Yes, it’s true. The Queen of the Mississippi will be ending her journeys on the Mississippi River in 2016. That doesn’t mean she’ll stop sailing altogether, though. The move is actually a good thing for American Cruise Lines and the customers it serves. Queen of the Mississippi is departing only to make room for a brand new ship that will enter the market in 2016, a few weeks ahead of schedule.
So what’s the name of the new ship, you may wonder? American Cruise Lines has decided to keep the name pretty simple and decided to name the new vessel “America.” As of now, a new name for the Queen of the Mississippi has not been announced. Obviously, it will be something more fitting for her travel on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest.
The new America is following the same basic design as other ships in its fleet. Also a paddlewheeler, the vessel will carry up to 185 passengers. It will be larger than the 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi.
A New Queen of the Mississippi
Interestingly, American Cruise Lines is planning to build a new Queen of the Mississippi, which is scheduled to launch in 2017. In the interim, the 2014 American Eagle will continue to offer cruises along the Mississippi River sharing the waterways with the current Queen of the Mississippi until she’s replaced by the America.
Once the new Queen of the Mississippi enters service, American Cruise Lines will have three vessels on the Mississippi. This is definitely an expanding area of the market, which is why plans have been made to add not only more, but also larger vessels, to serve guests on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.
An Expert Shipbuilder
Which company is behind the construction of American Cruise Lines’ vessels? The Maryland-based company Chesapeake Shipbuiliding was contracted to build the new ships. The company has been in the industry for more than 30 years and has established itself as a leading designer and expert shipbuilder.
Construction of the new vessels begins in the shipping yard in Salisbury, Maryland where the outer outer shell and structure will be built and the two hull sections joined. Ships will then be moved to the Wicomico River on the Eastern shore of Maryland where the final construction takes place, including the upper decks and the ship’s interior.
American Cruise Lines’ Expanding Fleet & Presence
When the Queen of the Mississippi moves to the Columbia and Snake Rivers under her new name, American Cruise Lines will double its capacity to serve that market. As interest in cruising on America’s rivers has increased, this is good news for American Cruise Lines and for travelers.
By adding the America to the Mississippi River in 2016, American Cruise Lines will increase its capacity by adding room for an additional 35 guests per sailing. And when the new Queen of the Mississippi launches in 2017, the company will increase availability by an additional 165 passengers.
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