There were three Queens that once plied the US inland rivers. The Delta Queen, The Mississippi Queen, and The American Queen. All were once owned and operated by The Delta Queen Steamboat Company. In 2008, each of these boats ceased operations.
The Delta Queen was fortuante enough to continue her service as a hotel in Chattanooga. The Misissippi Queen was sold for scrap. CLICK HERE for a previous blog article about The Delta Queen.
Meanwhile, The American Queen, originally launched in 1995, was idled in foreclosure at the US Maritime Reserve Fleet in Beaumont, Texas to await its fate.
Fast forward to 2011, and the start-up of the Great American Steamboat Company, headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. The American Queen was purchased and towed to a shipyard in Sulphur, Louisiana for renovation. The American Queen Steamboat Company is putting the that third queen back into service!
Thanks to The American Queen Steamboat Company, the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America will have Memphis has its home port! And the new Godmother of this reborn legend is none other than Priscilla Presley.
The maiden voyage of The American Queen departs New Orleans on April 13th, 2012. On April 27, 2012 the Queen will arrive in Memphis for its christening ceremony at Beale Street Landing.
For the rest of 2012, The American Queen will offer a variety of 5 to 10 night cruises departing from New Orleans, Vicksburg, Memphis, St. Louis, Louisville, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Chattanooga, and St. Paul, MN. Here is the current American Queen website.
To learn more about the rebirth of this grand vessel, visit the American Queen Steamboat Company website.
Who knows, maybe The American Queen will pay a visit to Nashville in 2013. We’ll be there when she does!
(photos courtesy of American Queen Steamboat Company website and Facebook Page)
Trey Lewis is VP Sales & Marketing for Ole South Properties Inc, Tennessee’s largest independent home builder, 615.896.0019 direct 615.593.6340 or email TLewis@olesouth.com. Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, Gallatin, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.