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American Cruise Lines

Queen of the Mississippi Riverboat Cruises

Queen of the Mississippi Paddlewheeler

Exploring the American Experience is Smithsonian’s new pursuit to better understand the most unique aspects of American culture. American Cruise Lines is proud to be working with Smithsonian in that endeavor and offers a number of cruises designed to further the Smithsonian mission.

These cruises capture the essence of the American Experience by providing you with a genuine perspective of Smithsonian’s most admired historic figures and places.

How America's Gem Cities Celebrate Independence Day
written by Chris Rodell for

Fireworks in the Historic South

"Fourth of July is the day that marks America’s independence from Great Britain and the adoption of the Declaration of Independence. It is the National Day of the United States and one of the most important milestones in our country’s history. Independence Day is celebrated with fireworks, parades, barbecues, picnics, concerts, and more. How far back does this the celebration of the Fourth go? Let’s take a look at some of America’s gem cities, their deeply rooted history and celebrations around this holiday."  continue reading...

Chesapeake Bay Cruise Map

Recommended Cruise:
Chesapeake Bay Cruise

Chesapeake Bay is full of history and culture. Along the shoreline, you'll pass shipwrights, marinas and scenic lighthouses, gliding into ports accessible to small cruise ships. The villages you'll visit have played crucial roles in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812 and the Civil War. Step back into the past with a visit to Colonial Williamsburg, stroll through the narrow streets of a quaint island, and listen for a unique native accent thought to be nearly unchanged since the days of the first English colonists.

Cruises begin on November 2, 2014
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How to tour Louis Armstong's New Orleans
written by Nina Fedrezi for

Mississippi River Jazz Cruise
"It would be difficult to find a better embodiment of the American dream than Louis Armstrong, who was born in 1901 to a single mother in the rough, poverty-stricken Back O’ Town neighborhood near what is today the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. 

Though he sang on street corners and taught himself the cornet, there was little to suggest that a boy with scant education or formal musical training would become one of the defining musicians of his age..." continue reading

 New Orleans Round Trip Cruise Map

Recommended Cruise:
The Lower Mississippi River – Round Trip from New Orleans

Experience Louis Armstrong's New Orleans for yourself aboard this cruise through the jazz history. While in New Orleans you will see the sights and hear that sounds that influenced Louis Armstrong. During the cruise you will learn about the artist’s of Armstrong’s era and be entertained by some of today’s influential jazz musicians.

Cruises begin on November 22 and December 6, 2014.
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How the Mississippi River Made Mark Twain ... and Vice Versa
written by James P. Ronda for

Mississippi River Paddlewheel cruises on the Queen of the Mississippi
"Josh. Rambler. Soleather. Sergeant Fathom. Thomas Jefferson SnodĀ­grass. W. Epaminondas Adrastus Blab. A Son of Adam. I ran through the names in my head as I devoured dry-rub barbecue and piled up napkins at Memphis’ bustling Rendezvous. The restaurant’s slogan—“Not since Adam has a rib been this famous”—had reminded me of Mark Twain’s fondness for comic allusions to Adam, to the extent that he based an early pen name on him. But “A Son of Adam,” along with “Josh” and “Rambler” and his other experiments, belonged to an amateur, a man who occasionally wrote while otherwise employed as a printer, steamboat pilot and miner. Not until he became a full-time journalist, far from the river, in the alkali dust of the Nevada Territory, did he settle on “Mark Twain”..." continue reading

St. Louis to St. Paul Mississippi River Cruise Map

Recommended Cruise:

The Upper Mississippi River – From St. Louis to St. Paul

Cruising north from St. Louis is a very different view of the Mississippi than most people are used to. This is a land of wilderness, where the River meanders around beautiful rolling hills and adventure lies around every bend. On the Queen of the Mississippi it is easy to understand why Mark Twain cherished this region so dearly. We will cruise the Great River in historic style and even stop in Mark Twain’s boyhood home, Hannibal Missouri.

Cruises begin on October 4, 2014 and August 1, 2015
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Why Lewis and Clark Still Matter

written by James P. Ronda for

Lewis and Clark Historic Site on Mississippi River Cruise

"As the Lewis and Clark bicentennial approaches—the Corps of Discovery set out from Camp Dubois at the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers on May 14, 1804—all the signs of a great cultural-historical wallow are in place. Hundreds of Lewis and Clark books are flooding the market—everything from 
The Journals of the Lewis and Clark Expedition to Gary Moulton’s magnificent 13-volume edition of the expedition’s journals, to cookbooks, coloring books and trail guides..." continue reading

Recommended Cruise:

Columbia & Snake River – From Clarkston, WA to Portland, OR

Follow the exact route of Lewis & Clark on this stunning cruise through the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest. As the desert canyons of the interior give way to the lush mountain forests of the Coast, you will visit the places where the expedition set camp and see the abundant wildlife which awed both men.

Cruises begin on October 18, 2014 and April 25, 2015.
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Columbia and Snake Rivers Cruise Map

The Life and Times of a Maine Island

written by Dean Lawrence Lunt for

Camden Maine Aerial View
"An island is a special place, often invested by both its residents and outside observers with an identity, a life and a personality. People talk and whisper, defend and attack, brag and condemn an island as if the landmass were a friend, family member or nemesis.

I don't know why islands inspire such personification or generate such strong opinions. Some people, including friends and relatives of mine, have stepped off the shores of Long Island and never again returned. Others leave for several years before coming back. And still others leave, but no matter how young they were when they sailed, they still consider it "down home"...." continue reading


Recommended Cruise:

Maine Coast & Harbors Cruises – Round Trip from Portland, ME

Maine is best seen from the water. This cruise will visit national parks, quaint villages, and remote islands which have inspired writers and artisis for centuries. You will very quickly discover why so many people fall in love with Maine as you visit the most splendid towns on Penobscot Bay and Mt. Desert Island.

Cruises begin on September 13, 2014 and August 29, 2015.
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Request a Free Brochure to Learn More
about American Cruise Lines and all our US River Cruise itineraries.

Call a Cruise Specialist for more information at 800.460.4518


Or below click for:
Mississippi River cruises
Northeast US cruises
Alaska and Pacific Northwest cruises
Southeast US cruises
Special Theme Cruises

2014 American Cruises Lines Brochure