The one where Priscilla Presley named an American Queen…

Elvis and Priscilla Presley on their wedding day

The ‘King of Rock n ’Roll’s’ former Queen was named the godmother of the Great American Steamboat Company’s American Queen last week.

Synonymous with the iconic ‘Graceland’ located in the American Queen’s homeport town of Memphis, Ms Presley will name the newest steamboat for the line in a christening at the revamped Beale Street Landing on 27 April featuring performances by local musicians along with the traditional champagne ceremony.

The daughter of an Air Force officer, Ms Presley met Elvis whilst attending high school in Germany. They married in 1967 after a lengthy courtship and divorced amicably in 1972 with Ms Presley becoming the co-executor of the Presley Estate two years after Elvis’ death on 16 August 1977.

In addition to her integral role with Elvis Presley Enterprises, Ms Presley is also the ambassador of the Dream Foundation that helps fulfil the dreams of adults suffering terminal illness.

“It is quite a thrill for Memphis as steam boating returns once again with the arrival of the American Queen,” Ms Presley commented.

“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.”

The Great American Steamboat Company hosted a job fair earlier this month at the Memphis Cook Convention Centre to hire more than 300 employees to work either onboard the American Queen or at its head office.

Expecting to create an annual economic impact of USD$89 million for the region, the steamboat will offer itineraries ranging from three to ten-nights up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers taking in ports including Henderson and Louisville, Kentucky and Madison, Indiana.

Pre or post-cruise accommodation in a luxury hotel along with all bottled water and soft drinks, beer and wine at dinner and complimentary shore excursions are included on each voyage.

The American Queen will take part in the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race with the Belle of Louisville and Belle of Cincinnati and has entered into an exclusive partnership with Elvis Presley Enterprises to host their first ‘Elvis Cruise’ from 30 November to 9 December.

Guests will arrive in Memphis for a pre-sailaway party at Graceland Plaza ahead of a unique evening tour of Graceland in all her festive glory. The ‘Elvis Cruise’ will then set sail on a seven-day itinerary down the Mississippi River to New Orleans with daily Elvis themes, activities and live entertainment.

“Priscilla Presley’s efforts leading Elvis Presley Enterprises exemplify both grace and dignity, two adjectives befitting the American Queen,” Great American Steamboat Company CEO Jeff Krida said.

“Both are stunning ambassadors to Memphis and we are humbled to bring our steamboat family and the Presley family together.”

Originally published for e-Travel Blackboard.

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