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    CREOLE QUEEN status

    A question was asked a few days ago about the status of the diesel electric paddlewheeler CREOLE QUEEN in New Orleans. Here it is: after several years of sitting idle save for a few charters, she began running some weekend dinner cruises and an occasional day charter. Otherwise she sat idle at either the Poydras or Canal St. dock. While I was in NOLA April 14-21, she began her new cruising arrangement with Blaine Kern's Mardi Gras World. MG World is now located in the Robin Street Wharf, which has been remade from its DQ Co. headquarters days. Instead of tourists going across to Algiers on the West Bank to tour MG World, they now go to Robin St. Anyway, the CREOLE QUEEN is running a couple trips a day, starting at Canal Street, going downriver a bit, and ending up at Robin Street where the passengers tour the facility and get back via some other means. It's advertised as an hour harbor trip which includes the historic French Quarter. We watched her on the very first trip: she turned around right in Algiers Bend and headed back upriver with it appeared 10 or so pax aboard. They would have had to be on real slow bell to kill an hour on that short route. Later in the day, they passed by with a larger crowd, looked like at least 20, and they dropped further downriver, turning around near Mandeville Street Wharf. I imagine they'll refine the route as needed, but it reminded me of the few months the gambling boat FLAMINGO 'cruised'. She went from Poydras St. to just below the bend and back. The CREOLE QUEEN is still doing the dinner cruises on her regular route. Her sister boat, the CAJUN QUEEN,was sold and has been gone from NOLA for several years.

    Hey Judy, Just curious if you know where the Cajun Queen went to? Is it operating somewhere or just rusting away in a fleet somewhere? I had a friend who was Captain on that boat, Barrett Diaz, but I haven't talked to him since shortly after Katrina. On a related note, does anyone know what happened with the Argosy V (Golden Lady, Par-a-dice)? Last I heard a few years ago, it was supposed to have the paddlewheel and superstructure removed and sent somewhere overseas. Does anyone know if that ever happened and where it went, what it's doing? Any news would be greatly appreciated.


      The CAJUN QUEEN was sold for active use somewhere - I want to say Florida, but I'm not sure. That boat was deceptive - she actually had more interior space than the CREOLE, due to lack of paddlewheel, similar to the TWILIGHT vs. the JBS. The DIAMOND LADY was scrapped in India, and I do recall hearing that the GOLDEN LADY/PARADICE went overseas too, but I don't know her fate. I'm now wondering what will become of the CASINO ROCK ISLAND and her fleet. The EFFIE AFTON/MATEUR was left in pretty much original condition so she'd be a good museum somewhere. The OCKERSON was gutted to make more gambling space, and the GEROW I'm not sure, but it's a nondescript towboat, unlike the historical MATEUR. There has been talk here of reviving a ferry service between Rock Island and Davenport, since the CHANNEL CAT has been so successful above the locks, but I doubt if they'd use a full service boat like the CRI in that trade. Too bad, they could revive the WJ QUINLAN days with a dance floor and band, in addition to providing transportation from Davenport bars to RI bars.....


        Sweet Tarts

        These are all good boats, and what a shame they have been neglected, and worse, at such an early age. The CQ is the "mother" of my boat, the former FLAMINGO, now the GV2. The GV2 is a beef-up version of her mom, and handles just as well. Both sweethearts.

        The DL gave me the same sensation, when first stepping aboard, as I felt whenever I put foot on the DELTA QUEEN. No other boats have given me that same fuzzie feeling... except the SUN*FISH, of course.

        The CASINO ROCK ISLAND remains the wedding cake of all casino boats. Sweet sugar frosting afloat.

        We're gonna miss these beauties when they're gone.



          The CAJUN QUEEN is now the SAVANNAH RIVER QUEEN at Savannah, GA. Here is the website for the River Street Riverboat Company, her owners. Savannah Riverboat Cruises

          Interesting to note...this company was started by the family of Dr. Hugh Claughton who owned and operated The Belle Carol Riverboat Company in Nashville, TN for many years. Of course the Belle Carol Riverboat Company is long gone now. Their last boat (The MUSIC CITY QUEEN) is now operated by OpryLand with her sister boat the GENERAL JACKSON.

          Wonder what ever happened to the passenger barge (The NASHVILLE SHOW BOAT) they had in the late 70's? At one time I saw a picture of the old KANAWHA (Howard-built diesel sternwheeler known as the BELLE CAROL when the Claughtons had her) towing her and wondered how that worked! Must have been a hard steer!