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American Queen Steamboat Company vs St Hilda Sea Adventures - Tour Companies Compared

Compare details and see what other travelers are saying.

Rating Breakdown
Overall — 4
Value — 4.2
Guide — 4.2
Activities — 4.2
Lodging — 4.2
Transportation — 4.2
Meals — 4.2
Overall — 5
Value — 4.9
Guide — 4.9
Activities — 4.9
Lodging — 4.9
Transportation — 4.9
Meals — 4.9
Recent Reviews

Experienced true southern hospitality!

5.0 January 2017
EK
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had an absolutely incredible time onboard the American Queen this past week, during our 'Elvis' cruise from Memphis to New Orleans. Everything was top shelf - from luxurious accommodations and fabulous dining, to stellar entertainment and tour options throughout the week, all delivered with true southern hospitality. Elvis may have left the building, but the proud spirit and tradition of life on the Mississippi lives onboard the national treasure that is the American Queen. Our heartfelt thanks to Susan E., Alex B., Alex S., the Steamboat Syncopators, the ensemble cast, staff, Captain and crew for truly making us feel like part of the family!
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Tour American Queen Steamboat Company Reviews

Great!

5.0 January 2017
S
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We just returned from a trip on the American Empress. Great service, great food and wonderful relaxing days on the Snake and Columbia river. If you think the days of river boat travel are over you have no idea what you are missing. You can bet we will be back!
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Tour American Queen Steamboat Company Reviews

What a holiday!

5.0 January 2017
R
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
I was lucky enough to have 7 wonderful nights on the American Queen ... Along with 17 of my friends and family... From Memphis to New Orleans..Wow !! ... Cannot speak highly enough of the staff and anyone involved with this Majestic Queen of the River... Many thanks to Captain Brent for taking such great care of us rowdy lot !!..
It is my hope we get to take another trip on this fine Lady again .... We are from Australia ...... Such a great time...
So many positives to speak of....
What a holiday !...
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Life-changing and enjoyable!

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This is a holiday gave me a chance to slow down, and take the time to feel part of the natural world: the sun, to notice the hook-beaked oyster catchers and families of rare seals, to enjoy the wonderful food, the sunshine, scudding clouds, waves lapping and the feeling of being held safely by the St Hilda whilst being at the mercy of winds, tides and waves. It was fun to share tasks with fellow passengers and to laugh. I haven't laughed so much for years. And I loved seeing beautiful coastal parts of Scotland for the first time from the sea, gaining the chance to wonder at the histories and cultures that have flourished, been lost and yet live on in the remote, unusual places where we moored. I discovered my sea-legs, but I found much more - the pleasure of a little bit of distance from land, the new perspectives it gives and sheer joy of experiencing the sea, and its role in revealing new dreams and uncovering old ones. All this was in the company of knowledgeable crew - sea-farers who made the whole cruise delightful from start to finish and easy-peasy for a land-lubber like myself.
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A Delight

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This was a fantastic holiday - there is something magical about being in a ship, relying on wind and waves, seeing beautiful scenery, eating lovely food, helping sail the ship and enjoying the experience with a group of witty, friendly, knowledgeable people.
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It's fascinating to be on a slow journey

5.0 October 2017
A
Recommends
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
This holiday was like no other: it was stepping into another world where the wind, sun and sea mattered because our lives were held by the ship and these big elemental forces. It was a realm of sea faring lore, laughter and fun, where the elements - water, wind and tides - mattered and shaped and influenced our journey. It's easy to laugh on a ship because you are sharing the camaraderie of crew and ocean and somehow the sea is lighter than the land. Instead you have the myths and stories of sea and mysteries of the deep - Moby Dick, Jonah, Noah's Ark and Ring of Bright Water! It's fascinating to be on a slow journey with time to reflect and to be looking at the strange, populated and then depopulated, fought over Scottish coastal landscape from a new perspectives. It's fun to work with the charming, witty, friendly skippers and fellow crew hauling anchors and sails. But, most of all, it's a joy to be on, and in, and feeling the elemental ocean. I felt safe and found my sea-legs, but I also stumbled into a new world, one that enriches and ignites dreams.
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Tour St Hilda Sea Adventures Company Reviews

Tours 2 Trips 8 Trips
Average Trip Price Per Day $ 310 $ 166
Operator Type River Cruise Line Small Ship & Expedition Cruise Line
Size Local Specialist Local Specialist
Trip Types
  • River Cruises
  • Private Guided Trips
  • Small Ship & Expedition Cruises
  • Custom Itineraries
Service Level Standard Standard
Regions
  • North America
  • Rivers & Seas
  • Europe
Known For
  • 50+
  • 50+
  • 18 - 35
  • Solo & Singles Travel
  • Eco Travel
  • Adventure
  • Sailing
Headquarters Memphis, Tennessee, USA Oban, Scotland
Year Established N/A N/A
Solo Friendly N/A Good for singles
Tour Languages N/A N/A
Top Trips
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      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 St Hilda Sea Adventures

      St. Hilda provides the unique experience to see Scotland by sail. They offer many activities and private excursions - a perfect travel experience for families, older travelers, and small multi-gen groups.

      What Makes Them Stand Out?

      Taking only up to 6 guests, their tours are incredibly unique, as you sail aboard a classic ex-tall ship that looks straight out of the past. Activities include sailing, swimming, fishing, rock pooling, and lobster potting. Or you can choose to just relax and watch the spectacular wildlife and scenery float by. If you bring your equipment you can canoe, kitesurf, and windsurf as well.

      Who Travels With Them?

      All ages and all types enjoy traveling with St. Hilda Sea Adventures. Families, couples, and solo passengers are all welcome. Passengers can choose to do as much or as little as they like. This is a great trip for young kids to enjoy as well, for the thrill of hoisting the sails like a true sailer.

      Where Do They Operate?

      The West Coast of Scotland is where they specialize, the Outer and Inner Hebrides and Argyll specifically. Such a niche focus is a huge positive for those interested in getting a unique view of this part of the world.

      Why Travel With Them?

      These cruises give you the opportunity to see extraordinary wildlife, sail aboard an ex-tall ship with skipper and chef, with a small group. All food is included, and there are many opportunities for interesting excursions. Some excursions are included in the price, however you can also arrange excursions based on your interests. These are not included but allow for a wonderful amount of personalization to your travel experience with St. Hilda Sea Adventures.

      Tours & Operators on Stride Awarded and Featured by:

      • National Geographic, Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure
      • Outside, The New York Times