NEW ORLEANS (WVUE) - A new paddle-wheel river boat set sail out of the Port of New Orleans. American Queen Steamboat Company officials christened the American Duchess Monday, with the traditional breaking a bottle of bourbon on over the hull. The river boat departed from New Orleans on it's sold out, 23-day maiden voyage upriver. It will make stops in Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Missouri before it's a final stop in Red Wing, Minnesota.
The 166-guest riverboat features the largest suites on the river and the first to have two-level loft suites for guests. The American Duchess's suites ranging from 250 to 550-square-foot and features two dining rooms serving a regionally-inspired menu.
The company says the boat was built in Louisiana and created 200 American jobs. After the construction and sailing of its flagship the American Queen in 2017, the company has had an economic impact on the port of $8.8 million. Port officials said inland riverboat cruising has grown 40 percent in 2016 and served over 21,000 passengers on three riverboats ported in New Orleans.