Posted on November 15, 2016 by Andrea Six
Savannah Riverboat Cruises, a popular tour company located on River Street in the Historic District of Savannah, welcomed their newest cruise ship, the Georgia Queen, to Georgia’s First City on Nov. 15, 2016. This new 1,000-passenger riverboat traveled 2,800 miles down the Mississippi River, across the Gulf of Mexico, down and around the shorelines of Florida and Key West to call Savannah her new home.
Representatives from the City of Savannah, including Mayor Eddie DeLoach, as well as representatives from Visit Savannah, Tourism Leadership Council, Savannah Downtown Business Association and other supporters in the community came out to the riverfront to celebrate the grand ship at Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ headquarters, located at 9 E. River St. in Downtown Savannah.
“This is a remarkable moment for Savannah Riverboat Cruises,” Captain Jonathan Claughton, owner of Savannah Riverboat Cruises, said. “A lot of hard work and effort went into the making of this moment and we couldn’t be more excited to finally bring our new ship home to Savannah. Not only will the new Georgia Queen be one of the most unique social gathering destinations in Georgia, but the impact on local tourism and economic development will be substantial with the addition of 100 high-paying jobs and the added ability to attract large conferences and conventions.”
Built in 1995 as a luxury floating casino for 14 million dollars, the majestic 1800s paddlewheel-style riverboat spent several years traveling the Mississippi River. When gambling legislations changed, allowing land-based casinos to open, the riverboat underwent a four million dollar makeover. Today, this spectacular paddlewheel-style riverboat joins Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ Savannah River Queen as her grand sister ship.
Measuring an impressive 230 feet long, 64 feet wide and towering at 68 feet tall, the Georgia Queen is among the top elite in the country with a capacity of 1,000 passengers, plus a 200 person crew, making her the size of a small cruise ship at 38,000 square feet. The ship’s entertainment spaces include three grand ballrooms with over 15,000 square feet of dining space, and more than 5,000 square feet of open-air top deck space with patio seating – more than enough room to accommodate a romantic riverboat wedding on the Savannah River.
The Georgia Queen also boasts a multi-deck, fully equipped gourmet kitchen which will be directed by Savannah Riverboat Cruises’ Executive Chef Kevin Nape and his culinary staff. This exquisite kitchen is also equipped with a large service elevator, making traveling between galleys discrete and easy. This onboard kitchen will change the entire dining experience for guests, allowing for more plated dinner opportunities and flexibility in menu items.
“Experiencing Savannah from our beautiful riverfront is such a unique experience,” Visit Savannah President Joseph Marinelli said. “Savannah Riverboat’s guests are treated to refreshing breezes, fun entertainment, and some of the best southern cuisine Savannah offers as they view Georgia’s oldest city as her founders did many years ago when they arrived by river in 1733. Jonathan and his team have been providing unforgettable tours of Savannah’s harbor and narrations of our past and present for 25 years. The Georgia Queen is a game-changer for their business and will be another valuable asset to the thriving tourism and hospitality offerings of Savannah.”
For more information about Savannah Riverboat Cruises, or to make a reservation on one of their cruises, go to savannahriverboat.com or call (912) 232-6404.