Talk about a steamy situation — at least for the boats involved in Wednesday’s Great Steamboat Race, part of Louisville’s Kentucky Derby Festival. We’re on American Queen, whose port call in the city was fortuitously timed so it could take part in the race, which included the Belle of Cincinnati and the Belle of Louisville (two vintage steamboats that offer day trips). A nail-biter? Not quite. The three boats chugged a few miles down the Ohio River, then turned around and chugged back to the Louisville waterfront. To mix things up a bit, each one was tasked with picking up a celebrity mid-race (ours was Captain Keith from “Deadliest Catch”). And the winner was … well, we’re still not sure. That said, most passengers lost interest about a half-hour in, concentrating instead on the free bourbon shots at the top-deck bar and the rockers scattered about the boat that just about demand you to take a pre-dinner nap.
Take a photographic tour of the world’s largest steamboat.
Want the early word on American Queen? See our first impressions.
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