Save the Delta Queen: A private initiative to save the steamboat Delta Queen A private initiative to save the steamboat Delta Queen
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Let’s celebrate: US Congress grants new exemption for the Delta Queen!

Nov 28, 2018

This is the moment we all were waiting for: On November 27th, 2018, US Congress has granted a new exemption to allow the historic Delta Queen to return to the rivers as a cruise ship. According to Cornel Martin, President and CEO of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company, the Delta Queen is projected to return to service in 2020.

Delta Queen

Delta Queen

For more details, see the news release on the Delta Queen Steamboat Company’s website and watch the Facebook Video, also featuring a whistle blow of the Delta Queen’s whistle on board the Str. Natchez in New Orleans, celebrating the decision of the US Congress to grant the exemption:

For us here on this is the day when we can say: “mission completed“. We’ll have important updates here in the future as well, but you might want to follow the progress on bringing the Delta Queen back to the rivers on the Facebook page of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company or on their website. We hope to see you on the rivers again, very soon!

A  personal note: You might have recognized that the picture of the Delta Queen in the header of this website always has been black-and-white. Well, we’ve changes this back to a color picture to celebrate this great day. The Delta Queen is not back on the rivers yet and there is a lot of work to do for the Delta Queen Steamboat Company. But the most important step is done: The future of the Delta Queen is not anymore in the hands of politics (though we’re very thankful to the politicians who supported our cause over the last couple of years and eventually made this happen in the Senate and in the House). She’s now in the hands of knowledgeable experts in technology, history, hotel operations, marketing and sales for a bright future to come.

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US Senate Votes in Favor of Delta Queen

Apr 6, 2017

On April 4th, 2017, the Senate passed legislation that exempts the Delta Queen from the 1966 Safety at Sea law. The bill now moves to the House where it needs to be approved as well in order for the Delta Queen to be able to run again as cruise ship on the Mississippi River and its tributaries.

A similar bill has been passing the House in 2013 but then got stuck in the Senate and never made it to the floor.

The political situation has changed since then and the new bill (S.89) this time passed the Senate by Yea-Nay Vote 85 – 12.

The Fight for the Delta Queen Continues

Apr 14, 2016

The Delta Queen needs an exemption from the SOLAS (Safety of Life at Sea Act) so she can cruise, again, with more than 50 overnight passengers. House Bill HR 1248, and Senate Bill S 1717, extend her previous exemption until 2028. Both bills have to be approved by Congress.

EVERYONE, please call, fax, or email your U. S. Senators and Representatives to support these Congressional Bills. If you’re on Facebook, please SHARE on your Facebook page and encourage your friends to SHARE on their pages.

Let’s make a concerted, joint effort to get Congress off dead-center and get the exemption out of committee and on the floor for a vote: Let’s make February the “SAVE THE DELTA QUEEN” month! We can do it!

Please contact your Members of Congress using this link:

Even if you’ve contacted them before, contact them again. Even if your Representative or Senator is a co-sponsor, contact them and thank them and then ask them to try to get the bills moving to the floor for a vote.

We need to make our voices heard. PLEASE call right away in support of HR 1248 and S 1717.

Don’t delay! Do it today!

Thank you for your continued devote support!

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New bill now also introduced in the Senate

Jul 9, 2015

A new bill in favor of the Delta Queen has now been introduces in the US Senate after the same bill has been introduced to the House of Representatives in March 2015.

It is “a bill to amend title 46, United States Code, to exempt old vessels that only operate within inland waterways from the fire-retardant materials requirement if the owners of such vessels make annual structural alterations to at least 10 percent of the areas of the vessels that are not constructed of fire-retardant materials.”

This in fact will help allow the historic steamboat DELTA QUEEN to be returned to the inland rivers of America, if passed both in the Senate and House. highly recommends contacting your Representatives and Senators by e-mail, phone, letter or personally in their local offices to encourage them sponsoring or at least supporting the bill.

In the Senate, the bill with the number “S.1717” is sponsored by Sen. Sherrod Brown (Ohio) with five co-sponsors as of July 7th:  Sen. John Boozman (AR), Sen. Tom Cotton (AR), Sen. Claire McCaskill (MO), Sen. Rob Portman (OH) and Sen. David Vitter (LA)

Bill no. “H.R. 1248” in the House of Representatives is sponsored by Steve Chabot (OH) with so far 16 co-sponsors: Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (MO), Rep. Steve Cohen (TN),  Rep. Eric A. Crawford (AR), Rep. Bob Gibbs (OH), Rep. Bill Johnson (OH), Rep. David P. Joyce 8OH), Rep Robert E. Latta,  Rep. Thomas Massie (KY), Rep. David B. McKinley (WV),  Rep. James B. Renacci (OH), Rep. Steve Stivers (OH), Rep. Patrick J. Tiberi (OH), Rep Michael R. Turner (OH), Rep. Brad R. Wenstrup (OH), Rep. Ed Whitfield (KY) and Rep. Todd C. Young (IN).

In case you’ve never been on the Delta Queen or want to show your Senators and Representatives what this is all about, please check out our comprehensive compilation of interactive, panoramic pictures of the Delta Queen – it feels almost like you’re there …

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Delta Queen Steamboat Company is the new owner of the Delta Queen

Feb 19, 2015

Eventually the purchase of the Delta Queen is finalized, contracts have been signed on Tuesday, February 17, 2015. The Delta Queen Stemboat Company LLC is now the official new owner of the Delt Queen and is planning to get her back on the rivers as soon as possible – most likely in summer 2016.

There is still a long way to go until the Delta Queen can again paddle along the rivers with overnight passengers on board as she needs the exemption law from Congress and a Coast Guard certifcate of inspection (COI). But the first important step is done now.

Here is the full press release with all the details:

Delta Queen Purchase Finalized

The Delta Queen Steamboat Company, a Delaware limited liability company, Tuesday completed the purchase of the Legendary Steamboat Delta Queen from TAC Cruise, LLC (aka Xanterra Cruise, LLC) a Delaware limited liability company.

The legendary Delta Queen began service as an overnight passenger vessel in 1927, carrying passengers, cargo and automobiles between Sacramento, Calif. and San Francisco, Calif. After a brief period of service in the U.S. Navy during World War II, the vessel was sold as war surplus to Captain Tom Greene, owner of the Greene Line Steamers of Cincinnati, Ohio. From 1946 to 2008, the Delta Queen operated as an overnight cruise vessel along many of the prominent river and waterways running through America’s heartland, including the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland and Arkansas Rivers. Later on, the vessel operated as a dockside hotel in Chattanooga, Tenn. from 2009 until 2014.

“My partners and I are thrilled to be taking this critical first step toward the preservation and restoration of this important piece of American and river history,” said Cornel Martin, President and CEO of Delta Queen Steamboat Company. “We look forward to the day when the Delta Queen will once again be able to ply America’s waterways and allow passengers to relive the experiences of Mark Twain and his unique cast of river characters from the decks of a true 1927 steamboat.”

The Delta Queen is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is classified as a National Historic Landmark. The steamboat has also recently been designated by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as a National Treasure.

“Our goal is to have the Delta Queen return to cruising America’s waterways in 2016 following extensive mechanical and hotel renovations,” said Martin.

A Tribute to the Delta Queen from South Africa

Jun 7, 2014

The Delta Queen has supporters and fans from all over the world, even from as far away as South Africa. Stephen Thompson, steam buff and poet, has sent us his tribute to the Delta Queen which we’re happy to present to our readers. Stephen, thanks very much for sharing!

Delta Queen

In ’27 she kissed the face
Of the California Delta
Like many before she forsook the shelter
Of her safely explored European birthplace
For a Pioneer’s life with the river tribe
Of the Western United States.
Who can doubt she’s a queen
So regal as she paddles up the stream
Her calliope like a God’s pan pipe
Spreading enchantment on the breeze.


House of Representative passes bill H.R. 1961 in favor of the Delta Queen

Sep 26, 2013
House votes on H.R.1961 on September 25, 2013

House votes on H.R.1961 on September 25, 2013

Though there is still a long way to go for the Delta Queen to return to the rivers as a cruise ship, passing of bill H.R. 1961 in the House of Representatives is a major step in this direction. On Wednesday, September 25th 2013, the House has approved the bill that would grant the historic Delta Queen a 15 years exemption from a fire-retardant materials construction requirement.

The House voted 280 to 89 in favor of the Delta Queen with almost all Republicans voting with “yea”, while Democrats voted 82 to 84 against the bill.

The bill still has to pass Senate, where the Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown [D-Ohio] leeds the efforts which co-sponsors Sens. Rob Portman [R-Ohio], Mary Landrieu [D-La.], and David Vitter [R-La.]. After passing the Senate as expected by Delta Queen supporters, the bill eventually has to be signed by President Barack Obama who as a Senator had been supportive of the Delta Queen exemption back in 2008/2009 but didn’t actively support the case while running for president.

The motion in the House has been led by Rep. Steve Chabot of Cincinnati, who has been fighting for the Delta Queen for years, eventually being successful now. The bill has been co-sponsored by 22 more representatives: Rep Beatty, Joyce [OH-3], Rep Clay, Wm. Lacy [MO-1], Rep Cohen, Steve [TN-9], Rep Enyart, William L. [IL-12], Rep Fudge, Marcia L. [OH-11], Rep Gibbs, Bob [OH-7], Rep Johnson, Bill [OH-6], Rep Jordan, Jim [OH-4], Rep Joyce, David P. [OH-14], Rep Kaptur, Marcy [OH-9], Rep Latta, Robert E. [OH-5], Rep Luetkemeyer, Blaine [MO-3], Rep Massie, Thomas [KY-4], Rep McKinley, David B. [WV-1], Rep Renacci, James B. [OH-16], Rep Richmond, Cedric L. [LA-2], Rep Ryan, Tim [OH-13], Rep Stivers, Steve [OH-15], Rep Tiberi, Patrick J. [OH-12], Rep Turner, Michael R. [OH-10], Rep Wenstrup, Brad R. [OH-2], Rep Whitfield, Ed [KY-1]

Why the Delta Queen is safe to run as a cruise ship …

Sep 25, 2013

As the decision about the future of the Delta Queen comes closer, the same ignorant and misleading arguments about the Delta Queen’s safety are being raised by her opponents again that had been part of he discussion for years now. We won’t repeat all this so-called facts and half-cooked arguments here in detail but will give some details everyone should know about the Delta Queen before questioning her safety. (thanks, Phillip, for compiling all this important information!)

Fire prevention: Recent fires on cruise ships like the Carnival Triumph, Carnival Splendor and the Grandeur of the Seas are being used to demonstrate how dangerous a fire can get on cruise ships. But: These fires did not result in any loss of life, and occured on foreign flag vessels operating in international waters, where crew training and qualification are not under the scrutiny of the USCG. The real imposition to the passengers was the amount of time it took these vessels to return to the nearest port due to their extreme distance from any suitable port, or land at all for that matter. The Delta Queen, as any other domestic river vessel is manned by US Citizens under the full scrutiny of the USCG for training, vessel manning and safety compliance including fire detection and suppression systems.

Information and documentation: The Delta Queen’s opponents say that H.R. 1961 would reinstate “an ill-advised statutory exemption from the requirement that all passenger vessels carrying over 50 passengers on overnight excursions be constructed with fire retardant materials for an aged, paddlewheel steamship and that the list of factors about this vessel for which we know little or nothing …” In fact, there is actually quite a lot of information known about the Delta Queen as the vessel has been inspected by the USCG on a quarterly basis while it was in service.


Delta Queen granted six more months at Chattanooga

Sep 18, 2013
Delta Queen at Chattanooga's Coolidge Park

Delta Queen at Chattanooga’s Coolidge Park

The Delta Queen has been granted another six months to stay at her current position at the Chattanooga riverfront at Coolidge Park, the city administration announced on Tuesday, Sept. 18. The news came just days after Chattanooga’s mayor Andy Berke had set a deadline for the Delta Queen to leave the Coolidge Park riverfront by end of September 2013.

A speaker at Chatanooga’s majors office said the extended agreement for another six months is supposed to give the DQ’s owner, the Colorado-based Xanterra Parks & Resorts, more time to continue to work through the sale of the Delta Queen. According to local media at Chattanooga, Xanterra said they’re close to achieving an agreement with a buyer for the Delta Queen, but the transaction being not complete yet. Xanterra didn’t offer any information about who the potential buyer of the Delta Queen was.

The mayor’s office speaker also said the city being committed to working with Xanterra or the future owner of the boat to make Chattanooga a permanent home for the Delta Queen, if desired, which comes quite surprisingly after trying to get rid of the Delta Queen for months now.

A visit to the Delta Queen at Chattanooga

Sep 15, 2013

We’ve been visiting the Delta Queen at Chattanoga in August 2013, stayed a night on board, took a lot of pictures and tried to deal with our strong and mixed emotions seeing the proud paddlewheeler sitting on idle instead of plowing along the rivers – which she hopefully will be able to do very soon, again. It was great to see that she’s in a relatively good condition, given the fact that she wasn’t running for about five years now.

For all her fans who are not able to visit the Delta Queen at Chattanooga or haven’t seen her for a while, we took many pictures – and even Delta Queen experts might find a few sights they have never seen before as we were able to also explore her boiler room and the lower level of the engine room. Please check our comprehensive image gallery at our German website for all the pictures: Delta Queen picture gallery at (thought the website is in German, you’ll easily find your way around, as pictures are pretty international anyway).

We also did something very special: 360° panorama pictures for you to explore the Delta Queen interactively. Check out the Delta Queen panorama pictures at (preview, see the picture below).

Delta Queen Panorama Pictures

Delta Queen Panorama Pictures