French America Line has again canceled Louisiane sailings because of a plumbing problem, this time delaying a spring start from March 18 to April 23.
“Our insurance underwriter for the riverboat just recently requested that we make time consuming refits to certain areas that had just been re-plumbed during the extensive refit of the vessel last summer,” Christopher Kyte, chairman of the Avondale, La., based company, said via e-mail Tuesday.
Late last year, the line canceled sailings through December because of plumbing problems on its second cruise. Water overflowed from a tank and got into lower crew quarters and the food stores, a company official said.
The vessel — the newest player in the growing U.S. overnight riverboat market — was due back in service in mid-March from a winter lay-up and refit.
Passengers on the cruises affected by the delay were offered:
- Any 2017 voyage of the same length or longer, with a $1,000-per-couple refund and one-category upgrade, and reimbursement for airline or train rebooking penalties.
- For cancellations, a full refund, airline or train reimbursement and $500 per cabin future credit.
The Louisiane is the former 203’8”x60’x12’ Columbia Queen, which underwent a multimillion dollar refurbishment, has a capacity of 150 passengers and 64 crew. It offers five- to 10-day cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers and the intracoastal waterway.
French America Line bought the riverboat for an undisclosed sum from Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Greenwood Village, Colo., which in 2011 purchased the vessel and other assets of Ambassadors International Inc., out of bankruptcy court. Ambassadors was the parent of money-losing Majestic America Line, which shut down in 2008.