Historic 1920s riverboat can cruise again
Published 8:14 am Thursday, December 6, 2018
ST. LOUIS — After a decade in dock, the historic 1920s-era Delta Queen riverboat will cruise again.
President Donald Trump signed legislation on Tuesday authorizing the 285-foot-long (87-meter-long) riverboat immortalized in poems and songs to cruise again along the Mississippi and several other rivers.
The Delta Queen was sidelined in 2008 by a federal law prohibiting overnight excursions on wooden vessels. Both U.S. senators from Missouri — Democrat Claire McCaskill and Republican Roy Blunt — co-sponsored a bill to allow the exemption, which requires modifications to the wooden portions of the vessel, most of which are cabins and public areas. The hull is already steel.
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“Today marks the beginning of a new chapter in American steamboat history,” Leah Ann Ingram, vice president of the Delta Queen Steamboat Co., said in a statement. “This was the first big step in returning the Delta Queen to the waterways, where she belongs.”
The Delta Queen began operation in 1927. Passengers have included presidents Herbert Hoover, Harry Truman and Jimmy Carter. It served as a naval ship during World War II and is designated as a National Historic Landmark.