Midwest Drought: Any Impact on River Cruises?

August 15, 2005

Media reports today cited cargo ships as being particularly impacted by closures on the Ohio River and low levels on the Mississippi, due to an extreme drought in some parts of the Midwest. At this point, however, river cruises have not been impacted.

A representative from The Delta Queen Queen Steamboat Co., which operates the historic Delta Queen along with contemporary siblings Mississippi Queen and American Queen, says the line is not affected, either by cancellation or delay. Currently, says company spokeswoman Lucette Brehm, "the Delta Queen is on the Upper Mississippi between St. Louis and St. Paul, and the American Queen is on the Lower Mississippi, between Memphis and New Orleans. The Mississippi Queen is on the Mississippi River enroute to the Ohio River on a cruise to Nashville. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is presently dredging several areas on the Ohio River for commercial traffic which will benefit us as well, even though we are the smallest consideration."

We also checked in with RiverBarge Excursions' River Explorer, and a spokesperson says that there has been no adverse impact on its voyages thus far.