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The American Queen Steamboat Company (AQSC) has purchased the Empress of the North from the U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) for an undisclosed amount. AQSC, which owns and operates the US-flagged American Queen, will rename its new ship, he American Empress, with the vessel scheduled to resume sailings on the rivers of the Pacific Northwest in April 2014. Portland, Oregon will be the home port for AQSC’s newest ship. Ted Sykes, president and COO of AQSC, said: “The American Queen has ushered in a rebirth of US river cruising, welcoming thousands to discover the heartland of the United States and its iconic port cities. Now the American Empress will continue that tradition as an ambassador to the Pacific Northwest, a region equally rich in American and natural history.” A US-flagged riverboat, the American Empress measures 360 ft. with five decks and accommodates 223 guests in seven stateroom categories. The American Empress will sail the Columbia River and Snake River, offering seven-day voyages between Portland, Ore. and Clarkston, Wash. Ports of call include Astoria, Wash.; Stevenson, Wash.; The Dalles, Ore.; Umatilla, Ore.; and Richland, Wash. The American Empress was built in 2002 and operated by Majestic America Line from 2002 to 2008, sailing Alaska’s Inside Passage and the Pacific Northwest. Sail on over to for further information.

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