Return to Yesteryear Aboard a Luxurious Steamboat

Nothing can compare to the experience of lazily drifting past sleepy river towns aboard a luxurious steamboat that Mark Twain would have been proud to serve on as a captain.

From the moment you step aboard the legendary Delta Queen, you enter a world far removed from today's fast-paced society. Time seems suspended on the steamboat, this year celebrating her 70th birthday and her 50th anniversary on America's heartland rivers.

The world's only fully restored, steam-powered overnight paddlewheeler was built in 1927 for luxury overnight travel between Sacramento and San Francisco. In World War II, the Navy leased her, painted her gray, and used her to ferry servicemen to and from ships in San Francisco Bay.

In 1947, Captain Tom Greene bought the steamboat and towed it to New Orleans. Soon after, she was restored to her original charm.

Designated as a National Historic Landmark, the Delta Queen is a one-of-a-kind star-spangled slice of Americana, featuring Tiffany-style stained glass windows, gleaming brass fittings and rich polished wood.

The Delta Queen features elegant public areas and a dramatic grand staircase, crowned by an elegant crystal chandelier. Cabins and staterooms continue the theme of old-fashioned elegance, making a river voyage as comfortable as a stay at a Victorian bed-and-breakfast.

From the nestle-down coziness of a rocking chair on deck to the tempting array of sumptuous meals in the dining room, every part of the Steamboatin' experience is rich in old-fashioned, friendly service.

As in bygone days when steamboats were the preferred mode of travel, voyagers on 2- to 14-night cruises can enjoy a variety of music, listen to river lore, or take a long stroll along the deck. During the day, there are tours at interesting ports of call; and every evening, there are award-winning, showboat-style performances to enjoy.

Free airfare is available as an early booking bonus for most cruises reserved and deposited eight months before departure.

For more information on the Delta Queen or her sister steamboats Mississippi Queen and American Queen, call your travel agent or The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. at 800/214-2589. Visit the Delta Queen Web site at or write to the company at Robin Street Wharf, 1380 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA 70130-1890. (NAPSI)

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