The American Duchess to visit Huntington on Thursday

Published 11:59 pm Tuesday, June 15, 2021

HUNTINGTON, WEST VIRGINIA — The Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau will welcome The American Duchess to Huntington this Thursday, June 17, for the afternoon.

The Duchess is a sister ship to The American Queen that has made several stops in Huntington over recent years. Both ships had planned visits in 2020 that were canceled due to COVID-19.

The American Duchess can carry up to 166 guests through America’s heartland. The paddle wheeler, created from a 1995 hull, was completely reconstructed and features single-seating main dining and entertainment venues, soaring ceilings, and all of the features that guests have come to expect on other American Queen Steamboat Company cruises.

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The Duchess, which is making its first stop in Huntington this year, will arrive sometime around 11 a.m. Thursday morning, depending on their travel time.

The passengers will disembark for a guided tour around the city and then visit Heritage Farm. Three motorcoaches travel with the Duchess and will transport the guests. The boat will stay docked until its departure around 10 p.m. Community members are welcome, and encouraged, to come down to the river to greet our guests and then wave them off. But no tours of the boat are allowed.

“We are excited to welcome more of our river passengers to the city and Cabell County,” Tyson Compton, president of the CVB, said. “We missed them last year and are so happy to see their return. We consistently get great comments from these folks when they visit. They enjoy what we have to offer and they love our people, often commenting on how friendly everyone is to them.”

The Steamboat Company will also use this stop to service the ship.

“We’ve been working closely with Greater Huntington Park & Recreation District to ensure a smooth arrival, docking and refreshing of the boat,” Compton said. “They do an amazing job and the boat crew really appreciates that help.”

To make the tours more personal, a local ambassador will be on board each motor coach to share local information and answer any questions.

“This will allow us to interact with these folks on a more personal level,” Compton said, “as well as give us the opportunity to share the story of Huntington and Cabell County.”

“I can’t say enough about our Ambassadors,” Compton said. “They are taking their time to greet our guests, interact with them, talk to them one on one and answer their questions. That is why we always get such great remarks about our people.”

Passengers are from around the United States as well as from other countries.

“Of course that’s what we want,” Compton added. “When these folks have a great visit and a good experience, they’re hopefully going to go back to their home and tell their friends and families, which can encourage future visits.”

The Duchess began this voyage on June 14 in Pittsburgh and will end on June 21 in Louisville.