As of now, the American Queen is not running, but will re-enter business in April 2012 for the new Great American Steamboat Company. For more details and news updates, see Steamboats.org River Cruise News.
The American Queen is the third "Queen" in
service of the former Delta Queen Steamboat Company and is the largest
steamboat ever built. She was launched in 1995. As for such a big boat
the huge paddlewheel is still to small to move the boat in difficult
situations and against the current in high water, so additional
Z-drives were installed for easy and safe navigation.
Modern technique and Victorian charm make a cruise on the American
Queen an unforgettable experience. There are relatively spacious
staterooms for a total of 436 passengers and crew of 167. The American
Queen has elevators and handicap rooms.
The American Queen is 418 feet long and 89 feet 4´´ high.
Equipped with 222 staterooms the boat gives room for up to 436
passengers. She has a beautiful calliope (steam piano) with 37 brass
pipes, specially built for the American Queen.
The American Queen was built in 1994 by
McDermott Shipyard and launched in 1995 at an approximate cost of $60
million. Her steam engines are from the U.S. dredge Kennedy. Due to the
bankruptcy of the parental company of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co.,
American Classical Voyages, the American Queen went out of service in
October, 2001. Fortunately, the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. finally was
bought by Delaware North Companies, Inc. and went back in service in
January 2003. Due to hurricane Katrina the 2006 season of the American
Queen was cancelled. End of April 2006 Delware North Companies, Inc.
sold the Delta Queen Steamboat Company to Ambassadors International
which formed the new cruise line, Majestic America Line, by the end of
2006. In 2009 MAL went bankrupt and the American Queen has been returned to MARAD where she was up for sale for about two years.
Eventually, a newly formed cruise line, the Great American Steamboat Company bought the American Queen and will bring her back to the rivers as paddlewheel cruise ship in April 2012.