Two new boats to dock in Miss-Lou

Published 12:01 am Monday, May 16, 2016

NATCHEZ — Two new riverboats will soon make stops in Natchez, making now a handful of boats that dock in the Miss-Lou.

French America Line’s Louisiane riverboat will sail five- to 10-day river cruise tours for a maximum of 150 guests beginning Aug. 22, spokeswoman Joel Ann Rea said.

The French-inspired ship accommodates guests in 75 inviting suites and staterooms for sailings that celebrate regional cultural influences in food, music and history, Rea said.

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The 218-foot vessel is the flagship of the French America Line.Formerly the Columbia Queen, the boat is undergoing a multi-million-dollar refurbishment to reflect a subtle but elegant French-inspired ambience to embrace the rich history of the areas she sails that were once known as French America, Rea said.

French America Line President Tom Markwell said Natchez is a perfect fit for French America.

“What’s not to love about Natchez?” he said. “It is the epitome of antebellum living with an entire downtown on the National Register of Historic Places. Few places represent the beauty and majesty of the South better than Natchez.”

Natchez is also the home of the Louisiane’s chef de cuisine, local chef and restaurant owner Regina Charboneau.

American Cruise Lines’ newest paddlewheeler, America, recently made her maiden voyage with a seven-day New Orleans round trip cruise. The boat’s cruises are scheduled to make stops in Natchez.

America is designed with traditional Victorian-style accents and blends tradition with modern features and amenities.

While the new ship is adorned with gleaming woodwork, brass fixtures and historic decor, it is constructed with the latest in cruise ship technology.

The paddlewheeler has seven lounges across its five decks and offers seven-, 14- and 21-day cruises.

American Cruise Lines currently has two other boats making river cruises — Queen of the Mississippi and American Eagle.