- Associated Press - Wednesday, September 24, 2014

GREENVILLE, Miss. (AP) - The American Queen riverboat will dock at Greenville the first week of November.

Memphis, Tennessee-based American Queen Steamboat Co. announced in August that Greenville will be one of the steamboat’s five ports of call next year on cruises between New Orleans and Memphis. Greenville is replacing Helena, Arkansas.

Mayor John Cox tells the Delta Democrat Times (https://bit.ly/1pqrmst ) the Nov. 2 “test docking” will gauge local interest in the cruises. November’s visit will be the American Queen’s first to Greenville.

The company is working out the details for its 2015 itinerary.

A separate riverboat company, Guilford, Connecticut-based American Cruise Lines Co., arrived in Greenville on Aug. 19 during a weeklong St. Louis to New Orleans cruise to gauge passenger interest. A decision on whether the company’s Queen of the Mississippi will make regular stops here in 2015 is expected by year’s end.

Both companies’ interest in Greenville was sparked by inquiries Cox made this year in a bid to again make the city a regular port of call for cruise ships plying the Mississippi River, something that hasn’t occurred on an annual basis in a decade.

The Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen used to tie up here several times a year, “but it’s been eight or 10 years since they last came to Greenville,” said Benjy Nelken, founder and curator of the Greenville History Museum.

The American Queen, built in 1995, was refurbished in 2012 and is one of two riverboats the American Queen Steamboat Co. operates. The other, the American Empress, plies the Columbia and Snake rivers in the northwest United States.

The American Queen has six decks and boasts 222 staterooms and suites, served by a crew of 172. It has a capacity for 432 passengers.

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Information from: Delta Democrat-Times, https://www.ddtonline.com

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