Beyond the Moselle to the Mississippi with Avalon

Long known for its European river cruises, Avalon Waterways is introducing new experiences for travellers in 2013 – for the first time, in the US after signing a unique agreement with the Victorian-style Mississippi paddlewheel steamboat the American Queen. Next year Avalon cruisers can experience two itineraries on the American Queen: the 12-day America’s Heartland: From Music City to the Big Easy and the 11-day Fall Foliage Spectacular: From the Windy City to the Twin Cities. Up to 40 Avalon guests will be invited aboard the steamboat. Onboard and off, they will be accompanied by their own Avalon tour director who will assist with land experiences, including visiting Chef Regina Charboneau’s Natchez, Mississippi home to enjoy southern-style drinks and light fare. In addition, Avalon guests will have the opportunity to book pre- and post-cruise land packages, providing them the chance to spend more time in Nashville, New Orleans or Chicago. Mirroring the inclusive nature of the popular European river cruise experience, the American Queen offers travellers non-smoking interiors and elegant outside staterooms. “We have had great success partnering with top-of-the-line cruise ship companies on the Yangtze, the Nile and in the Galápagos Islands and look forward to our first-ever US partnership,”said Patrick Clark, managing director of Avalon Waterways. “We’re excited to provide our travellers from around the world the chance to see and explore the cities and towns along the Mississippi – the fourth largest river in the world – on the American Queen.”Prices start at $4,358 p.p. (excluding air) and include accommodation in spacious air-conditioned cabins; all meals (beer and wine served with lunch and dinner), afternoon tea and sweet treats, bottled water, soft drinks and coffee throughout; hop-on-hop off shore excursions; daily presentations by an onboard river historian; nightly showboat-style entertainment; use of laundry facilities and free WiFi in designated public areas. (