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Even the impending arrival of TS Isaac could not dampen the spirits of travel agent and small-ship cruise expert, Phyllis Dale, when she christened American Cruise Lines’ 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi in New Orleans on Saturday.

The operator of the newest fleet of riverboats and small cruise ships in the United States, American Cruise Lines also celebrated their first-ever season on the Mississippi River at the ceremony.

The Queen of the Mississippi is the first authentic paddlewheeler built for the mighty Miss in 20 years and set sail on a sold-out eight-day voyage to St. Louis following her christening.

“The christening of the Queen of the Mississippi is a meaningful way to celebrate the official launch of American Cruise Lines’ service on the Mississippi River,” American Cruise Lines president and CEO Charles A. Robertson said.

“Guests now have access to the industry’s best amenities aboard an authentic paddlewheeler with a historic appearance.”

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Words: Natalie Aroyan