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Adrienne Thomas, Director of Sales and Marketing

New Orleans - Gordon Stevens, President and CEO of New Orleans Steamboat Company and Gray Line Tours, announced the purchase of the former ROCK ISLAND Casino Boat.

A new name, fitting a New Orleans vessel, has not yet been selected.

Stevens said that the former casino boat, located in Illinois, will be towed to New Orleans to be completely renovated.
Stevens said that the boat is 189' long and 55' wide with three large enclosed passenger decks, and a beautiful shear to her decks resulting in a lovely exterior appearance. She will be licensed to carry 1,000 passengers. The boat will have a full service kitchen and bars.

The boat will complement the Steamboat NATCHEZ running harbor and dinner cruises and private charters. Because the boat will have a much larger interior capacity than the NATCHEZ, she will be able to accommodate larger charters, special events, concerts, dance cruises and shows.

The boat will berth at the lower end of the Riverfront Park adjacent to the Steamboat NATCHEZ. The company leases this berthing spot, on a long term basis, from the Port of New Orleans. The boat will begin sailing in New Orleans in late 2017, following the renovation. The Company will act as general contractor for the renovation along with marine architect, Andy Lebet of DeJong & Lebet.

Celebrating its 41st anniversary this year, the Steamboat NATCHEZ first sailed in New Orleans in 1975. In addition to the NATCHEZ, the New Orleans Steamboat Company has owned and operated the Sternwheeler COTTON BLOSSOM, the Riverboats PRESIDENT, MARK TWAIN, BECKY THATCHER, M/V JOHN JAMES AUDUBON and the AUDUBON EXPRESS in New Orleans and the Sternwheeler P.A. DENNY at the 1984 World's Fair.