American Countess construction milestone at Gulf Island

The work is taking place at Gulf Island Shipyard in Houma, Louisiana The work is taking place at Gulf Island Shipyard in Houma, Louisiana

The stern of the new riverboat American Countess was stubbed to the bow and mid-body section at Gulf Island Shipyard in Houma, Louisiana. This key step in the construction was completed 13 months before the vessel’s planned christening.

American Queen Steamboat Co.'s 245-passenger American Countess is scheduled to begin its inaugural season on April 5, 2020.

Built on the hull of a former casino boat

The paddlewheeler is being built using the hull of the Kanesville Queen, a former gaming vessel built in 1995. It was cut in two to allow for the addition of a 60-foot mid-body section.

American Countess is planned to offer many of the same heartland and deep South itineraries as sister vessels American Queen and American Duchess.

More than 150 skilled workers

'We are so thankful to our dedicated team of over 150 skilled employees who have been working around the clock to ready the Countess for its big debut next spring,' said David Kelly, EVP hotel operations, AQSC.

Added Gulf Island president and CEO Kirk Meche: 'We are proud of this monumental milestone and look forward to continuing to provide the best in marine manufacturing and construction for the American Countess.'

With four decks including a Sun Deck, and 123 cabins in four categories with a modern style, American Countess will offer six- to 15-day itineraries, including a 'Mighty Mississippi' cruise.

'We are one step closer to debuting our fourth gem and can’t wait to share more news on dates, itineraries and more in the coming months,' AQSC president and CEO John Waggoner said.

Victory coastal vessels

Coastal vessels Victory I and Victory II recently joined the AQSC fleet under the Victory Cruise Lines brand.

AQSC also operates the paddlewheeler American Empress in the Pacific Northwest.

Posted 18 March 2019

© Copyright 2019 Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd. Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Seatrade UBM (UK) Ltd.

Anne Kalosh

Editor, Seatrade Cruise News & Senior Associate Editor Seatrade Cruise Review