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    MAL officer want ad

    from the Feb. 5 Waterways Journal classified ads: CRUISE SHIP NOW HIRING NAVIGATION OFFICERS & ENGINEERS. Join the Nation's largest small cruise ship company! Majestic America Line operates authentic paddlewheel steamboats along the great rivers of our heartland & is currently accepting applications for the following positions: NAVIGATION OFFICERS: Mate Inland River Any Gross Ton; First Class Pilots licensed on the Lower Mississippi River mile 235.0 to 95.0 Above Head of Passes of not less than 4,000 gross tons. ENGINEERS: Asst. Engineers(all levels) with Steam Endorsement; Refer Electricians (EPA Tech Certification): QMEDs & Oilers. Pay ranges from $100 to $400 per day depending on position & license. Full medical & dental coverage offered after 30 days of employment; 401K after 90 days. Work schedule normally consists of 30 days on 30 days off. If interested, please contact: HR 1600 Park 370 Place, #9 St. Loius MO 63042.... email: or apply online at: (the 1st class pilot license stretch is from Baton Rouge to Toulouse St. in New Orleans)

    Farewell Delta Queen

    It is with a mixture of pride and sadness that I announce my retirement from the Delta Queen; I cannot really describe the emotions that I've experienced in the last few weeks as I have struggled to make this decision. The Delta Queen, and the Delta Queen alone has been my life, my mentor, my love for over 25 years. She has been a great teacher and guide for what was once a lost and wayward soul such as mine. As a child from a broken home and living in an orphanage, I used to look out the window and pray that God would give me an adventure, and I resolved to work harder than anyone to make the most of my life; little did I know that my wish would be granted in such a magnificent way! The day I walked aboard the Delta Queen I knew that my life was to change, that I was to be challenged, to grow, to learn. I was stupid and immature when I went aboard the first time, but the Delta Queen in her gentle wisdom sensed in me the need and desire to be a real part of something intangible such as that which she posessed in her wooden soul. She allowed me to learn, protected me when I made foolish mistakes, and delivered me to a place where a broken heart could finally find peace. There on her blessed decks, I experienced the most magnificent sunrises and sets, terrifying thunderstorms, and raging high,flowing currents, and tranquil summer afternoons. As a young man I learned to care for ill and injured guests and crew, and became intimate with every single tiny piece of this grand old boat, and wore myself to the bone tending to her every need through long seasons and cold lonely layups. Indeed for quite some time I thought what a shame it was that the knowlege that I and several of the others who have left since the new company took over would be lost; but I have begun to understand that it is natures way, the Delta Queens way of gently saying, " Go home now and rest; go home to your family whom I've given you, it's time for me to build a new family, who will love and care for me for many more years to come; go home son and stay; I'm going on ahead." You folks, above all others know exactly what I mean, and how I feel. You've been there with me and have grown and shared together this grand life, and having known you is the greatest gift any man could have ever been gifted with. We shall live together, forever etched in the spirit of the Delta Queen, where the sound of laughter of friends and the tinkle of champagne glasses will echo from the wooden walls, and down on the bow, the rush of the river will be heard as she pushes up the river on a moon lit night. On a rising river, north of New Orleans, there's a paddlewheeler, and through the night she steams, the full moon glows, the willows wave, the forest sighs, as the Delta Queen rolls by...
    Farewell my old friend, thank you for showing me life, for giving me my friends, my wife, my daughter. My you always sail a smooth river.

    Former Captain Mike Williams


      Capt. Mike We will miss you. We started our D.Q. adventure the same day you did and we are very proud of your acheivements thru the years. We will miss you.......enjoy your retirement. With love Matt & Sue Sisak


        All Deb and I can say is...Thanks Capt.

        Cruised with you more than any other, but each was unique and truly wonderful. Warm memories, great times! You never did get the Krause's up or down the Tenn-Tom, despite two aborted tries. Thanks for the great stories at PSSOA.

        You will be missed...a lot...

        With this touch of sadness I need to post my favorite picture of the old girl, a picture I nicked off the net, seems appropriate...

        Best of luck to you,
        Bruno and Debbie Krause
        Attached Files


          Thanks for the memories, Captain Mike!! And thanks for the beautifully written farewell. I will keep it with my other mementoes of past DQ trips.

          Wishing you all the best as you go forward to another chapter of your life and all the good you will find there.
          Pat Carr


            Capt. Mike, we'll miss you. You saved the Delta Queen more than once and everyone knows you love the DQ probably more than anyone else. Thank you for this, for all the great memories, for safely navigating the boats and for always standing for the safety and the pleasure of your passengers over marketing and other requests.
            Attached Files


              A long and two shorts Capt. Mike. It was a pleasure working with you.....


                Captain Mike,
                First of all I noticed your post was from 2:42 and there were no other posts when I left the office last night at 5:00 to head home. I'm sure there are others out there like me that keep a close eye on this message board that saw that post. But I assume, like I, they could not begin to gather their thoughts in order to tell you how they felt. I can tell you that I do not show emotions very much. And even though you had warned some of us last fall who were on your cruises that this was a possibility, I could not help myself as tears welled up in my eyes. There was no holding them back. I can also tell you that phone lines were buzzing last night as we "repeaters" talked to each other about what sorrow we felt. Oh Captain, you will be missed! But like any other changes in our lives where loved ones move away, we must let go and look for the good in the situation. We have to understand that this is best for you. You and Mrs. Williams and your daughter deserve only the best future after all you have given to us and the DELTA QUEEN. I, for one, certainly hope that you will take at least a couple vacations a year aboard our beloved boat. You just have to promise to let us repeaters know when that will be so we can have a Captain Mike reunion cruise! I certainly extend my best wishes to you and your family. Congratulations on a job well done! Now, I really would like to communicate a message to your privately. Could you please e-mail me at
                Jo Ann Schoen
                Last edited by Jo Ann Schoen; 02-07-2007, 01:24 PM.


                  Words are coming hard to me this morning which is very unusual. Capt Mike's retirement is truly the end of an era. His wonderful posts during the bankruptcy went a long way towards helping me keep the faith. The Redhead and I took our honeymoon on a DQ Cajun Christmas cruise with Capt Mike. A memory that I will cherish forever, and that I can still vividly replay in my mind is Capt Mike reading the Christmas Story from the Bible. It was a truly magical moment.

                  Thanks Capt Mike and may your retirement be everything you want it to be.



                    Like others, the words are not easily coming right now for me. I, and everyone else here, know what a professional you are as a ships' master. We all know your deep love for the DELTA QUEEN, and your concern for each of the passengers. We also know that we are feeling a void right now. It's a feeling of losing a friend, losing someone that cares so much for the old DELTA QUEEN, and someone that represents all of our feelings and makes them manifest while standing in charge.

                    Good luck, Mike, and thanks so much.


                      The Delta Queen Dream Maker has certainly done her magic yet again.

                      Though my tenure with the boats was short, my book project is still something I am working on. However, I can't wait to read YOUR book because I too found your writings after 9/11 and the bankruptcy very inspirational.

                      So, let us know when you are getting that book published that is there within you. Let us know how you and your family are doing. Your eloquently put wording about how the Delta Queen will continue to spin her magic as the paddlewheel turns is true. So, I salute you for your contributions to her legacy and look forward to hearing from you now and then.

                      Truly wish you the best for the future.


                        The first time I saw the Delta Queen was in the late 1940's when my gandmother took me down to the wharf in Louisville for a tour aboard the boat. I was a small kid then but that gleaming brass staircase stuck in my mind over the years.

                        From time to time, as I grew up, from either our family boat or the Sea Scout boat Zachary Taylor or just from shore, I would see the DQ on her way up or down river and during layovers at Louisville. It even appeared in some of the railroad films I had access to in making videos later in life. The DQ seemed like another world to me, a boat of millionaires and high living that was unattainable for me.

                        And so, it was many years later that I was finally able to book a cruise on her. But that turned out to be a very memorable event for JoAnn and I because, unknown to us beforehand, it turned out to be the 75th anniversary cruise for the DQ and the first cruise under Delaware North and Captain Mike Williams was in charge. It was just at 3 day NOLA-Baton Rouge round trip but it sure did bait the river cruise hook for my wife and I.

                        As many of you know, I made a video of that trip that has now changed into a time capsule in DQ history. The highlight of that trip was the very generous interview and description by Captain Mike who told much of the boat's history andt also his own experiences plus his hope for the future under DN. Now, just six years later, all of that is history and the Delta Queen will have to prove herself worthy to new owners that seem to care little about her heritage.

                        Captain Mike, we had hoped to see you again last September when we again cruised on the DQ, this time for 6 nights but as it turned out, you were off that week so we missed you. Let us join the others here who wish you and your family all the best on your next voyage in life. And thanks again for taking the time for the interview on that cruise to Baton Rouge.
                        I'll always appreciate it.

                        -Jim Herron


                          pat traynor

                          Captain Mike,

                          Another unforgetable event on that trip, was that Judy arranged to have the NATCHEZ come by and salute us during the birthday celebration - she came regally up river playing "I Ain't Down Yet", from "The Unsinkable Molly Brown" then turned around alongside of us and played "Happy Birthday". Another one of those steamboatin' moments, which we all know so well!

                          Thanks so much for giving us all those steamboating adventures, Captain Mike. I don't think that the old girl will survive very long without you and Dennis and the loyal DQ crew, who know her every ache and pain. I know that none of you made the decision to leave very easily. Thanks for the memories!


                            Thank you for your service, Captain Mike!

                            You have a wonderful way with words and with handling the str. DELTA QUEEN. We worked together just in 2006; you guided the boat into the locks without bumping the wall when I was on watch. During the dozens of times I held a bumper between the boat and a lock wall, it was rubbed only once and that was a gentle rub. Some of those times, the bow thruster was not working! But you brought her in smoothly, regardless. Those who were sleeping did not know what they were missing.

                            Perhaps you will come out of retirement for one more trip; I wish to be aboard when you do. It is not that uncommon; Commodore Ernie Wagner came out of retirement briefly in 1978; I transferred over from the MQ for that trip.

                            Yes, we did see some awesome sunrises. Attached are three sunrises from among the hundreds I shot from the roof when I finished my rounds as Watchman at 6:00.
                            Last edited by Bela Berty; 06-15-2007, 09:51 PM.