Legendary Delta Queen, a National Historic Landmark, has been named Ship of the Year by the Steamship Historical Society of America.
"Delta Queen is the last operating steamboat of her era and is one of the most historic vessels in the world," said William duBarry, president of the society. "No other vessel still operating in the U.S. is as historically important as she. Our members appreciate the commitment The Delta Queen Steamboat
Co. has made in preserving her for the enjoyment of current future passengers."
Delta Queen was launched on the Sacramento River in 1927, and offered overnight service between Sacramento and San Francisco until 1940. When the Great Depression brought an end to her trips, the U.S. Navy leased Delta Queen as a troops barracks and then a shuttle for a servicemen traveling to and from ships in San Francisco Bay.
At the war's end, Delta Queen was auctioned to Capt. Tom Greene, president of Cincinatti's Greene Line Steamers (now the Delta Queen Steamboat Co. of New Orleans). In 1946, he brought Delta Queen on a 5,200-mile journey from the West Coast to the Mississippi River system, where she resumed service as a vacation boat.
Today, the authentic steam paddlewheeler and her newer sisters, Mississippi Queen and American Queen, visit the the nation's heartland and the Old South on three- to 14-night cruises.