The Delta Queen is a Historic landmark on water that offered cruises to passengers for sixty-two years before being docked in Chattanooga where it has been used as a hotel since 2009.
The steam powered vessel has carried more than half a million passengers and that number will continue to grow once it sets sail again.
“This past February a tour operator, out of lower state West Virginia, actually purchased the Delta and their restructuring it, getting it ready to get it back onto the river and hopefully be getting back to the Wheeling area as early as next year,” said Michael Biela, with the Wheeling Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.
The Delta Queen and other boats like it, such as the American Queen have been known for making stops at Heritage Port in Wheeling, where passengers go-ashore and visit businesses and restaurants in Downtown Wheeling.
James Behanna, a native of Wheeling thinks it will be good for the boat to bring passengers back to Wheeling
“It is a good thing, because it excites people, because we need to get more people in here to see the history of wheeling.”
Beila also said he has heard stories from times when the boat visited Wheeling.
“From what I've heard from my parents it used to be packed when it would come into town. It's a good driver, and a simple driver too, to get people into the downtown area and get them seeing what has become of Wheeling and where it's going in the future.”
Wheeling has been a hub for tourism in the Ohio Valley for years, because of the wealth of history the area has to offer.
From Independence Hall, to Centre Market and The Eckhart House, people love to visit the Friendly City.
Jason Cook, another Wheeling native said he’s seen tourist in the area during his travels about town.
“A couple times, I've seen some middle-aged women taking pictures of different things," said Cook.