I have been sitting on this story for a few weeks but could not come up with the words to describe the loss of this historic ship and the Jones Act relate jobs she provided. Shipping Times does a better job than I:
She spans not only the generations, but the Atlantic, linking the romance of the stern-wheelers on the Mississippi and the Clyde-built traditions of hundreds of years. After the end of the 2008 season she will retire, her great wheel to turn no more.
Dumbarton situated where the River Leven joins the Clyde has produced many ships that are or were historic, such as the CUTTY SARK and also some very unusual and surprising vessels have been born in the shadow of The Rock.
Two such were the DELTA KING and DELTA QUEEN. The former is now a static attraction and hotel at Sacramento, whilst the latter has been paddling in US waters right up until now. Six times she has been granted exemption from laws regarding ships with wooden superstructure, but now her time has run out and after the 2008 season she will sail no more.
… The company say it is continuing to evaluate the best way to preserve her legendary spirit and her esteemed place in American history for future generations.
From across the Atlantic we trust she will forever remain a living legend in one form or another, and a symbol of the links between a shipbuilding town on Clydeside and the great steamboats on the great US rivers.