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Another paddle wheeler to ply U.S. waterways

This item was written by Johanna Jainchill, who covers the travel industry for Travel Weekly. Jainchill is serving as Guest Editor of The Cruise Log while USA TODAY Cruise Editor Gene Sloan is away.

Add another riverboat to the growing list of vessels that will be plying America’s waterways in the coming years.

American Cruise Lines said construction has already begun on a second paddle wheeler, slated to enter service by 2014.

The new ship would make three riverboats for American Cruise Lines, which cited high demand for its current river cruises.

RELATED:  New Mississippi River paddle wheeler nears completion

“We recognize a considerable strength in river cruising and have observed an increased interest in our U.S. river cruises over the last several years,” Charles Robertson, CEO of American Cruise Lines, said in a statement.

The small-ship cruise line said its new riverboat would be slightly larger than the 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi, which is nearing completion at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md., and is scheduled to make its Mississippi River debut Aug. 11.

ALSO ONLINE:  River cruise operator Vantage christens new ship
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The new vessel will be similar to the Queen, the line said, featuring cabins with private balconies, a center atrium with a grand staircase, several lounges, and a fully-functioning paddle wheel. It will have both scheduled and open dining options, as well as room service.

American Cruise Lines already has one riverboat in service, the 120-passenger Queen of the West, which operates on the Columbia and Snake rivers in the Pacific Northwest.

The rebirth of Mississippi River cruising begins next month, with The Great American Steamboat Co.’s debut of the newly renovated 436-passenger American Queen, scheduled to set sail April 19.

Tell us Cruise Loggers, are you interested in taking a cruise on an American waterway?

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