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Answer Man: No worries, new Queen arrives next year

The Queen of the Mississippi moves to the Pacific Northwest next year, but a different boat will be christened the Queen and will ply the big river next season.

Ol' Man Answer Man, is it true that the American Queen is gone for good from the Mississippi River? If I had known that, I would have taken my kids over there last weekend to see it one last time.

The American Queen isn't gone (and it wasn't on the Upper Mississippi last weekend) — it's the Queen of the Mississippi t hat's rollin' along this year and will move to the Pacific Northwest next year.

But wait — that's not quite correct, either. I called American Cruise Lines, the Connecticut-based cruise ship company, and they say the boat now known as the Queen of the Mississippi will be renamed the American Pride and will move to the Columbia and Snake rivers next year. The boat now known as the American Eagle will be rechristened Queen of the Mississippi and has a full schedule planned on the Mississippi next year.

If I'm keeping my boats straight, the current Queen of the Mississippi was built in 2012, looks like an old Victorian-era sternwheeler and accommodates 150 passengers. It claims to have the largest staterooms of any boat on the big river. The "new" Queen is about the same size and was launched last spring. For information, call 800-460-4518.

The American Queen, for the record, is owned by the American Queen Steamboat Co. and claims to be the biggest riverboat ever built, as well as "the only authentic overnight paddlewheel steamboat in America."


Dear Answer Man, my wife and I love your daily column. It's one of the highlights of the daily paper for us.

My question is, can you please tell my why all the CapX 2020 poles look so rusted? Is that the way they will look long-term? — Bill C.

Thank you, Bill, I love my column, too. It's the first thing I turn to when I open the paper as well.

The CapX towers do look rusty. Grant Stevenson, senior project manager for Xcel Energy, says they're made of "weathering steel. When exposed to weather, this type of steel develops a rusty-colored patina that seals in and protects the underlying steel from further rust. They will look this way for the long term."

Personally, I think it's a more natural look, preferable to the baby blue on other towers in the area, but there's only so much you can do to make those towers attractive.

I'll just repeat again, who tells you more about the nuts and bolts of CapX2020 than the Answer Man?

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