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Radio Guest List—American Queen Steamboat Company, New Orleans, Louisiana—March 19, 2016

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queen5This week’s broadcast of the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show takes place aboard the American Queen, operated by the American Queen Steamboat Company, sailing on the Mississippi River from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans, Louisiana. Ted Sykes, President and COO of the American Queen Steamboat Company, joins us to share the company’s history. Jerry Hay, the American Queen’s Riverlorian, discusses the story of the Mississippi River. The Wall Street Journal Travel Editor Scott McCartney gives some tips about how you can get more information about the plane you’ll be on, to avoid cramped seating. There’s all of this and more when the Peter Greenberg Worldwide Radio Show broadcasts from the American Queen, operated by the American Queen Steamboat Company, sailing on the Mississippi River.

Click here to listen to the show streaming live from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. ET on Saturday, March 19, 2016.

Have a travel question? Then ask Peter. Call 888-88-PETER (888-88-383), email him at, or tweet your questions to @petersgreenberg (include #AskPeter).

Ted Sykes, President and COO of American Queen Steamboat Company, discusses how the American Queen has gone through many changes over the years, including at one point being owned by the government. He also explains that even though the river is not saltwater, there is still a lot of wear and tear, and he details how the company accounts for that.

Jim Palmeri, Director of American Queen Shore Excursions, details how its hop-on-hop-off shore excursions create experiences where people can have freedom. There are many different things to see with each stop, and the company works closely with locals to develop more authentic experiences.

Captain Brent Willits
talks about the extensive reach of the Mississippi River and how the south is a prime location in the world for growers because of the lush crops and the easy access to transportation on the river. The Mississippi also offers a set of new challenges on each of its divisions.

Roger Allard, British intrepid traveler on the American Queen, describes the ship as being similar to a Disney time warp. You could not build the ship the same way today, which is one of the reasons he has traveled on it five times. He loves both the excellent service and the history of the United States Civil War.

Jerry Hay, the American Queen‘s Riverlorian, explains how historians have to stick to the truth, but riverlorians can weave a tall tale into their stories. Some of the truths of the Mississippi are that there were river pirates, Mark Twain gave the river international notoriety, and although most people know Mark Twain was not his real name, many are unaware he borrowed the pseudonym from someone else.

Melinda Morris, Life and Culture Editor for and The Times-Picayune, recommends coming to New Orleans for Jazz Fest and going out at night as much as you can. You never know when the random person who decides to jump on the piano for a few minutes will be Billy Joel. No matter what time of year in New Orleans, heading down Magazine Street is one of your best bets, and check out Bourbon Street—but don’t stay there too long.

Holland Ware, frequent American Queen traveler and landowner magnate, explains why he has returned or booked cruises on the American Queen over 50 times. He says it is for the impeccable service and the Broadway level entertainment. It is an experience he cannot get anywhere else and after traveling the world for over 30 years, he has not found another comparable cruise.

Scott McCartney, Travel Editor for The Wall Street Journal, delivers the bad news that airlines are adding more seats with less pitch and less available options. He also gives some insider tips on how you can get more information about the plane you’ll be on before you fly.

George Hobica, Founder of, comments on the changing configurations of planes, particularly on long hair flights, to cram more seats onto carriers. Legislation has been put forward to create a minimum seat width and pitch. Then he dives into airline frequent flyer programs, as well as the way airlines advertise fares that do not include all associated fees because no transparency is required.