Update, 3/17/13, 7 p.m. EDT: Line officials have confirmed that American Queen was cleared by the Coast Guard and departed Oak Alley at 5 p.m. Sunday, as scheduled. The ship will continue the rest of its planned itinerary, stopping next at Baton Rouge.
(10:30 a.m. EDT) -- Following a week full of mechanical problems on other cruise ships, American Queen, a steamboat that plies American rivers, has experienced a gasket failure in one of its smokestacks.
No passengers or crew were injured, but cruisers in five cabins were relocated to alternate staterooms until the issue is fixed. The U.S. Coast Guard is currently onboard investigating the cause of the malfunction.
The boat is docked in Oak Alley, La, for the time being, and all dining facilities and shore tours are operating normally. Officials have not yet decided whether the American Queen will be able to sail to Baton Rouge at 5 p.m. Sunday as scheduled.
We'll update you as more information becomes available.