American Duchess Coming To Town but her inaugural stop was postponed until Friday, August 18th. She is the newest vessel for American Steamboat Company, and carries 166 passengers, and will be the fourth vessel now making regular stops in my hometown of Vicksburg, MS.
The Duchess joins the American Queen, the America and Queen of the Mississippi making scheduled stops. American Cruise Lines, the parent company of the American and Queen of the Mississippi has already scheduled a visit from a new, unnamed riverboat in September 2018.
In 2016, we welcomed 76 visits by passenger riverboats. That number was higher than the year before and the year before that.
According to Ashley Gatian, sales manager with the Vicksburg Convention and Visitors Bureau (VCVB), and the main point of contact for many of the riverboat companies, traffic along the riverfront is about to pick up.
"This year, we have seen or have booked 102 visits," Gatian said. "And, in 2018, we already have scheduled 128 dockings."
Gatian said the visits last year brought an estimated 20,000 visitors to the shores of downtown Vicksburg, with more than 25,000 expected this year.
She also said the VCVB has seen a number of return visitors to Vicksburg, of those who made their first visit to Vicksburg by riverboat and then scheduled another trip because of their experience.