The reformed Delta Queen Steamboat Company traces its roots back to 1890 when Gordon C. Greene and his wife Mary Becker Greene purchased a steamboat by the name of H.K. BEDFORD and operated it under the flag of the Greene Line Steamers. The family run business operated steamboats on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers eventually entering the tourist trade until the late 1960’s. In 1974 the company changed names to the Delta Queen Steamboat Company as we know it today.

Following a succession of owners the company ceased operations in 2008 when the DELTA QUEEN was forced into retirement following the expiration of legislation permitting vessels of wooden construction from operating.

In 2010 a group of business people and preservationist combined forces with the mission of preserving the historic DELTA QUEEN by returning her to active, sustainable service along America’s waterways. See the individual bios below for more information about the Co-founders.

“The Delta Queen is an important part of our history. She’s the last authentic steam-driven paddlewheeler in America. Restoring the Delta Queen and returning her to overnight cruise service is the only opportunity for Americans to see our country from the decks of a 1927 steamboat and relive the era of Mark Twain and his cast of river characters.”

Cornel Martin


Cornel Martin

Cornel Martin

President and CEO of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company is leading the effort to preserve, protect and restore this National Historic Landmark. He worked for the original Delta Queen Steamboat Company from 1993 to 2004 and was responsible for all community and government relations. He spearheaded the last Congressional exemption which allowed the Delta Queen to operate as an overnight passenger vessel from 1998-2008.

Leah Ann Ingram

Vice President and COO has been associated with the Delta Queen Steamboat Company since 1993.  She and her husband Randy were caretakers and operated the Delta Queen as a dockside hotel in Chattanooga, TN from 2010-2014. They are credited with keeping the Delta Queen alive so that returning her to overnight river cruise service is still a viable option.

Phillip Johnson

Vice President of Marine Operations has been dedicated to preserving the marine side of the Delta Queen for years; and when combined with his years of experience in shipyards with the U.S. Navy, project management, and as an engineer aboard other active steamboats he has developed a unique understanding of the Delta Queen’s technical needs.