New `Queen' Construction Ahead Of Schedule

The Waterways Journal
11 July 2011

American Cruise Lines, Guilford, Conn.. announced June 29 that construction of the Queen of the Mississippi has passed a significant milestone, and is now about nine weeks ahead of schedule.

The two halves of the vessel's hull, weighing about 500 tons each, were moved from the fabrication buildings to the launchway, where they were joined, the company said. This makes way for the next important steps in the construction, including the completion of sections of the fourth and fifth decks.

The Queen of the Mississippi will be the first passenger vessel built for the Mississippi River in nearly 20 years. With capacity for 150 passengers. it will boast oversized staterooms with private balconies and all of the amenities today's travelers expect, while maintaining the traditional style and feel of the Victorian riverboats of the past.

It is being constructed in Salisbury: Md., and is on track for its inaugural season next summer. The first cruise is slated to depart from New Orleans on August 11, 2012, for a seven-day cruse to Memphis. For the remainder of the year, the vessel will travel throughout the inland system, with seven-day cruises departing from Nashville, St. Louis. St. Pail. Cincinnati and Pittsburgh, and numerous stops in other cities along the way. Among the trips will be several Civil War-themed cruises, designed around visits to key battlegrounds and museums.

"We have magnificent plans for this ship, said Timothy Beebe, vice president of American Cruise Lines. "From the inside out. Queen of the Mississippi will exemplify the highest level of quality. Building a riverboat of this class is no easy task, but we are fortunate to have a dedicated team of experts who know how to build with meticulous attention to detail."

The Queen of the Mississippi will be the seventh boat in American Cruise Lines' fleet. Other vessels feature itineraries in the Pacific Northwest. Alaska and the East Coast.