Harrison County

Get a feel for old Biloxi on annual History Cruise

The historic Pan American Clipper excursion boat will take history buffs on a cruise to learn about the city’s past from notable people who lived it.
The historic Pan American Clipper excursion boat will take history buffs on a cruise to learn about the city’s past from notable people who lived it. Courtesy Ship Island Excursions

The sixth Biloxi History Cruise will set sail Sept. 9 aboard the Pan American Clipper. Tickets are expected to sell out in less than a day.

Seven speakers will tell what it was like to grow up in Biloxi; live on Deer Island; be part of Barq’s root beer history; and fly to the moon.

The number of passengers is limited by the size of the historic Pan American Clipper, which was built in 1937. It will be docked at the Point Cadet Marina behind the Golden Nugget Casino, said Errol Bradley, chairman of the Biloxi Bay Chamber of Commerce’s Culture & Heritage Committee.

Boarding will begin at 5 p.m. for the 5:30 p.m. departure. In case of bad weather, the cruise will board at noon Sept. 10.

The two-hour cruise includes a shrimp dinner with beer, wine and other beverages.

Speakers will be Louis Skrmetta, third-generation boat captain and CEO of Ship Island Excursions; Susan Hunt, granddaughter of the original owner of the Isle of Caprice — a resort built on an island in the Sound south of Biloxi, which sank into the Gulf when the island disappeared; Robert “Bones” Barq, a fourth-generation member in the family of Barq’s root beer; Fred Haise Jr., naval aviator, fighter pilot, test pilot and NASA astronaut who grew up in Biloxi and flew on Apollo 13 moon mission; Beverly Moran, daughter of Biloxi artist Joe Moran and great-granddaughter of Biloxi’s “Mad Potter,” George Ohr; Edmond Boudreaux, local historian and author of three books, who will speak on French Colonial Biloxi; and Alvin Baker, who was raised on Deer Island with his four brothers.

Tickets are $60 and available by contacting the Biloxi Bay Chamber at 435-6149, info@biloxibaychamber.org or at the chamber office at the Biloxi Visitors Center between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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