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Steamboat for Sale

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    Steamboat for Sale

    Steamboat for Sale - Article in National Trust for Historic Preservation yesterday, reports that broker PKF Capital has the DELTA QUEEN listed for sale for $4.75 million.

    Here is a link to the National Trust article: Steamboat for Sale

    Ambassadors engaged a broker firm long time ago to sell the DQ, but I'm not sure whether this has been PKFC (PKFC-HOTELS.COM) from the beginning or whether they switched to PKFC just recently. But anyway, at least it's new that the sales offer is public now and does have a price tag.

    If you've read the financial statements of Ambassadors International from a few days ago ( Insurance News - Item 2. Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations ), you'll even better understand my "The sooner someone else owns the Delta Queen, the better" comment in the NT article.

    Ambassadors has reduced its active business to Windstar Cruises with horrible numbers like only 64.2% occupancy in April, May, June 2010. It really doesn't look good for this company that still owns the Delta Queen (or, to be precise, Ambassadors owns the company that owns the Delta Queen).

    By the way, while eventually the Comtessa obviously has been sold, the Columbia Queen - citing the Ambassadors report - "was pledged as collateral with a credit card processer rather than placing additional cash deposits with the institution for the purpose of accepting credit card deposits from our customers for passenger ticket revenues."

    And don't miss the part where they discuss how to deal with depths due in 2012.

    This says a lot, doesn't it?



      Do The Math

      If 475 people forked over $10,000,
      or, 95 invested $50,000...
      even with the startup costs added in, which could be delayed....
      Such A Deal.

      Max out a few credit cards.

      Not kidding. This is very do-able.



        It is interesting to note yesterday (13 August 10) was also the 2nd Quarter stockholders meeting of Ambassadors. I listened in and was kinda surprized they weren't calling it quits. Looks like they have faith their revolving credit line and the reverse stock split will save them despite an eminent NASDAQ drop as of the 10th of September.

        (Ambassadors International, Inc. - Press Release ).

        (Webcast in its entirety)
        Ambassadors International, Inc. - Investor Relations Home

        It is also interesting to note Mr. Mark L. Detillion (CEO) mentioning in the webcast the name PKF Consulting as the firm who is to sell the DELTA QUEEN. An investor mentions the asset is being carried on the books at a value of $2.3 million, and wonders if they are truly marketing her.

        In researching PKF Consulting I have found the following

        Colliers International Hotels - Hotel Brokerage | Hotel Transaction Services

        Their name is Colliers International Hotels and has been for some time. The only reason they are keeping the PKF name is because of a merger several years ago. The other thing I notice is they have no listing of any hotel they have sold on any of their cornuicopia of websites. This leads me to believe (opinion here, not substanciated fact) they are not aggressively trying to sell her. As I have mentioned before, even the CEO of Ambassadors couldn't recall the ACTUAL name of the selling company in a webcast. It would bring one to wonder if they are actively trying to liquidate the asset if the CEO doesn't know the actual operating name of the firm he is contracted with to market it.

        Perhaps the listing was to satisfy stockholders of Ambassadors, as it is an income generating entity for them. Lets face it, as long as the lease of the boat to the group in Chattanooga continues, they are getting paid something for a boat they aren't maintaining OR using. They have 2 boats laid up in Oregon somewhere they aren't even trying to liquidate (CONTESSA and COLUMBIA QUEEN) and have to pay storage fees, taxes, etc on. So you'd think they'd sell them and leave the DQ to take care of her self as long as money were coming in.

        Of course you could think about this idea. What stands between their credit line and their NASDAQ listing? About $5,000,000.00 or their asking price for the DELTA QUEEN.

        This message is seasoned with speculation, fact, conjecture, and history (watching the AMCV crisis). Take from it what you will and quote it not in the face of anyone who is vested in any of the companies mentioned unless you do your own research (I have provided the links for you in this message) and advise all to whom you quote of your speculation, historic knowledge, fact, and conjecture!

        ALSO: I do NOT intend this message in ANY way to slam or say negative things about Ambassadors International, Delta Queen Hotel, PKF Consulting, Colliers International Hotels, or anyone involved in the unfolding story I am reporting on in this communique. It is merely the sharing of facts, speculation, conjecture, and a little bit of history.

        Like Dale says..."what do I know?"



          In a dreamy state I propose the following.

          Ambassadors needs cash...the COLUMBIA QUEEN needs a new owner, the DELTA QUEEN needs a new owner. Why not put the whole kit and kaboodle together and fix the whole thing at one time.

          Obviously the current Ambassadors situation has $5,000,000.00 tied to the CQ, and $2,300,000.00 to the DQ...why not buy them both and operate them out of Chattanooga? The temprature in Chattanooga is warm enough for the DQ to be a why not use her as a base to operate the CQ as a overnight riverboat. The crew quarters of the DQ aren't doing anything and they are the perfect place to operate a very small river cruise line from. Also, the DQ makes a stunning place to entertain potential guests. Chattanooga is full of things to do to wow tourists (music venues, the Tennessee Aquarium, Look out Mountain, Raccoon Mountain, the ball park...scads of things to do!). I see this as a win/win situation for both boats and about the cheapest way to build a perfect river cruise line any potential operator could dream up.

          Operating out of Chattanooga, New Orleans and the deep south are very easy to get to. So is the entire river system. With the Serodino yard over in Guild,TN., the CQ would have everything she needs. She is small enough to cover the DQ's old territory and about as elegant as they come. She is the right size to go up to Knoxville on the Tennessee and the head of navigation on the Kanawha, not to mention many other places only the DQ could go. Places not seen by an overnight boat since the Str. GORDON C. GREENE!

          The CQ is the perfect boat because of her look, luxuries, condition, modern efficiencies, and simple riverboat propulsion system. She would cost less to operate than some of the proposed operations coming to the inland rivers. You could easily add an air-operated whistle and calliope to her to give her that little extra ummmph that makes for a true steamboat styled vacation. She already meets SOLAS 2010, so no worries there at all!

          Now taking the dream farther...

          IF the new owner, in conjunction with people on THIS board could get an exemption from the Safety of Life at Sea Law for a guaranteed, river ONLY cruise route for the DELTA QUEEN with Union crews on both boats...the DELTA QUEEN could sail. She would still be able to have the cruise line office aboard her relying on modern technology (computers, broadband cards, internet accessibility, fax ability, etc.)...the office staff could work aboard the boat when sailing in various positions. Sailing would be best as a very short season (March to June/July) so she could be back in place in Chattanooga for the bigger events there. Can you imagine how quickly she'd sell out every year doing that? She'd pay for annual operations in just a few short months! Then you'd still be making money on her as a hotel and base of operations for the CQ which would be out making more money.

          As far fetched as it sounds...specially with all of these new upstart cruise lines coming to the river. The DELTA QUEEN name has a cache none of them could hope to borrow from. Just her name will sell tickets. Imagine a new DQSCo. with 2 of the original boats...still in excellent condition. I can't see how if managed correctly, it could go wrong.

          That is why I am further suggesting the vessel operations be handled 100% by the members of the towing industry. They know the rivers best and how to make them work for their money. NO more Cruise Line Operators, or 3rd party Consultants from the cruise industry....River people at the helm who understand the rules, operations, and daily life of a riverboat. This would lead to less problems in scheduling, better equipped personel to decide which landings could work and which could not, people who are knowledgeable of the nature of the waterways themselves!

          Okay...pick my dream apart...I am waiting to see why it won't work!



            That last paragraph about river people at the helm was something I was wishing for when I worked on the DQ umpty jillion year ago. River people of neccesity were at the helm on the boat, but the office was a different matter. All good ideas. I envision an owner/operator sort of thing, but someone has to take charge.


              Put Together a Proposal

              What did I tell you before... put a proposal together and present it to those who might be interested and who can afford all, or a part, of your idea. Talking on here amounts to the old saying of "preaching to the choir."

              Something I learned from a college VP, a short time ago, who said that 'when you have a proposal, and present it to those you feel would be the right ones, either they get on board, or don't"

              Personally, for starters, I would aim for towboat and casino companies. Worst they could say would be "No."


                There used to be a Windjammer Cruise line called Windjammer Barefoot Cruises. After the founder died, the company didn't last much after him. A group of regular passengers got together and founded a new company. They decided not to purchase any of the previous fleet, but they do offer something similar to the previous experience. The Captain of their vessel was one of the captains from the former company.

                Island Windjammers Inc, About Us page


                  Interesting to know. I rode the Fantome in '76, although I wore shoes. A former passenger did actually own the DQ and rescue it from oblivion, one Richard Simonton, but his ilk in the corporate world seem to have died off long ago. If there is a Simonton clone out there, he/she needs to come forward immediately.