The Empress of the North is not running at this time.

Launched in 2003, the Empress of the North is the first sternwheeler to sail Alaska’s Inside Passage in over 100 years. In the summer season, the Empress's main destination is Alaska. In the spring and autumn, she joins the Queen of the West and cruises the Columbia, Snake and Willamette Rivers. The Empress of the North is run mainly by the stern paddlewheel, but has additional Z-drives for higher speed and difficult navigation situations.

river cruises: Empress of the North
Cruise Experience
The Empress of the North is ideal for intimate Alaska cruises. With only 235 passengers and a friendly and experienced crew of 84, you'll feel like you have a big family around you. The Empress of the North has elevators, handicap rooms and accessible public restrooms.

On this cruises you are much closer to the water line than on cruise ships, which makes the experience even more authentic. Most likely you will not need an additional whale watching tour as the Empress is your all-day-long whale watching boat. Remarkably maneuverable, she can safely edge close to the shoreline. An onboard historian and in-depth shore excursions are included to enhance the rich experience of the history and cultures of America’s last frontier.

The Empress of the North was launched in 2003 as the second boat of the American West Steamboat Company. Especially built for the Alaska cruise business, the Empress of the North is designed with a deeper hull than traditional river boats. This provides stability and results in a very comfortable cruise. The V-shaped bow allows the Empress to safely maneuver through the ice fields along Alaska's Inside Passage. Designed by Seattle naval architects, Guido Perla & Associates, construction of the Empress of the North began at Nichols Brothers' shipyard in Freeland, WA in April 2002. From 2006 until 2009 she was part of the Majestic America Line fleet. She's now in the MARAD fleet and up for sale.