- Associated Press - Saturday, May 14, 2016

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - American Cruise Lines’ newest paddlewheeler, America, has made her maiden voyage with a seven-day New Orleans roundtrip cruise that made its northernmost stop in Vicksburg.

The Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1smZkrk ) reports that the boat made the voyage this week and that it will be in Vicksburg once a week for the majority of the year.

America is designed with traditional Victorian-style accents and blends tradition with modern features and amenities.

While the new ship is adorned with gleaming woodwork, brass fixtures, and historic decor, it is constructed with the latest in cruise ship technology.

The paddlewheeler has seven lounges across its five decks and offers seven-, 14- and 21-day cruises.

Drew Godfrey, the American Cruise hotel director, said the trip included 171 passengers. He said travelers on paddlewheelers are affluent and spend their money in Vicksburg.

“They like to dine out, spend in the gift shops and explore downtown,” he said.

Entertainer and historian Bill Wiemuth was on the voyage to tell passengers about the history of the Mississippi River and entertain them.

“There’s only been three passenger boats built for this river in the last 20 years, all three of them by American Cruise Lines,” Wiemuth said. “It’s exciting to see this industry still thriving thanks to this company.”

He said his talks cover a range of topics, including the Louisiana Purchase, the struggle for the control of the river during the Civil War, the history of steamboats and the nation’s western migration. “They’re exciting tales,” he said.

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, https://www.vicksburgpost.com


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