HANNIBAL (WGEM) – For the first time since the completion of Hannibal’s $6 million waterfront project, a full season of riverboat cruises is planned.
American Queen Steamboat Company and American Cruise Lines ended their 2021 run in November, and both business owners and city officials are calling the season a success.
Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau Director Megan Rapp said the American Queen Steamboat Company and US cruise lines docked 30 times in 2021, drawing nearly 6,000 visitors.
“The two river boat companies were very happy to learn that we were going to have two quays. So they were able to adjust their schedules accordingly,” Rapp said. “Whereas before when they had to work with only one dock, they could or could not stay at the dock as long as they wanted.”
Rapp said the two cruise lines were allowed to dock for up to eight a.m., allowing passengers to see all of Hannibal, meaning local businesses were also able to cash in.
Michael O’Cheltree, owner of Native American Trading Co., said he definitely did.
“People who get on these boats, I’m sure, they pay a lot to get on these boats wherever they are, and some are better off than others but they like to shop in these little towns,” O’ Cheltree said.
O’Cheltree said the second pier helps offset the loss of cruises in 2020 due to the pandemic.
“There are a lot of reasons people are away, and we’re social people, we have to do that,” O’Cheltree said.
Rapp said the riverboats will return to Hannibal next summer, with the first docking scheduled for June.
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