American Cruise Lines acquired a 132-year-old Nichol steam calliope to be placed aboard its new 150-guest paddlewheeler, Queen of the Mississippi. The historic instrument, which originated from the Washington, a paddlewheel steamboat which operated on the Mississippi and Ohio River from 1880 to 1938, is being meticulously restored to full operation, and will then be installed aboard the Queen of the Mississippi. The calliope will not only serve as a delightful reminder of the golden era of steamboating and the grandeur of the historic steamboats of the late 1880s, but also as a fully-functioning steam-powered instrument, which will play melodies and sounds as Queen of the Mississippi makes her way up and down the Mississippi River.
Once owned by St. Louis-based Streekfus Line, the Washington was built in Wheeling, W. Virginia, in 1880. Originally named Sidney, the historic steamboat was renamed the Washington, the name it operated under until it was dismantled in 1938. The purchase of its calliope includes all its original brass whistles and valves, keyboard, recordings and books, which have all been preserved, and will soon be aboard Queen of the Mississippi. Unique to this steam calliope only, is one elevated whistle which sits above the rest, an uncommon feature not known to be on any other existing calliope.
The calliope tells a truly unique part of American history and will bring a glorious piece of the past to guests aboard Queen of the Mississippi. More than just a historic artifact, it represents a time of great American expansion and innovation, and the very foundation upon which modern-day America was built.
During the eight-day journeys, guests aboard Queen of the Mississippi enjoy numerous and distinct amenities, including the most spacious staterooms and private balconies with sliding glass doors. Seasoned cruise passengers especially appreciate American Cruise Lines’ exclusive, open seating dining plan, which allows guests to enjoy meals in a single seating or at the time of their choice.
For more information, visit www.americancruiselines.com.