Elvis Presley passed away August 16, 1977. Elvis was born in Tupelo, MS where he grew up poor. He started his career by making a $4 gift at Sam Phillips studio, Sun Studios for his Mother. Sam Phillips was intrigued by Elvis’ voice and asked him to return to the studio to practice with local musicians. This was the launch of the “King of Rock and Roll”.
On Wednesday, March 7th, American Cruise Lines announced its brand new 150-passenger paddlewheeler, the Queen of the Mississippi, as it nears completion 10-weeks ahead of schedule.
Last week, at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland the 23-ton, 28 foot-wide paddlewheel that was built special for the new riverboat was lifted and installed.
“This marks an important step in the creation of this authentic riverboat,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines. “The paddlewheel is one of the most important elements of classic riverboats, and this one isn’t just cosmetic – it’s fully functioning.”
Plans for completion will be in May, with a debut in New Orleans on August 11, 2012.
Complimentary amenities and features of Mississippi River itineraries and aboard Queen of the Mississippi include:
Fully-functioning authentic paddlewheel that can be viewed from the Paddlewheel Lounge
Floor-to-ceiling sliding glass doors to private balconies
Wi-Fi in all staterooms
Satellite TV and DVD player in all staterooms
Gourmet coffee brewers in all staterooms
High Tea served in the afternoon
Top Deck Café – Hot and cold beverages, snacks, pastries available throughout the day
Bottled water and soft drinks
Nightly turn-down service
American Cruise Lines says, they will operate the authentic paddlewheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, including the Ohio and Cumberland Rivers. The Queen of the Mississippi will also be able to travel at significantly higher speeds than all other Mississippi riverboats, minimizing night travel and making more itineraries possible with longer visits to the river towns. A number of unique riverboat journeys are planned that take passengers as far north as St. Paul, MN on the Mississippi River and as far east as Pittsburgh, PA on the Ohio River.
The revival of the American Queen is taking place in April 2012. The Great American Steamboat Company just announced three voyages that will take place August 10th – September 7, 2012. It’s their “Epic Civil War” voyages that will highlight legendary battlefields and include on-board entertainment. The on-board entertainment will include actors, impersonators, leading lecturers (e.g. Ric Burns & James I. “Bud” Robertson Jr.) balladeers (e.g. Bobby Horton) and reenactments to enhance understanding of this historical time in the U.S.
The three voyages are set to travel between New Orleans, La., Vicksburg, Miss., Chattanooga, Tenn., and Louisville, Ky.
August 10-20, 2012: 10-nights between New Orleans, La., Vicksburg, Miss., and Chattanooga, Tenn. Ports: Helena, Miss., Memphis, Tenn., Paducah, Ky., Savannah, Tenn., and Decatur, Ala.
August 20-30, 2012: 10-nights between Chattanooga, Tenn. and Vicksburg, Miss. Ports: Decatur, Ala., Florence, Ala., Savannah, Tenn., Paducah, Ky., Ashport Landing, Tenn., Memphis, Tenn., and Vicksburg, Miss.
August 30- September 7, 2012: 8-nights between Vicksburg, Miss., and Louisville, Ky. Ports: Helena, Ark., Memphis, Tenn., Henderson, Ky., and Louisville, Ky.
“We are thrilled to offer the ultimate historical experience during our Civil War cruises onboard the American Queen,” explains Christopher Kyte, president of the Great American Steamboat Company. “Our guests will discover so much of this country’s rich history told by leading academics and passionate storytellers.”