New cruise ship to stop in city on first voyage

Published 9:14 pm Saturday, May 7, 2016

The paddle wheeler America is expected to stop in Vicksburg Tuesday as it makes its maiden voyage for owner Connecticut-based American Cruise Lines.

The boat is the newest in the company’s fleet of eight boats that cruise American rivers and the East Coast.

It is one of the company’s two boats cruising the Mississippi River, and during its maiden voyage will also make stops at Oak Alley in Vacherie, La.; Natchez; Vicksburg; St. Francisville, La.; Baton Rouge, La.; and Houmas House in Darrow, La.; before returning to New Orleans. America will spend the day in Vicksburg, and guests will tour the Vicksburg National Military Park.

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“The rebound of the riverboat industry has been remarkable,” said Bill Seratt, executive director of the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau. “Last year, we greeted around 30,000 people who arrived (in Vicksburg) by water. It’s just amazing to see that entire industry come back with such great force.”

Built for American Cruise Lines at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., America is the third new riverboat built for the Mississippi for American Cruise Lines.

The five-deck rear paddle wheeler has a capacity of 185 passengers and will introduce features never before seen on a riverboat.

The American-flagged and American crewed boat was designed with traditional Victorian-style accents and blends tradition with modern features and amenities, and is constructed with the latest in cruise ship technology.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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