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Frank X. Prudent 03-22-2013 02:10 AM

What Hubris!
Seatrader Communications released on Thursday an interview with Viking River Cruise Line's Chairman of the Board Torstein Hagen. Hagen states that Viking plans on building in an American shipyard one of their "Viking long boats" to operate on the Mississippi River starting in 2015. The competition might be a good thing for the AMERICAN QUEEN, QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI, and American Cruise Line's new build. But I feel it was rather premature for COB Hagen to proclaim, "We can show the Americans what a river ship should really look like." I well remember a few years ago when MAL pronounced it was going to show the American cruise industry how to achieve the same lofty results. I guess that time will tell.

Jim Blum 03-22-2013 05:34 AM

Wonder if they will have a Calli-ope barge trailing behind?......maybe with Ingrid & Sahsa holding a pilot wheel between them.......hope their "long boat" will fit in a UMR lock, would be a shame to have to double lock the trailing Calli-ope barge.

Bob Reynolds 03-22-2013 06:23 AM

Makes me think of the design Bill Muster advocated in the very early 1970's, where pax could bring their cars along, etc. I can't remember where to see a picture of this proposed boat, but it must be out there on the 'net somewhere.

Ted Guillaum 03-22-2013 08:07 AM

Eyesore on The River
Have you looked at the photos of their barges on their web site? Talk about an eyesore on the river. And the quick look at pricing is from $500-$1000 a day. Good luck to Viking is all I can say.

Matthew Cooper 03-22-2013 09:47 AM

1 Attachment(s)
[QUOTE=Bob Reynolds;31498]Makes me think of the design Bill Muster advocated in the very early 1970's, where pax could bring their cars along, etc. I can't remember where to see a picture of this proposed boat, but it must be out there on the 'net somewhere.[/QUOTE]

You are thinking of the Delta Queen II

Bob Reynolds 03-22-2013 09:49 AM

That's the one, Matt! Thanks!

R. Dale Flick 03-22-2013 11:47 AM

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

Frank X. Prudent 03-22-2013 12:21 PM

[QUOTE=Matthew Cooper;31500]You are thinking of the Delta Queen II[/QUOTE]

If Viking would join forces with Xantera the name and look of the new boat could be DELTA QUEEN II. Cunard might balk if it's DELTA QUEEN 2. My prediction is that river folk will not be happy with either name!

Carmen 03-23-2013 08:56 AM

Anybody having any idea which shipyard would be able to build a river cruise ship?

The current fleet of longships is built at Neptun warf in Rostock/Warnemünde. Neptun belongs to Meyer in Papenburg (where they build the ocean going cruise ships - last one was the Norwegian Breakaway). Meyer won´t be happy to see that the plans and drawings might end up in a US wharf.

Nice is the wording that the vessel "will" be built in a US shipyard. I´d say it "must" be built... according to the Passenger Vessel Service Act plus the Merchant Marine Act (aka Jones Act) it must be built in the US, owned by US company/people, flagged US, manned by US crew (or permanent residents).

BTW any ideas where the River Explorer ended up? I assume it´s still for sale.


Lexie Palmore 03-23-2013 12:56 PM

The SS Viking Thing
I often wondered if Viking might try to get around to this side of the world. Now I have to wonder if they have communicated with the US Coast Guard and are aware of regulations most of us think of as onerous. But they have lots of dough and have dealt with places like China, so they are probably up to it. I don't expect their version of a Mississsippi Viking riverboat to look even remotely like those things of the past, not even so much as a cutesy fake smokestack. Like the calliope barge idea, though. Better save your nickels and doubloons, Judy, if you're even remotely interested.

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