Portman, Brown Continue Push to Return Historic Delta Queen Steamboat to Ohio River

January 17, 2017 | Press Releases

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Rob Portman (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) have renewed their push to clear the way for the Delta Queen steamboat to return to the Ohio River. Portman and Brown joined Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt in introducing a bill that would allow the Delta Queen, a U.S. National Historic Landmark, to once again carry passengers on overnight trips on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. 

The Delta Queen is an important part of the Queen City’s history. I remember riding on the Delta Queen as a young boy, and I am proud to be a part of the effort to keep it afloat,” Portman said. “This legislation will make sure the vessel can get back in business and help promote economic activity along the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers, including in Cincinnati.”   

It’s past time that Delta Queen once again sails on the Ohio River,” Brown said. “This storied and historic landmark will benefit communities along the river and its restoration will show visitors the beauty of our state’s river towns.”

The 1966 Safety at Sea law prohibits wooden ships of a certain size – like the Delta Queen – from carrying passengers on overnight trips. This bill would allow the ship to carry overnight passengers if safety improvements and annual structural alterations are made to the parts of these ships that are not fire-retardant.

The Delta Queen, designated as a National Historic Landmark, is currently undergoing renovations and safety improvements in Houma, Louisiana, but was owned by a Cincinnati company from 1946 to 1985.