October 10, 2001
While most cruise lines are busy rearranging itineraries so that they can offer more closer-in-based voyages, Delta Queen Steamboat and its sister line Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, which already market to that niche have announced some “streamlining.” In other words, due to lesser demand, Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, whose new-this-year Cape May Light plies the east coast, will cancel three trips this year. In addition, Cape May Light’s planned winter itineraries in Mexico and Belize have also been eliminated, resulting in the loss of another seven cruises. That ship returns to service on April 6, out of Charleston, South Carolina. The launch of Cape Cod Light, currently under construction in Jacksonville, will still occur but the ship’s first cruise, scheduled for April 20, has been canceled. Instead, Cape Cod Light’s maiden voyage launches April 27. Delta Queen Steamboat’s fleet with also curtail some sailings by extending scheduled maintenance. Delta Queen, scheduled for a February dry dock, will leave service on January 5, returning on March 22; seven cruises are canceled. American Queen, which was scheduled to be out of service in January will extend that period until returning March 16; a total of eight cruises canceled. And Mississippi Queen¹s canceling one cruise (January 28). Only Columbia Queen, of the line¹s four-ship fleet, stays on schedule as planned. Delta Queen, both the river and ocean-going varieties, has struggled to attract cruise passengers during the winter months, finding that they draw far more interest in spring, summer and fall. The cruise line is also altering itineraries beyond the short-term; Delta Queen Steamboat will offer more shorter cruises (cutting seven day trips from 24 to 13) and increasing three-to-six night voyages from five to 19. This begins in late May and runs through November 2002.