Monday, August 22, 2011
The Mississippi Queen
Mississippi Queen (center), with the Delta Queen along her starboard side, moored at the Tall Stacks Festival in Cincinnati, Ohio in October 2003. The Majestic appears on the right.
The Mississippi Queen was the second largest paddle wheel driven river steamboat ever built. The ship was the largest such steamboat when she was built in 1976 by the Delta Queen Steamboat Company at Jeffboat in Indiana and was a seven-deck recreation of a classic Mississippi riverboat now owned by the Majestic America Line. The company's American Queen is now the largest steamboat. The Mississippi Queen had 206 state rooms for a capacity of 412 guests and a crew of 157. It was 116 meters (382 ft) long, 21 meters (68 ft) wide, and displaces 3,709 metric tonnes (3,364 tons).
When in service, the Mississippi Queen was a genuine stern paddlewheeler with a wheel that measured 6.7 meters (22 ft) in diameter by 11 meters (36 ft) wide and weighed 77 metric tonnes (70 tons). The steamboat also featured a 44 whistle steam calliope, which was the largest on the Mississippi River system. In 2008 the Mississippi Queen was reported to be out of passenger service until 2009.
The Mississippi Queen was laid up in New Orleans at Perry Street Wharf after being gutted for renovation. Instead, however, the steamboat was sold for scrap in May 2009. She was towed for the last time to Morgan City, LA on March 24, 2011 to be cut down. Dismantling had begun by April 7.