Owner, city leaders hail upcoming arrival of new steamboat - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Owner, city leaders hail upcoming arrival of new steamboat

The steamboat is expected to bring tourists - and jobs - to Memphis. The steamboat is expected to bring tourists - and jobs - to Memphis.

(WMC-TV) - An American steamboat will soon roll into Memphis and dock at Beale Street Landing, bringing tourists to Memphis, city leaders said Wednesday.

A large model of the grand American Queen was unveiled Wednesday at the new headquarters of the Great American Steamboat Company in downtown Memphis.

"It's the greatest steamboat ever built," company CEO Jeff Krida said. "The grand room is a replica of the J.M. White dining room, the greatest steamboat of the 1900's. It's really, really beautiful."

Filled with modern amenities, the grand American Queen will display details of the American Victorian era and host live music and even high tea-time parties.

Wednesday, the company's call center was already bustling with reservations, even though cruises won't begin until April of next year.

"Through our Convention and Visitor's Bureau it's being marketed in Germany, London and around the world," Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said.

Wharton said the American Queen project not only brings entertainment and recreation to the city, but a big boost to the economy.

"It's just a stimulus, not nearly to the river here, but to the entirety of our tourism and hospitality industry," he said.

With vacation destinations that will include themed voyages from Chattanooga to New Orleans to Pittsburgh, Memphis will be home to the only authentic paddlewheel steamboat in America.

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