American Cruise Lines, which operates riverboats and small cruise ships, on Aug. 3 launched the Queen of the Mississippi, the first new, authentic paddlewheeler built for the Mississippi River in 17 years.
The 150-passenger riverboat will depart on its first cruise on Aug. 4, a sold-out, eight-day, round-trip from New Orleans.
“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 Robertson, president and CEO of American Cruise Lines. “We know Queen of the Mississippi will set a new standard for river cruising expectations.”
Queen of the Mississippi was actually completed earlier than expected.
Built at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., the vessel has an all-American crew. Almost all of the ship’s 300-square-foot staterooms—billed as the largest in the industry—offer private balconies with sliding glass doors.
Every stateroom has hotel-style bathrooms, access to room service, in-room phones, Wi-Fi and satellite TV.
Queen of the Mississippi has an open seating dining plan, which allows guests to eat in a single seating or at the time of their choice. It also offers daily educational events and themed entertainment centered on life on the Mississippi. American Cruise Lines has already announced plans to build a second riverboat for cruising on the Mississippi, which would represent its third riverboat overall. The other vessel, Queen of the West, sails and the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest.
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