Historic 1920s Delta Queen riverboat can cruise again


Associated Press

ST. LOUIS

After a decade in dock, the historic 1920s-era Delta Queen riverboat will cruise again.

President Donald Trump signed legislation Tuesday authorizing the 285-foot-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.

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. expects to begin three-, five- and seven-day cruises on the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Kanawha, Arkansas and Illinois rivers in 2020.

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