The fabled Mississippi River is growing. Following Viking’s announcement that it will set up shop on the Mississippi with six vessels in 2017, American Cruise Lines has announced it will homeport the brand-new 150-guest American Eagle in New Orleans. A modern paddlewheeler created in the style of the Queen of the Mississippi, the American Eagle will offer weeklong itineraries that explore the far reaches of the Lower Mississippi River, sailing between New Orleans and Memphis.
“American Cruise Lines’ investment in a second riverboat in the Port of New Orleans illustrates the growing demand for classic River cruising,” says Port President and CEO Gary LaGrange. “American Cruise Lines offers a cruise experience second-to-none on the Lower Mississippi River and we look forward to working with them for many years to come.”
After having nearly been decimated during the last decade, the cruise industry along the Mississippi has surged in recent years, riding the wave of popularity that European river cruising has brought to other forms of riverboat travel around the world.
At 305 feet in length, the American Eagle is one of the first ships to be purpose-built for Mississippi river cruising from the ground up in more than two decades. A total of 84 staterooms will be available for guests, 78 of which will feature private balconies. Styled like a traditional paddlewheeler, American Eagle will embrace the 19th century nostalgia that authors like Mark Twain have conjured up about the Mississippi, while at the same time maintain the standards and amenities that modern river cruise passengers have come to expect and demand.
According to Timothy Beebe, American Cruise Lines’ Vice President, the new American Eagle was born largely out of necessity. “It’s evident that the style of cruising we’re offering is becoming increasingly popularity,” he said. “We are meeting this growth in demand by introducing new vessels like the American Eagle and a greater variety of sailing options to provide those interested with the most unique and upscale travel experience available on the Mississippi River.”
American Cruise Lines’ American Eagle will officially enter service this spring.
More information on American Cruise Lines can be found here on River Cruise Advisor.