American Cruise Lines announces 2013 Mississippi schedule

GUILFORD, Conn. – Still six months away from the start of its inaugural 2012 season on the Mississippi River, American Cruise Lines has already announced its 2013 schedule for the Queen of the Mississippi. The brand-new 150-passenger paddlewheeler is currently under construction and nearing completion at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., and will begin service Aug. 11 from New Orleans. Following the 2012 season, the 2013 schedule for Queen of the Mississippi will feature sailings beginning on Feb. 9. See the schedule here.

You can watch the launch of the Queen of the Mississippi here.

Read Dale DuPont’s coverage of the competition for Mississippi cruise business here

“We’re excited about the release of 2013 sailings aboard Queen of the Mississippi,” Timothy Beebe, vice president, American Cruise Lines, said in a statement. “We received a wonderful response to the 2012 inaugural season and look forward to further accommodating this demand with the 2013 schedule.”

Similar to the 2012 season, theme cruises will be featured throughout, including the Civil War and Mark Twain, with new additions such as musical and holiday-themed cruises. Entertainment will also be a key component, according to ACL, with various featured local and national entertainers spanning a range of music genres, including jazz, dixieland and blues. A resident onboard riverlorian (river historian) will also be aboard each cruise, the company said, while additional lecturers and experts also join guests along the cruise.

The Queen of the Mississippi has 78 staterooms, with sliding glass doors to private balconies, while they have been designed to maintain “the elegance and traditional Victorian luxury of classic late 1800s Mississippi riverboats.” American Cruise Lines will operate the authentic paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi, ACL claims, will also be able to travel at significantly higher speeds than older Mississippi riverboats (14 knots versus seven to 10 knots), minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. Trips are planned that take passengers as far north as St. Paul, Minn., on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh on the Ohio River.

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