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Alaska Beat

Ship that wrecked in Alaska may become floating boat hotel

  • Author: Craig Medred
  • Updated: September 27, 2016
  • Published July 20, 2012

The 360-foot cruise ship "Empress of the North" has a knack for shipwrecking. After her premiere in 2003, the five-deck replica of a Mississippi riverboat managed to run aground twice before traveling north to Alaska -- where she had yet another accident.

According to the Associated Press, in 2007 the Empress hit a charted reef near Admiralty Island in Southeast Alaska. The Empress, acting as a cruise ship at the time, was stabilized while its 248 passengers were evacuated to Juneau, some 50 miles east. Later, a National Transportation Safety Board inquiry found an inexperienced employee was given control of the helm was behind the incident.

But now, the Empress may see a whole new vista. According to The Commercial Appeal out of Tennessee, the ship has caught the eye of the city of Memphis as a possible floating hotel. Memphis Mayor A.C. Wharton told Commercial Appeal:

We have submitted a proposal and we have not heard or seen anything to indicate we've been dropped (from consideration). We did it because cities have to build on their strengths and not every city has a great waterfront like we do.

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