the Columbia River that separates the states of Washington and Oregon.

The American Queen Steamboat Company's American Empress docked in The Dalles, Oregon, on November 21, 2016. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

The American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Empress docked in The Dalles, Oregon, on November 21, 2016. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

After 36 hours onboard, I can say this is one great experience. This isn’t the first time I’ve sailed the Columbia and Snake Rivers, but it is my first time sailing with the American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) and the American Empress. And so far, I’m quite impressed with the ship and the trip. I love discovering new cruises and ships, and AQSC delivers on its promise of offering an enjoyable, educational, All-American river cruise through two of the United State’s most picturesque states.

Of course, if you’ve read this blog for more than a few weeks, you’ll know that shipboard internet is a fickle beast at the best of times. For that reason, we’re delaying the bulk of our Live Voyage Report by a week. Day-by-day reports will begin on Sunday, November 27, and will run through Sunday, December 4, at which point our next Live Voyage Report -aboard Holland America Line’s Westerdam in Mexico – will begin.

Until then, enjoy this look at the American Empress, in pictures!

My Home Away From Home: A Category C Deluxe Veranda Stateroom on Frontier Deck 2. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

My Home Away From Home: A Category C Deluxe Veranda Stateroom on Frontier Deck 2. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Though she is propelled by two Z-Drive azimuthing propellers, American Empress boasts an auxiliary paddlehweel, in  the grand tradition of steamers of the past. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Though she is propelled by two Z-Drive azimuthing propellers, American Empress boasts an auxiliary paddlehweel, in the grand tradition of steamers of the past. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Embarking the American Empress couldn't have been easier: keycards, transfers, and specialty dining arrangements were all planned out during our pre-cruise stay at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

Embarking the American Empress couldn’t have been easier: keycards, transfers, and specialty dining arrangements were all planned out during our pre-cruise stay at the Hilton Vancouver Washington. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

River lore is on display throughout the elegant River Empress. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

River lore is on display throughout the elegant River Empress. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

A look at the elegant Astoria Dining Room, looking more resplendent now than during the ship's former life as Empress of the North. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

A look at the elegant Astoria Dining Room, looking more resplendent now than during the ship’s former life as Empress of the North. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

My favorite haunt onboard, after only 36 hours: the cool Paddlewheel Lounge on Deck 2 aft, overlooking...Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

My favorite haunt onboard, after only 36 hours: the cool Paddlewheel Lounge on Deck 2 aft, overlooking…Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...the ship's vibrant-red paddlewheel. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…the ship’s vibrant-red paddlewheel. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

My Category C Deluxe Veranda Stateroom, facing the door to the corridor. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

My Category C Deluxe Veranda Stateroom, facing the door to the corridor. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

American Queen Steamboat Company's Hop-on-Hop-Off bus tours...Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

American Queen Steamboat Company’s Hop-on-Hop-Off bus tours…Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

...made it easy to explore The Dalles, Oregon, today. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

…made it easy to explore The Dalles, Oregon, today. Photo © 2016 Aaron Saunders

From the Deck Chair will return on Sunday, November 27 with full day-by-day coverage of our wine-themed voyage along the Columbia River aboard American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Empress!

 

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