Chesapeake Shipbuilding launches sternwheeler ahead of schedule

sternwheelmicroAmerican Cruise Lines reports that its newbuild sternwheeler, the Queen of the Mississippi, was launched at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Maryland on Sunday, July 17 - nine weeks ahead of schedule. 

Immediately after the launching, tugboats skillfully nudged the new riverboat into Chesapeake Shipbuilding's Outfitting Basin Number 2 where the upper decks and outfitting will be completed.

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"The birth of a new ship is a significant milestone," said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. "Watching the Queen of the Mississippi come to life is a fascinating experience. It's history in the making and we encourage everyone to tune in as construction proceeds."

The launching comes just a few weeks after the joining of the two hull sections, weighing almost 500 tons apiece.  With the completion of the fourth and fifth decks up next, Queen of the Mississippi's superstructure will come together quickly, giving shape to the first riverboat built for the Mississippi in many, many years, and, says American Cruise Lines, the grandest ever!

The Queen of the Mississippi will boast staterooms larger than any former Mississippi riverboat, spacious private balconies and all of the amenities today's travelers expect, while maintaining the elegance and traditional Victorian appearance of classic Mississippi riverboats. American Cruise Lines will operate the sternwheeler over the entire Mississippi River System, with the option of cruising at significantly higher speeds to make more itineraries possible than ever before on the Mississippi River,  with longer visits to the river towns. A number of unique 7-, 10-, and 14-day cruises are planned that take passengers as far as St. Paul, Minn., on the Mississippi River and Pittsburgh, Pa. on the Ohio River.

July 19, 2011

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