The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the largest riverboat in the world, announces refurbishment details of the 432-passenger paddlewheel currently underway at the New Orleans’ Boland Marine Shipyards. As part of the American Queen’s scheduled annual layup, which includes the renovation of the steam plant, many of the engineering and cosmetic enhancements will be evident to past guests boarding for the launch of her third season on Feb. 21.
“For our second season, we were delighted to carry over 20 percent more passengers as compared to our inaugural season,” explains American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “With this year’s upgrades and improvements, we look forward to bringing even more guests the nostalgia of river cruising with modern comforts in the 2014 season.”
A team of local contractors and crew are dedicated to preparing the American Queen for another safe and enjoyable third season. New paint and coating systems are being incorporated throughout the vessel to improve her appearance. A major rehabilitation of the decks is being completed. Guests will enjoy brand new shows in the Grand Saloon, which are being custom made for the American Queen along with new sound and lighting. An added digital content management system will also allow for in-house programming in each hotel cabin television.
Some of the most significant electrical upgrades since the American Queen’s construction include the renewal of the main switchboard and all associated systems. In the galley, new steam powered “combi ovens” will add capacity and allow the culinary team to expand their onboard pastry and dessert offerings. Additionally, a state-of-the-art combustion control system will save fuel, reduce emissions and exert less stress on the vessel’s steam plant while making the vessel more environmentally friendly.