Luxury Steam Wheeler Debuts on the Mississippi

Cruising America’s inland river systems – especially the historically significant Mississippi River – is a time-warp that is increasing in popularity. As passengers opt for the smaller cruises to experience antebellum south to the soundtrack of paddle wheeler churning water, American Cruise Lines is responding by increasing their fleet.

With New Orleans as its home port, American Cruise Lines’ 305-foot, 150-passenger American Eagle Paddle wheeler will be joining its sister ship, “Queen of the Mississippi”, in time for the Spring cruising season.

“American Cruise Lines’ investment in a second riverboat in the Port of New Orleans illustrates the growing demand for classic River cruising,” says Gary LaGrange, president and CEO of the Port of New Orleans.

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Blending modern facilities with the allure of the 1800s – the American Eagle will offer various eight-day itineraries between New Orleans and Memphis, stopping over in historical towns, such as; Natchez Miss., Baton Rouge, Vicksburg Miss., St. Francisville, La. and Memphis Tenn., as well as landmarks like Houma House and Oak Alley. All cruises start at $4,450 per person.

Having recently completed its construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland, the American Eagle features 84 spacious state-rooms, 78 of which boast large, private balconies. Along with three public lounge areas, a grand dining room adorned in chandeliers and fine furnishings, a library, and chart room.

Although the American Eagle will primarily operate between New Orleans and Memphis, American Cruise Lines has announced a number of unique journeys, including 8, 15 and 22-day complete Mississippi River cruises.

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“It’s evident that the style of cruising we’re offering is becoming increasingly popular,” said Timothy Beebe, vice president of American Cruise Lines. “We are meeting this growth in demand by introducing … a greater variety of sailing options to provide those interested with the most unique and upscale travel experience available on the Mississippi River.”  

Themed cruises that explore the Civil War and music and cuisine of the region are a popular alternative to American Cruise Lines’ regular itineraries. Although they have experts and historians offering informal lectures and open discussions about the history and natural environment on all their cruises – for their themed cruises they truly delve deeply into the topics.

For more information on small cruises out of New Orleans, visit or call 800-814-6880.

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