Time for a bit of "gee whiz" from the "good old days"
I was looking through my filing cabinet of DQ brochures (long story why, not important here) and ran across my file "ISS Cruise" from 1990. Back then I was a member of the "International Steamboat Society" and found out the DQSCo had deals for folks who booked groups on the boats. I started to arrange this, but it was taken from my by the magazine's publisher's wife. Sad to say, she never got it going, and the publisher both apologized to me and regretted the move--they had never dealt with promoting such a thing; while I hadn't exactly, I was raised in a resort and was used to helping folks plan vacations. We'll never know if I would have succeeded. The ISS was (maybe still is) a group of small steam launch owners and fans, so they would be very interested in the steam part of the DQ, besides enjoying a week of steamboating without having to scrounge firewood, etc!
However, the information is interesting. The initial handout I had prepared was for St Louis to Cincinnati (June 1 to 6, 1990); a six day, five night trip featuring: Reduced fares because "by booking the entire boat for this cruise, we have arranged for a special discount" Hmm, wonder what I and DQSCo was thinking? Me book the entire boat?? Well, it was an "international" society. Also: Engine room tours and Pilot house tours. Stops planned at Cape Girardeau and Louisville. Other Steamboater's specials included the River Museum at Cape Girardeau, and a cruise and engine room tour of the Belle of Louisville. My "closer" was "LIMITED SPACE AVAILABLE only room for 180 people--plan to book well in advance."
I don't see nay lists for prices (rats, that would have been interesting), but there is also a flyer for a March 22-31, 1991 DQ spring Cruise tour sponsors by a travel agent in Chico. The bunk room rate for this trip was $2085 and included transportation to and from Chico; 6 nights aboard the DQ, 2 nights at Hotel Maison DuPuy in NOLA's French Quarter, one night in Sacramento Host Inn (probably because the outbound flight was at dark-thirty), Brunch at Brennan's and Dinner at Arnaud's in NOLA, a three hour city tour of NOLA and all insurance (baggage, cancellation, & accident). Proceeds to benefit the Chico Museum Association. Hmm, says you'll be back in Chico in time to have Easter dinner with your family. Ah--does not include shore tours, port fees of $10 and tips. (Why they didn't include the simple port fees is odd!) To upgrade to twin beds: $162, and deluxe outside $423 (old nomenclature, E, D, & C)
Ah, a handwritten note just fell out: 15 passengers makes a group, 10% off published price, plus 1 "tour conductor" for each 15 passengers--max 4 per trip.(I think this was the "free" ticket person). While the DQSCo would provide brochures, etc, all marketing and ticket distribution was to be done by the sponsor.
There's lots of separate pages of info on the boats, engines, etc. The sheet on "Backgrounder: The Mississippi Queen" reads:
"The Mississippi Queen, the grandest steamboat ever built, was commissioned on July 5, 1976, in Cincinnati, Ohio. The ceremony marked the end of ten years of planning, design and construction of this majestic steamboat. It marked the beginning of a new era in American travel.
The Mississippi Queen joined her sister steamboat, the legendary Delta Queen, in offering passengers a relaxing Steamboatin' Vacation, recapturing our rich history while traveling America's great rivers.
The Delta Queen Steamboat Company conceived the building of a new paddlewheeler because of successive, near-capacity years of operation of the Delta Queen. From the outset, the intent was to build the largest, most spectacular steamboat over to grace America's rivers. The Mississippi Queen is truly the grandest steamboat ever built; she is 382 feet long, 68 feet wide and rises seven decks high.
The design of the Mississippi Queen was done by many of the finest craftsmen in the world. The exterior was designed by James Gadner of London, designer of Cunard's QE II. The interior was designed by the international firm of Welton Becket and Associates Architects, New York.
Builder of the Mississippi Queen was Jeffboat, Inc., Jeffersonville, Indiana, where more than 4800 steamboats were constructed in the 19th century."
It goes on to detail the exterior and interior features, including an interior redecoration in 1986.
Just thought you might enjoy this glimpse into the past.
David D.