American Cruise Lines Launches New Mississippi Riverboat

New paddlewheeler launchedAmerican Cruise Lines recently announced the successful launching of the new paddlewheeler being built for the Mississippi River at Chesapeake
Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Maryland. The launching, which occurred on Sunday, went picture perfect. Immediately after being launched into the Wicomico River, tugboats skillfully nudged the new riverboat into Chesapeake Shipbuilding’s East Outfitting Basin where the upper decks and outfitting will be completed.

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Queen of the Mississippi to Receive Steam Calliope

American Cruise Lines has just acquired a 132-year-old Nichol steam calliope which will be placed aboard the brand new Queen of the Mississippi!

The Washington
The Washington

The historic instrument, which originated from the Washington, a paddlewheel steamboat (pictured) which operated on the Mississippi and Ohio River from 1880 to 1938, is being meticulously restored to full operation, and will then be installed aboard the Queen of the Mississippi. The calliope will not only serve as a delightful reminder of the golden era of steamboating and the grandeur of the historic steamboats of the late 1880s, but also as a fully-functioning steam-powered instrument, which will play familiar melodies and sounds as Queen of the Mississippi makes her way up and down the Mississippi River.
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New Lobsterbake Cruises Added for 2012

American Cruise Lines has just announced new Lobsterbake sailings on their New England Islands Atlantic coastal cruises.

Guests on the June 17, 23; July 28 and August 18, 25 sailings will enjoy a complimentary lobsterbake while exploring Newport’s Fort Adams. This classic New England feast includes succulent lobster, clams and mussels, freshly prepared right before your eyes.

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American Cruise Lines Building a Second Paddlewheeler

American Cruise Lines
American Cruise Lines is at it again. Based on the overwhelming response to its first riverboat, they just announced they will be building another brand new riverboat.

Construction has already begun at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, MD, the same shipyard where its new 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi is approaching completion. American Cruise Lines CEO Charles A. Robertson attributes the success of the company’s river cruise business to its “newer, low-density vessels, each built to meet the highest industry standards in comfort, safety and technology.”

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Smithsonian Magazine Introduces EvoTourism – An Evolution World Tour

In the January 2012 issue, Smithsonian Magazine is introducing Evotourism. The word isn’t in the dictionary. But they think it’s worth adding to the lexicon because it describes a new kind of travel.

evo•tourism (ē vō toor’ iz’ əm) n. travel intended to promote awareness of evolution.

The article celebrates ten desinationa that span 300 million years and six continents. The destinations include:

  • Kangaroo Island, Australia – Where the Wild Things Are
  • Foraminifera Sculpture Park, China – 330-Million-Year-Old Organisms
  • Wadi Hitan, Egypt – Whales Walked Here
  • The Cradle of Humankind, South Africa – Human Evolution History
  • Jurassic Coast, England – A Fossil Treasure Trove
  • Mendel’s Garden, Czech Republic – Where Modern Genetics Was Born
  • Ashfall Fossil Beds, Nebraska – The Prehistoric Pompeii
  • Isle Royale, Michigan – A Fight for Survival
  • Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – Where Darwin Found Natural Selection
  • Mount St. Helens, Washington – Life Begins Anew

Of these, the last two are destinations visited by small ships (which, of course, excites us at Sunstone Tours & Cruises).

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2011 Holidays Aboard Small Ships

Many people settle down with family during the holidays to catch up, and reconnect with loved ones. For a small group, the holidays are a perfect time to explore and experience the world.

Small ship cruises have been busy this holiday season, exploring diverse areas of our world, from the southern reaches of Antarctica and the South Pacific, up to the unique Galapagos Islands and Central America, and further to Europe and America’s southern Atlantic coast.

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5 Reasons to Cruise the Columbia & Snake Rivers with American Cruise Lines

Ever consider cruising the Columbia & Snake Rivers? Never consider it? Well, here’s five reasons why you should consider cruising the Columbia & Snake Rivers this coming Spring 2012, specifically aboard American Cruise Lines Queen of the West.

View details of American Cruise Lines Columbia & Snake Rivers itinerary…

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