HUNTINGTON, WV (WOWK) — The American Duchess Riverboat is coming to the Tri-State in the month of November.
The Duchess’ voyage began in Wheeling, West Virginia, on Oct. 30, and it will conclude in Louisville, Kentucky, on Nov. 6. On the morning of Wednesday, Nov. 2, The Duchess will stop in Huntington. The boat will leave Huntington around 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
Huntington stops include Pullman Square and the Downtown Shops, Touma Medical Museum, Central City 14th Street West, The Railroad Museum, Heritage Station Shops, and Marshall University’s Special Collections Morrow Library.
Other stops include Marietta and Cincinnati, Ohio; Augusta, Kentucky; and Madison, Indiana.
Nov. 2 marks the boat’s first visit to Huntington in 2022 — it also visited the city before in 2021. It is a sister ship to The American Queen and The American Countess, which have made several stops in Huntington over the years.
Before it was The American Duchess, the vessel was originally built as a casino boat named “Bettendorf Capri.” After being sold in 2016, the vessel was gutted, remodeled, and relaunched as a river cruise liner.
Like her sister ships, The Duchess has private motor coaches that travel with the boat. Some passengers can choose to join the Premium Tour, which goes to Heritage Farm and the Huntington Museum of Art.
“Once the passengers disembark, the motor coaches begin a cycle of what they call Hop On Hop Off tours, making continual laps throughout the day so that our visitors can stay at the attractions as long as they like,” said Tyson Compton, President of the Huntington Area Convention & Visitors Bureau. “We offer them a menu of everything to see and do in our area, and then attractions and venues are selected by American Queen Voyages for the stops.”
A local Ambassador will be on board each motor coach at each attraction. Compton said this allows the Ambassadors to interact with people on a personal level and share the story of the Huntington community.
“I can’t thank our Ambassadors enough,” Compton said. “They are taking their time to greet our guests, interact with them, talk to them one on one, and answer their questions.”
The Duchess’ passengers are from across the country and even around the world.
“One year we had a large group from Australia, and they were having a blast,” Compton said. “Another year, we had a group of families from the Cincinnati area who said they planned to come back to Huntington for a visit.”
Compton encourages Huntington residents to give the passengers a warm welcome. He also said people can come down to the riverfront to see the boat and take pictures. However, due to safety regulations, the general public is not allowed on the boat and tours cannot be offered.