Cruise line’s maiden voyage exposes hundreds to the Quad Cities
DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) - Passengers on the “Viking Mississippi” received a warm welcome Wednesday afternoon when it docked for the first time in Davenport.
On its maiden voyage, the cruise ship will take 386 people to seven states, starting from the Twin Cities in Minnesota down to New Orleans, Louisiana, and the middle of the Quad Cities.
Before passengers disembarked, local officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the inaugural trip.
“This is amazing that this is sitting here on our river,” Davenport Mayor Mike Matson said. “It’s amazing that people are coming from all over the world to experience Davenport and the Quad Cities.”
On their stop, river travelers could embark on tours of local landmarks like the Deere-Wiman House or the Figge Art Museum.
Bob Wilson, a passenger from San Diego opted to visit Cinnamon Ridge Farms in Donahue.
“It’s been a lot of fun,” Wilson said. “[My wife and I are] open to what the Mississippi has and to what all the communities are that we’ve visited.”
The QC sees about 50 different cruise stops during the season.
Dave Herrell, president and CEO of Visit Quad Cities said experiences like this lead to more economic development.
“As people set a set of eyes on the Quad Cities, that’s a good thing,” Herrell said. “It’s all about visibility. It’s all about brand exposure, and the more times people can see us, and then hopefully have that emotional connection to us.”
Herrell said activating the river is part of the master tourism plan in the area.
“The Mississippi River is a part of our DNA,” Herrell said. “It’s ... part of our heritage, and it’s also part of our future. So the more we can do with it, the better off we’re going to be.”
After departing the QC Wednesday night, the ship made a quick stop in Burlington, and it will continue to St. Louis in the coming days.
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