Docked at Indian Ranch, The Indian Princess is a modern day replica of the grand riverboats that plied the Mississippi River in the late 19th century. Cruising out of Webster, MA, she is one of the few authentic paddlewheel riverboats still in operation in the United States today. In keeping with early traditions, she was built with stern wheels that are her only means of propulsion. The Indian Princess has split stern wheels each ran by a twin diesel engine that powers hydraulic motors to turn the paddles. This is in contrast to most Mississippi River paddle wheelers in operation today that have a “freewheeling” paddle wheel at the stern of the boat for the visual effect but have traditional screw type engines hidden for their real means of propulsion.
There are two decks aboard the Indian Princess to enjoy while on her cruises, the open-air upper deck, which is partially covered by a canopy, and the climate-controlled Princess Dining Room on the lower deck. In the Princess Dining Room, there is also a full bar, the galley, two heads, and a 42” flat screen TV. There’s no need to worry that you’ll miss the beautiful views from below, as the dining room is lined with large windows, including a window behind the bar allowing you to see the red paddle wheels working their magic. The Indian Princess has been inspected by the U.S Coast Guard and her official capacity is 125 people.
In addition to public cruises, the Indian Princess can be chartered for private occasions such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, corporate parties, and memorials. You can rent just the boat with crew or work hand-in-hand with the event coordinator, who can help with planning every aspect of the occasion. The boat can be privately booked for any day and can be rented for 2 to 3 hours at a time.
The Indian Princess was built in 2000 by Skipperliner Industries in La Crosse, WI, and originally ran under the name La Crosse Queen V. For five years, Skipperliner used the boat as a display and then as one of their daily cruise boats that went down the Mississippi River.
In 2005, Watts Bar Riverboat Company, out of Kingston, TN, purchased the La Crosse Queen V paddlewheeler and renamed her Watts Bar Belle. She ran on the Watts Bar Lake until December of 2008 when the horrible toxic coal ash spill from the Kingston Fossil Plant sent one billion gallons of toxic materials into the Watts Bar Lake and surrounding waters. This spill brought the riverboat business to a standstill and the Watts Bar Riverboat Company would and could not even start the engines of the boat, as water from the lake was used to cool its engines and a generator. The riverboat was safely moved to Lenoir City, TN in 2009. However, the company was unable to generate the following it had in Kingston leading it to put the Watts Bar Belle up for sale in 2011.
It was in 2011 that the Watts Bar Belle riverboat was purchased by Webster Ventures and renamed her the Indian Princess. The Indian Princess was docked in Fort Myers Beach in April of 2012. She left for her journey to Webster, MA in April of 2013. She now hosts tours of Webster Lake that leave from Indian Ranch.
Now booking private events, bus tours, and charters for 2023, email [email protected]
For general Indian Princess inquiries, email [email protected] or call our box office at 508.943.3871.