Cornel Martin

President, CEO, Owner

With over 25 years of leadership experience in the regional, national, and global maritime arenas, Cornel has returned home to steer the rebirth of the Delta Queen. A former vice president of the Delta Queen from 1993 until 2004, Cornel has since served as president and CEO of Gulf Coast Work Force. Cornel has worked on Capitol Hill where he last served on the House Coast Guard and Navigation Subcommittee. With deep knowledge of trade associations, Cornel also served on the staff of the American Waterways Operators and as a member of the Passenger Vessel Association where he served 11 years on their board of directors and a one year term of the board. Cornel is a graduate of Nicholls State University and The Catholic University of America. 


Randy & Leah Ann Ingram

COO, Owners

Also at the helm of the Delta Queen relaunch are Randy and Leah who have a combined 40 years of experience in the tour, travel, and hospitality industries. The couple owns All Aboard USA, a group tour and motorcoach transportation company based in Chattanooga, TN. After operating the Delta Queen as a hotel for 5 years, they bring extensive knowledge of management and a unique understanding of the DQ.


Phillip Johnson
Director of Marine Operations, Owner

Phillip A. Johnson first explored the Delta Queen Engine room at age 7, and became a steam enthusiast from that day forward.  Learning from Delta Queen Engineers throughout the 1990’s, he became an expert on the behind the scene workings of a 1927 steamboat.  From 2009 through today, Phillip has been responsible for the engineering maintenance and preservation of the Delta Queen.  A former civilian Engineer Technician with the U.S. Navy, Phillip is currently a Contract Administrator with an electric utility company and also volunteers as a part time Engineer on the Belle of Louisville.

​     ​The Timeline of the Steamer Delta Queen

  • Hull started, Stockton, CA – May 18, 1925 – California Transportation Company, “The River Line”.
  • Hull launched – 3:40 p. m., Saturday – December 12, 1925
  • Trial run – Stockton to San Francisco – May 24, 1927
  • First passenger voyage – 6:30 p. m. – Thursday – June 2, 1927 San Francisco to Sacramento
  • CTC, Inc., /”The River Line” closed Sunday, September 29, 1940
  • Chartered by the U. S. Navy – October 16, 1940
  • Sold to the Isbrandsten Steamship Co. of New York – early November 1941
  • Acquired by U. S. Navy – December 14, 1941 – Classified as Yard House Boat 7 (YHB – 7)
  • Re-classified Yard Ferry Boat 56 (YFB-56) – July 5, 1944
  • Stricken from the Naval Vessel Register on August 28, 1946
  • Auctioned by U. S. Maritime Commission on November 20, 1946 for $46,250.00 the bid made by Captain Tom Greene
  • U. S. Maritime Commission confirmed sale to Captain Tom Greene December 17, 1946.
  • Towed from San Francisco, CA to New Orleans, LA – April 19 to May 19, 1947 (passed through Panama Canal on Saturday, May 10)
  • First landing at Cincinnati – July 27, 1947
  • First cruise in the Ohio River – June 30, 1948 – Cincinnati to Muscle `Shoals AL. and return
  • Listed on the National Register of Historic Places – June 15, 1970
  • President Jimmy Carter upper Mississippi River campaign cruise August 17 – 24, 1979
  • Designated as National Historic Landmark – 1989
  • Received first two year exemption from Safety at Sea Law – July 1, 1966
  • After expiration of the 9th exemption for the Safety at Sea Law, the DQ moves to Chattanooga to become a hotel
  • In 2013 the Delta Queen was designated a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.
  • On September 25, 2013 the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1961, the bill that would allow the Delta Queen to resume operations as an overnight passenger vessel.  Unfortunately the Senate version of this bill did not get passed, preventing it from being signed into law.
  • On February 17, 2015 DQSC, LLC (dba Delta Queen Steamboat Company) closes on the purchase of the Delta Queen and is preparing to move the vessel south for refurbishment.  DQSC is already working with members of Congress to get new legislation introduced in the early spring of 2015, with the goal is setting sail on America’s rivers sometime in 2016.
  • Members of US House and Senate have introduced billsH.R. 1248 and S. 1717 to allow the DQ to re-enter the overnight cruise trade until 2028

For details or to make your donation, please call  844.668.4337