Following a four-year absence, American Queen has returned to cruise the Mississippi. Offering multi-day leisure cruises up and down the river, the 436-passenger boat built in 1995 has gone through $6 million of improvements and is now operated by the Great American Steamboat Co. Its former owner, Majestic America Line, declared bankruptcy in 2008. Southern belles dressed in hoop skirts and carrying parasols promenade around the ship.
In August, another ship, the new 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi, will enter market with bigger cabins and more luxury, costing an average $640 a day per person. A cruise on American Queen is $500 per person.
[pictured: Deluxe Outside Staterooms with Veranda; courtesy Great American Steamboat Co.]