New Orleans Welcomes Brand-New Modern Riverboat
The Port of New Orleans is now home to the most modern riverboat in the United States, the American Harmony. The newly-built luxury vessel is the second in a series of five for American Cruise Lines.
Harmony's construction at Maryland-based Chesapeake Shipbuilding was completed three weeks ahead of schedule, giving the vessel extra time to prepare for her first commercial voyage, an eight-day round trip out of New Orleans. The Big Easy is the historic hub of the Mississippi riverboat trade, and American Cruise Lines says that it will be the first stop for all of the vessels in the class.
The new series is considerably different in style from classic paddle-wheelers, with modern lines that bear more similarity to cruise ships or European river cruise vessels. The design features a large open atrium, large exterior windows, all-balcony staterooms, luxury suites of up to 800 square feet in size, and accommodations for up to 190 passengers. The vessels are fitted with conventional propulsion systems and a bow visor with retractable gangway for embarkation.
The first vessel in the series, the American Song, is deployed on the Columbia and Snake River system in the Pacific Northwest. The third, the American Jazz, is due for delivery in late 2020 and will be deployed on the Mississippi.
New Orleans is the sixth-busiest cruise port in the United States, offering both seagoing itineraries in the Caribbean and riverboat cruises on the Mississippi. It is the home port for the Carnival Valor, Carnival Glory and - coming soon - the Norwegian Getaway and RCCL's Majesty of the Seas.