WATCH: Highlights from the christening of the American Symphony in Natchez

Published 3:31 pm Tuesday, August 30, 2022

NATCHEZ — On Tuesday, Natchez welcomed a new vessel to her port as the Godmother city of the American Cruise Line’s newest ship, the American Symphony.

Furthermore, by 2025, American Cruise Line’s CEO Charlie Robertson said he plans to name Natchez the port of origination for the American Symphony, bringing the Natchez-Adams County Airport one step closer to having commercial air service as cruise ship patrons will want to fly in for departure from Natchez on river cruises.

Next spring, Robertson said American Cruise Lines also plans to introduce a new vessel to the port of Vidalia, Louisiana.

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“Look out New Orleans,” Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said, highlighting the metaphorical change in tide for the number of ships that would be docking in Natchez and Vidalia.

“This is a huge economic development opportunity for us,” Lt. Governor Delbert Hosemann said, “but the most important thing is it will bring people to see our people and when they do they’ll bring their people back to see us again. Congratulations to all of you, we’re so proud to see the American Symphony launch here and if things go well, we’ll soon have the bridge lit so you can also find your way home.”

American Symphony is the fifth riverboat in the American Cruise Line’s new river cruise series and the 15th small ship built by Chesapeake for the company, Robertson said.

The 175-passenger boat joins the company’s expanding Mississippi River fleet in its maiden voyage from New Orleans to Natchez for the christening on Tuesday.

In 2023, the company plans to introduce three more small ships; another modern riverboat, American Serenade, as well as two, 109-passenger catamaran-hybrid ships, American Eagle and American Glory.

This story will be updated with more detailed information.