Historic 1920s Delta Queen riverboat can cruise the Mississippi again

In this Sept. 25, 2013, file photo, the Delta Queen riverboat is moored at Coolidge Park on in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. President Donald Trump signed legislation on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2018, that will allow the historic 1920s Delta Queen to cruise the nation's rivers once again after a 10-year layoff. (John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP, File) Photo: AP/Chattanooga Times Free Press
In this Sept. 25, 2013, file photo, the Delta Queen riverboat is moored at Coolidge Park on in downtown Chattanooga, Tenn. President Donald Trump signed legislation on Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2018, that will allow the historic 1920s Delta Queen to cruise the nation's rivers once again after a 10-year layoff. (John Rawlston/Chattanooga Times Free Press via AP, File)

December 05, 2018 02:33 PM

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 riverboat immortalized in poems and songs to cruise again along the Mississippi and several other rivers.

Advertisement

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.

"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."


More from KSTP


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.

The Delta Queen Steamboat Co. is based in Kimmswick, Missouri, near St. Louis, but the boat itself is undergoing repairs in Houma, Louisiana. The upgrade will include replacing boilers original to the boat, along with generators, plumbing, the steam line and heating and air conditioning. The total cost is estimated at $10 million to $12 million.

The company expects to begin three-, five- and seven-day cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Kanawha, Arkansas and Illinois rivers in 2020. The Delta Queen is expected to visit more than 80 ports each year, including St. Louis, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Louisville, Kentucky, and Chattanooga, Tennessee.

Blunt said more than 170 jobs are expected to be created in Kimmswick, and cited the benefit of many of the cruises beginning and ending there.

"This important part of our nation's history will create jobs and strengthen our state's growing tourism industry," Blunt said in a statement.

Connect with KSTP


Join the conversation on our social media platforms. Share your comments on our Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter pages.

Credits

The Associated Press

(Copyright 2018 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Advertisement

1 killed in St. Paul shooting

Warning for parents at day cares after car break-ins across metro

Minnesota colleges with strong connection to the Bahamas chipping in after Hurricane Dorian

People speak out against suggested cuts to Minneapolis Park Police

Partly cloudy, pleasant weather on Thursday

Police: Dozens of Eagan residents scammed out of over $440K in 2019

Advertisement