American Cruise Lines has launched its new riverboat, the 175-passenger American Melody, with a 22-day Mississippi cruise from Natchez, Mississippi on September 3.

ACL said the cruise is the longest Mississippi cruise ever. It was originally scheduled to operate from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minnesota, but due to Hurricane Ida, passengers boarded at Natchez.

The Melody will operate eight-day cruises on the Mississippi River between St. Louis and St. Paul and eight-day cruises on the Mississippi River (including round trips to New Orleans and special cruises for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years) until December.

The Melody is the latest addition to ACL’s Modern series. The ship features a multi-level sky-lit atrium, indoor and outdoor lounges, a casual outdoor dining and cafe, a fitness center, and a Skywalk on the upper deck with an elliptical cantilever cutout above the ship’s fourth deck. All of Melody’s cabins have balconies.

Stairs leading to the upper Skywalk deck on the American Melody. Photo credit: American Cruise Lines

This is the ACL’s fourth riverboat in its Mississippi fleet and the second in its Modern series to launch this year. The line will introduce six of these new builds in four years, offering cruises on the Mississippi and Columbia / Snake rivers.

The Modern series launched in 2018 with American Song, followed in 2019 by American Harmony and American Jazz in March 2021.

ACL has announced the names of two more modern riverboats coming in 2022: the American Symphony and the American Serenade.

CLARIFICATION: This report was updated on September 8 to indicate that the Natchez-to-St. Paul’s Sailing is the longest American cruise line ever on the Mississippi River.


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