Majestic America Theme Cruise Lineup

The line will showcase the treasures of the United States

By: Ana Figueroa

Majestic America Line, the largest river and coastal cruising company in America, has announced a collection of themed cruises in 2008 designed to showcase the amazing natural and cultural treasures of the United States. A total of 77 themed cruises are planned for 2008, giving travelers a vast array of American travel experiences to choose from.

The music, history, culture, holidays and events along the river make up the heart and soul of our country, said David A. Giersdorf, President, Majestic America Line. “America is the greatest destination in the world, and our collection of unique themed cruises was especially designed to highlight all that our country has to offer.

Majestic America Line will launch its 2008 season with a New Orleans-themed cruise, where guests will discover the vibrant energy and cultural treasures of this fabled city aboard Majestic America Line’s flagship, the 436-guest American Queen. This roundtrip journey from the Crescent City allows passengers a full extra day to explore New Orleans with a choice of two included shore tours. Guests can select from an array of options, which include a historic walking tour of the French Quarter, a culinary adventure at a Cajun cooking school, a touching visit to the National World War II Museum or a colorful tour of Mardi Gras floats at Mardi Gras World. Guests will also have the chance to experience famous New Orleans’ mainstays like Bourbon Street, Harrah’s Casino and the St. Louis Cathedral in Jackson Square up close and personal at their own leisure.

With seven sailings to choose from in January and February, rates for the seven-night program start from $1,799 per person based on double occupancy.

Cruises aboard the American Queen or the completely refurbished 328-guest Mississippi Queen give guests the opportunity to experience the elegance and charm of the South as springtime comes into bloom. Highlights of the springtime cruises include informative presentations detailing the intriguing history and culture of the Plantation South, as well as an exclusive tour of classic antebellum mansions, rarely open to the public. Guests on select sailings will also enjoy an unforgettable community performance reliving the history of Natchez, Miss., a city older than New Orleans, featuring 200 local performers who have entertained audiences for more than 75 years.

With 10 sailings to choose from between March and April, rates for the seven-night program on the American Queen or Mississippi Queen start from $1,799 per person.

Guests can experience the nostalgic excitement of the days of Mark Twain with three steamboat races aboard a 14-night cruise on the 174-guest Delta Queen, a National Historic Landmark. During this cruise, guests will experience laid-back life on the river as they learn how steamboats paved the way for westward expansion. As guest lecturers illuminate the history of the magnificent steamboats that shaped America, the Delta Queen will race the Natchez in New Orleans, the American Queen between Natchez and Vicksburg, Miss., and the Belle of Louisville as they arrive in Louisville in the famous Great Steamboat Race. Guests will also have the opportunity to tour the Mud Island River Park in Memphis and its five-block-long replica of the Mississippi River as they relive our nation’s early days.

Rates for this exclusive 14-night sailing, departing New Orleans on April 18, start from $3,999 per person based on double occupancy.

Majestic America Line invites guests to step into a time when steamboats ruled the river to celebrate the legend of the beloved Delta Queen on the mighty Mississippi River. As onboard entertainers share the music of our nation’s early days, guest lecturers – who may include noted historians, authors or previous captains and staff – bring the story of the ship’s incredible history to life. An included shore tour of the Cincinnati Museum Center will allow guests to explore the beautiful Union Terminal and the Cincinnati History Museum, learning the colorful history and true impact these steamboats have had on American expansion.

With six 10-night departures between May and October and four 11-night departures between June and September, fares from $3,199 per person based on double occupancy.

Guests can relive the drama of the Civil War era aboard the Delta Queen as recognized experts highlight major battle sites along the breathtaking Ohio and Cumberland Rivers cruise route, regaling the courage, struggle and historical significance of the war that united and shaped the country. Guest performers in the evening will entertain passengers with Civil War era music or a surprise visit from Abraham Lincoln himself. Guests can see firsthand how the river played a pivotal role in both the Union and the Confederacy, with an included shore tour of Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, Tenn., the site of the first major Union victory which led to the fall of the first Confederate state capital at Nashville.

With four seven-night departures between May and August, fares starting from $2,299 per person based on double occupancy.

Majestic America Line will celebrate Independence Day in grand style along the Mississippi River with the classic American music of the 1940s Big Band era. Guests aboard the American Queen will dance each night away to the sounds of Guy Lombardo’s Royal Canadians as they sail from Memphis to St. Louis, where a spectacular Fourth of July fireworks show will capture their fascination under the arch at the riverfront. Guests aboard the Mississippi Queen will tap their feet to the Russ Morgan Orchestra as they make the voyage from St. Louis to St. Paul, Minn., stopping in Dubuque, Iowa, and in Hannibal, Mo., to tour the boyhood home of the legendary Mark Twain.

Fares for the seven-night cruise on either the June 28 sailing on the American Queen or the June 29 voyage on the Mississippi Queen start at $1,999 per person.

One of the line’s most popular offerings, Majestic America Line's Fall Foliage cruises allow guests to experience the fall colors of America’s Heartland along the Upper Mississippi and Ohio Rivers in a way unlike any other. With 22 itineraries aboard the American Queen, Mississippi Queen or Delta Queen, guests now have their choice of ship from which they will savor the natural, scenic wonder of autumn. Onboard naturalists and guest lecturers deliver informative presentations and highlight points of interest along the river, occasionally directing attention to a bald eagle or unique natural fixture in the fall landscape along the river bank.

The American Queen and Mississippi Queen will depart on eight seven-night cruises each during September and October with fares starting from $2,099 per person based on double occupancy, while the Delta Queen will make six departures from seven to 10 nights with starting fares ranging from $2,499 to $3,199 per person based on double occupancy.

Guests can experience the wonder of the holidays with the Majestic America Line family this holiday season aboard the intimate, lavishly decorated American Queen or Mississippi Queen both of which feature all the comforts and true spirit of the holidays at home. Guests can enjoy panoramic views of the Lower Mississippi as they decorate gingerbread cookies and gather around the holiday bonfire at a Gala Feast, while a local Cajun storyteller brings traditional Louisiana holiday customs to life.

With 10 seven-night cruises on the Lower Mississippi River, fares start at $1,799 per person.

On the West Coast, guests can celebrate the holidays aboard the Empress of the North as she journeys up the mystic Columbia River, Onboard festivities include holiday cooking demonstrations, performances by cowboy poets and musicians and a hearty feast that rivals any home-cooked holiday dinner.

With five seven-night cruises on the Columbia River, fares start from $2,599 per person based on double occupancy.

Guests who book a Majestic America Line cruise for seven nights or longer on the Mississippi or Ohio Rivers before Oct. 31, 2007 will receive a choice of free airfare or a $300 per person round-trip airfare credit. Additionally, past guests receive five percent Early Advantage Savings Rates.