The newest river ship on America’s waterways is American Cruise Lines’ 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi. The Queen of the Mississippi features a period exterior with an authentic, 28-foot-wide paddle wheel combined with a modern interior that includes spacious, amenity-filled cabins with balconies. Shown here at its August 2012 christening in Nashville, the Queen of the Mississippi will sail the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee and Cumberland rivers. Built at a shipyard in Salisbury, the Queen of the Mississippi is American Cruise Lines’ sixth vessel. The Guilford, Conn.-based small ship specialist is known for voyages along the inland waterways and rivers of the East Coast and Pacific Northwest. The Queen of the Mississippi’s grand dining room is large enough to accommodate every passenger on the ship at once. The restaurant offers flexible, unassigned seating during meal times. Menu items in the grand dining room change daily and include such classic fare as Oysters Rockefeller and prime rib. The forward-looking Magnolia Lounge is the largest of three main gathering spots on the vessel and is home to evening entertainment and lectures. More than a dozen plush sofas in the Magnolia Lounge can be reconfigured in different arrangements depending on the evening’s entertainment. A small stage is located on one side of the room. The Magnolia Lounge’s main bar. A riverboat band entertaining passengers in the Queen of the Mississippi’s Magnolia Lounge. Other entertainment offerings on the vessel range from Civil War lectures to lessons on Southern cuisine. Located at the back of the Queen of the Mississippi on Deck 2, the cozy Paddlewheel Lounge overlooks the vessels large, red paddle wheel. Books and binoculars are available in the Paddlewheel Lounge. The room features red-leather furniture and dark wood. A bar area in the Paddlewheel Lounge offers self-serve coffee, tea, sodas and juice. A third lounge located on Deck 4 of the vessel offers light wicker furniture and an airy feel. A corner of the Deck 4 lounge. An antique pig rocker is part of the charm of a lounge on the Queen of the Mississippi. The lounge on Deck 4 has wall-to-wall folding glass doors that can open wide to an outdoor deck area. The Upper Lounge on Deck 4 is one of three small sitting areas spread around the ship where passengers can read quietly or play cards and other games. The Library on Deck 3 is another small sitting area for quiet reading and game playing. The Sun Deck on the top of the vessel features outdoor loungers as well as a putting green. Another view of the Sun Deck, which is located on Deck 5. The Queen of the Mississippi also has a putting green on its Sun Deck. Also located on the top deck of the Queen of the Mississippi is an old-style calliope. Another sitting area atop the Queen of the Mississippi. The Queen of the Mississippi’s top decks feature more chairs than the boat has passengers, including more than 100 of American Cruise Lines’ signature white rocking chairs A view of the Queen of the Mississippi’s wheelhouse, which overlooks the front of the vessel. Another outdoor sitting area can be found on Deck 4 overlooking the back of the vessel. Launched in August 2012, the Queen of the Mississippi is the first new paddle wheeler designed for overnight travel on America’s rivers in nearly 20 years. Here, it’s authentic paddle wheel, as seen from the rear of its fourth deck. The Queen of the Mississippi’s paddle wheel is 28 feet wide and helps propel the vessel forward at 13 to 14 knots. Cabins on the Queen of the Mississippi are billed as the most spacious of any riverboat on the Mississippi, with the majority of accommodations measuring an unusually large 300 square feet. Here, a category AAL cabin, which is typical of most rooms on the ship. Unlike other riverboats sailing in North America, the Queen of the Mississippi features a large number of cabins with private balconies. Shown here is an AAL-category cabin balcony, which features two chairs and a small table. Queen of the Mississippi cabins have modern, hotel-style bathrooms. Shown here is an AAL category cabin bathroom. Category AAL cabins feature small vertical closets. All cabins on the Queen of the Mississippi feature satellite TV as well as in-room phones and complimentary Wi-Fi access. Complimentary room service also is available. Larger than standard cabins are the Queen of the Mississippi’s six owner’s suites. This is an owner’s suite bathroom. And this, the shower area of an owner’s suite bathroom. Queen of the Mississippi cabins feature Judith Jackson Spa toiletries. Like standard cabins, owner’s suites have small vertical closets as well as dressers for storage. Owner’s suites have sitting areas with plush lounge chairs and a table. All six owner’s suites come with private balconies accessible through sliding-glass doors. While the Queen of the Mississippi does not have a fitness center, several exercise machines are located on the vessel’s top deck. A Life Fitness machine on the vessel’s top deck. Several Internet stations are located in small nooks around the Queen of the Mississippi. Complimentary Wi-Fi access also is available throughout the vessel. The Queen of the Mississippi has a single elevator that provides access to all five passenger decks, as well as stairways. Emergency defibrillators are located throughout the vessel. A Queen of the Mississippi buoy. Florida-based travel agent Phyllis Dale served as godmother for the Queen of the Mississippi during a christening ceremony in Nashville on Aug. 25, 2012.