American Queen will dock in Baton Rouge Sunday | Business
BATON ROUGE -- This Sunday marks the first Baton Rouge arrival of the American Queen, the largest steamboat ever built, since 2008. The American Queen will arrive at 8 a.m. Sunday, May 20 with 423 passengers.
The passengers will disembark and begin a Hop On/Hop Off tour of downtown. Visit Baton Rouge staff and members of the Downtown Business Association will be on the dock to welcome passengers with Mardi Gras beads, visitor information and special offers.
In addition, the American Queen Cruise Director, Bill Wiemuth, has scheduled an arrival ceremony at noon since many passengers will be returning at that time for lunch on the ship. In 2008, the Majestic America Line was operating the Delta Queen, the Mississippi Queen and the American Queen with stops in Baton Rouge but fell on tough economic times. Financially, they could not operate a 2009 schedule, which ended the overnight river cruise business for Baton Rouge.
Since then, the Delta Queen was decommissioned and transformed into a Chattanooga hotel. The Mississippi Queen was sold for scrap. The last of the three original Delta Queen paddlewheelers, the American Queen, now has a new owner, Great American Steamboat Company. The American Queen along will three other vessels, Blount Small Ship Adventures, The Queen of the Mississippi, and the Yorktown Cruise Ship will dock in Baton Rouge in 2012. Baton Rouge has 26 arrivals total.
“We have been working directly with all four vessels to ensure that passengers have unique tour options and a memorable vacation focused on our culture and history,” Katie Guasco, Visit Baton Rouge Senior Sales Manager stated. “The return of cruise ships to our area will have direct economic impact, as these visitors love to experience our attractions, sample our cuisine, and shop! We are very excited to welcome them to Baton Rouge!”