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Delta Queen goes to Chattanooga, for now

Jan 27, 2009

Ambassadors International today announced that the Delta Queen will be leased to Chattanooga, TN, to operate as a floating hotel there.

Our mission is clear: We’ll continue to fight for the exemption so the Delta Queen eventually will be able to run as an overnight passenger vessel again as soon as possible. Ambassadors International says in the press release that they "will also continue pursuing a congressional exemption for the 82-year old vessel" and that they consider Chattanooga as a temporary place the the Delta Queen.

It seams to be a good thing that the Delta Queen is being taken care of at Chattanooga instead of laying on idle at New Orleans where she’s exposed to potential thiefs and vandals. Also, the Delta Queen will be accessible for visitors at Chattanooga and the press release also mentiones visitor tours, so there might be a great chance to see places like the engine room which never has been accessible to visitors or even passengers while she was operating as a cruise vessel.


13 Responses to “Delta Queen goes to Chattanooga, for now”

  1. Ryan Schnitzler Says:

    This is sort of good news. I am glad that she won’t be left in New Orleans to rot away and be fodder for the next Hurricane. I am encouraged that Ambassadors International has stated that they intend to gain excemption from SOLAS which I hope that they can achieve with our help. I just wonder if they will tow her to Chattanooga or Steam her up as she should be, Calliope whaling the whole way!!

  2. admin Says:

    The Delta Queeen will proudly be under steam when going to Chattanooga, no towboat needed. What I’ve heard is that she’ll take the route down the Mississippi River, then to Mobile, AL, and up the Tennessee Tombigbee Waterway, probably starting her trip on February 4th.

  3. Kenneth L. Miller Says:

    As a resident of Madison, IN. I have for many years enjoyed seeing the Queen, hearing that lovely calliope, and dreaming of one day traveling aboard her. I have always been in the Queen’s camp and hoping that she receives the exemption but until this point I have not actively done anything. That has changed. It will take a grassroots campaign to force congress to relent to the wishes of the vast majority who want keep the Queen steaming on the river where she belongs! You can’t cross the ocean on the Queen Mary,you can’t cross the continent in a real prairie schooner, but you until last year you could travel the rivers of this country just as it was done 150 years ago on an authentic riverboat. This is as close as we have, or likely ever will have to a time machine. contact your congressman and senators. Its easy to Google and get the contact info.Get involved! Save the Queen!

  4. Old Man River Says:

    Will the Queen’s schedule from NOLA to Chattanooga be published so people can see this American treasure pass on her journey to Chattanooga?

  5. admin Says:

    I don’t think there will be a published schedule, as the boat doesn’t really have a schedule for this trip. The goal is to get the boat to Chattanooga as quick as possible, but potentially bad weather at the Mississippi Sound and heavy lock traffic on the rivers may delay the boat.
    Check with for updates. I’ll be posting information about the actual location or predictions there if I have some.

  6. Taylor Abbott Says:

    It’s good to hear she’ll be plying the river’s once again if only for a short while. A quick trip to Chattanooga will be sure to gain some attention from media and spectators alike. I live along the Ohio River in Clarington, OH and hope to someday see her pass by my town again. It seems that the Mississippi Queen will never run again as wikipedia stated that it is said to be being dismantled and sold for scrap. If anyone knows where and what they are really doing with the MQ, please relay the info…Too many rumors flying around, and this is one I’m not sure of.

  7. Franz Neumeier Says:

    Taylor, I’ve just corrected the Wikipedia entry. It’s just a rumor flying around for months now that the MQ is to be dismanteled and sold for scrap, but there is no confirmation about this at all. Just two weeks ago a Indiana newspaper has reported that the MQ is going to Madison, IN, to serve there as a hotel/restaurant. Not confirmation for this either, though.

  8. Taylor Abbott Says:

    Thanks a lot Franz. I’m glad to hear that. I was certain that it could not be true but I was not sure. I hope the report is true for the sake of keeping these vessels on our inland waterways. I was on her several times w/ my great grandfather who was a chief engineer for the Mississippi Valley Barge Line. He took me onboard the American Queen during her Inagural Trip from Pittsburgh and also on the Delta Queen when docked at Marietta, OH. I’m only twenty years old and hope that I can continue doing this. Pap passed in July of 2007 but seeing this boats brings back the memories he shared w/ me while on them. Do you know if the American Queen has been repossessed by the Gov?

  9. Franz Neumeier Says:

    The American Queen has been returned to MARAD and currently is located at Beaumont, TX.

  10. Karin Says:

    My boss’s nephew is the one who is leasing the Delta Queen. They are in Alabama today. My boss’s mother and brother went down to Florence AL today to meet the DQ and ride her the rest of the way to Chattanooga. Believe me, Chattanooga is excited to have the Delta Queen here and it will be in good hands. Harry is a very capable seaman and currently has 2 other boats on the TN River. You can view at I think.

  11. kristin Says:

    just saw that beauty pass by this morning and dock briefly along suck creek and cash canyon. chattanooga is a magnificent city and she will be well cared for. thanks for sharing her with us.

  12. Chuck Says:

    She has arrived! The city is very excited to be her host, however, we do hope she can soon return to river where she belongs. We promise to treat her with the dignity and respect she deserves. Thank you for giving Choo-Choo City this opportunity! Her arrival photo can be seen at

  13. Becki Worthington Says:


    I am in Chattanooga, TN and several people asked me to “keep a watch” over The Queen while she is in court here. I was there when she arrived on the 11th and had the opportunity to meet a number of wonderful friends of the Queen. They had such great stories to tell!

    I have been to the dock site twice since she arrived and she looks GREAT! They are working on spruceing her up for the transition. We are so privileged to have her with us and it is a thrill to be able to see her whenever I want to. I can’t wait to go back on board and see what has been done.