The American Queen Steamboat Company announced it is cancelling the February 7 and February 15, 2013, voyages of the American Queen. 

The boat will spend this extra time in the shipyard providing engineers the opportunity to build a completely new and more durable paddlewheel drive shaft, while re-building and reinforcing the fabled paddlewheel.

“The safety and reliability of the American Queen is our top priority and her drive shaft must be completely re-built,” shared American Queen Steamboat Company President and COO Ted Sykes. “This additional time in lay-up is needed to custom-build a much stronger drive shaft with a 40- to 50-year lifespan, as well as re-install the iconic paddlewheel. We apologize for any inconvenience caused to our guests and travel partners, and we are looking forward to an exciting and successful second season.”

These repairs will take place in addition to her annual refurbishments that include such enhancements as painting and wall papering public spaces and staterooms, the addition of a new Front Porch Café and décor updates to the J.M. White Dining Room and Engine Room Bar, to name a few.

The American Queen is now scheduled to sail her first voyage of the season on February 23, 2013, roundtrip from New Orleans.