With the popularity of boats such as the TWILIGHT and the CITY OF PEORIA with their two day cruises and the passengers spending the night in hotels, why couldn't the owners of the DQ do something similar? Being from Louisville, I was thinking of Louisville to Cincinnati; that seems to be a natural to me. That was a popular and money making route from 1834 to 1932 when the great depression killed it just like it did a lot of other businesses. In the winter perhaps NOLA to Baton Rouge. By going into a business such as this, the boat would not be carrying overnight passengers and would be exempt from SOLAS laws governing overnight passenger vessels. I think that the boat could easily be approved for 400 excursion passengers. They wouldn't have to change the boat at all....they could sell the present staterooms as "day cabins" at a premium fare much like the ones on the BADGER.
It's just a thought, but at least the ol' gal would be running which it seems to me would be much better than sitting waiting on an exemption which may never come.