The first modern riverboat has arrived in New Orelans and will soon begin her service. Up until now, the passenger ships that sail the Mississippi are mostly paddle-wheel vessels sailing either for either American Queen or American Cruise Line. Well the latter has just taken ownership of the American Song.

The Song closely resembles the European style riverboats, just with two extra decks added. The boats that ply the Rhine and Danube are typically between 2-3 decks and have a long, narrow profile due to the low clearance of the ancient bridges in Europe. The Mississippi doesn’t have that problem. There’s a lot of bridges on the Mississippi, but due to the commercial traffic, they have pretty decent clearances. Nevertheless, she still has a rather flat top. Another feature is the bow door, similar to a car ferry, to allow guest to debark the ship in more places than just those with long docks.

She’s currently moored just off of Lake Pontchartrain. Her first cruise leaves tomorrow; a one week trip up to Memphis. Then in March, she’ll reposition to the west coast and sail the Columbia River.