THE YEAR IS 1807—amidst the apex of the Industrial Revolution—and the almighty steam engine’s popularity is rising exponentially. Majestic vessels, each powered by two gargantuan paddlewheels, transport freight and passengers along the Hudson and Mississippi Rivers left and right. In today’s contemporary world of jet skis, lavish yachts and cruise ships taking over the ocean’s expanse, a paddlewheel boat surely stands out among the waves; The Anna Maria Princess brings vintage beauty to the Floridian neck of the woods. Originally named “La Crosse Queen” and birthed in La Crosse, Wisconsin in 2002, the ship eventually ventured to Pickwick Lake, Tennessee, where she was renamed Pickwick Belle and spent her time entertaining passengers commercially along the Tennessee River, the largest tributary of the Ohio River. Not all rivers lead to the ocean, but this paddlewheel charter’s voyage took her from freshwater to saltwater. Retrofitted with 12 tons of air conditioning, bow and stern thrusters and special insulation in the ceiling and lower deck, Pickwick Belle’s 3-week journey took her down the Tom Bigby waterway, to Mobile, Alabama, and then to Tampa Bay. The newly renamed Anna Maria Princess had traveled approximately 1,200 miles, and was ready for her next maritime chapter.  Harbored in Bradenton Beach Marina, the Princess’s two decks can accommodate up to 80 passengers for a daily cruise, or up to 125 for special occasion charters, private parties and weddings. During a given tour, guests aboard the paddlewheel wonder can anticipate views of wildlife such as dolphins, manatees and birds, historic Cortez, Jewfish sandbar and the extraordinary homes along the island.