The Travel Professor
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Monday, August 9, 2010

Mississippi River cruising to return in 2011!

Cruise West is re-introducing Mississippi River cruising starting next March. It is renaming the 102-passenger Spirit of Glacier Bay the Spirit of America. Two new itineraries are scheduled on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers.

The Mississippi River market has remained inactive since Majestic America Line’s 176-passenger Delta Queen, 436-passenger American Queen and 412-passenger Mississippi Queen ceased operations at the end of 2008.

“Many of our loyal customers asked us to bring the Cruise West small-ship experience to the Mississippi and other heartland rivers,” said Dick West, Cruise West’s chairman and managing director. “My family is extremely proud to offer guests the opportunity to sail an American-flagged ship on one of the most iconic American rivers.”

The Spirit of America, which has been operating in Alaska since 2008, is 207 feet long with four decks, including an upper sun deck and three lower decks with 51 cabins. This differs greatly from the three paddle wheelers operated by Majestic, which ranged from 285 to 418 feet.

On the Mississippi River, the ship will sail two seven-night itineraries along the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis and along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers from Memphis to Nashville. In 2011, the Spirit of America plans to sail with eight departures.

For more river cruising information and details contact or your favorite travel professional.