The boat was constructed at its port at White River Landing and was launched on August 12, 1994. The boat was launched into Table Rock Lake on launching rails that were lubricated with two tons of bananas at a speed of 14 knots (26 km/h; 16 mph). The bananas were used for lubrication, because it was a biodegradable material that would not pollute Table Rock Lake like grease would have. The boat is claimed by its owner to be the largest ship on a landlocked lake in the United States.
Because of modern-day technology, it was possible to design the boat as a riverboat, while nineteenth-century showboats were designed as rectangular, flat-roofed structures with no power of their own, and were pushed along the river by towboats.
The Showboat Branson Belle, aground at Poverty Point, Table Rock Lake, December 12, 2010
On December 11, 2010, due to high winds that had come up suddenly, the Showboat Branson Belle ran aground while cruising on Table Rock Lake. The incident stranded 567 passengers and 76 crew members overnight.