Save the Delta Queen: A private initiative to save the steamboat Delta Queen A private initiative to save the steamboat Delta Queen
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Delta Queen has new owner

Jun 20, 2011

Ambassadors International has filed for chapter 11 bancruptcy protection on April 1, 2011. In mid-May a new company with the name of "TAC Cruises LLC" has bought all the assets of the company, including the Delta Queen for $39 million in cash. TAC Cruises is an affiliate of Xanterra Holding Corp, which is owned by billionaire Philip Anschutz.

The main asset of Ambassadors International has been Windstar Cruises with several sailing cruise vessels which TAC Cruises will now continue to run. The Xanterra Holding Corporation operates lodges, restaurants, tours and activities in national parks, state parks and resorts under the brand name of Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Xanterra has operations at Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Mount Rushmore, amongst others.

This just as a brief update, not much more information is available at this time. For now, the Delta Queen will remain at Chattanooga as a floating hotel. No information is available about any plans of the new owners regarding the Delta Queen.


13 Responses to “Delta Queen has new owner”

  1. kathy Ludwig Says:

    So glad to hear that the Queen may again sail.  I have never given up hope that my husband and I will once more sail the Mississippi, or Ohio, or Tennessee Rivers.

  2. Gary Everson Says:

    As a small child living on the banks of the ohio river, we always looked forward to seeing the Delta Queen every summer….we could hear the calliope playing and would rush to the porch so we could get a look at her.
    I do hope the beautiful queen sails again.

  3. Jessica Says:

    The Delta Queen is a well preserved piece of history that should be sailing the water.

  4. Drew Jacksich Says:

    I just hope everyone remembers that the Delta Queen is a part of California history as it was originally built to run between San Francisco and Sacramento and its connection to the Mississippi did not begin until after WWII.

  5. Bruce Butler Says:

    I have seen the Delta Queen twice; once in Louisville KY and again in Dubuque IA.  I was actually able to get on board in Dubuque while the passengers were visiting Galena IL.  Had a nice little tour and visited the gift shop.  Then watched them depart upstream through Lock & Dam #11 with the steam calliope playing!   I have always wanted to take a trip on her and maybe I might get the chance now.
    Drew is right in his comment as she and her sister the "Delta King" first operated between Sacramento and the San Francisco bay area.  I have a book documenting the Delta Queen's voyage from California to New Orleans via the Panama Canal in (I believe) 1949.  It is a fascinating read.

  6. Alfred Doten Says:

    Drew and Bruce bring up an important thing for everyone to remember. The King and Queen were California boats built for the California Transportation Company for the overnight run between Sacramento and the Ferry Building in San Francisco. They pretty much ended the riverboat era in California in 1941. "King & Queen Of The River" by Stan Garvey  (1995) is an excellent addition to anyone's Delta Queen library.

  7. rrcrossings Says:

    I read this with very mixed emotions knowing what Anshutz and Xantera have done with the Grand Canyon Railroad and the Denver Ski Train.
    I hope the Queen will actually be saved to operate again but am not hopefull.

  8. Peter Bright Says:

    I grew up in Cincinnati in the fifties and sixties. The DELTA QUEEN was a very active part of my growing years. Our home was high on a hill with a thirty-five mile view which included a large bend in the Ohio River.
    As a child I would spend many hours in an average week watching the mornings, days and nights worth of activity on the river. In the early fifties there were still some steamboats pushing barges up and down the river. Their lively steam whistles echoed through the river valley and hills. As the diesel powered pusher boats replaced the steamers, I was saddened not to see and hear them as the plied their way through our beautiful view.
    Periodically I would hear the distinctive deep throated whistle of The DELTA QUEEN and would rush to one of the many places in our house where the river was viewable to see her making her way.
    I remember clearly the first day I was taken to Cincinnati's Public Landing to actually board her and experience the magnificence of her up close.
    Being a steam boat, she lives and breathes. I was maybe five at the time and was actually a bit scared of her at first as I crossed the gangplank looking up at her.
    Friendly crew members welcomed me and my mother and took us on a full tour…stem to stern, Engine Room to Pilot House, and mom, (a good pianist), even got a turn at the Caliope.
    She has her own, wonderful fragrance, our Mighty Queen. I have enjoyed her on my many subsequent boardings over the years.
    She needs to be returned to ply our many rivers carrying fortunate passengers through a wonderful experience.
    Your love and support of her will make that possible. Don't wait, do it today. She needs to be re-certified as an overnight passenger steamer. You, and I, CAN do it…we MUST do it.
    Peter Bright

  9. Ron Ward Says:

    I have always thought that these paddle steamers were so magestic, I mean just look at them WOW! I was not so fortunate as to have grown up on the rivers and to see these magnifisent creatures doing their thing, but my wife and I saved and saved and in 1999 during the Delta Queen Steamboat Co days we left the port at New Orleans aboard the Mississippi Queen. Those 6 days were the most memorable ones of our entire 23 years together. Now just hearing about her being cut up for SCRAP of all things just tears my heart out. We have got to do anything we can to save the Delta Queen. Is there anything we can do at this point? Pleade let me Know.

  10. Franz Neumeier Says:

    Ron, at the moment there is not mcuh we can do but wait to see what the plans of the new owner is. I'll let everyone know here on this website if we receive any new information and when there is something we all can do to support the DQ.

  11. Jim Wenzel Says:

    My wife, Yvette, and I cruised on the Delta Queen from Nashville (Clarksville, TN) to Pittsburgh in September of 2008 for about 2 weeks.  That was the most wonderful trip we have ever taken.  We visited the Queen last year briefly just for memmories.  We live in Southern Oregon and stay and dine aboard the Delta King on the Sacramento River in Sacramento, CA several times a year.  The two boats are magnificent.  Let us know what we can do to help get the Queen plying the rivers once more.
    Thanks, Jim

  12. Captian Tony Says:

    Delta Queen will sail again when we purge all thoses worhless democrats. So lets do what in necessary in 2012.

  13. wilbur rice Says:

    First saw the Delta Queen in 1948.  I was 10 yrs old and my dad would take me to the Louisville levee  when she was in.  My wife and have sailed twice, 2007 and 2008.  the depth of my anger cannot be measured when wholesome, historical treasure such as the Delta Queen is jerked around by special interests and corporate profit!  I call upon all those who are able to once more have that wheel turning propelling her with full passenger quota on over night cruises up and down the Mississippi,Ohio, Tennessee rivers.