Thread: What Hubris!
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Old 03-22-2013, 11:47 AM
R. Dale Flick R. Dale Flick is offline
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio, U.S.A.
Posts: 1,573

Frank, Jim, Bob, Ted, Matt & Steamboating colleagues:
Thanks to Frank for finally 'dropping the other shoe' on rumors RE: VIKING RIVER CRUISES plans for a new American cruise vessel. VIKING, now the world's largest river cruise company, has some 35 vessels in service world-wide with an office in Wooland Hills, California. Other sources list newly 'refreshed' March 13, 2013 incorporation with the California Secretary of State, Dun & Bradstreet, Florida Department of State. Many of their vessels of that extreme 'low slung' look configured for low clearances on European Rivers. Other vessels they operate in China higher with multi-decks not much different than ACL's QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIP, minus the paddlewheel. What any proposed new VRC vessel design only the gods of Mt. Olympus know--at this point. Frank mentions "competition" but no doubt there could be a 'shake out' if the VIKING boat(s) do appear. We shall see.

Matt wins the prize SNICKER bar with the above proposed look for the then new DELTA QUEEN II. I remember seeing those plans with a near gasp and hush from the viewers. Then somebody popped up with, "Wait, how are they going to land her? That ship bow has no swinging stage." This meaning the high bow with the tumblehome configuration. Later our own John Fryant showed me a fine drawing of a new DQ by his hand and it was a beauty making more sense being somewhat modern but still with the old/new look.

But wait. The story goes back all the way to September, 1966. I have in my dusty boxes a remarkable set of 'new' plans along with old plans of the DELTA QUEEN when first built in Calofirnia. Capt. Clarke C. 'Doc' Hawley, GREENE LINE President Letha Greene, Richard Simonton, Jay Quinby, Bill Muster and GL Purser Bob McCann were schedlued to attend in mass the September S&D of Pioneer River meeting in September to unveil this earlier proposal. The then 'NEW' DELTA QUEEN appears here on my desk, with cover letters, the plans to remove the upper three-fourths of the DQ of wood with a new build in either steel or aluminum to comply with the Coast Guard standards then. These plans indicate the new decks with increased staterooms for added revenue upping her passenger capacity, lounges etc. No swimming pool is indicated. The 'cook house' modernized totally up on abaft the present Orleans Room. The grand staircase, Purser lobby shown but no indication of any of the classic wood paneling would be saved, installed on the new boat. "The old boat will cease to exist as such, and will be replaced by a new/old look." The business letters end with, "...boat will be safe enough for the Senate Maritime Committee to ride on."

Mrs. Letha Greene frequently wrote to me at my various military bases mentioning these new plans with a sublte [?] in her writing. The one who could write up one fine article with his memories would be Doc Hawley who was then Vice Pesident and General Manager for GREENE LINE STEAMERS in tandem with Mrs. Greene. That was a long time ago now. Well, what do I know?

R. Dale Flick
Coal Haven Landing, Ohio River, Cincinnati
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