American Riverboat Cruising Is Making a Comeback

Here's an idea for your next vacation: Take a ride on a riverboat. Late last month, American Cruise Lines christened Queen of the Mississippi as the first new paddle-wheel river boat designed for overnight cruising on the Mississippi River in nearly 20 years.

This fall, the period-styled boat will start a series of seven-day cruises on the Mississippi-Ohio river system. According to reports, the new vessel combines traditional "Old Man River" styling with modern accommodations and facilities; large staterooms, many with balconies; and onboard satellite TV and Wi-Fi (I wonder what Gaylord Ravenal would have thought). Read a review of the ship on our sister site Cruise Critic.

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Rates are high compared with mass-market ocean cruises or European river cruises; they start at $3,995 per person for seven days. But the concept of a paddle-wheel cruise along the country's biggest river system will appeal to many. The primary New Orleans-Memphis itinerary reads like an excerpt from the lyric to Blues in the Night: "From Natchez to Mobile, from Memphis to St Joe. ..."

Would you book a cruise on Queen of the Mississippi?

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(Photo: American Cruise Lines)

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