The US House of Representatives decided the fate of Delta Queen Steamboat. Cincinnati's beloved cruise ship may once again sail back home, at least temporarily.
The House reinstated an exemption to allow Delta Queen Steamboat to return to service 2 years after the bill had been passed by the Senate. The legislation is due to grant a 15-year exemption to rules that cover wooden ships like Delta Queen.
The Safety at Sea law of 1966 prohibits wooden vessels of a certain size, like Delta Queen, from carrying travelers on overnight trips. Until 2008, granting exemptions was standard practice, according to the lawmakers.
Once signed into law, major repairs will start to allow Delta Queen's return to overnight service, according to the owners of the ship.
Delta Queen, which is owned by Delta Queen Steamboat Company (Kimmswick, Missouri), will begin offering themed cruises on Mississippi, Ohio, Cumberland, Tennessee, Arkansas and Kanawha rivers in 2020.
Delta Queen is a National Historic Landmark as well as on the National Register of Historic Places. The historic steamboat is included in the National Maritime Hall of Fame. It was named National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.