American Queen Arrives In Memphis

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(Memphis) Thursday morning, Memphis heard the distinctive roar of a steam whistle along the Mississippi River.

The American Queen, the world’s largest steam boat in the world made her “official” arrival around 8 a.m. at the new Beale Street Landing.

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But before she arrived, there was still a lot of work to be done.

“They’ve been working really hard for a number of days since they brought the barges up here on Sunday,” said Tim Rubacky with the Great American Steamboat Company. “They’re going to be done around midnight and the Queen arrives around 2 am to do what we call berthing trials the crew will get familiar with the dock and then we will take her up to Mud Island.

After nearly four years out of service, the new remodeled “American Queen” is set to sail down Ol’ Man River for its maiden voyage.

The vessel has undergone a $6 million renovation and will be taking 400 passengers up and down the river.

Excitement is mounting.

“Pinch me is it really happening,” Rubacky said looking at the dock.

But the historic vessel will not only be a major tourist attraction, it has resulted in about 300 jobs for Memphians like Nicholas Harris.

“It was a bad economy so it was great that this company came in and hired so many people from right here in Memphis,” Harris said.

Starting Thursday the American Queen charts a new course from Memphis, and a new beginning for the American Queen

There will be a christening celebration with Priscilla Presley on the boat on Friday at 3 p.m.

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