The appearance of the American Queen riverboat on the Hannibal riverfront Monday morning stirred thoughts of a bygone era for at least one person.

The appearance of the American Queen riverboat on the Hannibal riverfront Monday morning stirred thoughts of a bygone era for at least one person.

“I think it (American Queen) is neat. It makes me think about the old River Queen and some of them that used to go up and down here powered by steam,” said Marty Miller of Hannibal.

Miller was not the only person on the riverfront to check out the American Queen.

“I come down to see them every time they show up,” said Don White of Perry, Mo., as he hustled to catch up with his wife, Sheila, and three granddaughters.

White has made a point of seeing all the riverboats which dock in Hannibal.

“I like them all pretty equal,” he said. “This one is pretty nice.”

Catching a glimpse of the big riverboat was an added bonus for Hannibal visitors Roger and Carrie Monke of Bloomington, Ill.

“We’re just traveling back home. We’re coming back from St. Louis. We overnighted in Hannibal, getting ready to head back across the river, and thought we’d stop and see the ship here,” said Roger Monke.

And what did they think of the 418-foot long riverboat?

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Roger Monke.

“It’s beautiful,” added Carrie Monke.

Although the Monkes have never taken a riverboat cruise, after seeing the American Queen, Roger Monke said “I think we will” book a river trip in the future.

“Definitely,” added Carrie Monke.

While the Monkes are now considering taking their first river cruise, Bill and June Lahrman are no strangers to river excursions, previously riding the American Queen from Cincinnatti to Pittsburgh. This time the Lahrmans are part of a seven-night voyage that will end in Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn.

“It’s great,” said June Lahrman of the trip thus far.

The Lahrmans enjoy riding the riverboat.

“It’s just a relaxing time. There are fewer passengers so you can get to know people better,” said June Lahrman.

Because the Lahrmans live in Quincy, Ill., the American Queen’s stop in Hannibal didn’t provide a lot of surprises.

“I’ve been to Hannibal many times,” said June Lahrman.

However, for Dennis Swain, a native of Great Britain who now makes his home in Phoenix, Ariz., stopping in Hannibal was a treat.

“It is a little bigger than I thought. It looks to be a nice, little town,” he said.

For Swain, traveling up the river rekindled fond memories.

“I think it’s beautiful. It reminds me of when I grew up in England, in a little village. A lot of the things are the same. I grew up climbing trees and roaming the fields,” he said.

Swain was enjoying his time aboard the American Queen.

“My experience on the Queen has been excellent,” he said. “I’ve done lots of ocean cruises, but this is the first river cruise I’ve done and I’m pretty well impressed. Everything is just wonderful. I couldn’t wish for anything better.”

Among those on shore to greet disembarking passengers was Gail Bryant, director of the Hannibal Convention & Visitors Bureau.

“We’re very excited to see the Americn Queen,” she said. “It’s always wonderful to welcome visitors to Hannibal.”

Bryant reports encountering a number of people excited to be in America’s Hometown.

“We’ve had a lot of people very excited about being in Hannibal, wishing they could have more time in Hannibal and planning on returning. They’re looking forward to seeing what downtown has to offer,” said Bryant

While high water earlier this year prevented some riverboat visits, several remain, according to Bryant.

“I know for the month of August we have eight to 10 scheduled and it goes into September and October, so the season is just beginning,” she said, inviting people with questions about Hannibal to call the HCVB (573-221-2477) or visit online .