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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.

(more…)

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 cruisetricks.de (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 steamboats.org (preview, see the picture below).

Delta Queen