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Mississippi River cruises bringing hundreds of tourists, dollars to the Quad Cities

Published: Oct. 6, 2021 at 6:26 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 7, 2021 at 12:29 PM CDT
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DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - American Cruise Lines is helping put the Quad Cities back on the map as a destination location after COVID-19 shutdowns. Cruise ships are docking again in downtown Davenport.

The American Melody cruise ship made its maiden voyage up the Mississippi a few weeks ago.

“Since the pandemic, this is our first opportunity to get them back out here,” says Kris Moyer, a tour guide for American Cruise Lines.

Passengers now stop in Davenport and enjoy sites like the Figge, Putnum, Skybridge, and downtown retailers. Tourism also brings dollars back into the city after the pandemic forced many attractions to close.

“It’s such a big piece of our economic trajectory and you never know who’s going to be on this boat. It could be somebody who’s hopefully going to come back time and time again, it could be an investor, it could be somebody who is thinking about relocating a business here,” says Dave Herrell, CEO at Visit Quad Cities, “Comebacks are critically important for our economy, and I think for the Quad Cities we definitely need them.”

About five thousand people will visit the QC by the end of November. Visit Quad Cities and the cruise line want to bring in even more tourists over the next few years.

“We are going to be here multiple times a week and we are looking at growing that over the next five years,” says Frank Klipsch, Director of City Partnerships with American Cruise Lines, “Davenport is one of the great cities on the river and it’s an opportunity to share that with people all around the United States and eventually from all over the world.”

The city of Davenport is also working on revitalizing where the riverboats will dock at River Heritage Park.

“Over the next several months, we have fixed up the river wall along the River Heritage Park area that is in need of repair. Now the crew has begun work on adding linear feet to the existing river walk. The great lawn will be beautified in that same area and better permanent linkages between the riverside and the parking lot entryway will be created,” says Steve Ahrens, Executive Officer with the Davenport Riverfront Improvement Commission.

Riverboats will dock every Monday and Tuesday at River Heritage Park in Davenport throughout October. More information on excursions can be found on the cruise line’s website.

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