Photo of the Delta Queen by fkehren
The classic 418′, 436 passenger, US Flagged paddlewheel American Queen is under contract for a sale price of $15.5 million Hornblower Maine Services, owners of the ill-fated Hawaii Ferry’s (a few of which, BTW, are now supporting relief efforts in Japan).
Currently owned by the US Maritime Administration and docked in Beaumont Texas, the company expects to return the vessel to service as an overnight cruise vessel in inland waters
“The American Queen is the largest, most luxurious steamboat ever built,” Waggoner told Workboat magazine. “I love the American Queen as a piece of hardware. What we’re missing on our rivers is the Mark Twain experience.”
Majestic’s parent company, Ambassadors International Inc., returned the American Queen and the 360′, 223-passenger Empress of the North back to Marad after filing for bancrupcy protection. Both were built with Title XI loan guarantees. The Empress, along with the Delta Queen and Columbia Queen, are still for sale.