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Hannibal business owners gear up for first riverboat docking of the year

Flooding has delayed riverboats from docking in Hannibal throughout the summer but that’s about to change.

Mississippi Marketplace owner Linda Studer said she almost forgot about the annual riverboat dockings because Hannibal’s Bicentennial has kept her store busy.

“We got off to a slow start this spring so I think people have kinda made up for it this summer so we have not really noticed that the riverboats haven’t been here yet but we will notice when they come,” said Studer.

The American Queen Steamboat Company said their schedule was altered this year because of high river levels along the Mississippi.

Tourism officials said at this point in the year, they usually see a few dockings already.

“The larger boats usually mid July, 10th through the 20th is when they start docking,” said Hannibal Convention and Visitor’s Bureau Executive Director Gail Bryant.

But they said they should have a full slate of dockings this year with 25 to 32 stops from the riverboat cruises.

Officials estimate over 6,000 passengers will visit downtown just within the next couple of months.

“It’s not just the passengers on the riverboat, it’s the visitors that come to Hannibal to see the riverboats docking so it’s just another attraction,” said Bryant.

Meanwhile Studer said when the first boat docks next Monday, she and her staff will be ready.

“We kinda look at when they’re coming and if we need to open up a little earlier or stay a little later to accommodate those folks, we are so happy to do that,” said Studer.

Tourism officials said the riverboats will make most if not all of their dockings over the course of the next three months.

Here’s what dockings look like throughout August:

  • The American Queen riverboat will dock on the 6th and 17th.
  • The Queen of the Mississippi will dock on the 5th and the 16th.
  • The American Duchess will dock on the 7th.

Upper Mississippi River Cruises

Riverboat cruises bring boost to summer tourist season

Brett Knese

Multi-Media Journalist at WGEM News.

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