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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“Save the Delta Queen” Bill in the Senate

Sep 17, 2008

Senator George Voinovich of Ohio has introduced a "Save the Delta Queen" bill in the U.S. Senate (bill no. S. 3498) to exempt her from the 1966 Safety at Sea Law. Support comes from at least eight other Senators, both Republicans and Democrats, and there are more to join in soon.

While this bill alone will not save the Delta Queen directly, it raises enormous attention and is an important step. Newspapers, TV and radio stations and blogs are reporting about the Save the Delta Queen efforts frequently and the number of media coverage increases every day now. What a momentum!

Please, ask your Senator for support!
Get on the phone, go to your Senator’s local offices, fire up your fax machines and urge your Senators to support and co-sponsor this important bill (S. 3498) to give the Delta Queen a chance to survive. Contact your local newspapers and TV stations to report about what it means to you and your community if the Delta Queen disappears forever. Even if you did contact your Senator before, give them an update and let them know about the bill no. S 3498.
You’ll find the contact information for your Senator at: (in the upper right corner, just choose your state; phone numbers and addresses of your Senators will be listed).

The Delta Queen is safe!
Don’t forget to point out that all this is not about safety, because the Delta Queen in fact is a very safe boat. Detailed information about the Delta Queen’s safety can be found at

Already on the list of co-sponsors of bill S. 3498 are Senators …

  • Lamar Alexander (R-Tennessee)
  • Evan Bayh (D-Indiana)
  • Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio)
  • Thad Cochran (R-Mississippi)
  • Tom Harkin (D-Iowa)
  • Richard Lugar (R-Indiana)
  • Barack Obama (D-Illinois)
  • David Vitter (R-Louisiana)

Update Sept. 20:

  • Thad Cochran (R-MS)
  • Chuck Grassley (R-IA)
  • Blanche Lincoln (D-AR)
  • Roger Wicker (R-MS)

Update Sept. 22:

  • Mitch McConnell (R-KY)

In four states both Senators have joined in now:

  • Ohio
  • Iowa
  • Indiana
  • Mississippi

(We’ll be updating this list when new co-sponsors are signing up.)

You might also want to call these Senator’s offices to let them know how much you appreciate their support. They need to hear from all of us that they’re doing the right thing.

After a long period of struggles and doubts, I eventually do have the strong feeling that we can win this battle! The Delta Queen will be saved if we all work together. Please, contact your Senator right now. We don’t have much time to loose.

Thank you, Senator George Voinovich, for rolling up your sleeves and tackling this issue in the Senate!


10 Responses to ““Save the Delta Queen” Bill in the Senate”

  1. Andy Napier Says:

    you misspelled Richard Lugar’s name!! Not Lugur….Lugar!
    and I am glad he stands behind this bill!

  2. raymond mueller Says:

    I have travelled aboard the DQ several times and want the boat saved. but not as others, apparently. Since the craft was orginally put in the water at STOCKTON, CALIF., along with the DELTA KING(now residing in Sacramento) I would like to see the DQ permanently based in Stockton and used as a restaurant and hotel, back where she was built and served before WW II (?) on the San Joaquin and Sacramento rivers. There are more modern crafts on the Mississippi, Ohio,Missouri, Cumberland, etc., RETIRE the DQ to her home here on the west coast with dignity.

  3. Franz Neumeier Says:

    Raymond: Our intention is to keep the Delta Queen running as an overnight passenger vessel. She was built for this business and her essential historic value for the generations to come is that she’s unique in that matter. She’s the last overnight passenger paddlwheel steamboat on US rivers. Making her a floating hotel will rip out her soul and will change her in a way that almost nothing from her spirit and historic meaning is left.
    This is our fight is about: we don’t want to see her as a casing that once was a proud paddlewheel steamboat, a shadow of herself. She belongs to the rivers, cruising. People need to see her paddlewheel churning, hear the deep, mellow sound of her whistle, the uniqiw music from her calliope.
    Anyd by the way, that’s what her opponents don’t get: SHE IS A MODERN VESSEL by all means when it comes to navigation and safety. She’s equipped with everything a moden cruise shi has and even more to overcome the few shortcomings she has for ebing a 82 year old gal. There is no reason what so ever to retire her. She’s safe, thousands and thousands of people love her here on the Mississippi and Ohio River systems. I simply don’t see any reason why she should not stay here as she’s been for so many years.

  4. We need at least 51 Senators to actively support the Delta Queen! - Message Boards Says:

    […] Friends, this is really important: To be on the safe side in the Senate we need at least 51 Senators to co-sponsor (not only verbally support) bill no. "S. 3498" to save the Delta Queen. Please, no matter where you live, contact your Senator and tell him how important it is that the Delta Queen gets a new exemption. We not only want the support from Senators from the river states but all of them. Please, don’t think there might be others taking care of this! Every single phone call, fax, letter, visit in the Senator’s local office makes a difference. And we need to be quick; time is running out. Act today, please, to save the Delta Queen. For details and contact data for the Senators, see: ?Save the Delta Queen? Bill in the Senate […]

  5. Travis Gordon Says:

    I saw the D.Q. last ime it was in Chattanooga. Franz is right. Plus, I just finished a Powerpoint on the Delta Queen. I shows the places it goes, and the interior. By the way, thanks Franz for the photos I used on the Pwerpoint. I am going to start sending it to random people. I also have started a petition at school for the Delta Queen’s exsemtion. As of 9-24-08, It has 19 signitures, 2 of them are Army guys, and 1 is a National Gaurd Guy.

  6. Richard Jenkins Says:

    I just sent a letter to Sen. Kennedy, just thought I’d post it here in hopes that it might give others some ideas on what to write to their senators too…

    Dear Senator Kennedy,
    First of all, let me say that I am very sorry to hear about your brain tumor, my thoughts and prayers are with you for a full and speedy recovery.

    However, my main reason for writing today is to ask for your help in an issue that has come to my attention. It is my understanding that you, like myself, have a deep interest in maritime history. I am sure that you are saddened, just as I am, that a number of historic American vessels have been lost in recent years, cut up for scrap despite efforts to preserve them for future generations to enjoy. A particularly sad loss was the 1925-vintage passenger steamer Nobska here in our state a couple of years ago.

    This year, another important piece of America’s nautical heritage, and a contemporary of the Nobska, faces its own struggle for survival. I am talking of course about the Mississippi River steamboat Delta Queen. Although she has never and almost certainly will never touch the shores of Massachusetts, the Delta Queen is a historic treasure that belongs to the whole nation, and as such, we in Massachusetts should take an interest in her plight.

    Unlike so many other historic vessels around the country, the effort to save the Delta Queen is not a struggle against the effects of time and the elements, nor is it a plea for funding. The enemy of the Delta Queen is nothing more than the stubborn short-sightedness of a certain congressman from Minnesota, whose arguments against the vessel’s continued service are absolutely without merit, and whose motives are clearly political despite his dubious claims about the issue of safety. In short, extensive and effective measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the boat, to a higher standard even than most modern vessels. Congressman Oberstar’s remarks comparing the Delta Queen to the 19th century wreck of the Sultana (which would be akin to comparing a modern-day cruise ship to the Titanic) demonstrate all too well his complete ignorance of the subject.

    It is a rare thing in this day and age to find a historic vessel that is completely self-supporting, whose own operating revenues are able to keep pace with the considerable expense of its upkeep. (As the saying goes, the definition of a boat is a hole in the water into which one pours all of his money, and somebody who knows enough to restore an old boat knows enough not to!) The plight of comparable vessels shows that the long-term prospects for a statically-preserved Delta Queen are somewhat bleak. Her place is out on the river, earning her keep as she has done for the past eight decades. In doing so, she preserves an important part of America’s heritage, provides jobs for her crew, and brings tourism dollars to numerous cities and towns along her route. In return she asks not for a single penny of “pork-barrel” funding, just simply permission from congress to keep on going.

    I am told that there is a bill in the works in the Senate (bill no. S. 3498), introduced by Senator Voinovich of Ohio, in support of the Delta Queen. I urge you to support this bill and help to save this important historic vessel.

    Richard Jenkins
    Lawrence, Massachusetts

  7. Craig Watkins Says:

    I just watched a report on ABC about the Delta Queen. I will contact my California senators and representives to lend my support! Congress must save the 150 jobs and correct their misguided legislation that if not righted will most assuredly sink not just another small business but a part of our American history.

    Though I have never been aboard a river boat I hope to cruise aboard the Queen in 2009 with my family and support you and the lovely river towns that you call upon.
    Craig Watkins
    Channel Islands Harbor

  8. Richard Ullrich Jr Says:

    The entire City of Aurora, Indiana is in favor of saving the Delta Queen!

    The chair sees 4000 votes in favor.
    Opposed? None.
    Motion to Save the Delta Queen passes unanimously.

  9. Norman Vann Says:

    Thanks to Mr. Richard Jenkins. I used your letter as a template to send to both Senators and my congressman in North Carolina. May “God Save The Queen!”

  10. Tricia Johnston Says:

    I saw the Delta Queen on her final voyage this year in Cape Girardeau, MO. I came up from Atlanta to see her. It was very moving and quite sad to see this glorious piece of our history steam downriver away from the town. I hope it will not be the last time she visits Cape. Besides being an important part of American history, she helps the economies of small communities up and down the river systems. I have written to both of my senators about this issue and hope that they will see it’s the right thing to do to support S.R. 3498. Save the Delta Queen and American jobs!