American Serenade to arrive for christening in Vidalia on maiden voyage this April

Published 3:59 pm Tuesday, January 31, 2023

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VIDALIA, La. — Less than a year after the American Symphony’s christening on Natchez shores, her sister, the American Serenade, will undertake a maiden voyage up the Mississippi River to the Vidalia landing.

The scheduled departure of American Serenade, the American Cruise Line’s newest vessel, is April 20. By April 23, it is expected to be in Vidalia for a christening, Mayor Buz Craft said. He said just as Natchez is the godmother city to the American Symphony, Vidalia would be the godmother town to the American Serenade.

Whether the ship docks there on regularly on voyages depends on scheduling, he said.

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Craft hinted at the ship’s anticipated arrival to a crowd at Visit Natchez’s unveiling of a new brand and website on Monday afternoon.

“We’re going to be the next home city to a ship and we’re excited for it,” he said. “April 23 is the target christening of it and we’re hoping to have either Lauren Daigle or Lainey Wilson to be the godmother.”

According to American Cruise Line’s website, American Serenade is a 175-passenger sister ship to American Symphony, which was christened in Natchez in August 2022.

The Serenade is also one of three new small ships joining the company’s fleet this year. American Cruise Lines will have 17 small ships exploring 35 states along 50-plus itineraries, including over 11 itineraries on the Mississippi River alone.

Two brand new 109-passenger Coastal Cats, American Eagle and American Glory — the first two ships in the 12-ship Project Blue fleet that the company announced in 2022 — will sail East Coast itineraries, beginning in August and October 2023.

“We’re so grateful to American Cruise Lines for their commitment to Natchez and Vidalia,” Natchez Mayor Dan Gibson said. “They are to be congratulated for having yet another boat be christened on the Mississippi River. It seems like yesterday when they announced it at the christening of the American Symphony last August and now here we are.

“American Cruise Lines is the largest American-owned cruise company and this brings them to six boats operating on the lower Mississippi with two of those boats calling Natchez and Vidalia their home ports. It says a lot for all of the great tour parties who strive to make visits to our area, second to none.”