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    I couldn't have said it better myself.

    Representatives Elijah Cummings D-MD and John Garamendi D-CA both took pot shots at the DQ falsely claiming she does not have sprinklers, nor does she have an aft point of egress. As we all know the DELTA QUEEN has sprinklers every eight feet through out her interior passenger spaces, fire hoses (with a separate pumping system for pressure independent of the house water system and main generator) every 20 feet on her exterior decks, not to mention the additional sprinklers and CO2 systems in her machinery and kitchen spaces. Located on her bow is a swinging stage that can allow egress from many points off the bow. In addition there are TWO inflatable on each side of her stern that terminate into inflatable rafts. Each of them could remove the ENTIRE passenger compliment at one time. So, their point that it is impossible to evacuate the boat from anywhere other than her bow is simply false. Not to mention that in a real disaster she would be beached and for the most part you could walk off her onto the bank of the river. They claimed many things that are simply not true about the boat because as you said, they have not walked the decks of the boat. Their assertions that the United States Coast Guard issued the mandate that she be removed from the river is totally bunk and they have absolutely no documentation to support such claims.

    Rep. Cummings went as far as to call the bill an "earmark" to purposely negatively affect the operation of the QUEEN OF THE MISSISSIPPI (which he mentioned by name an incredible five times) by stating that the owners of the said boat would unfairly lose market share if the DELTA QUEEN were allowed to sail. I wonder if General Motors could make the same claims of FORD and get away with it? How about Holiday Inn? Couldn't they assert that the restoration of a historic property could unfairly affect their market share, too?

    Although, I think the most interesting claim made by the naysayers was Rep. John Garamendi himself when he called the DELTA KING (a tax paying business in his own constituency) a "fire trap". I am sure the Coyne family (Owners of the DELTA KING) were very happy to hear such incorrect assumption broadcast by their own representative! It was an embarrassing free-for-all by uneducated Representatives who are with out a doubt being paid by someone to slander the name of the DELTA QUEEN with no respect to fact or reality. Rep. Rosa De Laurio D-CT was the most vehement and least educated to her subject in her 10 minute diatribe of ridiculous claims of pending danger in the operation of the DELTA QUEEN. It is downright scary to think these elected officials can blatantly lie while politicking for their special interests and get away with it. Do they not have to have some kind of documentation or bibliography of their claims when representing us?

    One of the most intriguing things I noticed about the outcome of the vote were the specific states that as a group voted against the bill. Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, Oregon (with one exception), and Maryland (with two exceptions). I find it interesting to note the DELTA QUEEN has never run in any of these states. So what could the Representatives of these particular states possibly know about a Mississippi (and former California) River Steamboat or the distinction between her and an ocean-going vessel (for which the Safety of Life at Sea law was written)? Interesting to note is the fact that other operators along the coast line and inland rivers are based in these states and/or own additional businesses and properties in all of the aforementioned states. Makes one wonder if there isn't something fishy about why these particular states' Representatives voted against HR 1961.

    As I have said, there is room on the river for a 1940's-1970's DELTA QUEEN with a small ensemble (3 or 4 people) for entertainment, lots of sounding of bells and whistles with liberal amounts of calliope music. With a focus on the river and her own brand of historic authenticity she will be her own animal. I can't imagine she would be competition to ANY of the other operators on the inland rivers. If anything she would encourage people to come to the rivers and enhance the other operators providing business and opportunities for them, too! She doesn't need elevators, individual climate control, large suites, fancy shows, elaborate meals, multiple dining rooms, pools, putting greens, running tracks, or any of the modern trappings if the prospective passenger is educated to what she is. They will appreciate her and enjoy her just fine and she will rebuild the repeat business she has enjoyed in the past and be very successful. Nay sayers don't believe she can do this. I can't imagine she could fail if she sticks to the tired and true of her past (pre 1980).

    God Speed to those working for and on the DELTA QUEEN. May she safely sail the rivers for many years to come, just like she has done (with out the loss of a single life aboard her to fire EVER) for 85 years!


      Since I missed the actual debate live, I went to the C-Span site and watched their video of it. I was amazed to see that the House chamber was almost empty of representatives other than those who actually spoke. The video didn't show the roll call vote but did show the results. Were the votes pre-cast prior to the arguments? I would like to see a list who voted for or against the bill.

      My impression was that reps Cummings and Garamendi were (are) pawns of the Queen of the Mississipppi owners and spewed out info that had been spoon fed to them. The other rep, Rosa DeLaurino, appeared to be in need of retirement. How could that woman get elected? She was totally incorrect with the statements and obviously had no personal knowledge of the facts. In fact, I've never heard of her before.

      One fact that might have been presented was that the DQ has her own following of passengers, many of whom do not sail on the other boats. It wasn't needed though since she won the vote handily.


        I can assume the Maryland delegation voted as they did in support of Maryland-based ACL (or at least their yard in Cambridge). I am happy to say my Maryland Congressman Chris Van Hollen voted in favor of the bill.

        Now, on to the Senate.



          Roll Call Vote

          Originally posted by Jim Herron View Post
          The video didn't show the roll call vote but did show the results. Were the votes pre-cast prior to the arguments? I would like to see a list who voted for or against the bill.

          The list of those who voted for or against the bill can be found here:

          The results are markedly different along party lines, which will make for more of a challenge if it proves to be the case in the Senate. My district's Representative (Rob Andrews, District 1 - NJ) voted against, irrespective of my call to his office.



            Travis: DQ stepped on toes including organized labor and that could be the reason that elected representatives from "non-river" states voted against it. The objections don't hold water otherwise...certainly not fire! I'm glad you enumerated the exits...I had no knowledge of the slides...but then I was never lucky enuff to sail on her...mebbe soon! Cap'n Walnut


              Originally posted by Franz Neumeier View Post

              you mentioned an intersting point: choking a stump by night, cruising by daylight. That was actually a pleasing surprise on our cruise on the Queen of the Mississippi as ACL is doing exactly this. We almost never sailed by night and hence didn't miss a piece of the beautiful landscape around. Half day cruising, half day plus the nights in town (okay, we stayed on town for the nights, didn't choke stump; guess that' some convenience for the crew). I remember back in the DQSC times (don't remember which boat) when we did pass Lake Pepin by night ... :-(

              I'm glad you got that mix on your trip - but remember they put that trip together quickly since they couldn't do the UMR. When they do come up on schedule, they sit all day in Davenport after arriving during the night. I think that is true in the other UMR ports too. I can understand people wanting bigger, nicer rooms and amenities than what the DQ can offer, but for the life of me I can't understand why people would book a trip on a BOAT so they could spend every day on BUSES touring land sites. Take a Greyhound instead!


                It actually is this mix on all ACL cruises, this wasn't just by accident on our cruise. Half cruising, half sightseeing by daylight and staying in port overnight (sometimes arriving like at 10 pm and staying until noon the next day) is one of their basic idea. They want to show the passengers the scenery that they came for.

                When I remember back to our cruises on the AQ, MQ and DQ, we freqently missed specific steches of the rivers because we did them by night (like Lake Pepin, as mentioned - I think we did Lake Pepin three or four times, but only once or twice by daylight).

                But don't forget another aspect when talking about ACL: This is a different audience. I think it's always important to not exprct every cruise line doing river cruises on the Mississippi to have the same concept and the same audience. Some people like sitting in busses and doing tours. That's neither bad nor good, it's just ho it is - some people like it this way, and some don't.

                I think it's great that there are different people and different cruise concept so everyone can find exactly what fits his needs.


                  Travis, you wrote:

                  Originally posted by Travis Vasconcelos View Post
                  They claimed many things that are simply not true about the boat because as you said, they have not walked the decks of the boat.
                  I'd go even further than that. I assume they're lying intentionally. Nobody can be so stupid to think that the Delta Queen got her COI from the Coast Guard for so many years without being fully compliant with all safety regulations (with the obvious exemption of having a partially wooden superstructure).

                  In the unlikely case they really are stupid enough to really belief what they said, I wonder a) why they are being elected as Representatives? b) why such a gross insult for the Coast Guard is acceptable in the House, giving the Coast Guard that little trust?

                  But anyway, that's history now, this time with a very positive outcome for the DQ in the House.

                  Let's now focus our energy on approaching the Senators, especially the ones in the Committee of Commerce, to make this bill go through Senate as well. I think that's much more important than anything else right now!



                    Do we have a Senate bill number? Or will HR 1961 cross over to the Senate?



                      the bill number in the Senate is S. 1022


                        Franz, as I recall from my working days on the DQ, Lake Pepin was transited during daylight hours on upbound trips. We typically left St Paul at 7pm or later, so it was dark by the time Pepin was reached when downbound. Also, most of those trips were in the fall with standard time being observed.


                          Greg, I guess you're right. I just remember having been pretty disappointed when we found out we won't see Lake Pepin on these trips at all...


                            I've sent off letters to our Senators. I wrote my congressman while it was in the House of Representatives.

                            We'll see what happens.


                              In my last news letter from the National Trust for Historic Preservation was a note that they were supporting the Delta Queens return to the Rivers. The National Trust has some pretty influential people on its board and staff and should be great allies.


                                This from my 14 year old son, "Dad, I hope when Delta Queen leaves Chattanooga to go back to cruising the rivers someone is on the calliope playing Happy Days are Here Again."

                                He heard a Youtube video of someone playing that on the calliope.