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.