Here’s a link to an article from The Natchez Democrat:


The House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has endorsed a bill which could allow the steamboat “Delta Queen” to return to cruising America’s rivers. This action moves the bill out of committee and to the House for a vote.

Read the full article here:



Within the last month, bills have been introduced in both the House and Senate which if enacted would renew the expired exemption allowing the steamboat “Delta Queen” to again cruise America’s Rivers without restrictions imposed by the 1966 Safety Of Life At Sea Act which restricted the Delta Queen’s wooden superstructure (the portion of vessel built above the steel hull).

Since 1966, this last remaining authentic overnight steam-powered paddlewheeler received numerous extensions to this exemption up until 2008 when the renewal lapsed as the boat’s then-owner Ambassador’s International ceased their riverboat operations as the company slid toward their eventual bankruptcy.

The historic vessel, a National Historic Landmark, currently resides docked in Chattanooga, Tennessee and is open as a bed and breakfast under a lease agreement with the boat’s current owner Xanterra Parks & Resorts. An investment team is working toward purchasing the vessel from Xanterra and hopes that the congressional exemption renewal could enable he boat to return to river cruising.

You can follow the progress of these bills online:

To follow Senate Bill 1022, CLICK HERE.

To follow House Bill 1961, CLICK HERE.

If the Delta Queen is a treasure that you would like to see continue to preserve steamboat history, certainly contact your Senate and Congressional representatives, the co-sponsors of the bills, and the members of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation and House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure, specifically the subcommittee for Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation.

Stay tuned for further updates on these exciting developments!

Cincinnati Enquirer: “The Delta Queen could come back home to Cincinnati. But she has four other serious suitors: Louisville; Sacramento, Calif.; New York’s Manhattan Island; and Chattanooga, Tenn., where the boat currently rests as a floating hotel.”

To read the full article from the Cincinnati Enquirer, CLICK HERE.

The Daytona Beach News-Journal made official yesterday rumors that have been circulating for weeks – that Wayne Heller has abandoned plans to purchase the steamboat Delta Queen. So, for now, she will remain in Chattanooga and open to visitors hoping to experience a this National Historic Landmark.

Stay tuned for the continuing saga…

To read the full article online, CLICK HERE.



Tuesday night (Sept. 11), the New Smyrna Beach council voted 3-2 in favor of pursuing a lease agreement with Wayne Heller which would provide him a space to dock the Delta Queen steamboat if it were relocated to Florida.

Heller still must receive approval from other regulatory entities and finalize the purchase of the vessel.

Stay tuned for more updates on the future of this National Historic Landmark and the last authentic overnight steam-powered paddlewheeler in American history.

Read the full text of the Daytona News-Journal article below.


Wayne Heller is to make his proposal Sept 11 to the New Smyrna Beach council regarding his hopes to purchase the Delta Queen steamboat and relocate it to eastern Florida. City officials have asked him to address about 40 questions related to the possible relocation ranging from “whether the boat will be painted and bottom cleaned on an established schedule to how much parking will be provided at the Causeway site” to concerns over possible navigation impediments that must be assertained by the US Coast Guard and Army Corp of Engineers.

Heller said is still working on purchasing the boat from its current owner, Xanterra Parks and Resorts.

Read more at the link below.