The National Historic Landmark Delta Queen will be inducted into the National Maritime Hall of Fame at a January 24 ceremony at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.
A national committee of museum directors and maritime historians selected the Delta Queen for this honor. The legendary Delta Queen -- an American treasure since 1927 and the last operational steam paddlewheeler that has overnight accommodations -- is the only National Maritime Hall of Fame boat still plying the waters. To be eligible for this award, usually the honored ship (or in this case, boat) must have been sunk or scrapped for at least five years. However, the committee made a special exception this year for the Delta Queen as it appears she will sail on for years to come.
"This is a great honor for the Delta Queen," said Rick Abramson, president of Delta Queen Steamboat
Company, Inc. (DQSC). "The Delta Queen is a treasured piece of Americana, and we are proud to continue to preserve a piece of our history."
Steamboats themselves are rooted in the history and culture of the early to mid-1800's. Pre-dating just about everything but rafts and the Conestoga, Steamboatin' represents how Americans traveled and settled the heartlands of this country.
"Today as a Steamboat traveler, you reach back to touch, to feel, to wonder at, to take pride in, and to understand the historical events, feelings and psyche that have made America what it is today," Abramson added. "All of this, coupled with the intimacy, luxury, and authenticity of the steamboats themselves make Steamboatin' an American Legacy that all Americans must experience sometime in their lives."