BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The
Delta Queen Steamboat Co. said the American Queens 2006 schedule
will be cancelled due to conditions in New Orleans and along the
lower Mississippi River system.
The vessel has been
privately chartered through January, and possibly beyond that time,
according to Delta Queen President Bruce Nierenberg.
It currently is
housing refinery workers in Belle Chasse, La., Nierenberg
The ship is scheduled
to return to service in 2007.
Nobody likes to call
people who have vacations planned and tell them we have to make a
change, he said. The companys reservations staff is contacting
customers to offer alternative voyages aboard the two other
steamboats in the companys fleet, the Delta Queen and the
Mississippi Queen, or a full refund.
The company said in a
statement that it has seen strong positive momentum in bookings in
recent months and hopes this trend continues. But it is apparent
that the upriver itineraries would have a difficult time supporting
a three-boat operation for the whole 2006 operating
The Delta Queen and
Mississippi Queen are slated to operate with minimal schedule
changes this spring.
reporter Kristin OMeara Hillmann, send e-mail to [email protected].