Delta Queen Purchase Finalized

February 18th, 2015 Franz Posted in Delta Queen Comments Off on Delta Queen Purchase Finalized

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, a Delaware limited liability company, Tuesday completed the purchase of the Legendary Steamboat Delta Queen from TAC Cruise, LLC (aka Xanterra Cruise, LLC) a Delaware limited liability company.

The legendary Delta Queen began service as an overnight passenger vessel in 1927, carrying passengers, cargo and automobiles between Sacramento, Calif. and San Francisco, Calif. After a brief period of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the vessel was sold as war surplus to Captain Tom Greene, owner of the Greene Line Steamers of Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1946 to 2008, the Delta Queen operated as an overnight cruise vessel along many of the prominent river and waterways running through America’s heartland, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Arkansas Rivers. Later on, the vessel operated as a dockside hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn. from 2009 until 2014.

“My partners and I are thrilled to be taking this critical first step toward the preservation and restoration of this important piece of American and river history,” said Cornel Martin, President and CEO of Delta Queen Steamboat Company. “We look forward to the day when the Delta Queen will once again be able to ply America’s waterways and allow passengers to relive the experiences of Mark Twain and his unique cast of river characters from the decks of a true 1927 steamboat.”

The Delta Queen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is classified as a National Historic Landmark. The steamboat has also recently been designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a National Treasure.

“Our goal is to have the Delta Queen return to cruising America’s waterways in 2016 following extensive mechanical and hotel renovations,” said Martin.

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Exemption bill H.R. 1961 in favor of the Delta Queen passes House of Representatives

September 26th, 2013 Franz Posted in Delta Queen Comments Off on Exemption bill H.R. 1961 in favor of the Delta Queen passes House of Representatives

The passing of bill H.R. 1961 in the House of Representatives is a major step in the the direction of bringing the Delta Queen back on the rivers as a cruise ship. On Wednesday, September 25th 2013, the House has approved the bill that would grant the historic Delta Queen a 15 years exemption from a fire-retardant materials construction requirement. Rep. Steve Chabot of Cincinnati, who was fighting for the Delta Queen for many years now has led the now successful motion in the House.

The House voted 280 to 89 in favor of the Delta Queen with almost all Republicans voting with “yea”, while Democrats voted 82 to 84 against the bill.

The bill now has to pass Senate, where the Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown [Ohio] leeds the efforts which co-sponsors Sens. Rob Portman [R-Ohio], Mary Landrieu [D-La.], and David Vitter [R-La.]. After passing the Senate the bill eventually has to be signed by President Barack Obama who as a Senator had been supportive of the Delta Queen exemption back in 2008/2009 but didn’t actively support the case while running for president.

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Delta Queen might return to the rivers in 2014

May 10th, 2013 Franz Posted in Delta Queen Comments Off on Delta Queen might return to the rivers in 2014

Efforts are under the way to bring the hisoric paddlewheel steamboat Delta Queen back on the rivers as a cruise ship in 2014. A group of potential investors and Delta Queen enthusiasts are planning to purchase the Delta Queen, halting current efforts to move the boat to the east or west coast to permanently serve as a dockside hotel.

Primary goal of this new efforts are to renew the Congressional Exemption allowing the Delta Queen to return to overnight passenger cruise service; To restore and upgrade the DQ (including replacement of the 1919-era boilers), so that she can once again provide river enthusiasts the unique opportunity to visit America’s heartland from an authentic early 20th century paddlewheel steamboat; And to return to the DQ to overnight passenger cruise service in 2014.

DQSC, Inc. is assembling a special crew to help to rescue, restore and preserve the legendary steamboat Delta Queen and is offering membership of the Honorary Crew of the Steamboat Delta Queen to fund the efforts to save the Delta Queen. Honorary Crew Member‘s status will range from „Deckhand“ ($ 1.000) to „Commodore“ ($ 50.000) and come with various benefits, immediately and when the Delta Queen eventually runs again, including free stays at the Delta Queen hotel, free cruises and guaranteed Captain’s table reservations on these cruises.

See save-the-delta-queen.org for more details.

The DQSC, Inc. effort is being lead by former Delta Queen Steamboat Company Vice President Cornel Martin who spearheaded the last successful effort to secure the Congressional Exemption extending the DQ’s overnight river cruise service from 1998 to 2008, current Delta Queen Hotel operators and care takers Randy and Leah Ann Ingram, and long time Delta Queen supporter Phillip Johnson.

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Delta Queen will stay at Chattanooga

December 11th, 2012 Franz Posted in Delta Queen Comments Off on Delta Queen will stay at Chattanooga

It has been a rumor for quite a while and now it’s official: The Delta Queen will not be sold to New Smyrna Beach, Florida, as a permanentely moored hotel ship. Local investor Wayne Heller has pulled out of negotiations to buy the historic paddlewheeler for this purpose after he was not able to get the final okay for this project from the City of New Smyrna Beach.

Wayne Heller said, the city „missed a tremendous opportunity“ while steamboat activists willing to save the Delta Queen in her original form as an operation riverboat are relieved that the deal fell through. Heller’s plans where to modify the Delta Queen in a way that made it almost impossible to bring the Delta Queen back as a cruise ship any time later. Also there was lots of concern regarding the potential future location of the Delta Queen in a salt water environment and very much exposed to hurricanes.

New Smyrna City Manager Pam Brangccio told the Daytona Beach New-Journal she thinks Heller bailing out oft he Delta Queen deal doesn’t have much to do with the city but said „he’s not buying the boat because oft he cost involved with renovating the boat. […] It was a business decision on his part to not purchase the boat.“

The Delta Queen will now stay at Chattanooga, Tennessee, where she’s been since 2009, being operated as a hotel, lounge and restaurant while being maintained and kept in a fully operational status with a lot of help from volunteers and former employees oft he Delta Queen Steamboat Company respectively Majestic America Line.

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