Artist rendering of the American Countess, which will be built on the hull of the former casino vessel Kanesville Queen.
Passenger Vessels

Gulf Island Fabrication To Build Paddlewheeler

Gulf Island Fabrication Inc. announced September 14 that it has signed a contract to construct a 245-guest riverboat for the American Queen Steamboat Company.

The new sternwheeler, to be named American Countess, will be built using the existing hull of the Kanesville Queen, a former gaming vessel built in 1995.

“We continue to break sales records and incredible demand remains for more capacity on the river with each of our boats continuing to sail full,” shared American Queen Steamboat Company Chairman John Waggoner. “We look forward to collaborating with Gulf Island’s team of skilled workers and craftsmen to deliver a riverboat that will once again exceed expectations of our guests and continue raising the bar on domestic river cruising.”

“American Queen Steamboat Company has led the market in a renaissance of domestic river cruising and our skilled team is honored to carry on the legacy of shipbuilding in U.S. building the American Countess,” said Kirk Meche, president and CEO of Gulf Island. “We look forward to constructing this magnificent vessel and fulfilling John’s vision by providing the best in marine manufacturing and construction.”

Gulf Island Fabrication Inc., based in Houston, Texas, with fabrication facilities located in Louisiana and Texas, fabricates  complex steel structures and marine vessels used for oil and gas production and transportation, petrochemical and industrial facilities, power generation and alternative energy projects. Gulf Island also provides related installation, hookup, commissioning, repair and maintenance services with specialized crews and integrated project management capabilities.