American Cruise Lines‘ 150-passenger Queen of the Mississippi, the first Big Muddy-based riverboat built in some 15 years, celebrated a marriage on February 21. Stern and wheel were wed at Salisbury Maryland’s Chesapeake Shipbuilding, with giant crane handling the ceremony. But when QOM launches this August, the 23-ton, 28-foot-wide churning red wheel won’t be the only means of propulsion. Hidden under all that 19th Victorian charm — gingerbread trim, lacquered woods, chandeliers and said sternwheel — are a pair of Z-drive units, 1,900 horse power twin engines that will help maintain speed … especially when cruising up river.
Check out the rest of the class of 2012 (and beyond) on our new cruise ship order chart.
For the latest from Cruise Critic, subscribe to the Lido Deck.