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Largest Steamboat Ever Built Celebrates 10th Anniversary

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company (a Delaware North Company) is celebrating a special anniversary in 2005. The American Queen, listed in the Guinness World Book of Records as "the largest steamboat ever built," celebrates her 10th anniversary this year with a series of special cruises between July 23 and August 13. Passengers aboard the grand American Queen will receive commemorative mementos of the occasion and enjoy anniversary celebrations on four cruises this summer.

[ AMERICAN QUEEN, largest steamboat ever built ]

Launched in 1995, the American Queen was christened by Paul and Angel Harvey with the world's largest bottle of Tabasco® sauce (also listed in Guinness World Book of Records) and containing 21.3 gallons of the piquant red pepper sauce. The special bottle was made at the New Orleans School of Glassworks & Gallery, America's largest indoor glass-blowing facility.

In 2004 the American Queen introduced the New Orleans & Riverboat Adventure Week, a land and cruise package combining the best of New Orleans-world class hotels, fine dining and historic attractions, with a luxury steamboat cruise on the Mississippi that takes you to explore Southern plantations, antebellum homes, Civil War battlefields and Cajun history and music. Other exciting cruises offered are the Family Riverventures during the summer months and Christmas and Thanksgiving holidays; Legends of American History with character portrayals of a veritable "Who's Who of American History," and Old-Fashioned Holidays with Southern holidays traditions, and the exciting "feux de joie," bonfires on the levee said to light the way for Papa No&eml;l.

Family Riverventures offer exciting theme days and lots of fun-filled activities with our special guest Mark Twain who will be aboard to share his "Life on the Mississippi" on anniversary cruises aboard the American Queen between New Orleans and Memphis, July 23-29, August 6-13 and August 13-20, 2005. Fares for the 6-night cruise begin at $1,790 per person, and $2,035 per person for the 7-night cruise. Select family shore tours that offer adventures for the entire family are included in the price of the cruise.

Re-enactors and impersonators in period dress will bring moments in history to life on an 8-night Legends of American History anniversary cruise with Meriwether Lewis, Leader of the Corps of Discovery to find a passage from the Missouri River to the Pacific Ocean; Sacajawea, Shoshonean Indian woman who traveled with the Lewis and Clark Expedition in search of the Pacific Ocean; and Will Rogers, humorist, American cowboy and actor. Fares for this New Orleans round trip cruise begin at $2,390 per person, double occupancy.

The Great Steamboat Race of 2005

"In the 'flush times' of steamboating, a race between two notoriously fleet steamers was an event of vast importance. The date was set for it several weeks in advance, and from that time forward the whole Mississippi valley was in a state of consuming excitement. Politics and the weather was dropped, and people talked only of the coming race"... (Mark Twain's Life on the Mississippi)


Time was, when watching the giant steamboats race up the Mississippi was a pastime enjoyed from the front porches of small river towns. Passengers on the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen will once again relive The Great Steamboat Race of 1870 as the steamboats line up in New Orleans on June 24, 2005 for an 11-night cruise to St. Louis, arriving in time for the festivities of Fair St. Louis on the 4th of July.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company (a Delaware North Company) will re-create the spirit of the first steamboat competition, held in 1870 between the Steamboats Natchez and Rob't E. Lee. The two boats will engage in a series of speed races between New Orleans and St. Louis, vying for the famed "Golden Antlers." Not to be left out, the passengers will compete in a series of events for the Commodore's Cup, awarded to the boat with the most points. Passengers and crew will compete in a series of events in river towns along the way, such as the famous Floozie Contest, Captain Foghorn's Floating Follies, Steamboatin' Olympics and the Great Americana Banner Competition.

Serving as judges on the steamboats for all events will be Creole chef, comedian and the Commissioner of Tailgating Joe Cahn; and the "Last of the Riverboat Gamblers" Bodine Balasco. Celebrity guests joining us during the special Great Steamboat Race of 2005 will be Jan and Mickey Rooney, performing their "Let's Put On A Show" for all passengers in Natchez, and sports journalist and broadcaster, Ronda Rich, who has written a book on NASCAR racing.

Passengers come from all over the United States - and often from abroad - to experience this step back in time. And hordes of residents along the levees eagerly anticipate the battle of the steamboats each year. At the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, we have a real love for the past, of time long ago. Our vessels capture that spirit through fine foods, entertainment, gracious service and luxurious appointments. The Great Steamboat Race of 2005 captures the zenith of the Steamboatin' experience.

The vacation ends in St. Louis when the two steamboats race for the golden antlers, crossing the finish line at the famous Gateway Arch on the 4th of July. Passengers will enjoy the spectacular fireworks display from the decks of the steamboats that evening. It's an exciting moment not to be missed-a storybook ending to a journey that has delighted travelers for more than a century, and will continue to do so well into the future.

Free air and 50% off companion fare or 2-for-1 pricing are available on select cabin categories, based on space availability.

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