Mississippi Water Levels Force River Cruise Itinerary Changes

July 8, 2014
american queen

(11:30 a.m. EDT) -- Two U.S.-based river cruise lines are making changes to their Mississippi River sailings as high waters continue to be a problem on the upper part of the river.

American Queen Steamboat Company will move American Queen to the Ohio River for its July 9, 15 and 23 sailings, which were scheduled to sail between St. Louis and St. Paul. The new itineraries will sail between Cincinnati and Paducah, Kentucky. Passengers on the July 9 sailing will then travel by bus to St. Louis, while passengers on the July 15 pre-cruise hotel stay in St. Louis will be transferred by bus to Paducah.

Passengers booked on the July 9 and 15 sailings may stay on the altered sailing and receive up to $100 in onboard credit, per person and a $500 future cruise credit per cabin or move their bookings to late-2014 Upper Mississippi sailings with a one cabin category upgrade (if available).

"Delivering a safe, predictable cruise itinerary for our guests is a priority and sometimes river conditions are outside our control," cruise line president and COO Ted Sykes said.

American Cruise Lines also is making changes for its river boat Queen of the Mississippi, though the line has not yet revealed details of the new itineraries.

"American Cruise Lines will operate its cruises on the Mississippi River on schedule, however some ports of call will change," the line's spokeswoman Britt Rabinovici told Cruise Critic.

Rainfall along the Mississippi has been two to three times what is normal for the Midwest, and more storms are forecast. Flooding has closed roads and forced the closure of several Mississippi River bridges. High waters last summer also forced both lines to move their boats onto the Ohio River.

--By Dori Saltzman, News Editor