New American Cruise Lines Riverboat to Homeport in New Orleans
With the popularity of Mississippi River cruising growing each year, Guilford, CT-based American Cruise Lines will soon be introducing its second riverboat to be home-ported in New Orleans. The two new riverboats are the first new ships built specially for the Mississippi River in 20 years. Construction of the 305-foot, 150-passenger American Eagle was recently completed at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland. The new riverboat is now repositioning to New Orleans and is scheduled to arrive later this month. Similar to American Cruise Lines’ Queen of the Mississippi, it will offer various eight-day itineraries on the Lower Mississippi River 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,” said 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.”
The brand new American Eagle will enter service in the spring and feature spacious staterooms. The riverboat will have 84 staterooms, 78 of which feature large, private balconies and will offer all the amenities travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance of classic late 1800s riverboats.
While the American Eagle will primarily operate between New Orleans and Memphis, the company has announced a number of unique journeys, including a 22-day complete Mississippi River cruise.
“It’s evident that the style of cruising we’re offering is becoming increasingly popular,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “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.”
Cruise Lines International Association ranked the Port of New Orleans the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $406 million, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income.
Cruise Critic, a leading cruise reviews and information web site, named the Port of New Orleans it’s “Best North American Homeport” as part of its 2014 U.S. Editors’ Picks. Cruise Critic hosts the largest cruise community in the world with more than 3 million people ranging from avid cruise fans to first-time cruisers. Leading cruise publication Porthole Cruise Magazine also named the Port of New Orleans “Friendliest Homeport” for the second year in a row in its 2014 Editor-In-Chief Awards.