Statement of Significance (as of designation - June 29, 1989):
One of only two sternwheel passenger boats operating under steam and the sole remaining Western Rivers overnight passenger boat, DELTA QUEEN was built to operate on the Sacramento River in California. In the Second World War she served as a yard ferryboat on San Francisco Bay for the U.S. Navy. After the war she made a hazardous voyage under tow from California, through the Panama Canal, to the Mississippi where she was reconditioned for work on the Western Rivers system. Today DELTA QUEEN is the best known riverboat on the Western Rivers. She carries passengers on overnight cruises over nearly the entire Western Rivers system and serves as a reminder of the time when steamboats carried the people and supplies that opened the West.