Steamship supporters seek exemption to resume cruises
HELENA-WEST HELENA, Ark. - Supporters of the Delta Queen say they'll continue working to get Congress to approve an exemption that would allow the historic steamship to resume offering cruises on the Mississippi River.
The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports legislation for the exemption from federal fire safety laws was bogged down this year.
Delta Queen Steamboat Co. CEO Cornel J. Martin says company officials spent about 20 weeks this year lobbying in Washington for a change in the law.
The U.S. Coast Guard has resisted exemption efforts by the Delta Queen. An exemption that allowed the steamship to continue operating expired in 2008, and it's in a private slip in Louisiana awaiting congressional action.
U.S. Sen. John Boozman of Arkansas, who is co-sponsoring legislation, has said he's hopeful the exemption will be approved.