The American Queen
(The Largest River Steamboat)

The American Queen riverboat is not an old riverboat.   It was built in 1994, launched in 1995 and cost about 60 million dollars to build.   With it's capacity of 436 passengers and a crew of 160, it is considered the largest river steamboat ever built.   There are six decks, it is 418 feet long, 89 feet wide and 109 feet high.

Although the American Queen's stern paddlewheel is indeed powered by a genuine steam plant, her secondary propulsion and much maneuverability comes from a set of diesel-electric propellers, known as Z-drives, on either side of the sternwheel.   The riverboat's paddlewheel is too small to move the large boat in every situation so it uses this secondary propulsion.

The "American Queen" passed through Quincy several times during the year of 2012.   There was a good opportunity to see it when it passed through Lock and Dam 21 just south of Quincy.   There is an overlook building right next to the lock which was put there so that people who wanted to see a "lockage" could do so.   In fact, you are close enough to the lock (about 10 feet), that you can carry on a conversation with some of the passengers on the riverboat while it is being raised or lowered.

The following pictures were taken on September 30, 2012 when the American Queen was making her trip from St. Louis to St. Paul.

The next group of pictures were taken from Quinsippi Island.   We drove there after watching the Queen go through the lock.   The beach is just a short walk from where we park on the island.   Note also, that the smokestacks had to be let down to allow the American Queen to go under the bridges.

For more information about the American Queen, you can go to the following web page:

Glenn W. Glessner - Quincy, Illinois Web Page Created on November 13, 2012 - Updated on November 14, 2012

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