Thursday 17 June 2010

Cruise West Sails the Mississippi River

Exploring the Big Easy by Small Ship

Cruise West, a global leader in small-ship explorations, today announced two new itineraries sailing on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, and Cumberland Rivers, starting in March, 2011.  These inaugural voyages will take place aboard the Spirit of America, formerly the Spirit of Glacier Bay.

"Many of our loyal customers asked us to bring the Cruise West small-ship experience to the Mississippi and other 'heartland' rivers... and we are delighted to be able to deliver an experience that will surprise and delight guests with a perspective of the South that can only be achieved by small-ship," shared Dick West, Cruise West's Chairman and Managing Director.  "My family is extremely proud to offer guests the opportunity to sail an American flagged ship on one of the most iconic American rivers."

Known to many as America's Great River Road, the Mississippi is North America's longest river.  For centuries, it has played a major role in commerce as a vital transit route for passengers and freight of every description –  including cotton, timber, food, and Appalachian coal.  The writings of Mark Twain turned the river into a cultural icon as well.  So today, a cruise on the Mississippi is an adventure through history and literature, as well as spectacular vistas.

"This market has been underserved since 2008 with the departure of Majestic Cruise line," commented Dietmar Wertanzl, Cruise West's President and CEO. "We are proud to be the only cruise line offering overnight cruises on these great American Rivers."

Guests will enjoy the iconic South, while sailing the Mississippi River from New Orleans to Memphis, taking in the sights of white mansions, lush gardens, historic plantations, and poignant civil war monuments.  In addition to exceptional scenery around every bend, guests on this 7-night itinerary will enjoy all of the following:
  • Stopping in Vacherie to visit Oak Alley Plantation, the most photographed plantation in the South.
  • Visiting The Myrtles – "America's Most Haunted House."
  • Discovering the spectacular antebellum and Victorian architecture of picturesque Natchez, Missouri.
  • Touring Vicksburg National Military Park, scene of the Civil War battle that gave the North control of the Mississippi.  
  • Strolling through Helena, Arkansas – one-time home to no fewer than seven generals of the confederacy.  
The second new river voyage – a 7-night excursion further upriver – begins and ends with two hotbeds of American music, Memphis and Nashville. Guests will follow the Mississippi north to Cairo, at the confluence of the Ohio River. They will cruise on upriver to the Tennessee and the narrow Cumberland River. On this journey, guests will enjoy:
  • Exploring the charming and historic town of New Madrid, Missouri.
  • Taking in numerous galleries and the Center of Maritime Education in Paducah, Kentucky.
  • Walking through Fort Smith – a Civil War staging area once occupied by Ulysses S. Grant.
  • Touring Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Dover, Tennessee, site of the first major Union victory.
  • Discovering Clarksville, Tennessee, one of the South's most historic cities and home to memorable architecture and attractions.  
Between these itineraries, guests may choose from 8 departure dates with prices starting at $3,499 before savings and include all excursions and hotel nights as listed.  The New Orleans to Memphis (reverse dates noted with asterisk) dates include March 19, April 9*April 16, and May 7*, 2011.  The Memphis to Nashville dates include March 26 and April 2*, 23, 30*,2011.  Guests can save $600 per person by paying in full by July 30, 2010.  For further details, visit, call 800-296-8307, or contact a travel professional.

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