By Agnes Hapka
July 30, 2013
POINT PLEASANT — The American Queen sat just off the banks of the Ohio River near the amphitheater at Point Pleasant Monday, while her passengers toured the area and enjoyed the current mild temperatures.
The 418-foot-long, 90-foot-wide steamboat is headed to Pittsburgh, Captain John Sutton said, on a five-day cruise which started in Cincinnati. The boat will pull into Marietta tomorrow.
“Everyplace we go, we have motorcoaches that follow along to take passengers out on daytours,” said Sutton.
Sutton said that the Queen is built to carry 436 passengers with a crew 0f 174.
“When she was built in 1995, she was originally part of a three-boat company,” Sutton said. “The other two are no longer in service. She’s America’s largest inland overnight passenger boat.”
After one of her earlier owners filed for bankruptcy, the Queen was out of commission for a while, before being purchased by the American Queen Steamboat Company in 2011.
“We refurbished her over the next few months,” Sutton said. “We’re now in the middle of her second cruise season.”
The boat is pretty self-contained, Sutton said, with a main restaurant with seating for 208 people, a secondary cafe, 220 individual state rooms, a six-piece band, two lounge singers, as well as walk-on entertainment depending on the location and theme of the cruise.
Sutton said that the boat carries passengers from all over the globe.
“We have lots of Australians and New Zealanders; last year we had a group of 35 European riverboat captains,” Sutton said.
More information, pictures, and a virtual tour of the American Queen are viewable at www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com.