*RE: Aternative Idea/New spin.
Morning, steamboating colleagues,
Jim Reising and Russ Ryle offer intriguing ideas for reviving a once famous packet boat route for possible future cruise passengers. Jim right about the Cincinnati-Louisville route being possibly the most financially successful run of boats in the United States in addition to interesting towns along the way. But in those palmy years it was the lucrative freight business with passengers that paid off. Beauty of our Ohio/Mississippi/Tennessee River valleys [and other tributaries] just as beautiful even if without the castles, vineyards of the Rhine River and other European river valleys. Jim Reising mentions CITY OF PEORIA and TWILIGHT with two day cruises. Judy Patsch has mentioned, promoted these novel cruises for some years now as an alternative to increasingly more expensive overnight cruise boats with no return ever to what we knew on the DQ years ago. I have no idea what the present status is RE: the DELTA QUEEN exemption process other than hearing/reading some reports; other comments from 2nd and 3rd hand sources. But that's not the real issue here. Remember, Capt. Tom Greene back in 1946/'47 was counseled NOT to purchase the DELTA QUEEN but, rather, to begin anew with a totally new boat from hull up with larger passenger cabins, amenities, diesel engines for economy. Tom went with the DQ as he needed his new boat up and running in spite of latent World War II shortages of building materials, equipment to get his business running in tandem with the existing GORDON C. GREENE.

Years later Betty Blake claimed in discussions that the company could make money for sure with the DELTA QUEEN running shorter trips from Cincinnati either down or up river focusing on 'runs' from say Friday PM to Monday AM to capture the weekend trippers; then say Monday PM to Friday AM for those wanting a little longer trip but not a full week or more. Betty even whispered to me off hand, "This may be my bread and butter but I never want to spend more than five days on any riverboat." OUCH! Jim Reising and others know one of the most financially successful trips were the 7 day R/Ts from Cincinnati to Kentucky Lake and return leaving on Saturday PM, returning on Saturday AM for a full week. Passenger departed, arrived in the same port without the later issues of one way to a port with logistics returning home. The then 10 day Pittsburgh and Reelfoot Lake trips also popular with even a Cincinnati to Cairo trip. This one tough business for sure. Mrs. Letha Greene, in a side comment to me years ago said, "The steamboat business one of the hardest to be in with running a marine operation with a boat like this, food/beverage, entertainment, crew, scheduling and logistics--and I inherited every one of them." [Meaning when her husband Capt. Tom Greene passed away suddenly in 1950]. From what I see AMERICAN QUEEN, ACL, with others possibly in the wings, apparently are doing something right or near right. An intriguing idea proposed above. Who knows?

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