American Canadian Cruise Line (ACCL) will be sailing with three ships for the first time since 2006, as the Niagara Prince will be returning in April 2009, offering “Southern Antebellum” cruises, as well as sailings in New England and on domestic waterways.

In late 2006, the company’s founder, Luther Blount, donated the 1994-built, 84-passenger Prince to three New England colleges. But after being unable to devise a suitable “Semester at Sea” program, the vessel was then sold back to ACCL in 2008.

“The addition of the ship could not have come back at a better time,” ACCL’s Marketing Director Maria Prezioso said, adding that there is great interest in close-to-home cruising, “as a result of the weakened dollar – and there are more retirees around these days as well.” (ACCL’s demographic, according to Prezioso, is “65 plus.”)

Because of her shallow draft, the Prince is able to go under low-lying bridges, Prezioso explained. She is also two decks high, compared to three on her counterparts. “And with the Prince, we are able to offer our ‘Hudson / Lake Champlain Revolutionary Trail and the American Heartland’ cruises that navigate the Mississippi region,” she added.