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Great American Steam Boat Co. purchases American Queen

The largest steamboat ever built is soon to be purchased by the Great American Steam Boat Co, a new company on a mission to revive American riverboating.

The 436-passenger American Queen, built in 1995 by the Delta Queen Steamboat Co, will sail on the Mississippi and Ohio rivers from April next year.

While the vessel, which cost $60 million to build in 1995, is considered to be in excellent condition, the company has planned a three- to four-month drydock for technological upgrades and improvements to operating efficiency. Outdoor dining will also be introduced on its top deck and renowned chef Regina Charboneau is a contender for the kitchen.

Three-, five-, seven- and 10-night cruises from Memphis, New Orleans, St. Louis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Chattanooga will stop at a number of historic towns and cities. The company will also provide bikes on board to use at ports, along with fitness and wellness programs.