A decade-long legislative effort to return the Delta Queen Steamboat to America’s waterways is complete.

Tuesday, President Donald Trump signed a law renewing the vessel’s exemption from the 1966 Safety at Sea Act, allowing her long-awaited return to the nation’s rivers. 

The vessel is currently docked in Houma, Louisiana, where major repairs will soon be underway. In all, the Delta Queen Steamboat Company estimates the repairs will cost between $10 million and $12 million.

When renovations are complete, likely in 2020, themed voyages will resume along the Mississippi, Ohio, Tennessee, Cumberland, Kanawha, Arkansas and Illinois Rivers. It will make stops in Chattanooga and Nashville.

The President’s action on Tuesday will allow the Delta Queen to remain in overnight cruise service through 2028.

“We must pause to thank President Trump and the legislators who worked together to grant the Delta Queen permission to cruise again. Without Ohio Congressman Steve Chabot and Missouri Senators Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, this significant piece of history may have been lost,” said Leah Ann Ingram, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of the Delta Queen Steamboat Company.

The Delta Queen was used as a hotel and restaurant for years near Coolidge Park, but an ice storm in 2014 made maintenance an issue.

Click here for more information about the Delta Queen and upcoming cruises.