Christopher Kyte, chairman of French America Line, cited IMS's commitment to excellence, safety and best practices.
'We did an extensive search and found that the integrity and reputation of this dynamic, family-operated company set it apart from the rest. I especially appreciate the hands-on attention from our IMS project manager, Greg Brown, who is considered one of the best riverboat operations experts in the country,' Kyte added.
'We are thrilled to announce this partnership and look forward to working together in creating new admirers of our wonderful river system,' IMS president Dave Hammond said.
Louisiane, which formerly operated as Columbia Queen, is undergoing a multimillion-dollar refurbishment before its Aug. 22 introduction. The vessel will sport an elegant, French-inspired ambience. Itineraries will cover the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Red rivers, and skirt the Gulf coast.
Inaugural year homeports are Louisville, Kentucky; Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee; New Orleans; Pensacola, Florida; Pittsburgh; St. Louis; and St. Paul, Minnesota.