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To us, there are few things more fascinating than the construction of a riverboat. How is it built? Why is it designed as it is? And what does it look like under construction? In today’s blog, we wanted to give you an insider’s peek at American Queen Steamboat Company’s new American Countess, which is under construction right now AT Gulf Island Shipyards in Houma, Louisiana, as she is readied for her Mississippi River cruises debut in April 2020.

The latest addition to American Queen Steamboat Company’s fleet of authentic paddlewheelers and the newest on U.S. rivers, the American Countess offers many of the same exciting heartland and deep South itineraries as her sisters the American Queen and American Duchess. Built from an existing hull that was once the casino riverboat Kanesville Queen, the American Countess is undergoing a significant reconstruction, including lengthening the boat by 60 feet to a final figure of 361 feet from stem to stern. When the paddlewheeler is finished, 245 guests will enjoy the signature distinctions that have made American Queen Steamboat Company the most award-winning river cruise line in America.

A total of 98 crew will be at the beck and call of the guests and they’re sure to be proud of their new vessel. In her previous life as the Kanesville Queen, she boasted an 1,800-horsepower engine and three Z-drives (imagine an outboard motor mounted underneath the ship that can swivel 360 degrees). As American Countess, a 2,000-horsepower red paddlewheel is being added, as well as a bow thruster to help maneuver in and out of small towns along the rivers.

With four decks, including a Sun Deck, and 123 comfortable, inviting staterooms in four categories, this new paddlewheeler will become a home away from home on 6- to 15-day itineraries, including her own epic Mighty Mississippi cruise. Cabins feature a sleek and modern design that will provide guests with the perfect place to relax after enjoying an included shore excursion or an evening Broadway-caliber performance presented in the Theater onboard.

As an award-winning culinary team takes full advantage of each region’s diverse bounty of fresh, local ingredients to fashion authentic dishes, gracious staff will charm guests with friendly, courteous attention in the Grand Dining Room. A more casual atmosphere will be offered in the River Grill, which allows guests to dine at their own pace.

It will be easy to stay active onboard the American Countess in her well-appointed Fitness Center, while the Card Room will provide a perfect spot for guests to mingle with fellow travelers and newfound friends.

It may be a bit hard to tell from these construction photos, but the American Countess is sure to be another stunning paddlewheel riverboat from American Queen Steamboat Company.  Enjoying a U.S. river cruise will never be better. We can’t wait to see her!

We invite you to experience Mississippi River cruises from the decks of the American Countess. Select Waterways are your river and small ship cruise insiders, specializing in European river cruises, including Danube River cruises, Rhine River cruises, wine cruises, Seine River cruises, as well as China river cruises with Yangtze river cruises, Vietnam river cruises with Mekong River cruises, Russia river cruises with Volga river cruises, Nile river cruises, Africa river cruises and Amazon river cruises. Naturally, we have American river cruises with Mississippi River cruises, Ohio River Cruises, Columbia River cruises, Illinois River cruises and Tennessee River cruises. We also offer expedition cruises and small ship cruises throughout the world, with polar cruises such as Arctic cruises and Antarctica cruises among the most popular. Whether it’s luxury river cruising, premium river cruising, expedition cruising or small ship cruising, we’ve got you covered. Visit our website at www.selectwaterways.com or give us a call at 1.844.SWCRUISE (1.844.792.7847). Be sure to join our Insider Club by clicking here and Like our Facebook page by clicking here.