There remains no better way to experience America’s heartland than on a river cruise.
Thanks to the new Queen of the Mississippi the long tradition of a leisurely riverboat cruise along more than 2,320 miles of America’s most famous river is experiencing a resurgence.
Steamboats were once the major method of transport for passengers and freight from one end of the Mississippi to the other. But just as air travel caused the downsizing of passenger travel on railways, those same railways had a similar impact on river cruising.
Then came Hurricane Katrina, taking out New Orleans and leaving the riverboat cruising industry in tatters.
By 2008, riverboat cruising was finished. Or so everyone thought.
Now comes a brand new ship scheduled to debut with seven-night sailings involving both Memphis and Nashville in August.
The Nashville sailings are August 18 Memphis to Nashville and August 25 Nashville to St. Louis.
The new world of Mississippi river cruising begins August 4 with a round-trip New Orleans cruise, followed by New Orleans to Memphis on August 11 including stops at Helena, AR; Vicksburg and Natchez in Mississippi; and St. Francisville, Baton Rouge and Oak Alley in Louisiana.
The Nashville to St. Louis cruise stops in Clarksville and Dover, TN; Paducah and Columbus in Kentucky and Cape Girardeau, MO. The Memphis to Nashville cruise replaces Cape Girardeau with New Madrid, MO.
Over the next year the Queen of the Mississippi, the first sternwheeler built for the Mississippi in 20 years, will sail from St. Louis to Cincinnati, St. Louis to St. Paul, Cincinnati-Pittsburgh, Memphis-St. Louis, with round trips sailings from St. Louis and Memphis.
The Queen of the Mississippi recreates the allure of past riverboats while adding modern technology and safety into the mix. Although the riverboats resemble their predecessors form a century ago and more, these are not your great-grandparent’s vessels.
This ship will have the largest staterooms on the Mississippi, along with private balconies in 85% of the staterooms. Queen of the Mississippi will feature six unique lounges, a library, a dining salon and elevator service to all decks.
Success breeds success. Construction has already began on a new American Cruise Lines riverboat, this one slightly larger than the 150-passenger Queen of he Mississippi.
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