Foodies who travel on their stomachs are in for a treat onboard American Queen Voyages sailings this year. The cruise line’s Culinary Ambassador, Chef Regina Charboneau, will personally host a series of cruises to showcase the best of regional American cuisine. Known fondly as “The Biscuit Queen of Natchez,” Charboneau will explore ports with guests and regional chef friends, and onboard will share stories, recipes, menu specials, and how-to demonstrations.
Celebrating American Queen Voyages’ 10th anniversary, the “Regina Charboneau & Friends” 2022 sailings promise culinary adventures and discoveries beyond the Lower Mississippi River where she was born. Charboneau made her professional debut in Alaska and will make her return as she sails the Ocean Victory maiden voyage from Vancouver to Sitka. Additional sailings will include the Pacific Northwest, Great Lakes, and Ohio River itineraries through November 13, 2022.
“Exploring North America through its bountiful cuisine is an enjoyable pastime of mine, and I always love sharing my culinary adventures and discoveries with guests, many of whom become friends,” says Chef Charboneau. “Every city and port has its own iconic dish, and I look forward to telling the story of that dish, how it has impacted the community and so much more. Whether we’re dining on local salmon in Alaska or Nashville Hot Chicken along the Cumberland River, guests can expect to leave with new culinary knowledge, full bellies, and a smile on their faces.”
The “Biscuit Queen” is notable for her popular San Francisco restaurants Regina’s at the Regis and Biscuits & Blues, the latter also with an outpost in her Natchez, Mississippi hometown. The author of “Mississippi Currents: A Culinary Journey Down America’s Greatest River,” a meticulously researched collection of river recipes from St. Paul to New Orleans, brings her career full circle to The Last Frontier aboard the May 6 inaugural sailing of the Ocean Victory expedition ship. Throughout this adventure, Charboneau highlights regional Alaska dishes including crab and halibut, while telling tales of her early adventures as the first female chef at the Petroleum Club in Anchorage.
The culinary ambassador will also host sailings on all four paddlewheelers this year. American Queen Voyages’ newest riverboat, American Countess, sails from Nashville to St. Louis on July 4-12, featuring dishes like St. Louis Toasted Ravioli and Nashville Hot Chicken, two dishes synonymous with their home river ports; and sails again September 12-19 from Louisville to St. Louis to discover the history behind the Hot Brown and Mint Julep. The American Queen sails from Memphis to St. Louis July 17-24, serving up Charboneau’s rib and BBQ secrets; and from St. Louis to Louisville on July 24-August 1, with bourbon tastings and distillery visits along the way.
The line’s first seagoing vessel, the Ocean Navigator, journeys from Detroit to Montreal with an exclusive tour through the Thousand Islands, and Charboneau’s culinary tour of Detroit Pizza and French-Canadian cuisine. The 2022 culinary cruises come to a delicious end on the American Duchess November 5-13, as it explores the diverse culinary flavors of the mid-Mississippi from Louisville to Memphis.
“These sailings reflect the diversity of encounter travel experiences we offer across North America,” says Kari Tarnowski, Sr. Vice President of Marketing and Sales for American Queen Voyages, “and I am confident they will instantly become among our most popular.”
American Queen Voyages is a leader in encounter travel, offering a portfolio of North American itineraries and experiences, comprised of American Queen Voyages River, American Queen Voyages Lakes & Ocean and American Queen Voyages Expedition, which includes new Alaska and Central America expedition experiences.