It’s a bit of déjà vu along the Mississippi river as American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi departed from New Orleans on Saturday for her inaugural voyage round-trip to Vicksburg, Mississippi. It’s the first time a new, authentic paddlewheel riverboat has cruised the mighty Mississippi River in nearly twenty years.
Built by American Cruise Lines, also the owner/operator of several riverboats and small cruise ships, construction of the 295-foot Queen of the Mississippi began in June by Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md. six weeks ahead of schedule. In addition to Mississippi, the new paddlewheeler will have additional itineraries that go further up the Mississippi all the way to Memphis and Minneapolis. The Ohio River, a tributary of the Mississippi River, is also on future itineraries and include cruises to Pittsburg.
The Queen of the Mississippi, a four-deck vessel that can carry up to 150-passengers, features a dining room that is large enough to accommodate all passengers in a single seating or at a time of their choice. Room service is available so that guests may dine on their private balconies.
The staterooms on this new ship are larger than on most cruise ships, with an average of 300-square feet, the largest in the North American river cruise industry. Almost all of the ship’s spacious staterooms offer private balconies with sliding glass doors, while an all-American crew caters to passengers’ every need. Daily educational events and themed entertainment help paint a picture of what life on the Mississippi was like in days gone by.
“The launch of Queen of the Mississippi represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Mississippi Riverboating, where 21st century amenities are offered aboard an authentic paddlewheeler that is historic in appearance,” said Charles A. Robertson, president and CEO, American Cruise Lines. “We know Queen of the Mississippi will set a new standard for river cruising expectations.”
An authentic, old-fashioned calliope and of course, the bright red paddlewheel recreate the feeling reminiscent of turn-of-the-century life on the Mississippi. The ship’s library, aptly named the Mark Twain Library, will feature an expansive selection of books while modern technology, including complimentary wifi, will allow passengers to stay in touch while they meander along the river. Each stateroom features elegant bathrooms, in-room phones and wifi and satellite TV.
After the Queen of the Mississippi completes the inaugural cruise on August 11, the river ship will depart on another seven-night cruise with stops at Oak Alley, Baton Rouge and St. Francisville, Louisiana, Natchez and Vicksburg, Mississippi and Helena, Arkansas before arriving into Memphis, Tennessee on August 18.
For more information and rates visit: AmericanCruiseLines.com
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Source and photo credit: American Cruise Lines