Marine Link
Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New Orleans Steamboat News

PVA:Marketing Excursion Boats Post 9/11

Like most of the tourism business, the excursion/dinner boat market took a big "hit" right after 9/11. Markets that were geared for conventions and depended on fly-in business were especially hard hit since airline bookings went into a steep nosedive right after the terrorist attack and customers could not reach the destinations that offered riverboat entertainment. Most directly impacted by the World Trade Center attack was VIP Yacht Charters, a New York City dining yacht company located a few blocks from the WTC. Minutes after the attack the company immediately began a rescue effort shuttling 40,000-50,000 people across the river to New Jersey and opened their commissary to rescue workers feeding hundreds of workers at no charge.

Frommelt Named President of PVA

Gary Frommelt, Hornblower Marine Services, Elizabeth, Ind., was elected 2003 PVA President on February 18 during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2003 held in Long Beach, CA. Other officers elected were PVA Vice President, David B. Clark, Golden Gate Ferry , Larkspur, CA, and PVA Secretary-Treasurer, Cornel Martin, Delta Queen Steamboat Company, New Orleans, LA. Frommelt serves as project manager for Hornblower Marine Services as director of marine operations for Caesars Indiana-home to the largest riverboat casino in the world. Frommelt was most recently PVA Vice President, has served on the PVA Board of Directors since 1996, and has been a long-term member of the Safety Committee.

Hall Elected President of PVA

Fred Hall was elected PVA 2002 President on Tuesday, February 19 during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2002 in Biloxi, Miss. Hall is Vice President and General Manager of the Bridgeport and Port Jefferson Steamboat Company, Port Jefferson, N.Y., a provider of ferry service across the Long Island Sound. This ferry service has been in business since 1883 and now operates three 100-vehicle/1000-passenger vessels. Prior to being elected PVA President, Hall has served as PVA Vice-President, PVA Secretary-Treasurer and co-chairman of the PVA Legislative Committee. He was also a founding member and a past chairman of the PVA Ferry Council.

Delta Queen Celebrates Return of American Queen

2007 with several advance purchase offers. 2007. the South. great city is known," said Bruce Nierenberg, president of Delta Queen. passengers to explore the history, lore and culture of this great country. New Orleans to Memphis, as far north as St. Paul, Minn. River, east to Pittsburgh, Pa. Black Warrior to Birmingham. to Little Rock and the Tenn Tom to Mobile, Ala. Orleans with a riverboat cruise. Great Steamboat Race with the Delta Queen.

Delta Queen Steamboat Company Makes Schedule Changes

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, which will deliver two new steamboats to the Mississippi River system this spring, announced today that its American Queen schedule will be postponed until 2007, due to conditions in New Orleans and along the lower Mississippi River system, the steamboat's home base. Over the last few months, the American Queen has been in private charter. Passengers will be given the opportunity to travel on one of the other steamboats in the company's fleet including the historic Delta Queen or the Mississippi Queen.

Uniworld to Bid for Delta Queen Steamboat

Uniworld intends to bid for the assets of New Orleans-based Delta Queen Steamboat Company. The assets include the Delta Queen Steamboat trademarks and logos plus the Mississippi Queen and Delta Queen, the classic American river steamboats. "As the leading provider of river cruise vacations for Americans in Europe, it is logical for Uniworld to expand its fleet to include vessels operating on the fascinating rivers of the United States," said Serba Ilich, President and CEO. "The acquisitions of the magnificent Mississippi Queen and the legendary Delta Queen would be a huge honor for our company, considering the great historic and commercial significance of the steamboats in the development of America," Ilich stated.

Riverboat American Duchess to Launch in August

Artist rendering of American Duchess, the company’s latest riverboat (Image: American Queen Steamboat Company)

The American Queen Steamboat Company, owner and operator of the American Queen and American Empress, will launch service on its new American Duchess when it sets sail from New Orleans on Aug. 14, 2017, following its christening a day earlier. The all-suite, 166-guest American Duchess will be the first purpose-built boutique paddle wheeler offering guests the largest suites on the Mississippi River. The American Duchess follows in the pedigree of the company’s namesake American Queen and will offer overnight stays from New Orleans.

Bidding War Comes to an End

In what has escalated into a heated bidding war for what was left of American Classic Voyages' Delta Queen Steamboats, came to an end yesterday with Delaware North Companies sealing the deal with the steamboats' parent company. As originally reported on Marinelink last month, Chicago-based Waveland Investments and New Orleans-based Uniworld had submitted bids for the two steamships - Delta Queen and Mississippi Queen - the two remaining ships of the line, which declared bankruptcy this past October. Waveland submitted its $3.75-million bid, with intentions to take over the vessels following their auction on May 3. Delaware North, however had other plans.

New Orleans Port Tops 1M Passengers Again

Cruise ships at the Port of New Orleans' Julia and Erato Street cruise terminals, located steps from the historic French Quarter Photo Port NOLA

Port of New Orleans cruise terminals handled more than 1-million passengers in 2015, totaling 1,023,700, up 1 percent compared to 2014. The total marks the fifth consecutive record year and with new and larger ships on tap for 2016, Port officials expect another robust cruise season. “Year-end numbers illustrate how popular the Port and the City of New Orleans are with cruise passengers throughout the nation,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. Miami, Fla-based Carnival…

Coast Guard Searching for Missing Aircraft in GoM

© paulfell / Adobe Stock

The U.S. Coast Guard is searching for an unresponsive aircraft that went missing in the Gulf of Mexico approximately 118 nautical miles north of the Yucatan Peninsula, Thursday. The Coast Guard said its watchstanders at the Eighth District command center in New Orleans received a report from the North American Aerospace Defense Command, Wednesday evening that one person aboard a privately owned Cirrus plane was unresponsive likely due to hypoxia. The pilot flew from Oklahoma City and was reportedly headed to Georgetown, Texas.

New Orleans’ 2014 Cruise Passenger Total Tops Record

The 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn berthed at the Port of New Orleans' Julia Street Cruise Terminal in November 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Port of New Orleans)

Port of New Orleans cruise terminals handled more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2014 for the first time in its history. For the 12 months, embarkations and disembarkations totaled 1,014,325, an increase of more than 2.6 percent over 2013, a fourth straight record year for the port. Cruise Lines International Association ranked the port the sixth-largest cruise port in the United States with direct industry expenditures in Louisiana totaling $406 million, supporting 8,129 jobs and accounting for $323 million in total income.

Port Realizes Cruise Passenger Gains in 2013

Photo: Port of New Orleans

For the third consecutive year, record numbers of cruise passengers set sail from the Port of New Orleans. Port cruise terminals handled 987,860 embarkations and disembarkations in 2013, up more than 1 percent compared to 2012, which saw a 32 percent gain over 2011. “The positive trend for cruising from New Orleans continues,” said Gary LaGrange, Port President and CEO. Last year, the Port of New Orleans commissioned a study to determine passenger and crew spending in the New Orleans region.

PVA:The Return of the American Queen

In late October 2001, three of America's six steam-driven paddlewheelers were suddenly tied up due to bankruptcy of the parent company, American Classic Voyages, and facing a very uncertain future. The management failures and cost excesses of the past owners that caused the company failure have been well documented and need not be recounted. What is important is that out of the ashes of American Classic Voyages has come the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. It is back on America's rivers and moving forward with a full head of steam. Purchased last May by Delaware North Companies of Buffalo, NY for $80 million, the new company is "well positioned to resume it place as the premier provider of inland river vacations," said Tom Carmen, president of the new company.

Delta Queen Named Ship of the Year

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. 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.

Directory for Maritime Education and Training

Throggs Neck, N.Y. U.S. 300 Steamboat Rd. Kings Point, N.Y. RTM STAR Center-Ft. Dania Beach, Fla. New York, N.Y. New Orleans, La. P.O. Vallejo, Calif. Westland GeoProjects Ltd. EX23 8BR, U.K.

WWII Museum’s PT-305 Sails Again

(Photo: National World War II Museum)

Commercial workboat philanthropy on display on PT-305: WWII Museum’s PT-305 sails again after a far reaching donor-funded restoration. In March, the National WWII Museum in New Orleans launched its reconstructed PT-305, built locally by Higgins Industries in 1943. The museum acquired the boat known as the USS Sudden Jerk in 2007, restoration began in 2009, and it now sails Lake Pontchartrain as an interactive exhibit. PT-305, with a fifteen-man crew, belonged to a 12-ship squadron operating in the Mediterranean from 1944 until the war ended in 1945.

Passenger Ships Leave New Orleans Itineraries

By the time Hurricane Katrina hit, cruise lines had already shifted ships out of ports in New Orleans and Mobile, Ala., according to a published report on the NY Times news service. According to the story, Carnival moved its two ships that sail out of New Orleans to Galveston, Texas. The Carnival Sensation ran four- and five-day trips out of Galveston to Mexico early this month, and the second ship, the Conquest, began sailing out of Galveston last Wednesday. Delta Queen Steamboat Co. runs three paddlewheel boats on multiday trips on rivers in the South and Midwest, including the Mississippi River. Employees were moved to Buffalo, N.Y., and Memphis, Tenn., ahead of the hurricane, and no cruises have been canceled, although New Orleans has been removed from itineraries through this month.

Cruise Industry Spending Up 42% In 2012

Total Cruise Industry Spending Topped $399 Million in Louisiana, Employment Up 37 Percent. A 32 percent increase in cruise passengers at the Port of New Orleans in 2012 resulted in huge gains in employment and cruise spending in Louisiana, according to a report released this week by Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). Port of New Orleans cruise terminals handled a record 977,703 passengers in 2012, up 32 percent compared to 2011’s former record of 736,908. CLIA’s report…

Allee to Lead Cruise and Tourism at Port of New Orleans

Don Allee (Photo: Port of New Orleans)

Port industry veteran Don Allee will assume control of the Port’s Cruise and Tourism Division in January, following the retirement of current Director J. Robert Jumonville. Jumonville, who will retire in January after 25 years at the Port, oversaw the planning and construction of all three Julia St. Cruise Terminals, including the present consolidation of the two terminals into one modern terminal completed in 2011. Jumonville was also instrumental in the design and construction of the Erato Street Cruise Terminal and Parking Garage Complex…

New Cruiseline Opens Offices in Seattle

The Majestic America Line, specializing in river and coastal cruising, has opened offices in Seattle. The newly formed line is operated by Ambassadors Cruise Group LLC, a subsidiary of Ambassadors International Inc. of Newport Beach, Calif. Majestic will have a staff of roughly 800, though only about 50 of them will be based in the line's headquarters at Fourth Avenue and Blanchard Street, company officials said.. The group was formed by merging Portland-based America West Steamboat Co., which was acquired in January, and New Orleans' Delta Queen Co., bought in April. It is expected to provide 75 percent of the annual revenue for Ambassadors International, which also operates a travel-and-events division and a marine-services division.

American West Steamboat Purchases Columbia Queen

American West Steamboat Company is adding a third vessel, the Columbia Queen, to its fleet of luxury overnight small cruise ships that will operate on the Columbia, Willamette and Snake Rivers. In a recent auction held by the Maritime Administration (MARAD), American West Steamboat Company won the bid for the Columbia Queen, formerly owned by American Classic Voyages’ Delta Queen Steamboat Company. MARAD took possession of the Columbia Queen after American Classic Voyages filed bankruptcy in 2002. Pending the close of the sale, American West Steamboat Company will take possession of the Columbia Queen around mid-July at which time she will undergo some refurbishment before her first cruise on the Columbia River in the spring of 2003.

Steamboat Flotilla on Erie Canal

The flotilla will be led by the (diesel-powered) 110-year-old tugboat Urger, the flagship of the New York State Canal Corporation fleet. WHERE: Erie Canal, from Lock 17 (Little Falls) to Waterford Harbor. WHEN: Steamboat Flotilla departs Lock 17 at 9 a.m., Sunday, June 26, 2011. Schedule below. Sunday, June 26: 9 a.m. Monday, June 27: 9 a.m. Tuesday, June 28: 9 a.m. Wednesday, June 29: 9 a.m. Flotilla steams to Waterford Visitors Center.

Majestic to Upgrade Cruise Ships

Majestic America Line said that it plans upgrades to its entire fleet of cruise ships next year. Majestic established a Midwest operations office in St. Louis this fall. State room upgrades on the company's seven ships will include upgraded mattresses and linens, massage shower heads, and spa-quality robes and toiletries. Flat screen televisions with DVD players will be added on the American Queen, Mississippi Queen and Contessa ships. The line's suites will feature a new digital entertainment system, refrigerators and in-suite safes, as well as bath slippers and in-room coffee and tea service. Majestic America Line, based in Seattle…

Maritime Reporter Magazine Cover Dec 2017 - The Great Ships of 2017

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