Well, this is pretty interesting news. We’ve seen resurgence over the last couple of years of river ships sailing the American waterways, and I’ve just learned that renowned line Avalon Waterways is getting in on the game here in the U.S.
Avalon, which normally features European river cruises, will be offering a limited number of Mississippi River sailings in 2013 through a partnership with American Queen Steamboat Company.
Apparently, the line has seen an increasing demand from the consumer in recent years to offer a “Mississippi experience”, and has been suitably impressed by American Queen Steamboat Company, enough so that it will be offering 10 U.S. departures with the line in 2013.
Avalon will be holding 20 outside cabins aboard the American Queen, and their passengers will be escorted by an Avalon tour director on and off the ship. They will offered a behind-the-scenes Avalon-sponsored land excursion (As an example, in Natchez, Mississippi, Avalon-booked passengers will visit chef Regina Charboneau’s home, where they will enjoy drinks and a light meal) but still have access to all the same services and amenities as passengers who book with American Queen.
While Avalon’s partnership with American Queen Steamboat Company is new, the concept is not; they have also partnered with cruise companies in China, Egypt and the Galapagos Islands to offer Yangtze, Nile and Galapagos cruises.
The ten sailings will consist of eight departures of the 11-night “America’s Heartland: From Music City to the Big Easy” which will be offered from March through June, and November through December 2013. It will also include two sailings of the 10-night “Fall Foliage Spectacular” itinerary in late September/early October 2013.
As is customary for Avalon, the cruise line also will offer pre- and post-cruise land packages- on these itineraries, they will be available in Nashville, New Orleans and Chicago.