American Countess Completes Second Successful Sea Trial

The American Countess is American Queen Steamboat Company’s Fourth Vessel Launching April 5, 2020

American Queen Steamboat Company is excited to announce that the American Countess completed its second successful sea trial on Wednesday, February 19, 2020 marking the sixth major milestone of the new ship’s development. The upcoming ship will be christened in New Orleans on April 4, 2020 ahead of its inaugural sailing from New Orleans to Memphis April 5-13, 2020. The 245-passenger riverboat will join the American Queen and American Duchess on the Mississippi, Tennessee, Ohio and Cumberland rivers.

On Wednesday, February 19, the American Countess navigated through a section of the Intracoastal waterway in Houma, LA en route to Morgan City, LA as part of an extensive river trial completing several key tests and simulations as part of their Certificate of Inspection, issued by the United States Coast Guard (USCG). Several USCG officials were on board during the trials to monitor progress and witness first-hand the day’s success. The completion of this trial puts the vessel on track for an on time delivery from Gulf Island Shipyard.

River Trials of the American Countess (© American Queen Steamboat Company)
River Trials of the American Countess (© American Queen Steamboat Company)

The American Countess will transit to New Orleans in late February spending four weeks undergoing finishing touches while at port. Crew members will join the ship to aid in the final preparations while undergoing intense safety and service training prior to the VIP Cruise and Christening taking place March 31 through April 4.

“The successful completion of these sea trails is a testament to the hard work of our team,” shares John Waggoner, founder and CEO of American Queen Steamboat Company. “As we approach the grand debut of the American Countess, I could not be more excited to bring this new experience to our guests.”

Built using the existing hull of a former gaming vessel the Kanesville Queen, the American Countess was lengthened by 60-feet and underwent a total renovation in the Gulf Island Shipyard in Houma, L.A. Her sleek, contemporary design will offer plenty of open space for gathering, especially the portside bar, running 120 ft in length with floor to ceiling glass giving guests panoramic view of the rivers. With four decks, including a Sun Deck, and 123 inviting staterooms in four categories, this paddlewheeler will become a home away from home on six- to 15-day itineraries.

“A tremendous amount of time and effort by our team members, in addition to those from the shipyard in Houma and all of our partners, has gone into making this last sea trail a triumph,” said David Kelly, executive vice president of American Queen Steamboat Companies. “I am honored to be part of the team that has had the vision and courage to transform the vessel into what is now the American Countess.”

Following the christening, the American Countess will start her maiden voyage on April 5, 2020, sailing from New Orleans to Memphis on the Antebellum South itinerary. This journey showcases the diversity of the Lower Mississippi River on an eight-day sailing that starts with a stop at AQSC’s exclusive port at Nottoway Plantation and continues up the river to St. Francisville, Natchez, Vicksburg, Port of the Mississippi Delta and Memphis. Guests will enjoy the signature distinctions that have made American Queen Steamboat Company the most award-winning river cruise line in America, from fine dining, world-class entertainment and thoughtfully designed shore excursions.


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