Since her launch this past summer, we haven’t heard a lot about American Cruise Lines and its 150-guest Queen of the Mississippi — until this past week, when the line announced it had acquired a magnificent 132-year-old steam calliope that will be installed onboard the vessel.
The musical instrument was manufactured by Nicol and originally placed in service aboard the Washington, a paddlewheeler that operated along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers between 1880 and 1938. The device’s original brass whistles, valves, keyboard, recordings and books have all been preserved and will be placed aboard the Queen of the Mississippi. The calliope also boasts a unique feature: a single elevated whistle that sits above the rest, a feature not found on any other existing calliope.
“The instrument perfectly suits our new paddlewheeler,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President, American Cruise Lines. “Blending both old and new, Queen of the Mississippi provides a truly authentic and nostalgic cruise experience, while offering the best and most comfortable accommodations ever available on the Mississippi River. Guests will be truly delighted with the addition of this impressive piece of history.”
Not to be confused with the American Queen Steamboat Company’s American Queen, the Queen of the Mississippi is the first newbuild to enter service along the Mississippi River in 15 years. She offers staterooms that average 300-plus square feet, along with private balconies featuring sliding glass doors, six lounges, a library, elevator service, and multiple dining options including the Grand Dining Room, complimentary room service and the Top Deck Café. In-room WiFi access is offered, along with a host of modern amenities.
At the time of her christening this past summer, President and CEO Charles A. Robertson said: “The launch of Queen of the Mississippi represents the beginning of an exciting new chapter for Mississippi Riverboating, where 21st century amenities are offered aboard an authentic paddlewheeler that is historic in appearance. We know Queen of the Mississippi will set a new standard for river cruising expectations.”
More information on Queen of the Mississippi is coming soon here on River Cruise Advisor.