Queen’s Landing/Lake Cruises Inc started as a joint business venture in 1991 between close friends Jack Williams and the late Bud Lancaster. With the highest standards of food quality, freshness and seasonality, the duo wanted to combine both modern-creative and traditional southern styles of cooking for their customers. And, as evident in the cuisine served and the herb garden that sits in front of the entrance to the park, these ideals are still current in the mind-set of those operating Queen’s Landing today.
The Catawba Queen and Lady of the Lake both dock where the original ticket office was located and what was then at the end of a gravel road. The main office was at Big Daddy’s Restaurant where all of the reservations and pre-cruise customer service was handled. The Lancaster family also catered all food for the boats until 1997 when construction was completed on the facility now known as Queen’s Landing.
Also adding in the second floor banquet room and the much needed ticket office.
Queen’s Landing/Lake Cruises Inc was originally anchored by its primary attraction: the “Catawba Queen”. A custom designed replica of a Mississippi riverboat, the Catawba Queen was a “one boat show” offering cruises for sightseeing as well as for lunches and elegant dinner outings. Later, in 1998, a second riverboat, the “Catawba Belle” joined the family. Decorated to Mrs. Jack William’s specifications and taste, the Catawba Belle was graceful and stunning to all who road it until 2005 when it was retired to Arkansas and renamed “Miss Liberty”. And, in that same year the “Lady of the Lake”, a 90 foot luxury yacht took it’s place.
The Catawba Queen and Lady of the Lake are the only boats of their kind on Lake Norman that are Coast Guard certified making them sturdy enough to charter even the coastline.
Moving forward into the future Debbie Harwell, “Mr. Jacks niece” has assumed the ownership of the property after jacks passing this January. With the passing of the torch. Debbie has already started to coast into the position planning new and exciting things for this year.