American Cruise Lines (www.americancruiselines.com) announced today that its new paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, has received its Coast Guard certificates.
So, six weeks ahead of schedule, the river ship has left Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. It's now en route to New Orleans, where it will begin cruising in early August.
"We are pleased with the completion of the Queen of the Mississippi,” said Charles A. Robertson, president of American Cruise Lines, a Guilford, CT-based company that is highly experienced in operating many other small ships on North American river and coastal itineraries.
Robertson said: “This is the most spectacular riverboat ever built and we are delighted to report that all performance, comfort and environmental parameters have exceeded the design expectations.”
The Queen of the Mississippi carries 150 guests in spacious staterooms. The line says many are twice the size of those on other Mississippi riverboats.
Nearly all staterooms feature large private balconies with sliding glass doors. American Cruise Line says the vessel offers the modern in-stateroom amenities that guests expect, yet it also exudes the elegance and Victorian styling reflective of late 1800s-era Mississippi riverboats.
The new paddlewheeler will sail throughout the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers.
While an authentic paddlewheeler, the Queen of the Mississippi will be able to travel at higher speeds than other riverboats built in past years. American Cruise Lines says that will minimize night travel and make more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns.
A number of unique riverboat journeys are planned -- taking passengers as far north as St. Paul, MN, on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA, on the Ohio River.