The Delta Queen began her service to passengers back in 1927 in Sacramento/San Joaquin River deltas and continued in service until 1940. During the 1940s, the US Navy utilized this historic ship for various purposes including troop transport and as an emergency hospital ship. After the war, she took a long trip being towed down the Pacific cost, through the Panama Canal, and then finally making her way up the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers to be remodeled for service in Pittsburgh. She almost had to leave service in the 1960’s and 70’s and faces the same fate today because of the the 1966 Safety at Sea law which prohibits ships with a wooden substructure due to fire danger. Several extensions have been signed into law since the 70’s and the current exemption expires in 2008. There is a website set up to give people more information about the beautiful Delta Queen and the petition to allow her to stay in service.
The website explains much about the history of the ship and its safety record and provides many reasons why another exemption should be passed in order to save this historic ship.