City's new riverboat making long journey to its new home in Loui - WDRB 41 Louisville News

City's new riverboat making long journey to its new home in Louisville

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The city's newest riverboat is making a 2,000-mile voyage to the waterfront in downtown Louisville. 

Last week, Metro Council approved the $750,000 purchase of the Georgia Queen to offer dinner cruises on the Ohio River. It will replace the Spirit of Jefferson, which is docked next to the Belle and in need of repairs.

While the Belle of Louisville is a National Historic Landmark, the Spirit has been the "money maker." That's because the Belle is not fuel efficient and is much more costly to run, which is why the Georgia Queen was purchased as its new sister boat. The Spirit of Jefferson will be sold. 

The Georgia Queen was built in 1985 by Marine Builders in Utica, Indiana. It will seat 110 more people for dinner than the Spirit. 

Belle of Louisville crew members have been traveling on the boat along the coast of Florida. The route follows the west coast of Florida to Apalachicola, where it will traverse the Intracoastal Waterway to Mobile Bay and then travel up the Mobile River to the Tombigbee.

From there it will connect to the Tennessee River and meander through Kentucky Lake across to Lake Barkley, where it will lock through to the Cumberland River, cruise up to the Ohio northeast of Paducah, and then tackle the homestretch to Louisville and the Fourth Street Wharf.

You can track the former Georgia Queen's progress on the website marinetraffic.org, or by downloading the app "VesselFinder Free," which is available for both Android and iOS phones and tablets. Search along the route for a bright green arrow or dot and click on it to make sure it says Georgia Queen.  

The boat should dock at Louisville's Fourth Street Wharf in about two weeks, and should be ready for a re-christening and to begin cruising around June 1.

For more information on charters or private events, contact the Belle of Louisville at 502-574-2992. The schedule of public cruises, which includes lunch, dinner, history, and special event cruises, can be found at www.belleoflouisville.org.

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