African Queen Canal Cruise, Key Largo

4.2
The African Queen is the boat used in the 1951 movie The African Queen starring Humprey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. It is located in Key Largo, Florida. On February 18, 1992, it was added to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.HistoryThe boat was built of riveted sheet iron in 1912 in the United Kingdom for service in Africa on the Victoria Nile and Lake Albert where the movie was filmed in 1950. Originally named the Livingstone, she was built for the British East Africa Railway and used from 1912 to 1968. It spent most of its first 50 years operating in the waters of the Ruki River in the northern Democratic Republic of Congo where she was used to transport a mixture of hunters, mercenaries and cargo.According to an article on its 2012 restoration, it was built by Lytham Shipbuilding and engineering Co, as evidenced by the boiler plate and Lancashire records.The boat was found in Cairo, Egypt in the 1970s, with coal still in its bilges. Purchased and shipped to the United States, it has had a succession of owners and is currently held in trust. It was refurbished in 2012, including installation of an interior steel hull frame and new boiler, and restored to service as a tourist boat.
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African Queen Canal Cruise Reviews
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576 reviews
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4.4
TripAdvisor
  • We loved this trip. It wasn't cheap but we thought it was worth every penny. We were surprised to find that we were the only two on the boat which made the trip all the better! Our captain - I wish I ...  more »
  • Had a nice time in this old boat with a very knowlegdeable skipper! Made us want to watch Africa Queen all over again!  more »
  • This is the real deal! The boat driven by Bogie and Hepburn in John Huston's African Queen. Captain Brian was a pleasure. It was a thrill to hold the tiller and blow the whistle. Nothing beats chuggin...  more »
Google
  • For true fans of the classic John Huston film, this is a disappointing experience. Some kid (who's probably never seen the movie) reading facts about the boat from a 3-ring binder? Come on. Very little of the boat is original but it was still kinda cool to see, I guess. Save your $50 / person and go have a nice meal at Sol by the Sea instead.
  • There were only two couples on the dinner cruise. For those of us who love the movie this is an unparalleled delight. I couldn't believe the captain actually let us take a turn at the tiller. It made for a lovely evening.
  • We had a great time on the African Queen, as a fan of old movies the whole experience was a real treat. The Captain and his mate were very entertaining and informative guides...the trivia they have about the boat and the movie add to the uniqueness of this cruise. Very cool!
  • We took the dinner package tour and checking out this boat and actually taking a trip on it was SO cool. They use the steam engine (not the original, but close enough and same technology) and it sounded just like the movie with Bogie and Bacall, just really cool to be on this boat on the water. The dinner trip was great (Pilot House restaurant) except our guide hit some rocks and bottomed out on the way there, which was a bit concerning! We ended up liking the Pilot House so much we stayed there to check out the band and dance instead of going back on the African Queen, which I somewhat regret now. Definitely worth checking out this attraction and the long and windy story behind how it came to be.
  • Worth the stop. Very much enjoyed seeing her.

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Where to stay in Key Largo

The 53 km (33 mi) island is home to a wide variety of accommodations to suit different tastes and budgets. An ocean-view hotel room can be on the expensive side, and inland motels are considerably cheaper. You can enjoy close proximity to bustling restaurants and bars by booking a room near the marina. A house or condominium rental provides privacy and enables you to enjoy many of the comforts of home while on vacation.
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