Queen of the West // © 2012
American Cruise Lines, which launched its new 150-passenger sternwheeler, Queen of the Mississippi in August, has announced its Spring Cruise Collection, with more than 35 itineraries along the rivers and inland waterways of the Pacific Northwest, Alaska, the Mississippi River and the U.S. East Coast from Maine to Florida.
Spring cruises are deployed on the Mississippi River, Historic South & Golden Isles, Columbia & Snake Rivers, Great Rivers of Florida and the new offering — Puget Sound & San Juan Islands.
“The springtime is one of the best times to experience small ship cruising with American Cruise Lines,” said vice president Timothy Beebe. “This particular collection rounds up a selection of unique itineraries that sail through some of the most beautiful places in the U.S., most enjoyable in the spring months. Each cruise offers an experience unlike any other.”
Seven-day Mississippi River cruises on Queen of the Mississippi will sail between New Orleans and Memphis starting March 23, visiting Oak Alley, Baton Rouge, St. Francisville, Natchez and Helena.
On the Pacific Northwest Columbia and Snake Rivers onboard the 120-passenger paddlewheeler Queen of the West, passengers follow Lewis and Clark’s expedition on a seven-night cruise through the spectacular scenery and wildlife between Clarkston, Washington and Portland, Ore., visiting Hells Canyon, Pendleton, Stevenson, Rainer, Astoria and Columbia River Gorge, starting March 30.
The line’s 49-passenger American Glory sails the Great Rivers of Florida itinerary along the designated American Heritage St. Johns River as the flowers bloom among warm mineral springs and historic ruins. Seven-night cruises out of Jacksonville start March 2 and call at Amelia Island, St. Augustine, Green Cove Springs, Palatka, and Ocala National Forest/Lake George.
The unusual seven-night Potomac and Tidewaters River Cruises aboard American Glory in May sail between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, visiting one historic port after the other: George Washington’s home, Mount Vernon; St. Mary's; the site of the fourth permanent settlement in British North America and Maryland's first capital; Annapolis, mecca of sailing and home to historic 17th and 18th-century architecture; St. Michaels (the town that fooled the British), Chestertown’s arts and maritime history and Harve de Grace, so named after a comment of Lafayette.