August 3, 2015
(4:30 p.m. EDT) -- American Cruise Lines is moving one of its paddlewheel boats to the Columbia and Snake Rivers in the Pacific Northwest, doubling its capacity on the burgeoning route.
The 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi will be renamed when it moves to the Pacific Northwest in early 2016. When it was built in 2012, the vessel had been the first designed for the Mississippi in 15 years. When it's redeployed, passengers onboard the ship will learn about Pacific Northwest history and culture, according to a news release from the company.
American Cruise Lines already has a ship, 120-passenger Queen of the West, on the Columbia and Snake Rivers.
But don't worry: The line will still offer Mississippi River cruises. American Eagle, the line's 150-passenger paddlewheeler that debuted earlier this year, already sails the Mississippi. Its newest paddlewheeler, 185-passenger America, is scheduled to launch this week in Salisbury, MD, and will be moved to Chesapeake Shipbuilding's East Outfitting Basin for completion of upper decks and final outfitting. Another new paddlewheel vessel, which will take over the Queen of Mississippi name, is currently under construction.
--By Chris Gray Faust, Senior Editor