Delta Queen is officially back-in-action as Mississippi Queen, the first of the line’s three ships to begin sailing, debuted this week. It, along with Delta Queen and American Queen, had been bought up at auction last month for $80.4 million by Delaware North, a Buffalo-based company.
In other news relating to the late, lamented Delta Queen-U.S. Lines-American Classic Voyages company, which filed for financial insolvency following the events of September 11, America West Steamboat picked up the fourth river boat -- the Columbia Queen. Patriot was, of course, reacquired by Carnival Corp. which has leased it out to a UK-based charter operator. Work has begun again on the stalled Project America ships -- well, the first one, anyway -- which is on target for a September debut though by which cruise line at this point is a matter of speculation. Norwegian Cruise Lines has been fingered as a potential buyer.
Finally, still up for sale are Delta Queen spinoff’s newest vessels -- Cape May Light and Cape Cod Light -- and there are a handful of rumored bidders expressing interest; a spokesman for Uniglobe, the river tour company, declined to comment but the company had been interested in the Delta Queen vessels.