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American Queen to sail again

Courtesy Great American Steamboat Company

A traditional steamboat harkening back to the showboat days of Mark Twain will chug along the Mississippi River once more in April 2012. The Great American Steamboat Company is currently preparing the Steamboat American Queen to run weeklong cruises with a $5 million renovation.

The Steamboat American Queen is reportedly one of the largest steamboats ever built. The stylish 418-foot-long vessel will be the only authentic paddlewheel steamboat offering overnight cruises in America.

The 436-guest ship will travel to historic towns on 3- to 10-night long cruises from New Orleans, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Louisville and Chattanooga, although Memphis will be its homeport. Built in 1995, the ship is a six-deck re-creation of a Mississippi paddlewheel steamboat.

The American Queen will offer onboard entertainment, complimentary wines and beers at dinner, and Southern-style cuisine. Shore excursions are now also included in the price of the cruise ticket.

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