Skip to content

Blunt, McCaskill Continue Push to Return Historic Delta Queen Steamboat to Missouri

Senators introduce legislation to allow boat’s return to Missouri to boost jobs, tourism in greater St. Louis region

January 11, 2017

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Roy Blunt (Mo.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) are continuing their push to bring the historic 1920’s riverboat Delta Queen back to the Mississippi River. The Senators’ bipartisan legislation would reinstate a decades-long exemption to allow the boat to operate from its new home port of Kimmswick, in Jefferson County—creating more than 100 jobs and bringing in millions in economic growth and tourism revenue.

“Expanding the Delta Queen’s operations will create jobs, support economic growth, and allow more Americans to experience a taste of history along the Mississippi,” Blunt said. “I’m proud to have the Delta Queen’s home port in Kimmswick, and will continue pushing to get this national treasure back into full operation.”

“It’s time for the Delta Queen to serve as far more than an historic landmark and tourist attraction—it’ll be a real boon to jobs and economic expansion in Jefferson County,” McCaskill said. “I’m determined to bring the Delta Queen home to the St. Louis region where she belongs so Missourians and tourists in ports up and down the river will be able to experience the long and rich history of this steamboat.”

According to the Jefferson County Economic Development Corporation, the St. Louis region will experience a significant economic impact from the Delta Queen, creating more than 170 jobs locally and bringing in more than $36.4 million to the St. Louis region annually. It is expected that the Delta Queen will begin and end a number of its cruises each year in Kimmswick and will visit more than 80 other ports in the United States.

Built in the 1920s, the Delta Queen is an historic, wooden American steamboat. The Delta Queen carried dignitaries (including three U.S. Presidents) and thousands of other passengers through the tributaries of the Mississippi River. The boat also served as a naval ship during World War II, and is now designated as a United States National Historic Landmark.

Beginning in 1966, the Delta Queen was exempted from a law passed by Congress regulating passenger vessels carrying 50 or more passengers overnight on domestic U.S. waters. That exemption expired in 2008. This legislation would restore the long-running exemption and require the Delta Queen, which is fully compliant with all other Coast Guard safety regulations, to annually modify at least ten percent of the wooden portions of the vessel’s superstructure to comply with the federal safety law requirements.

Next Article » « Previous Article