Delta Queen Steamboat, Tennessee
Built in 1927, the Delta Queen is America's last remaining overnight paddle-wheeled steamboat still operating on the inland waterways. She is a designated National Historic Landmark and has a storied past, including steamer passage on the Sacramento River and service as troop barracks during World War II. Her interior features Tiffany-style stained glass, hardwood paneling, brass fittings, and a grand staircase crowned by a crystal chandelier. Since 1948 the Delta Queen has plied the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, with festive stops at communities along the way. The National Trust for Historic Preservation has offered tours aboard Delta Queen for many years.
Because of her wooden superstructure, the Delta Queen has operated under a statutory exemption from the Safety of Life at Sea Act since the late 1960s, and extensive safety precautions had been implemented by her owners. The exemption had been granted nine times previously, but it expired in November 2008, limiting the number of overnight passengers the Delta Queen can carry to 50, rather than her capacity of 176.
On February 11th, the Delta Queen arrived in Chattanooga, Tennessee, to begin service as a floating hotel. This is good news for the boat, keeping her maintained and open to the public, but is only a temporary solution. The Delta Queen's significance rests on her service as an operating vessel, plying America's inland waterways as she has since 1927. For more information, visit: www.save-the-delta-queen.org.
The legendary Delta Queen, whose distinctions include a listing on the National Register of Historic Places, is no longer taking travelers down the mighty Mississippi. From its late 19th-century steam calliope to its grand staircase, this 80 year old grande dame has delighted the generations that have graced her decks. National Trust for Historic Preservation Tours has a long history with this famous steamboat. The very first tour offered to National Trust members was aboard this illustrious paddlewheeler almost 40 years ago.
We encourage you to share your memories of the Delta Queen. Whether you joined us on a National Trust Study Tour, or planned your own trip on this majestic steamboat, we'd like to hear your stories of traveling down the mighty Mississippi.
Tell Us About Your Experiences on the Delta Queen
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