American Cruise Lines launched the Queen of the Mississippi on July 17 at Chesapeake Shipbuilding, Salisbury, Md. Nine weeks ahead of schedule, the 150-passenger sternwheeler is expected to start Mississippi River cruises in the summer of 2012 for the Guilford, Conn.-based line. The 260’x53’x8’ steel hulled boat will have five decks, two Caterpillar C-32 engines, three Caterpillar C-18 generators (400 kw each), two Z drives, two 250 hp bow thrusters and a 30,000-gallon fuel capacity. The riverboat will have a maximum speed of 14 knots versus similar vessels which average 7-10 knots.
ACL prepared a short video that provides some footage of the launch. Enjoy: