American Cruise Lines, a leader in small ship cruising, announced today the planned offering of Civil War theme cruises aboard its brand new sternwheeler, Queen of the Mississippi, currently under construction in Salisbury, Maryland for its summer 2012 inaugural season.

Passengers will be invited to retrace the steps of the Civil War, discovering famous museums such as Vicksburg’s National Military Park and New Orleans’ Civil War Museum, the oldest museum in Louisiana; memorial monuments such as the 60-foot-tall statue of Robert E. Lee, also in New Orleans; and famous historic battle fields including those of Vicksburg and Nashville. Onboard, passengers will enjoy era-inspired cuisine, music and entertainment, while sharing war theories along the way with onboard Civil War historians and lecturers. Dependent on itinerary, each theme cruise will feature elements specific to each destination, making for a truly exclusive experience.

“This reinforces our efforts to provide enriching cruises for our passengers – offering an elegant peek into American history through its waterways,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines.  “Cruising aboard Queen of the Mississippi is a historic experience on its own – only to be heightened by our Civil War theme cruises. Passengers are in for quite a treat.”

The first brand new overnight sternwheeler built for the Mississippi in nearly 20 years, Queen of the Mississippi will be the grandest ever boasting oversized staterooms larger than those of all former Mississippi riverboats, private balconies and all of the amenities today’s travelers expect. American Cruise Lines will operate the sternwheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, with the option of cruising at significantly higher speeds to make more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns, especially those that played significant roles in the outcome of the Civil War.

Dates and details about American Cruise Lines’ Civil War and other theme cruises aboard Queen of the Mississippi will be available later this summer.