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Delta Queen may become floating hotel

Posted by Anita Dunham-Potter On January - 7 - 2009

It looks like another cruise queen is about to become a floating hotel. Ambassadors International, owner of the Delta Queen, said it is in talks to lease the vessel for use as a hotel. A report in this week’s Travel Weekly quotes Ambassadors’ vice president of corporate development, Joseph McCarthy, stating the company is in talks with various parties in regards to a lease. But there’s a catch, the lease would be subject to a sale to operate the vessel as an overnight cruise passenger vessel and that would require a congressional exemption.

The Delta Queen is no longer permitted to sail. Built in 1926, the Delta Queen has a steel hull and a wooden superstructure. A 1966 law prohibits wooden vessels from carrying 50 or more people on overnight trips, but in 1968, Congress granted the Delta Queen an exemption that had been renewed nine times over the next 40 years. That exemption expired on October 31, 2008.

In December, four members of Congress signed a letter to President Bush asking for an executive order to extend the Delta Queen’s exemption.

Stay tuned for more…

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