A St. Louis riverboat is for sale on eBay

The Admiral Excursion Boat on the Mississippi, St. Louis, MO as seen on a postcard from 1954


JEREMY HOBSON: Interested in buying at 100-year-old riverboat? If so, you have a few more hours to act. The S.S. Admiral, once the icon of the St. Louis riverfront, is up for grabs on eBay.

From St. Louis Public Radio, Adam Allington explains why.

ADAM ALLINGTON: Since it maiden voyage in 1907 the Admiral has worn a variety of hats, including rail road ferry, pleasure cruiser, disco...and finally casino. Prior to the Arch, that Admiral was among the biggest attractions on the St. Louis riverfront. But those days are long gone. The casino closed in June and its furnishing are being sold.

BILL KLINE: She's being recycled, its part of the tradition of the river, that we don't throw things away.

Bill Kline is a consultant overseeing the removal of the Admiral from its riverside berth. Some St. Louisans still cling to hope that the ship might be reborn once again, as museum but in this economy, Kline says scrap value may be the Admiral's biggest asset.

KLINE: People I understand have attachments to ships, but, at some point its not a ship anymore and I guess in my mind its when she doesn't have a crew, she doesn't have a soul and when she doesn't have a propulsion system she doesn't have a heart. The heart and soul of this vessel left a long time ago.

The buy-it-now price on Ebay lists the Admiral at a million and a half dollars. The bidding closes at noon central time. However if the offers aren't high enough a live auction will be held later today.

In St. Louis, I'm Adam Allington for Marketplace.


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