AMCV cuts schedules of Delta Queen ships

NEW YORK -- U.S.-flag operator American Classic Voyages will trim the upcoming cruise schedules of its Delta Queen Steamboat Co. and Delta Queen Coastal Voyages subsidiaries of by a combined 27 cruises in 2001 and 2002, company officials said Tuesday.

Delta Queen Coastal Voyages, launched earlier this year, will eliminate three 2001 cruises.

Next year, the two brands will eliminate a combined 24 voyages from their schedules. Finally, AMCV is adjusting the 2002 summer and fall schedules of 174-passenger Delta Queen, with the number of seven-night cruises reduced from 24 to 13, and the number of three-, four-, five- and six-night cruises increased to 19 from 5.

The cutbacks are being made "during the slower winter off-season to better align capacity with expected demand during a challenging environment," according to a company statement.

Rod McLeod, president and chief operating officer, added, "Recent events are affecting virtually every segment of the leisure industry and we felt it was prudent to focus our demands on our highest-demand sailings."

To accommodate the changes, Delta Queen Steamboat Co. will lengthen the regularly scheduled winter maintenance lay-up periods for two of its four vessels and make schedule changes to a third boat's schedule to accommodate a Super Bowl charter.

AMCV will protect travel agent commissions; the company will offer passengers on affected sailings incentives to switch to alternative sailing dates.

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