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A Cincinnati-based group called Save the Delta Queen 2010 has submitted a bid to buy the 84 year old steamboat and return the vessel to full operation.        

The Delta Queen has been leased as a floating hotel in Chattanooga since June of last year. Its cruises were halted after a congressional fire safety exemption was not renewed.

Without the exemption, the vessel could not conduct overnight excursions with more than 49 passengers.

Vicki Webster with Save the Delta Queen says the steamboat is now for sale and her group has submitted a bid. If successful, the Queen would again carry passengers on the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

“(The group) would operate her with no more than 49 overnight passengers, which is the legal limit right now. and use other means to generate enough revenue to support the venture while we try to get the exemption,” she said.

For decades, the Delta Queen was the Belle of Louisville’s annual rival in the Kentucky Derby Festival’s Great Steamboat Race.

(File photo by Gabe Bullard)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."