Journey Beyond, a leading travel company and part of the Hornblower Group, has recently announced its partnership with American Queen Voyages, a North American cruise line, to offer new and exciting travel experiences for Australian guests. With the inclusion of American Queen Voyages in its portfolio, Journey Beyond continues to expand its global presence and offer a diverse range of travel options for its valued clients.
This new partnership comes as a natural evolution following the recent expansion of Chris Tallent’s role as the CEO of Journey Beyond, who is now the head of a newly created global Overnight Division at Hornblower Group. As a part of the partnership, American Queen Voyages’ iconic cruise experiences will be distributed within the Australian market through Journey Beyond’s network of valued trade partners.
The immersive and all-inclusive nature of American Queen Voyages’ captivating voyages has great synergy with the elements being sought by guests travelling on Journey Beyond’s globally recognized rail journeys, such as The Ghan, or small-group 4WD expedition operator, Outback Spirit. According to Chris Tallent, “The romance of rail and the renaissance of US river cruising go hand in hand. At the core of every Journey Beyond experience is a strong sense of place. Our overnight rail and lodging brands hero the destinations in which they operate, and American Queen Voyages shares the same philosophy.”
Starting from a riverboat on the Mississippi in 1995, American Queen Voyages set out to tell the story of America’s fabled rivers on iconic red paddle wheelers, including the largest steam-powered paddle wheeler in the world, the American Queen. Every tour includes an impressive dining experience with menus influenced by the flavours of the region, live entertainment, and shore excursions.
“We know how much Australians enjoy river cruising,” said Tallent. “And we know Australian guests will love the authenticity of American Queen Voyages. Guests can expect superb southern hospitality and itineraries curated to discover North America’s diversity, while traveling in the height of luxury and comfort.”
American Queen Voyages offers itineraries along the Lower Mississippi, the Upper Mississippi, Columbia and Snake Rivers, and The Cumberland and Tennessee Rivers. The flagship tour, Memphis to New Orleans, is a 9-day all-inclusive river cruise, filled with Southern charm with a soundtrack of Memphis blues and New Orleans jazz.
The all-inclusive fare for the Memphis to New Orleans tour starts from AUD $4,295 per person and includes a complimentary pre-cruise hotel stay, exploring the diversity of Memphis, touring the South’s largest remaining pre-Civil-War-era mansion, Nottaway Plantation, visiting the Mississippi Grammy museum, and experiencing the introduction to Southern culture and hospitality.
In addition to river cruising, American Queen Voyages’ Ocean Expedition Cruises take guests along Alaska’s Inside Passage and up the Northern Pacific Coast, sharing some of the most remote and beautiful places in North America. Ocean Victory and Ocean Discovery are purpose-built small-size cruise ships, offering access unmatched by larger cruise ships, ensuring an awe-inspiring expedition experience in comfort and style.
On the 12-day Vancouver to Sitka expedition, guests can expect to discover by doing. Days are filled with exploration in kayaks and on expert-led Zodiac boat trips. The onboard Expedition Team educates guests on the natural landscape and wildlife during the discovery of the paradise of Fiordland – Kynoch Inlet – with bays, islands, and fjords that reveal an intricate network of waterfalls and glaciers.
The all-inclusive fare for the Vancouver to Sitka expedition starts from $8,178 per person and includes bear-spotting in Fiordland Conservation Area, breathtaking vistas and Native Alaskan culture in Ketchikan, marvelling at impressive cliffs.
WRITTEN BY: JILL WALSH