Hannibal plans to bring another cruise line to their new riverfront.
Mississippi Marketplace owner Linda Studer said the idea that Viking river cruises coming to Hannibal is more a reality than ever before is exciting.
“I think it has the potential to be huge. When we have riverboats that port here now, it’s great,” said Studer. “The people port down here, they get off, they get to see downtown and kind of embrace America’s Hometown.”
Right now, the city is negotiating an agreement with the cruise line to use one of the new ports at Hannibal’s new riverfront.
The city manager said the company will most likely pay a dollar per passenger docking fee. With over 100 dockings a season, that could be an extra $35,000 to $40,000 a year.
“Our businesses here in town are great about preparing for the future and being proactive and working together,” said Mckenzie Disselhorst with the Hannibal Area Chamber of Commerce. “When you get an opportunity such as viking or any opportunity that brings more tourism to town, that’s just an incredible time for them to really band together.”
Disselhorst said an increase in tourism like that would affect everyone.
“Anytime there is an increased investment in tourism or an increase in the number of attractions or number of people coming to town, that’s just positive for the entire community,” explained Disselhorst. “Even those that don’t think they are affected by tourism, it really raises the bar across the community.”
For Studer, tens of thousands of extra customers a year is hard to even fathom.
“Oh my gosh, I don’t know what that means. It’s like, that would be just a great thing to have to deal with,” said Studer.
City council will have to approve the agreement with Viking River Cruises. The agreement is up for discussion at next week’s city council meeting.