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Still gracefully cruising the Mississippi and Ohio rivers after 96 years, a beautiful steamboat aptly named ?Belle? in Louisville, Kentucky is the oldest operational steamboat in the United States. Its remarkable state despite its age earned Belle of Louisville its National Historic Landmark status in 1989. This old-school, steam paddleboat still ferries people along the River Mississippi and is operated by the Louisville Metro Government.

The steamboat was originally named Idlewild after its construction in Pittsburgh. After its purchase by Jefferson County in 1963, the steamboat was given its present name. Its maiden trip as Belle was in a river race against the steamboat Delta Queen. The Belle lost, but it has endeared itself to the city, giving it a charm that will last for years. Aside from its traditional purpose, the steamboat is also available as a venue for weddings and other social events.
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