Delta Queen Cancels American Queen's 2006 Season

January 11, 2006

The ramifications of Hurricane Katrina continue to play out in the cruise industry with the latest news that Delta Queen Steamboat Company, which operates three ships on the rivers of America's heartland, will cancel American Queen's entire 2006 season.

That ship, which has for the past few years sailed mainly Lower Mississippi itineraries out of its New Orleans home port, was slated to return to service on May 30.

Schedules for Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen, whose seasons begin on April 21 and April 23 respectively, are unchanged.

American Queen, which is currently under charter, will assume a stationary position at the cruise line's Robin Street Wharf pier in New Orleans when that assignment is complete.

What ultimately fueled the decision, according to a company statement, is the fact that as a result of the hurricane's impact on the areas served by American Queen in the Lower Mississippi, it would move that ship to itineraries served as well by Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen -- calling at places such as Memphis, St. Louis, St. Paul, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh on the Ohio River, and Nashville and Chattanooga on the Cumberland and Tennessee rivers. While there was enough demand to fill the two ships that usually sail these runs, there wasn't, alas, extra demand that would fill a third.