Monday, August 22, 2011
The American Queen
The American Queen docked in Saint Louis, Missouri
American Queen is the largest steamboat ever built. The ship was built in 1995 and is a six-deck recreation of a classic Mississippi riverboat, owned by Delta Queen Current duty, Currently laid-up. Although the American Queen's stern paddlewheel is indeed powered by a genuine steam plant, her secondary propulsion and much maneuverability comes from a set of diesel-electric propellers, known as Z-drives, on either side of the sternwheel. She has 222 state rooms for a capacity of 436 guests and a crew of 160. She is 418 feet (127 m) long and 89 feet (27 m) wide.
The Str. American Queen was retired to the reserve fleet in Violet, Louisiana, on 20 November 2008. Due to the failure of Majestic America Line (her owner) she was returned to the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) who held her $30 million mortgage. She is currently in storage in Beaumont, Texas. As of April 2011 American Queen is under contract for $15.5 million to HMS Global Maritime, based in New Albany, Ind. The new operator, The Great Amercian Steamboat Company announced plans to return her to Mississippi River service from a port in Memphis, TN. She will re-join her fellow sternwheeler steamboats Natchez, Chautauqua Belle, Minne-Ha-Ha, and the Belle of Louisville).