Delta Queen Steamboat: All vessels unscathed, operating 'up river'

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- All three of the paddlewheel steamboats operated by New Orleans-based Delta Queen Steamboat Co. escaped the wrath of Hurricane Katrina and are in operation on the upper Mississippi River, the line said Aug. 31.

The three ships, the Mississippi Queen, the Delta Queen and the American Queen, were operating itineraries "up river" this week -- the Delta Queen and the Mississippi Queen were on the Ohio River and the upper Mississippi and the American Queen left New Orleans for Memphis several days before the storm hit, president Bruce Nierenberg said.

As part of Delta Queen's storm emergency plans, a reduced reservations staff was relocated to parent company, Delaware North Cos' Buffalo, N.Y., headquarters.

"Our boats will continue to operate on the up river during the fall season," Nierenberg added. "Any future itinerary changes necessitated by the storm and its aftermath will be communicated ... as they are finalized."

Agents can reach the office at (800) 543-1949 or (800) 458-6789, although a spokeswoman on Sept. 2 said high call volumes were often prompting a "circuits are busy" message.

To contact the reporter who wrote this article, send e-mail to Rebecca Tobin at [email protected].

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