American Queen Steamboat Company vs Signature Collection by Gate 1 - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 5
Value — 4.7
Guide — 4.7
Activities — 4.7
Lodging — 4.7
Transportation — 4.7
Meals — 4.7
Overall — 0
Value — 0.0
Guide — 0.0
Activities — 0.0
Lodging — 0.0
Transportation — 0.0
Meals — 0.0
Recent Reviews


5.0 April 2019
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
The Portugal trip (May 2018) with Kathy was amazing. Every detail of our hikes, lunches at the beach, special dinners, musical presentations, accommodations, and surprises, was orchestrated delightfully! Kathy is a rock star in the world of active travel, adventure, and foodie experiences!
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Tour American Queen Steamboat Company Reviews

Every way possible as wonderful a cruise

5.0 February 2019
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I have taken two cruises in Europe on the #1 company there. Our January cruise on the American Duchess was in every way possible as wonderful a cruise as I have been on. Well done American Queen Steamboat Company!
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Tour American Queen Steamboat Company Reviews


5.0 June 2018
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Best vacation we have ever had in the 48 years of our marriage! Beautiful ship, wonderful staff and delicious food.

Tour American Queen Steamboat Company Reviews

Tours 2 Trips 1 Trip
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 310 $ 0
Operator Type River Cruise Line Group Tour Operator
Size Local Specialist Global Operator
Trip Types
  • River Cruises
  • Group Tours
Service Level Standard Standard
  • North America
  • North America
  • Central America & Caribbean
  • South America
  • Australia & Pacific
  • Asia
  • Africa
  • Middle East & North Africa
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 50+
  • Budget
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee, USA Fort Washington, Pennsylvania
Year Established N/A N/A
Solo Friendly N/A N/A
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
    Similar Companies
        About American Queen Steamboat Company

        While most Americans may identify river cruising with Europe’s Rhine or Danube, river cruising in the U.S. is alive and thriving, and the American Queen Steamboat Company is one of the leaders in the field. Based in Memphis, the line offers river cruises in both the eastern and western U.S. It’s a chance to see the country from a different perspective – much more calming and relaxed than road travel with no worries about lodging, transportation, food, sightseeing or entertainment once you board your ship.

        What Makes Them Stand Out? 

        The company’s fleet consists of just two ships – the American Queen and the American Empress – but both boast distinctions in the river cruise industry. The American Queen, which features Victorian-era decor and a two-story Grand Salon for theater performances, is said to be the largest riverboat ever built. While the Empress, which sports a signature red paddlewheel and also provides evening entertainment, is the largest riverboat operating west of the Mississippi. 

        Who Travels With Them?

        The river cruise line attracts mostly an older crowd age 50 and above, with some passengers well into their 70os and 80s. Many are American history and literary buffs with an interest in the Civil War, Mark Twain, the Lewis and Clark expeditions, and Americana in general. (A “riverlorian” accompanies each cruise to lecture on regional history and culture.)

        Where Do They Operate?

        The American Queen sails the upper and lower Mississippi as well as the Ohio and Tennessee rivers. (The upper Mississippi extends from Missouri north to Minnesota, while the lower Mississippi runs from Memphis south to New Orleans.)  The Empress travels the scenic Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest. 

        How Does It Work?

        During the voyage, all shore excursions are guided and included in the initial price. (You can go off on your own if you wish.) The fare also includes complimentary wine or beer at dinner and espresso and soft drinks throughout the cruise. Regional cuisine is featured in the dining rooms, and dress is casual. 

        Why Travel With Them? 

        American Queen runs a well-oiled operation that offers good value. While the ships aren’t the most luxurious afloat, they have character and offer a range of activities and cultural enrichment programs, as well as a relaxing river cruise experience.

        About Signature Collection by Gate 1

        A unique collection of luxury trips designed by Gate 1 travel.

        What Makes Gate 1 Signature Collection Stand Out?

        These are luxury minded trips with a local focus. Guides are all local experts, from and living in the destination you’re visiting. Each itinerary features exclusive experiences. Groups are small and each day is full of activity but well balanced.

        They focus on offering only a select group of trips in this special collection - allowing them the freedom to create truly spectacular itineraries - which include more inclusions in the price than their other collections.

        The tagline is “More Luxury for Less”. These tours may not be in same luxury travel class if you’re used to Abercrombie & Kent, however where comfort and extravagance meets fun and busy travel days of sightseeing and tours, you’ll find Gate 1 Signature Collection.

        Who Will Enjoy Traveling with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

        Those travelers who are willing to spend a little bit more for a 4-5 star experience, will probably find a sweet spot with Gate 1 Signature tours. These trips tend to be attended by older travelers, in the 50+ range.  

        Don’t expect too much strenuous activity. You can expect easy paced walks, guided tours and lectures, and stops to explore interesting cultural sites and historical attractions.

        While some of these cultural experiences, included in their “Signature Experiences”, are truly unique, be wary that many of these inclusions are fairly standard offerings - such as a hot air balloon ride over the African savannah. So the luxury experience of exclusivity you may be expecting is to be taken with a grain of salt. These tours offer wonderful experiences - but the destinations or activities are not always particularly uncommon or rare.  

        Top Destinations

        They currently don’t offer an overly extensive list of countries, but tours do go all over the world. This includes Central Europe, Spain, and the UK, Israel, Jordan and Morocco, Peru, Southeast Asia, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, and Zimbabwe.

        Gate 1 Signature Collection Travel Style

        Signature Collection tours with Gate 1 aim for comfort, ease, and unique cultural experiences. Like their other brands, Gate 1’s Signature Collection is about making sure your sightseeing is maximized, and the price is right for the experience.

        Most sightseeing, meals, wifi, tips, and their “Signature Experiences” are included in the itinerary price - unlike Gate 1’s main brand which offers less inclusions. This type of itinerary more helpful to budget travelers wishing to pick and choose which activities they would like to pay for. Gate 1 Signature Tours, however, are best suited to those who want more inclusions and less hassle to have to decide on how to spend their travel time.

        Why Choose a Tour with Gate 1 Signature Collection?

        If you’re an older traveler looking for a boutique, comfortable, and well paced tour, the Signature tours may suit you very well. Travelers love the customer service, attention to detail, and depth of knowledge the guides bring to each day on the tour. There is also a good balance of free time and optional additional sightseeing opportunities.

        All tours feature included “Signature Experiences” which are the main highlights that make the Signature Collection tours stand out from the other Gate 1 brands. These are unique excursions, usually with a strong cultural focus - such as an evening of Irish music in Galway, or a traditional dinner in the deserts of Morocco. They also often include lectures that explore a destinations history or a specific facet of the culture.

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