Recipe for American Queen’s Butter Biscuits

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. And the delicious breakfasts served on the American Queen make is easier to roll out of a comfy bed each morning on the river. To create memorable menus for the American Queen, the smart new owners chose chef Regina Charboneau to be the steamboat’s culinary director. A native of historical Natchez, Regina draws inspiration from America’ heartland and her own Mississippi River roots. “My vision is to re-create many …

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Longtime ‘riverlorian’ happy to be back on American Queen

When the three sister steamboats – the Delta Queen, the Mississippi Queen and the American Queen – stopped cruising, Karen “Toots” Maloy not only lost her beloved job, she also lost a piece of her heart. “I didn’t quit the Delta Queen and she didn’t quit me,” Toots said. “It was Majestic America Line. I thought the Delta Queen would outlast me, I really did.” As “riverlorian” – a historian specializing in the nation’s rivers and riverboats …

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‘Steamcoaches” add to American Queen shore stop excursions

Here comes the American Queen Steamcoach rolling down the road. The road? Yep, the popular riverboat now has three personalized steamcoaches decorated to look like their namesake. And they sure are getting second looks whenever they pass by. The colorful motorcoaches are painted to closely resemble the exterior of the American Queen, complete with the big red paddlewheel and “passengers” waving from the decks. People stop and stare at the unusual touring vehicle. It certainly is easy …

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American Queen presents Mark Twain to its passengers

When Lewis Hankins dons his white suit to take the stage as Mark Twain, he has a long- time routine. Before greeting his audience, Hankins says a simple prayer. “I say, ‘David, this is for you. Daddy has never forgotten you.’” How Hankins came to be on stage as his favorite author seems to be an act of destiny. The retired Kentucky state policeman grew up reading Twain’s works. He delved deeply into the life of the …

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Captain Joe Jamison returns to pilot American Queen steamboat

A self-proclaimed “river rat,” Captain Joe Jamison has been working on the nation’s waterways since he was 18 years old. “I don’t have the river in my blood. It is my blood,” Captain Joe said with a laugh. Now he has one of the best jobs in the world – captain of the beautiful American Queen.  “It is very exciting to have her on the river again,” he said. “Seeing the smiles on the faces of people …

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Shore excursion: New Madrid, Missouri- New Madrid known for tragic earthquake

For our first American Queen cruise stop, we pulled into New Madrid, Missouri. The river town’s name is tied forever to tragedy. New Madrid was at the epicenter of a seismic shift 200 years ago so violent that the Mississippi appeared to run upstream. Getting on the American Queen’s Hop On-Hop Off steamcoach, we  were able to visit about a half dozen local attractions, free of charge – a nice perk for being an American Queen passenger. …

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Shore excursion: New Madrid, Missouri- Writer shares Earthquake Cake recipe

When Mary Sue Anton learned that her ancestor, Richard Jones Waters, came to New Madrid in 1789 with founder George Morgan, she became intrigued by the history of the small Missouri river town and its settlers. The result is her book, “New Madrid: A Mississippi River Town in History and Legend,” published in May 2009. When passengers of the American Queen left the boat for shore excursions in New Madrid, Mary Sue was signing autographed copies of …

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Shore excursion – New Madrid, Missouri: True story on Lincoln Logs

You never know what you’re going to learn and where you’ll learn it. That is one of the joys of travel. On our first American Queen cruise stop, we pulled into New Madrid, Missouri. At the tiny town’s historical museum, I discovered an interesting tidbit about Lincoln Logs. My brothers had played with the toy building blocks when I was a kid. And I always thought the name Lincoln Logs referred, of course, to Abraham Lincoln. After …

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A new perk on the American Queen: Free bikes for exploring on your own

On a record-breaking hot day, Marlene Heideman rolled a bicycle off the American Queen for a quick tour of Paducah, Kentucky. “It’s cooler to ride a bicycle than it is to walk,” she said. “You get a bit of a breeze on a bicycle.” The neon green bicycles are a new perk aboard the American Queen. Passengers can use the bicycles and helmets free of charge to visit riverfront towns when the paddlewheeler docks. “You have more …

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Bikes rumble on Beale Street

  The deep rumble of motorcycles joins with the blues riffs of horns for a noisy symphony on this busy street. It’s Bike Night on Beale Street in Memphis, where folks come to see and be seen — with or without motorcycles. At one end of Beale is 77-year-old Marvin Shackelford, lounging near his 2005 red, white and blue Harley. How long has he been riding? “I started riding in 1947,” he said. “I’ve had more bikes …

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