President Donald Trump has signed into law legislation that will let the 1920s-era Delta Queen steamboat carry passengers if certain safety improvements are made. The vessel has not sailed down the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers since a federal exemption lapsed in 2008.

Photo courtesy of Delta Queen Steamboat Co.

Missouri U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt sponsored the measure that is expected to create more than 170 jobs in eastern Missouri and will make the boat’s new home port in Kimmswick. According to Blunt’s office, the Delta Queen is anticipated to begin and end several cruises each year in Kimmswick and will visit up to 80 other U.S. ports.

“The return of the historic Delta Queen is great news for our state and the St. Louis region,” Blunt says. “This important part of our nation’s history will create jobs and strengthen our state’s growing tourism industry. I thank our House colleagues, local officials, and community leaders who have been great partners in our effort to bring this one-of-a-kind riverboat back to Missouri.”

McCaskill says she’s thrilled the Delta Queen can once again sail down the Mississippi.

“This historic landmark will highlight the rich history of the state I love, supporting local communities up and down the river. Working with Senator Blunt and my colleagues in the House to make this a reality has been a privilege,” she says.

The Delta Queen is a wooden American steamboat that carried dignitaries, including three U.S. Presidents, and thousands of other passengers. It also served as a naval ship during World War Two and has been designated as a national historic landmark.

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