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MEDIA CONTACT: Harry Phillips (423)593-7867
Delta Queen Announces Commemorative Cruise Campaign
Offers Nameplate Plaques -- the Perfect Holiday Gift

CHATTANOOGA, Tennessee (December 3, 2009) - As the holidays approach, the legendary Delta Queen twinkles with lights and good cheer as she hosts guests from all over the world in her new role as a dockside hotel on the Tennessee River at Chattanooga's Coolidge Park. With the help of her many devoted volunteers, the 1927 Steamboat has been meticulously cared for since her arrival last February, an undertaking that has proven gratifying for those who love her most.

Sydney Slome, proprietor of the Delta Queen Hotel, has announced the Delta Queen Crew Club, a program that recognizes the beloved boat's most loyal fans by offering an opportunity to commemorate their trips with the purchase of a brass-plated nameplate. Each plaque will be engraved with the name of the passenger, their home "port," and the number of cruises they have taken on the Delta Queen. The plaques will be adhered to each of the vessel's three decks beginning at the tip of the bow, below the hand rails, at ankle level. Slome assures that the process will not compromise the boat's historic integrity in any way.

"We are committed to maintaining the Delta Queen to a level of standard that she deserves and demands," says hotelier Sydney Slome, "This program will contribute towards her care and maintenance while providing a special way to remember the joy she has brought to so many during her years of service."

Harry Phillips coordinated the relocation of the historic vessel from New Orleans to Chattanooga last February. "Captains, mates, engineers, and loyal passengers continue to donate their time to clean, paint, polish, and serve as greeters and tour guides while visiting the Delta Queen as a boutique hotel," says Phillips. "It has been an honor to work in their presence." Former staff and loyal past passengers continue to gather aboard the Delta Queen for work weekends in Chattanooga since the boat's arrival.

Pat Traynor of Marco Island, Florida, has taken 45 trips on the legendary Delta Queen since 2001, and has visited the Delta Queen Hotel five times since it opened in June. "The old gal still exudes her famous charm, wrapping her arms around you when you arrive. And another little piece of your heart still stays behind when you depart, reminding you to come back soon," she said. "Captain Phillips' vision for her return to the rivers is one we all share, and the Delta Queen Hotel staff is dedicated to preserving her until this happens. The commemorative plaque program is a wonderful way for us to support the legendary one, and a way for us to leave our permanent stamp on her forever."

Mrs. Traynor also urged devotees of the Delta Queen to spend time aboard the Delta Queen Hotel. "She is in the best place she can be right now, nestled in a very safe, picturesque landing at Coolidge Park. The success of this venture is crucial until she can cruise again, and I hope that both former passengers and crew will visit her from time-to-time." she said.

Leah Ann Ingram, managing partner of the Delta Queen Hotel and co-owner of All Aboard USA, encourages Delta Queen fans to check the website for special packages and group rates, or call the Delta Queen Hotel at (423)468-4500 to make a reservation today. "This program is a meaningful way to recognize all of the past passengers and crew that have sailed on the Delta Queen, as well as offer them the opportunity to support our caretaking efforts to see her sail again," says Ingram. Membership in the Delta Queen Crew Club will offer additional benefits in the months to come, including special "Crew" weekends and packages that are currently being developed.

The weather resistant 3x6-inch plaques are available for purchase beginning today for $100. This special offer is limited in number and is only available to past passengers and crew, or may be purchased in memory of a past passenger or crew member. To become a member of the Delta Queen Crew Club and order a plaque for yourself or someone you love this holiday season, call (800)499-9877 between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, or visit the website at


More holiday gift ideas on this page: Delta Queen holiday cards * Delta Queen coin * Delta Queen calendar * Steamboat preservation calendar.

What's New at

In our continuing effort to provide a treasure trove of excellent steamboat materials, and make them accessible, your humble webmaster has remodeled the following areas of the museum:

The Dave Thomson Collection - This area had water damage and had to be completely renovated (not really, websites are not vulnerable to water damage). Instead of a linear string of files, the two hundred items are grouped by category: illustrations, photos, and specific subjects. The pages are large, but we are making these changes since most people are on broadband nowadays. If you are still on a slow connection, click the link, then go do some yard work and come back. The photos may take a long time to download.

Jim Hale's City of Monroe - This exhibit shows master boat model builder Jim Hale's masterpiece, The City of Monroe, a radio controlled scale model. The exhibit includes an article from the Nautical Research Journal, December 1975, Vol. 21, No. 4, plus photos of this amazing model. Also in this exhibit, photos of Jim Hale and the late John Hartford piloting the Julia Belle Swain. Also, photos of John Hartford by my father, Bill Muster.

Mississippi Queen - A newly remodeled exhibit of historic Mississippi Queen photos, and a recent photo taken by my brother, Bill Muster, March 2009.

Guadalajara! - Photos of the 2009 convention of the Society of American Travel Writers. The SATW has been a huge supporter of the Delta Queen since Betty Blake became a member in the 1960s.

King of the Mississippi - New photos from Ronald Simmons of his award-winning model, which is for sale.

Belle of Louisville - Photos by Roger Hilligoss showing damage to the sternwheel after a collision with a barge in October.

Guestbook Posting
On Nov 18, 2009, at 8:02 PM, Dave Fragale wrote:

name: Dave Fragale
location: Largo,Fla
message: Hey Jack Custer!!!
Visiting this site has left my glasses all misted up and all my envelopes self sealed!Not to mention that I'm half deaf from either that whistle or the Calliope!
email: Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper) email Dave

Editor's Note: Thanks Dave, good to hear from you, sounds like it hit the spot.

Guestbook Posting
On Nov 18, 2009, at 9:07 AM, FLANAGAN, DENNIS B wrote:

name: Dennis Flanagan
location: Metaline, Wa
message: The photo question asking the location in the photo of the steamer "Metaline" was taken in Box Canyon. It is heading south. The negative has not been switched.
email=Yes, include my email (encoded in SpamStopper software) email Dennis
visits: First time

Editor's note: This is more kindling on the raging controversy that this photo ignited, see: mystery boat page. I will alert John, Dave, Peggy, Deborah, and Andrew. We had fun discussing this last year. has documented the Belle of Louisville accident October 17, click here to see photos.

Click the card for more information about these beautiful Delta Queen holiday cards by Karen "Toots" Malloy. Fill your holiday giving with steamboats, here at

Scroll down for 2010 calendars - one from the HSPS showing a variety of historic steambats and one dedicated jsut to the Delta Queen.

Looking for that unique and practical holiday gift, or a great collectible?
The HSPS 2010 Calendar is Available Now!

HSPS, Inc (a 501.c.3 non-profit) publishes a Riverboat Wall Calendar each year, with proceeds going toward maintenance of the 1923 sternwheel towboat BARBARA H. Our 2010 calendar features early photos of sternwheel towboats. The calendar contains 13 large photos printed on heavy card stock, suitable for framing.

Each month features a specific boat along with its history, and a complete calendar page, with holidays marked. The featured boats for 2010 include:


This is the Historic Sternwheeler Preservation Society's ninth calendar, with all proceeds going toward the maintenance of the BARBARA H - the nation's oldest operational sternwheel towboat, and a National Historic Landmark.

Calendar Price: $15.95
Shipping: $4.50 for one; (add $1 for each additional calendar).

Please mail check or money order to:
HSPS, Inc.
158 Ashland Cove Road
Vevay, IN 47043

Online credit card ordering is available at our online giftshop:

Here are images of the photos for each month:

Click here to see the 2010 Delta Queen wall calendar.

October 23, 2009
Etiquette When Writing to Officials
from the League of Women Voters

A Few Words of Common Sense in the Save the Delta Queen Campaign

The fundamental don'ts:

DON'T begin on the righteous note of "As a citizen and taxpayer . . ." Your elected representatives assume you are a citizen, they know we all pay taxes.

DON'T apologize for taking his or her time. If you are brief and to the point, he or she is glad to hear from you.

DON'T say "I hope this gets by your secretary." This only irritates the staff.

DON'T be rude or threatening. It will get you nowhere.

DON'T be vague. Some letters received in congressional offices are couched in such general terms that it leaves the senator or representative wondering what the writer had in mind.

Editor's Note: A good clear message would be to write about what the Delta Queen means to you, what it means to our country, and the local economies. Explain that you want to see it traveling the rivers once again. This could happen any number of ways, so avoid focusing on a particular bill or politician. The actual possibility of returning our perfectly safe and functional last remaining historic overnight passenger boat to the rivers in 2020 is simply a brilliant thought. It is still 2009 so nothing about how this will happen is known to us yet. Hey, maybe that affirmation is working.* Also, remember to pick up a 2010 Delta Queen calendar while they are readily available.

Editor's Note: this situation is on hold right now, but let us shower our legislators with little love notes about our boat.

2010 Delta Queen Exemption Proposed in House
Representative Baron Hill of Indiana a Friend of the Delta Queen
Contact: Katie Moreau (202) 225-5315
Rep. Hill's website:
Read original

(Washington, DC) - Congressman Baron Hill has introduced an amendment to the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2010, H.R. 3619, regarding the necessary exemption for the Delta Queen to resume cruising. In order for the amendment to reach the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives during consideration of the larger bill, H.R. 3619, the House Rules Committee must first find the amendment germane and in order.

The amendment language offered by Hill would specifically restore the exemption from the fire-retardant materials construction requirement for marine vessels operating within the Boundary Line through November 1, 2018. Completed in 1927, the Delta Queen has a superstructure primarily of wood and can carry more than 170 passengers. The 1966 Safety of Life at Sea Law prohibits any wooden vessel carrying more than 50 overnight passengers from operating out of a United States port. However, Congress has provided the exemption for the Delta Queen eight times since 1968, primarily because it was intended for seagoing vessels and not riverboats.

The exemption was rejected last year in the form of a motion to recommit during the consideration of the Coast Guard Authorization Act of 2009. Hill supported the motion, but it failed by a narrow vote margin of 208-195.

"My perspective on the Delta Queen and its safety has evolved significantly," Hill said. "After speaking with various officials and the former captain of the Delta Queen, I am convinced it should cruise again. To that end, I have introduced this amendment with the full intent of seeing this through until the Delta Queen is back on the Ohio River. The Delta Queen is not only historically significant, but is a job creator and economic boon to the areas along its route."


"We envision the Delta Queen, wheel turning, traversing the rivers."

(an affirmation may not be true yet, but if we visualize what we want, then our subconscious mind will send us ideas and encouragement to achieve our goal - please affirm with us)

October 17, 2009
Announcing the 2010 Delta Queen Calendar

Good News! There will be a 2010 Delta Queen calendar! This wonderful calendar produced by John Weise sells out every year. Get your calendar now and have a whole year of beautiful Delta Queen photos in 2010. Email John Weise - click here.

Sept. 21, 2009 breaking news click here for the latest news on the sidewheel steamboat the President.

August 30, 2009 - A few days ago I had a server emergency and had to move all my websites to a new server. Therefore,, and a few others were off line for a few hours on Thursday afternoon, then fully up and running again as usual by Saturday morning. Life throws you a few curve balls, and this was definitely one of them. I apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. If you find any broken links or missing jpgs, please contact me.

On Aug 25, 2009, at 5:52 PM, Phyllis Dale wrote:

To Everyone Who Cares About The Delta Queen: I have shared correspondence with Harry Phillips, who is Project Manager and part of the group who has leased the Delta Queen and is currently operating her as The Delta Queen Hotel in Chattanooga, TN. I believe Harry truly cares about maintaining the boat to the highest of standards. We all hope that she will get her well-deserved exemption. However, in the meantime, I'm sure she is happy that she is being "well-polished" and loved.

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