American Cruise Lines launched its newest riverboat, the 175-passenger American Melody, with a 22-day Mississippi River cruise from Natchez, Miss., on Sept. 3.
ACL said that the sailing is the longest Mississippi River cruise it has ever offered. It was originally scheduled to operate from New Orleans to St. Paul, Minn., but due to Hurricane Ida, passengers embarked in Natchez.
The Melody will sail eight-day Upper Mississippi River cruises between St. Louis and St. Paul and eight-day Lower Mississippi River sailings (including New Orleans roundtrips and special holiday cruises for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's) through December.
The Melody is the latest in ACL's Modern series. The ship features a multilevel sky-lit atrium, indoor and outdoor lounges, a dining room and a casual outdoor café, a fitness center and a top-deck Skywalk with an ellipse cutout cantilevered over the ship's fourth deck. All of the Melody's cabins have balconies.
Stairs leading to the top-deck Skywalk on the American Melody. Photo Credit: American Cruise Lines
It is the ACL's fourth riverboat in its Mississippi fleet and the second in its Modern series to launch this year. The line will introduce six of these newbuilds in four years, offering cruises on both the Mississippi and the Columbia/Snake rivers.
The Modern series launched in 2018 with the American Song, followed in 2019 by the American Harmony and the American Jazz in March 2021.
ACL announced the names of two additional modern riverboats coming in 2022: the American Symphony and American Serenade.
CLARIFICATION: This report was updated on Sept. 8 to indicate that the 22-day Natchez-to-St. Paul sailing is the longest American Cruise Line has ever offered on the Mississippi River.