The newly-formed French America Line began a short season of operations on the Mississippi River System on October 21, 2016 offering a classy on-board ambiance that reflects a French/New Orleans background theme. Its introduction adds a third choice of operators plying the Mid-American rivers. The later start, due to delays completing the vessel, meant that the inaugural cruises to and from Pittsburgh were cancelled and will appear in the fall 2017 schedules. Now the vessel will offer its first full season of cruises not only along the Mississippi but also into the Tennessee, Ohio, and a short stretch of the Arkansas. The 2017 season begins June 17 with a sailing from New Orleans up the Mississippi to St. Louis.
The LOUISIANE is a gem inside with attractive interiors including the paneled reception/library as you board, a lovely observation lounge and the spacious double-height dining room that doubles as the after-dinner entertainment venue. the four-deck riverboat carries the French name for the state of Louisiana. And taking advantage of her heritage, the 218-foot vessel carries just 150 passengers in cabins that have private verandas, others that open onto a shared side promenade as did aboard the riverboats of yore, an additional category with French balconies and insides for economy-level booking.
A sampling of amenities includes around-the-clock room service, free Wi-Fi, LCD TVs with satellite programs, iPads, robes, hairdryers, safes, and bottled still and sparkling water. Open seating dining venues offer a choice between the spacious, two-deck-high Crescent Room with the menus combining French and Creole cuisine overseen by celebrated chef Regina Charbonneau and the top-deck French Quarter Veranda, recalling an informal sidewalk café. Public spaces comprise the forward-facing French Quarter Lounge, with evening entertainment, the Great River Lounge for socializing and playing games, a library, and the Bar Royale, a pre-dinner spot next to the Crescent Room.