The Great American Steamboat Company announced Priscilla Presley as the godmother of the steamboat American Queen.
Presley, who is synonymous with Graceland in the steamboat’s homeport of Memphis, will name her in a christening ceremony at the revitalized Beale Street Landing on April 27. Highlights of the festivities will include performances by local musicians, a bottle of champagne crashing against the stern and the sounds of the American Queen Calliope as she steams off up the Mississippi River.
The Great American Steamboat Company has also entered into an exclusive partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises. This collaboration will present the first Elvis Cruise on the American Queen from Memphis to New Orleans this December, as well as signature Graceland experiences for guests.
A daughter of an Air Force officer, Priscilla Presley attended high school in Germany, where she met her future husband, Elvis Presley. In 1979 she became co-executor of the Presley Estate growing it from a burgeoning entity into a phenomenally successful organization consisting of the famous Graceland Mansion, a worldwide licensing program, merchandising, music publishing, television and video projects.
In addition to being a savvy businesswoman, producer and actress, Presley is an ambassador of the Dream Foundation, helping to fulfill the dreams of adults battling terminal illnesses. She became aware of the organization after helping to grant recipients’ wishes to visit Graceland. The organization is the only one of its kind working with adults as well as helping to create lasting memories for their family and friends. Priscilla has also joined Hollywood celebrities in an important fight against the overmedication of children. She is an advocate for Citizen’s Commission on Human Rights and a percentage of all purchases on PriscillaPresley.com are donated to support these two worthy charities.
“It is quite a thrill for Memphis as steamboating returns once again with the arrival of the American Queen,” explains Presley. “I look forward to her guests visiting Graceland and experiencing true Southern hospitality, which is why this city holds such a special place in my heart.”
“Priscilla Presley’s efforts leading Elvis Presley Enterprises exemplify both grace and dignity, two adjectives befitting the American Queen,” explains Great American Steamboat Company CEO Jeff Krida. “Both are stunning ambassadors to Memphis and we are humbled to bring our steamboat family and the Presley family together.”
The Great American Steamboat Company shares a common passion with Presley, which is its homeport of Memphis. Earlier this month the company hosted a job fair at the Memphis Cook Convention Center hiring 300+ new employees to work onboard the American Queen or at its downtown headquarters. An annual economic impact of $89 million for the region is expected with the largest and most opulent steamboat ever built returning to the heartland’s iconic rivers.
After a sunset christening, the American Queen will depart for her inaugural voyage up the Mississippi River to the Ohio River with stops in Henderson, Ky., Louisville, Ky., and Madison, Ind., before arriving in her disembarkation city of Cincinnati. In Louisville she will take part in the wonderful tradition of the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race with the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati.
Steeped in history, nostalgia and tradition, the American Queen will offer an unrivaled All-American hospitality experience from its elegant staterooms to its palatial public spaces and celebrated Southern cuisine of Chef Regina Charboneau, the line’s Culinary Director.