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Upper Mississippi River - has anyone taken this cruise?


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Looking for experience from people who have taken this cruise.

We have taken many, many Ocean and 1 European River cruise so not as interested in the boat but more so on what the river was like and what you saw.

Appreciate any help you can give us.

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  • 1 month later...

I have been on the Upper Mississippi "between the Saints" several times. The most recent was this past July on the M/V AMMERICAN DUCHESS. In short the river is beautiful, with high bluffs and mountains, historic river towns, and many locks and dams to go through. The old steamboat brochures touted the Upper Mississippi region as "The Land of Sky Tinted Waters."  That still holds true today.

 

I would recommend the  Str. AMERICAN QUEEN as she is real steam with nearly 100 year old steam engines, a melodic steam whistle and  calliope that add to her charm, also more activities are offered during the day than the company's smaller diesel boats. IMHO the upriver trip is the better of either heading north or south bound. Traveling north gives an extra day of steaming up the "Father of Waters" and enjoying the scenery instead of spending the day tied up in a town.

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Thank you Calliope,

This is just what we were looking for. Also read your other post re: Cumberland River being scenic.

 

Since I posted this in Aug.  we have booked  both the Upper Mississippi going north and the Cumberland on the American Countess. Looking more for the beauty of the river rather than activities. The atmosphere of having a "paddlewheel " I'm sure will add to the experience.

 

Maybe next cruise we'll take the American Queen.🙂

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16 hours ago, Calliope said:

I would recommend the  Str. AMERICAN QUEEN as she is real steam with nearly 100 year old steam engines, a melodic steam whistle and  calliope that add to her charm, also more activities are offered during the day than the company's smaller diesel boats.

Are you referring to AQSC's American Queen, or to the old Delta Queen?

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12 minutes ago, DaveinCharlotte said:

Are you referring to AQSC's American Queen, or to the old Delta Queen?

Posted on American Queen Steamboat Company site https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/blog/how-does-a-steamboat-work/

"What makes the American Queen different from most of the riverboats in existence today is that a true steam engine is used to drive the paddlewheel. This steam engine is basically the same as the engines of the past century. How does a steamboat work then, you may ask? The American Queen’s stern wheel is driven by a four-cylinder, horizontally-inclined, tandem-piston, steeple compounded, double-acting reciprocating steam engine. "

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11 hours ago, Oldone79 said:

Posted on American Queen Steamboat Company site https://www.americanqueensteamboatcompany.com/blog/how-does-a-steamboat-work/

"What makes the American Queen different from most of the riverboats in existence today is that a true steam engine is used to drive the paddlewheel. This steam engine is basically the same as the engines of the past century. How does a steamboat work then, you may ask? The American Queen’s stern wheel is driven by a four-cylinder, horizontally-inclined, tandem-piston, steeple compounded, double-acting reciprocating steam engine. "

There's actually a stairway behind the wheelhouse bar that takes you down to a viewing area in the engine room so you can check it our for yourself.

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On 9/28/2021 at 9:27 AM, DaveinCharlotte said:

Are you referring to AQSC's American Queen, or to the old Delta Queen?

I am referring to the Str. AMERICAN QUEEN. Her steam engines were removed from the retired USACE dredge KENNEDY for use on the AQ. Unfortunately, at this time the Str. DELTA QUEEN is not operating and is laid up in Houma, LA.

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3 hours ago, Calliope said:

I am referring to the Str. AMERICAN QUEEN. Her steam engines were removed from the retired USACE dredge KENNEDY for use on the AQ. Unfortunately, at this time the Str. DELTA QUEEN is not operating and is laid up in Houma, LA.

Thank you.  I was under the misapprehension that the American Queen steam power was just an auxiliary -- thank you (and oldone79 and ericosmith) for setting me straight.  Amazing that such old technology can still be put to good use.

 

Spent a week on the Delta Queen when it was docked as a boutique hotel in Chattanooga.  They were running the boilers just to keep things from rusting up.  They told us regulations prevented them from running the boilers are more than 50% capacity, but out of prudence they never ran them over 25%.    

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2 hours ago, DaveinCharlotte said:

Thank you.  I was under the misapprehension that the American Queen steam power was just an auxiliary -- thank you (and oldone79 and ericosmith) for setting me straight.  Amazing that such old technology can still be put to good use.

 

Spent a week on the Delta Queen when it was docked as a boutique hotel in Chattanooga.  They were running the boilers just to keep things from rusting up.  They told us regulations prevented them from running the boilers are more than 50% capacity, but out of prudence they never ran them over 25%.    

Back in the early 1950s my dad was Chief Engineer on the DELTA QUEEN, and was very familiar with those two WW I surplus water tube boilers. When she comes out again she will have two new high efficiency boilers. 

 

Yea, I can understand the confusion about the AQ's propulsion, but he USCG Certificate of Inspection does list her primary power as steam. I was on her once when she cracked her paddlewheel shaft and it was the electric Z-drives that brought her home.

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My recollection of both the Queen and the Empress is that they both only get about 20 percent of their propulsion from the paddlewheel.  The primary thrust is provided by z-drives or as they are know on the big ships, azi-pods.  

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On 9/30/2021 at 9:32 PM, ericosmith said:

My recollection of both the Queen and the Empress is that they both only get about 20 percent of their propulsion from the paddlewheel.  The primary thrust is provided by z-drives or as they are know on the big ships, azi-pods.  

You are correct about the EMPRESS, but not correct about the AMERICAN QUEEN. The majority of the push that the AQ gets under normal operating conditions is from the sternwheel. The US Coast Guard recognizes this and on the USCG to operate, known as a Certificate of Inspection, the USCG has her as being steam propulsion.

 

Z-drives and Azi-Pods are not the same thing. Both are  electric motor driven propellers, but with  a Z-drive the motor is housed above the bottom of the hull in a water tight compartment and the propellers hang below. The AQ's  two Z-drives are housed on either side of the paddlewheel each on either fantail. Through a system of gears and links in a Z shape the props are turned and can rotate 360 degrees. Azi-Pods hang below the hull and the electric motor is in the torpedo shaped pod adjacent to the propeller under the vessel's waterline. They too can be rotated 360 degree.

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23 hours ago, Calliope said:

You are correct about the EMPRESS, but not correct about the AMERICAN QUEEN. The majority of the push that the AQ gets under normal operating conditions is from the sternwheel. The US Coast Guard recognizes this and on the USCG permit to operate, known as a Certificate of Inspection, the USCG has her as being steam propulsion.

 

Sorry for any confusion. I added the word permit so what I wrote previously makes sense.

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