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Take a Ride on a Riverboat QueenSeptember 21, 2009 By: Michael Grisafe Travel Agent
The Delta Queen’s wheel stopped turning long ago, but this proud steamboat is still keeping its fires burning through its conversion to a charming boutique hotel.
Moored now on the Tennessee River, the Delta Queen now lives a quiet life but, back when it was constructed in 1925, the boat was a symbol of class, style, and luxury travel. Despite giving up its vagabond ways, the Delta Queen still exhibits a quaint charm with its old-fashioned polished brass, shining glass chandeliers, and expansive teak decks running the length of its four stories.
Guests to the hotel can take regularly scheduled tours of the Delta, walking through the ship’s pilothouse and checking out the navigation room. And, like many old ships and hotels of bygone eras, a collection stories have been told about the Delta Queen. Our favorite is of the ghostly captain said to roam the halls, keeping watch over the ship as he waits for the day that it will return to the river.
Although that may not be happening anytime within our lifetimes (or the captain’s), guests to this hotel can enjoy the antique atmosphere of furnishings from the turn of the century.
Although the rooms are small, guests don’t have to wait for cabin fever to set in to explore the countryside, and the nearby Coolidge Park offers verdant lawns, a carousel, and a play fountain for children. Visitors can also tour the historic downtown area of Chattanooga, or take a stroll through North Shore, where they can check out art galleries and restaurants, or cool their heels at a local bar.
Back on the Delta there’s live nightly music and even weekly dinner theater. And for those “Mavericks” that like to gamble, there’s a poker tournament held for bragging rights. Then, as the night cools and all of the excitement has died down, guests can relax on deck listen to the soft creeks of the riverboat as they look out over the Tennessee River.
The Delta may not be rolling out of the docks anytime soon, if you’re visiting Chattanooga be sure to stop by, because you certainly haven’t ever seen the good side of the city till you hitch a ride on this riverboat queen.