American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Duchess takes 

 Great Steamboat Race win

NEW ALBANY, IN., May 3, 2018 –  American Duchess, the newest riverboat in the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet, made her Great Steamboat Race rookie appearance yesterday with a resounding win. A Kentucky Derby Festival event favorite since 1963, the 14-mile course on the Ohio River began and ended at the Clark Memorial Bridge in downtown Louisville. The U.S. flagged, 166-guest, all-suite paddlewheeler raced alongside the Belle of Louisville and the Belle of Cincinnati before pulling ahead to take the honor, which included a set of 12-point Silver Antlers and years’ worth of bragging rights.

“The Great Steamboat Race is such a fun Kentucky Derby Festival tradition that brings out the best in both the riverboat and Louisville communities.” said John Waggoner Chairman and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company and board member of the Kentucky Derby. “We thank the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati for a such spirited competition and everyone watching onboard the boats or from the shore were the real winners.”

Representatives of the Kentucky Derby Festival and invited guests joined an already sold out inaugural Kentucky Derby Cruise sailing for the race and enjoyed signature mint juleps during the 14-mile spirited competition. Thousands of spectators watched along both the Kentucky and Indiana banks of the Ohio River as Captain Randy Kirschbaum led the American Duchess to victory.

The sold-out Kentucky Derby Cruise departing Louisville roundtrip began on April 29 with stops in Madison, IN, Louisville, KY, Bradenburg, KY, Owensboro, KY, and Cincinnati, OH. The exclusive shore excursions including a pre-cruise private tour of Churchill Downs and a tour of Maker’s Mark Distillery were among the highlights. Guests will witness the “greatest two minutes in sports” on Saturday with the premium Kentucky Derby Day Ticket Package offering the opportunity to experience the thrilling final stretch of the Kentucky Derby from the famous Churchill Downs Grandstand.

The American Duchess is a floating, intimate masterpiece that can carry up to 166 guests through America’s heartland.  The American Duchess features a generous space ratio showcased by three 550 sq. ft. Owner’s Suites, four 550 sq. ft. Loft Suites (a U.S. riverboat first), two 450 sq. ft. Deluxe Suites; in addition to spacious Veranda Suites and Interior Suites.

The new vessel delivers the highest standards of service, entertainment and shore excursions that customers have come to expect from the cruise line, along with enhanced pre-cruise hotel

nights at iconic boutique properties including Louisville’s iconic Brown’s Hotel.

For additional information and reservations, kindly contact the American Queen Steamboat Company at 888-749-5280, visit or call a professional travel agent.


American Queen Steamboat Company

American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) is the operator of the U.S. flagged American Queen, the largest, most opulent riverboat in the world.  Longer than a football field, towering six decks in height and laced with fanciful gingerbread trim, she is a marvel of modern engineering. Her journeys through the heartland offer a unique perspective on America’s history, culture and landscape with convenient departures from some of America’s most iconic river port cities including Memphis, Nashville, New Orleans, Cincinnati, Louisville, St. Louis and Minneapolis. In April 2014, AQSC began serving the Pacific Northwest with the opulence and grandeur of the American Empressand has added the American Duchessto the Mississippi River in August 2017.