POINT PLEASANT — Royalty will be gracing the Riverfront Park’s boat dock this month.
For the first time ever, the American Duchess will be visiting Point Pleasant. Mason County Tourism Director Denny Bellamy shared the ship is estimated to arrive on the evening of Thursday, July 18 and will be staying throughout the day on Friday, July 19.
Tours of the city will begin at 9 a.m. on Friday for the ship’s passengers. They will be viewing the murals of the Riverfront Park as well as going to Tu-Endie-Wei State Park; they will be visiting Fort Randolph where re-enactors will be dressed in their colonial wear and be prepared to do demonstrations; they will also be stopping by The Mothman Museum as well as other shops on Main Street. The American Duchess will have three buses for passengers to travel around the city, one will be at Fort Randolph, one will be at Tue-Endie-Wei State Park, and the other will be at The Mothman Museum.
As usual when ships visit the city, Bellamy and his crew will be taking care of the ship and its staff, such as taking out the ship’s garbage, providing the ship’s staff and passengers with plenty of water, and taking the staff anywhere they may need to go for personal supplies or personal business.
Bellamy shared this ship is a brand new vessel from the American Queen Boat Company and is more modern than other ships Point Pleasant has seen. Though the American Duchess carries less passengers than the American Queen, it is comprised of only suites and is the most expensive ship to travel on from this company.
The American Duchess will be on a “Racing the River” cruise when it makes its visit to the city, which will be its first journey along the Ohio River. Bellamy explained this ship typically travels on the Mississippi River and travels west.
According to the American Queen Boat Company website, the purpose of this cruise is to pay visits to small towns that have “nostalgia of America’s vibrant steamboating history.” The cruise will be traveling from Memphis, Tenn. to Pittsburgh, Pa. Following its visit to Point Pleasant, the American Duchess will make its way to Marietta, Ohio.
“Combining the best of the old and the new, this beautiful lady of the river epitomizes the grace and grandeur that has made river cruising a cherished American tradition for more than two centuries,” stated the American Queen Boat Company. “The American Duchess is the most elegant paddlewheeler on U.S. rivers, a floating, intimate masterpiece that can carry up to 166 guests through America’s heartland. The paddlewheeler, created from a 1995 hull, was completely reconstructed to become one of the most luxurious river cruising vessels in the country, featuring single-seating main dining and entertainment venues, soaring ceilings, and all of the features guests have come to expect on other American Queen Steamboat Company cruises.”
Though spectators will not be able to venture onto the American Duchess during its visit, pictures can be taken of the vessel.
Bellamy shared next year Point Pleasant can expect to have at least four visits from ships of the American Queen Boat Company, two visits from the American Queen and two visits from the American Duchess.
“We are back in the boat business,” said Bellamy. “I am excited to have this new boat and am anxious to see it, this modern and beautiful boat.”
Some information from www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com was used in this article.
Erin (Perkins) Johnson is a staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing. Reach her at (304) 675-1333, extension 1992.