Thursday, March 7, 2013

The Queen Visits Vicksburg

Last week I toured the grounds of the Old Court House Museum in Vicksburg, and shared the pictures I captured of some of the Spring flowers that were blooming (The Colors of Spring), and also featured my visit to the memorial garden honoring Jefferson Davis and his wife, Varina (The Days of War and Roses).  

After I left the Museum, I headed downtown to photograph the mural honoring the Davises, but as I neared the wall along the riverfront, I saw something that made my heart skip a beat ... and I knew the mural would have to wait.

See the two smokestacks that I've circled on the picture below?
They are attached to the American Queen steamboat which docked at Vicksburg earlier that morning. 
The American Queen is said to be the largest river steamboat ever built, and is a six-deck replication of a classic Mississippi riverboat.
I did a little research on The Queen, and discovered that the ship was built in 1994 by McDermott Shipyard and launched in 1995, at an approximate cost of $60 million.
She has 222 state rooms for a capacity of 436 guests and a crew of 160. The Queen is 418 feet long, 89 feet wide, and has a calliope with 37 gold-plated brass pipes, specially built for her.
Although the American Queen's stern paddle wheel is indeed powered by a genuine steam plant, there are two additional propellers which can be used when more maneuverability around tight areas is needed, or in case of an emergency.

In April 2012, the American Queen began a season of three- to 10-night voyages out of a variety of southern and midwest homeports, including Saint Paul, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Natchez, Vicksburg, Pittsburgh, Louisville, Cincinnati, St. Louis, and Memphis.

I was curious about how the boat looks on the inside, and found the following pictures on the American Queen website. I wasn't disappointed by what I saw ...

The Grand Staircase
Grand Saloon, modeled after Ford's Theatre
Grand Saloon
Ladies' Parlor
 Outside Stateroom with Private Veranda

Dining Room

Even though she is a replica of the steamboats of old, the American Queen is, indeed, an impressive and majestic sight to behold, both inside and out. I'm so glad I was able to capture her in all her glory as she was on that bright, sunshiny last day of February 2013 ... and I bid her Godspeed on her travels up and down the Mighty Mississippi in the days to come.  Wish I could go, too!


Stacey said...

Who would ever guess that it would be so beautiful inside the boat? You should definitely go ride the Mississippi in style. :)

LittleThingsOfLife said...

What a treat to see this majestic boat up close and personal. As a younger person in days gone by, I remember my heart skipping a beat to see the Delta Queen or the Mississippi Queen docked along the river -- have seen them in Greenville, V'burg, and Natchez! This is indeed much larger! =)

Beth said...

Beautiful, isn't she! On my bucket list of things to do is to cruise down at least part of the Mississippi on a steamboat, now I really want to go!