The Columbia Queen, a 161-passenger riverboat that formerly cruised
in the Pacific Northwest, is being bought by a new Seattle-based
cruise line, the investors announced.
The new company, American Rivers Cruise Line, hopes to finalize
the purchase early this month with an eye toward resuming cruising
from Portland, Ore., sometime next year.
The ship has been out of service since October 2001 when its
former owner, American Classic Voyages, ceased operations. It
failed to sell at a 2001 bankruptcy auction that sold off some of
American Classic’s other assets, most notably the Delta Queen
Steamboat Co. The Columbia Queen has remained in the hands of the
U.S. Maritime Administration since then.
The principal investors behind American Rivers are Doug Toms and
Don Simplot, who also recently participated in the purchase of
Glacier Bay Cruise Line with Bob Brennan.
President and COO of American Rivers will be Michael Lomax,
formerly president of Society Expeditions.
Lomax said the fledgling line recently conducted an extensive
mechanical survey of the vessel and operated it in sea trials.
“The vessel is in excellent condition,” Lomax said.
The company hopes to once again operate seven-day voyages on the
Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers.