Mississippi Queen's December 5, 2005 through February 26, 2006 departures have been canceled; the ship will resume service with the March 4, 2006 departure. Delta Queen's November 28, 2005 through December 28, 2006 departures have been canceled. Delta Queen will resume service with the March 3, 2006 departure. In a statement, the company says it is "working with various government authorities to make not only the American Queen but the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen available from December thru February in the overall relief efforts for the Gulf Coast region, especially greater New Orleans."
Guests booked on the canceled sailings will automatically receive a full refund, which can be expected within 60 days. Those who wish to rebook may choose any of Delta Queen's 2006 sailings at 2005 rates; passengers who rebook will also be given a $100 per-person shipboard credit. More information about this option can be obtained by calling 800-543-1949.
Late fall voyages have not been canceled, but will be altered, in most cases swapping Memphis in for New Orleans. Changes are as follows:
November 3: This voyage will now end in Memphis instead of New Orleans; calls in Marietta, Henderson, Cincinnati, Cave in Rock and New Madrid replace visits to Natchez and Baton Rouge.
November 15: This voyage will now begin and end in Memphis with stops in Natchez, Vicksburg and Helena.
November 21: This voyage will now begin and end in Memphis with stops in Vicksburg and Helena, and a special two-day overnight stop in Natchez, Mississippi.
November 7: This voyage will now end in Chattanooga instead of New Orleans with calls in Cape Girardeau, Savannah, Paducah, Florence and Decatur.
November 14: This voyage will now operate from Chattanooga to Nashville with calls in Decatur, Savannah, Paducah and Dover.
November 21: This voyage will now operate from nasville to Memphis with calls in Dover, Cave in Rock, Paducah and New Madrid.
November 28: This voyage will now operate from Memphis to Memphis with calls in Vicksburg and Helena, and a special two-day overnight stop in Natchez, Mississippi.
Guests booked on altered sailings will receive assistance from the reservations department in changing air travel to accommodate new arrival/departure cities.
Many employees of the New Orleans-based cruise line (the company has relocated its offices to Buffalo, New York) lost their homes, according to parent company Delaware North. Delaware North has established the Delaware North Companies Hurricane Katrina Associate Relief Effort, Inc. (KARE) to provide relief to associates in need. Contributions can be made online here. Passengers who wish to contribute all or part of the refund of their canceled cruise to this cause may do so by e-mailing their name and phone number to DQSC1@dncinc.com, or by calling 800-543-1949.
For other ways you can help the hurricane relief effort, please click here.