Monday, July 03, 2000

American Queen makes local detour

High Mississippi forces steamboat up Ohio River

By Ray Schaefer
Enquirer Contributor

        High water up north brought one of America's largest steamboats on an unexpected side trip to Cincinnati Sunday.

        The 418-foot American Queen arrived around 1 p.m. for a more than seven-hour layover.

        It was to leave for St. Louis late Sunday to resume its planned voyage up the Mississippi River to Minneapolis-St. Paul.

        The steamboat left St. Louis June 25 and is scheduled to arrive in Minnesota on Saturday.

        According to officials with Delta Queen Steamboat Co. in New Orleans, levels on the Upper Mississippi River forced the side trip up the Ohio River.

        There is no flooding in Minnesota, but levels are high enough to prevent the boat's 97-foot tall stacks from fitting under older bridges.

        The company also flew passengers from Minneapolis to Cincinnati to connect with the boat.

        The American Queen was built in 1995 in New Orleans. The stern-wheeler has 222 cabins and can carry 477 passengers, and it was part of the Tall Stacks celebration last October.

        Delta Queen Steamboat also operates the Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen steamboats.


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