If you booked a USA river cruise this summer, your cruise may not happen. American Queen Steamboat Company just added new river cruise cancellations.
Calling the river cruise cancellations a “new timeline for 2020 season,” American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC for short) once again pushed their cruise season further into the end of summer.
River Cruise Cancellations decision in tandem with major hospital advice
As stated on their website, the “new timeline was prepared in response to the evolving nature of the COVID-19 pandemic and following the continued wide-spread governmental restrictions across ports, cities and public institutions.”
American Queen Steamboat Company is part of the Hornblower Family Company that recently added Victory Cruise Lines into their portfolio of passenger cruise companies. AQSC recently partnered with Ochsner Health based in Louisiana. Together, they made the decision to postpone USA river cruises until later this summer.
“We are excited to get back on the rivers and deliver the high-quality experience we are known for. As we look to our new relaunch dates, the wellbeing of our guests, crew and partners remains our top concern,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “Our recent partnership with Ochsner Health in addition to our enhanced health and safety protocols and easy access to U.S. healthcare facilities, allows us to responsibly and safely resume operations in our two key markets, the Pacific Northwest and the Lower and Upper Mississippi River.”
American Queen Steamboat Company ships and river cruise cancellations
American Empress – Columbia and Snake river cruises are postponed through August 2, 2020.
American Duchess – Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee river cruises postponed through August 16, 2020. AQSC hopes to begin cruises on August 17, with a seven-night Lower Mississippi river cruise from New Orleans to Memphis, TN. The itinerary includes one pre-cruise hotel night in New Orleans on August 16.
American Countess – The most recent paddlewheeler in the AQSC fleet cruises the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. No change in schedule with existing suspension continuing through August 8, 2020.
American Queen – Queen of the fleet paddlewheeler cruises the Mississippi, Ohio and Tennessee rivers. Also continues existing postponement through August 8, 2020.
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River cruise cancellations: what to do if your cruise was canceled
AQSC is reaching out to travel agents and passengers booked on any of the canceled cruises. The cruise line is giving those booked a 125% Future Cruise Credit. There is no mention about cash refunds for these cancellations. If that’s what you prefer, we suggest you reach out to your travel agent or AQSC.
Cancellation Policy Changes
For those who book a cruise for 2020, you’ll now have up to 24 hours before departure to cancel your cruise reservation. AQSC states that the reservation is “subject to standard cancellation penalties and guests will receive a future cruise certificate for the penalty amount.”
However, any reservation can be changed to another sail date in 2020. But the current cancellation penalty will apply to the new departure date. This new sail date is required to be either equal or of greater value to the original. You are responsible for any increase in fare.
To help with any costs involved, AQSC will pay for flight change fees for guests who immediately change to a new sail date.
As of June 30, 2020, AQSC issued these new river cruise cancellation guidelines
– Guests can cancel any 2020 reservation up to 24 hours before sailing.
– The future cruise certificate will include voyage fare, hotel packages, city stay packages and insurance.
– Port fees will be refunded as normal.
– Applicable to 2020 voyages only.
– Future Cruise Certificate must be used by the original booked travelers only.
– Future Cruise Certificate is valid for travel in 2020, 2021, or 2022.
– This policy is in effect until 12/31/2020.
– Valid on domestic reservations only.
Final word from us, always purchase travel insurance whether through an independent party or through the cruise line.