WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Rob Portman (R-OH) introduced legislation that would allow the Delta Queen to carry passengers on overnight trips on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. Companion legislation was introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by U.S. Rep. Steve Chabot (OH-1) and Brad Wenstrup (OH-2).
“The Delta Queen’s legacy is rooted in Cincinnati and the city should play a role in her future,” Brown said. “More than just a treasured historic landmark, restoration of this ship would pump money back into Ohio River towns while returning the Delta Queen to Cincinnati’s Riverfront where it belongs.”
"The Delta Queen is an Ohio treasure and an important part of the history of Cincinnati, the Queen City. I remember being on the Delta Queen as a kid and all Cincinnatians are proud of the connection to our city,” Portman said. “This legislation is about bringing this historic boat back to my home-town of Cincinnati and boosting jobs and tourism along the Ohio River during this time of economic uncertainty, all at no cost to the taxpayer."
The 1966 Safety at Sea law prohibits wooden ships of a certain size—like the Delta Queen—from carrying passengers on overnight trips. Brown’s bill would grant a 15-year exemption to this rule, which was standard practice until 2008.
The Delta Queen, designated as a National Historic Landmark, is currently moored in Chattanooga, TN but was owned by a Cincinnati company from 1946-1985.