Bama Belle Suspends All 2020 Voyages
Tuscaloosa's own girl, The Bama Belle is unfortunately suspending all operations for 2020. This was announced on her Facebook.
"The Bama Belle will not reopen in Tuscaloosa in 2020. Thank you to those who loved her. It was a lot of fun. BAMA BELLE out"
A dear Tuscaloosa staple that will be missed. Her is some history I pulled from her website.
The Bama Belle is a riverboat attraction docked at Medeiros Point on the Black Warrior River at 1 Greensboro Avenue in Tuscaloosa. Operating since 2001 as the first attraction along the Tuscaloosa Riverwalk, the Bama Belle offers sightseeing tours and can be rented for private events.
The boat was originally constructed in 1970 by the Dubuque Boat & Boiler Company in Dubuque, Iowa. Prior to coming to Tuscaloosa, the riverboat was utilized at Opryland in Nashville, Tennessee and known as the Captain Ann and later moved to Destin, Florida, and known as the Emerald Queen. The boat was brought to Tuscaloosa by Mike and Nikki Medeiros, and opened in September 2001 as the Bama Belle after being re-documented and re certified by the United States Coast Guard.
Thad Garner purchased Belle in 2013, but Belle was in need of many repairs, including the engine coolers located under the boat. The only way to complete these repairs, would be to lift the boat out of the water. Obviously, this is a very large task and cannot be completed in Tuscaloosa. The only way to do this is to take the boat to Mobile, AL to the dry dock.
In 2015, Craig Dodson purchased Belle. Craig, being mechanically minded, knew that he could complete the repairs himself. Craig repaired the boat and headed towards Mobile. While in Mobile, the engine coolers were repaired along with other various repairs. The US Coast Guard inspected the underneath of the boat, and she passed.
At this time, Belle is operating under Captain Craig Dodson's command.
With great history can only bring a bright future, let's hope 2021 will be her year!