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Arguments in Favor of the Delta Queen

Aug 12, 2007

When you’re writing or talking to politicians and reporters about the Delta Queen, there are hundreds of good arguments on favor for the Delta Queen. The Delta Queen raises big emotions in all of us. But on the political floor, this discussion is mainly about the Safety at Sea Act. Emotions are important, but try to prioritize the safety aspects before the romantic and historical ones.

Here are some ideas on what arguments are really important:

The Delta Queen is a very safe boat to travel on:

– Though the Safety at Sea Act requires noncombustible material for the construction of boats, the wooden superstructure of the Delta Queen doesn’t mean there is a bigger fire hazard. It’s a long-known fact that wooden structures often survive longer in catastrophic fires than noncombustible structures, which quickly fail and melt.

– The Safety at Sea Act assumes that ships are remote from land and other vessels. The Delta Queen can be landed in minutes over the entire route she traverses. Her forward mounted swing bridge and inflatable emergency boats on the stern make it easy and effective to evacuate passengers very quickly within moments of notice. Also remember that the staterooms on the Delta Queen have exits directly to open decks, except for the cabins in the Betty Blake Lounge, which have a big window to an open deck. There are no dead walkways on the whole boat and there are several outside staircases between all cabin decks.

– The boat and its crew are rigorously inspected and tested by the Coast Guard at frequent intervals.

– The Delta Queen is protected by an efficient sprinkler system and sophisticated electronic monitoring systems.

– The vessel has operated safely for more than eighty years. In all that time the boat has not been responsible for even a single passenger death, nor any type of fire where passengers had to disembark the vessel.

Excellent safety record. With her excellent safety record, safety appliances, and crew training, it seems clear that the Delta Queen provides far less risk to the safety of her passengers than they experience in their everyday lives. Think of how few of the many safety features mentioned you have in hotels, offices, or in your own home.

Business and Jobs. Remind local politicians and reporters of how much business the Delta Queen brings to the river towns. Remind them of the many employees on the boat itself and the people on shore who support this boat, both within Majestic America Line and at third party companies providing amenities.

Passengers can make their own decisions. Passengers know very well about the age and the wooden structure of the boat when they board. That’s actually why they have booked a cruise on this boat. Compliant to the Safety at Sea Act, every passenger signs a statement that he/she has understood that the boat doesn’t meet some of the requirements of the law. Nobody is being forced to travel on this boat; they’re free to make their own travel decisions. This is a free country, so why should Congress make this decision for the passengers upfront?

The Delta Queen is part of our American Heritage. And of course, don’t forget to mention the Delta Queen is part of our American Heritage, just like the Lincoln Monument, the Statue of Liberty, or the White House in Washington DC. There is no good reason to deny her to continue to carry on the great American tradition of passenger-carrying stern-wheel steamboating.



17 Responses to “Arguments in Favor of the Delta Queen”

  1. John Anderson Says:

    What IDIOTS we apparently have in Congress. Totally myopic.
    No wonder their approval rating is less than 26%. What will they do next…remove the wreck of the USS Arizona citing
    the oil it leaks? Make it illegal to board the USS Constitution because its made of wood? The Delta Queen has been safely operating since before ANY of them were even born!
    Little by little, yet faster and faster, the very essence of America itself is vaporizing before our very eyes. Now we can’t even have ONE cherished American Legend riverboat to recall the days- going fast- when America was TRUELY great.
    Its really sad….think about it!

  2. Mark Allen Says:

    Can’t say it any better than Mr Anderson did above.

  3. Robert Morton Says:

    I once had a good friend and a New Hampshire Legislator state that you can’t legislate safety or morality. Her opinion is that people should be responsible for making those types of decisions. After all, just look at the number of drivers that exceed the posted speed limits. Only a very few get caught. The law, therefore, truly does little to keep driver’s speeds down. It appears that Congress has decided that they know how to, at least, legislate safety. Since it is obvious that people who knowingly choose to sail on the Delat Queen must be deficient in common sense, Congress has decided to protect us from ourselves. If only someone could protect us from Congress.

  4. Wendy Matthews Says:

    Sailing on the Delta Queen is one our favorite vacations. Everything about it is truly Americana at its best. Tell Congress to keep their eager little hands off and let us decide for ourselves where we chose to spend our time.

  5. James Porcari Says:

    A quick check with a couple of legislators in Washington a few weks ago found that they had no knowledge of any new bill to save the Delta Queen. I have queried the owners of the DQ as to the bill number in Congress and have received no reply. I question their interest in getting a bill passed.


  6. Claude Chafin Says:

    What is the big deal, add fire sprinklers to the Delta Queen! Cruise liners are sprinklered all the time. Add a fire pump to the hull of the ship and install sprinklers! No idiot, not even those in congress, would dock her if she were sprinklered! There has never been a loss of life in a fully sprinklered building, and the same is true for ships!

  7. Cherrie Arnold Says:

    My husband and I once sailed on the Delta Queen. How romantic. This is an outrage! Can we please have our America and all it stands for and mean, back.
    I’m sick to death of Congress and the powers that be legislating my life!

  8. Joanne Williams Says:

    To Claude Chafin I say the Delta Queen is sprinklered and has been for many years.

  9. John Sargent Says:

    If the following statement is actually in the Safety of Lives at Sea Act then the Delta Queen would be exempt.

    Under the terms of the 1960 Safety of Lives at Sea Act, ships with more than 50 staterooms must be constructed of inflammable materials.

    INFLAMMABLE and FLAMMABLE both mean “combustible.”

  10. Ben Evans Says:

    It appears that the new owners of the Delta Queen are not too interested in saving the steamboat. They seem to have given up on this.Is it because it is not profitable?

  11. Gena Schneider Says:

    My father worked on the Delta Queen for 10 yrs, they take fire safety drills every month. It is by far the safest boat you can take. Pop went deep sea also for 10 yrs, on the U.S.N.S. DENEBOLA, he would rather be on the Queen. He is in a retirement home for sailors in North Carolina and can’t beleave this.It makes him very sad.

  12. Robert J Gould Says:

    I have always enjoyed seeing the Delta Queen travel up and down the river near my hometown of Warsaw, KY. She cannot be retired because I have not had the chance to travel aboard this beautiful boat. This boat does not travel the seas, it travels rivers. There is a difference. I know there are laws that govern boats on the waterways of America, however consideration and exceptions can be made. Every exception should be made to save the queen. Besides anyone who comes aboard the boat should understand that the structure is made of wood and know that their lives could be in danger of fire.

  13. Cy Svobodny Says:

    I recsll that the Delta Queen was painted with a special NASA developed (for the re-entry heat) formula of fire-proof paint and is therefore not burnable. Also since the steamboat plys the rivers and inland waterways it is only moments from the safety of shore at any time if the worst were to occur. I am sure the owners have taken every precaution (fireproof furnishings etc.) to prevent the worst from happening. They do not want to lose their most important asset.

  14. Michael Muse Says:

    Save the Queen. Not like tree hugging or saving whales. This is the last whale in existence. There are no others. This baby is safe, it is beautiful, it provides a service, its heritage is indeed commensurate with the Washington Monument, Mount Rushmore, Golden Gate Bridge, Staten Island Ferry and the Queen Mary. She is an asset to us all. Let keep it alive.

  15. The “General Slocum” could still run today, without exemption! Says:

    […] Arguments in Favor of the Delta Queen Archives […]

  16. Donna Murphy Says:

    Save the Queen. It is safe,It is beautiful. Let the Queen continue to travel the river. The Queen has an excellent safety record. The crew that runs the Queen would never sail her if there was any danger. No one has ever died from takeing a peaceful sail on the Queen. We have deaths every day from car accidents and drug over dose. Please don’t take our beautiful Queen from us.

  17. Alexandra~Titanic.Historian~ Says:

    does congress even know anything about ships?
    Save the Delta Queen!!!