From Our Editors
Floating across the surface of Lake Conroe, the Southern Empress might as well be drifting back in time. The ship perfectly resembles a nineteenth-century sternwheeler riverboat, with two 18-foot paddles churning the water behind it. Inside the three sprawling decks, chandeliers gleam against embossed tin ceilings, and accents of brass and velour flaunt the same Victorian style as the floral carpets.
The boat does boast some modern amenities, however—two of its decks are climate-controlled, which means that its signature cruises can run year-round instead of stopping during iceberg-mating season. They can also head outside to the split-level third deck, which affords the best view of the lake and surrounding forest. Hosts for special engagements, such as weddings or corporate parties, can even reserve this scenery for themselves during private charters.