SEPTEMBER 17, 2018 — American Queen Steamboat Company and Gulf Island Fabrication, Inc. (NASDAQ: GIFI) have reached an agreement to build a new 245-guest riverboat.
To be named American Countess, the new paddlewheeler will be built using the existing hull of the Kanesville Queen, a former casino boat built in 1995. The boat will soon travel under its own power from the Marine Builders shipyard in Jeffersonville, IN, to Gulf Island’s Houma, LA, shipyard.
Construction will commence in the fourth quarter of 2018, providing employment for nearly 150 skilled workers.
“We continue to break sales records and incredible demand remains for more capacity on the river with each of our boats continuing to sail full,” said American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman John Waggoner. “We look forward to collaborating with Gulf Island’s team of skilled workers and craftsmen to deliver a riverboat that will once again exceed expectations of our guests and continue raising the bar on domestic river cruising.”
“American Queen Steamboat Company has led the market in a renaissance of domestic river cruising and our skilled team is honored to carry on the legacy of shipbuilding in U.S. building the American Countess,” said Kirk Meche, President and CEO. of Gulf Island. “We look forward to constructing this magnificent vessel and fulfilling John’s vision by providing the best in marine manufacturing and construction.”
A delivery date for the American Countess to join the American Queen, American Duchess and American Empress in service along with itinerary and amenity details will be announced in the coming months.