The U.S. Senate approved Monday a bill sponsored by U.S. Sens. Roy Blunt and Claire McCaskill that would let the historic Delta Queen riverboat operate once again on the Mississippi River.
Full St.LuisPublicRadio story HERE
The Delta Queen was launched in 1925 and first began cruising operations in 1927, to sail the Mississippi and its tributaries caring 176 passengers.
While designated as a National Historic Landmark, Delta Queen currently cannot sail with more than 50 passengers, based on requirements of the Safety of Life at Sea Act (SOLAS), passed in 1966. That law prohibits overnight sailings on wooden vessels.
While the historic ship has a steel hull, the ship’s 88 staterooms and public spaces are mostly of wooden construction.
However she sailed for decades under a SOLAS exemption, but that expired in 2008. The Delta Queen is currently docked in Chattanooga, TN, where it served as a hotel.
(Delta Queen Steamboat Company)
American Duchess Delays Inaugural Cruise
American Duchess the third river boat in the American Queen Steamboat Company fleet (166 passengers), is moving its launch date back six weeks and changing its summer 2017 schedule.
Originally, the boat – a gambling vessel that’s being completely gutted and renovated – was going to launch on July 1, 2017. That’s been moved back to August 13.
Several itineraries have been affected. Details can be found a the cruise lines web site.
It is believed that the renovation has simply over-run.