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American Cruise Lines opens 5-ship Mississippi season

American Song is American Cruise Lines' season opener on the Lower Mississippi
American Cruise Lines' Mississippi River season opened Tuesday with the first passengers arrving in New Orleans to embark.

This came on the same day American Queen Voyages, another river cruise provider, ceased operations. AQV had previously canceled its February season start. 

Five Mississippi boats

Over the next few weeks, all five of American Cruise Lines' Mississippi riverboats will begin cruising on the Lower Mississippi.

2024 will mark the company's largest season across the US, especially on the Mississippi where it plans continued expansion. This year, American's new riverboats will sail more than 16 itineraries throughout the region, also exploring Mississippi tributaries the Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland rivers.

Steady capacity growth

In the past five years, American Cruise Lines has nearly tripled its US fleet while also introducing new riverboats on the Mississippi every year since 2018. The company recently ordered three more ships, including riverboats, making for five under construction at its affiliated yard, Chesapeake Shipbuilding, in Salisbury, Maryland.

Following this week’s opening on the Mississippi, the company’s full fleet of 19 other small ships and riverboats will continue deploying across the country, with more than 140 ports in the charts during 2024.

New itineraries

In May, American will begin operating several new Mississippi River experiences, including the first Great Smoky Mountains National Park cruises. Travelers can explore the park on a 12-day itinerary from Knoxville to Nashville, cruising the Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

Also in May, the company’s first 35-day 'Civil War Battlefields' cruise will embark, encompassing the Mississippi, Tennessee, and Cumberland rivers as well as large expanses of the East Coast and Chesapeake Bay, while visiting more than 20 Civil War battlefields.

In August, American undertakes a 61-day 'Great United States' adventure that takes travelers from the Pacific Northwest to three national parks, four major rivers including the full navigable length of the Mississippi, to New England and New York. It involves three vessels and two flights between segments.