Missouri Senators hope for full steam ahead on historic steamboat bill that sails through U.S. Senate

A legendary riverboat is another step closer to cruising again and making east-central Missouri’s Kimmswick its home port. The U.S. Senate has voted in favor of the bill sponsored by Missouri U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D) and Roy Blunt (R) that would allow the 1920s era Delta Queen steamboat to carry passengers if certain safety upgrades are made to the vessel.

“The Delta Queen will be home ported in Kimmswick, Missouri just south of St. Louis. There, its operations will create more than 170 jobs and economic impact of more than $36 million, which is a big impact for one boat in a small community,” says Sen. Claire McCaskill.


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.

“It is important that we save this vessel, not only for what it represents to our country but also what it means in jobs and economic activity to an important area of the state,” says McCaskill.


The Delta Queen is a wooden American steamboat that 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.

“The Delta Queen is a remarkable part of our nation’s history, and I’m thrilled that it’s another step closer to making its way back to Missouri and once again cruising the Mississippi,” says Blunt. “Restoring the Delta Queen to full operation will create jobs, support economic growth, and enhance our state’s tourism industry. I’ll continue working to make sure more Missourians and visitors alike are able to see and experience this national treasure.”

The proposal is headed to the U.S. House for consideration.