Belle of Louisville, only authentic steamboat from the real steamboat era, will turn 100 years old in October 2014.
The steamboat operates with no modern navigation, steam powered, and paddle-wheel driven.
Louisville attracts more than 12.7 million international travelers and visitors, according to the Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.
Operators of the Belle of Louisville is depending on the tourist market, appealing to first-time visitors. “Just seeing the Belle makes you want to board her. This laid back ride back in time is a one of a kind attraction,” said Linda Harris, CEO of CEO for the Waterfront Development Corporation/Belle of Louisville.
Maximizing the Attraction
Harris suggests to ride the Belle in the heart to enjoy the ride. She also said local and Louisville residents come to enjoy the ride and the river on a yearly basis.
Worried about the weather, Harris pointed out that part of the sightseeing tickets are on the hurricane deck and weather dependent. The river boat can hold a capacity of 300-400 somewhere on the boat. If that does not work, head over to the gift shop and buy a rain poncho.
Lunch and dinner cruises are available for visitors. “The cruise, slow and easy with fresh air and riverboat sounds. Our engine room is original and on view for all passengers to visit. She is a living operating museum. Her engines were put on her used and date back to 1880’s – still going strong,” Harris said.
This family attraction requires children under 18 to be accompanied by an adult. The Belle’s peak season is Memorial Day to Labor Day. She cruises five months a season and boards 70,000 passengers a year.
This old-fashioned vessels requires no modern technology. Because she has no modern navigation the Coast Guard requires 12 vessel crew onboard to cruise. In addition to that are the food and beverage staff.
“The Belle is the oldest operating river steamboat in the nation, second in the world. She hold the distinction of the most traveled in history. She is a National Historic landmark, and icon for Louisville, and recognized worldwide,” Harris said.
Tip 1: It is a living museum. Take the sights of the riverbank.
Tip 2: Bring a camera to capture downtown Louisville.
401 West River Road
Louisville, KY 40202
For other ideas, visit Louisville Convention & Visitor’s Bureau at www.gotolouisville.com
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