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American Cruise Lines to double Pacific Northwest capacity

New Columbia and Snake rivers paddlewheeler
American Cruise Lines' Queen of the Mississippi will join Queen of the West in the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia and Snake rivers. This three-year-old vessel—to be renamed—will more than double the company's capacity in the region.

American Cruise Lines' new riverboat, the 185-passenger America, will replace Queen of the Mississippi on the Mississippi River in early 2016.

The company said these moves will enable it to meet high demands for cruising on the Columbia and Snake rivers and provide more capacity on the Mississippi River system.

The new Columbia River paddlewheeler will provide large rooms with sliding glass doors opening to private balconies. The glass-enclosed dining room accommodates all passengers in one seating, and seven lounges throughout the ship offer areas for entertainment, relaxation and conversation. On board, passengers learn about Pacific Northwest history and culture.

The new paddlewheeler America is scheduled to be launched this week at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland, and will be moved to the East Outfitting Basin for completion of the upper decks and final outfitting.

A new Queen of the Mississippi is also under construction at Chesapeake Shipbuilding.