American Queen Captain John Boyle is met by Paducah's Mayor Gayle Kaler as the riverboat kicked off her Ohio River season yesterday calling on the historic and UNESCO designated City of Crafts and Folk Art Paducah, Ky. This marked the first of seven visits the American Queen Steamboat Company will make in Paducah for 2014.

Yesterday, the historically quaint river town of Paducah and American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of America’s grandest riverboat fleet, celebrated the arrival of the American Queen at the Port of Paducah. The call in Paducah marked the 436-passenger riverboat’s entrance into the Ohio River for the summer season. Residents, visitors and government officials greeted the full boat of passengers, who toured the National Quilt Museum, the River Discovery Center, artist galleries and shops, and even sampled the many dining options in the historic downtown. Paducah, a creatively vibrant city due in part to its successful Artist Relocation and Artist-in-Residence programs, is a popular stop for the American Queen and has a rich history derived from its river trade.

“As we embark on the summer season exploring the many cities of the Ohio River including Louisville, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, Paducah is a fine example of an elegantly restored river town that draws our guests to river travel,” shared American Queen Steamboat Company President & COO Ted Sykes. “Yesterday’s arrival was exciting and we look forward to our many stops in Paducah for years to come.”

The American Queen visits Paducah on seven occasions in 2014 including a special Bourbon & Bluegrass itinerary Aug. 29 and Sept. 5 between St. Louis, Mo. and Cincinnati, Oh., featuring whiskey distillers Jim Beam, Buffalo Trace, and Heaven Hill. Famous bourbon makers will also be joined onboard by award-winning Bluegrass acts headlined by Rhonda Vincent and the Rage, Chris Jones and the Night Drivers and several acclaimed regional bands.  Each voyage on the Ohio River highlights the region’s kaleidoscope of large cities and small river towns exemplified by Paducah.

“Located at the confluence of the Ohio and Tennessee rivers, and within a few miles of the Cumberland and Mississippi rivers, Paducah lies at the heart of the river industry and has a very rich river history,” says Julie Harris, Executive Director of the River Discovery Center in Paducah.  “We are a perfect stop for all of the paddlewheel steamboats that travel our inland waterways, and we love when the American Queen stops at our port and enjoy sharing Paducah with its passengers.”

Founded in 1827, Paducah served as a major stop along the riparian trade route linking the Upper Midwest with the Southeast during the Age of Steam. The charming 19th-century architecture lining the streets of the historic downtown reflects the wealth accrued in this vital inland port during this era. This year marks the sesquicentennial of the Battle of Paducah, signaling the hotly contested town’s strategic role in connecting the Upper and Deep South during the American Civil War.     

Offering the most inclusive river cruise experience in North America, fares on the American Queen begin at   $1,599 per person based on double occupancy and $3,795 on the American Empress. All journeys include a one-night pre-voyage hotel stay, shore tours in all ports, complimentary wine and beer with dinner and a host of other amenities.

To order a brochure, request additional information and make reservations, contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit online at or contact a professional travel agent. Guests who book early can save up to $600 per stateroom on all 2015 voyages.