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Mississippi River Cruise

ACL Newbuilds for Mississippi and Columbia Rivers

American Cruise Lines (ACL) today confirmed it will be placing the first of four upcoming newbuilds on the Mississippi River, where it currently operates its newest riverboat, Queen of the Mississippi. The second newbuild will operate in the Pacific Northwest on the Columbia and Snake Rivers, where the line is operating the 120-passenger Queen of the West. Construction of both new riverboats is well underway at Chesapeake Shipbuilding in Salisbury, Md. The new Mississippi riverboat will have a similar capacity to Queen of the Mississippi at 150 passengers, and will enter service in March of 2015. The new Columbia riverboat will follow later that same year. It will be slightly larger than American Cruise Lines’ other riverboats, with a planned capacity of 175 passengers. Similar in design, both will feature fully functioning paddlewheels. The two new ships, as of yet unnamed, will enable American Cruise Lines to offer expanded itineraries on the Mississippi River System and the Columbia and Snake Rivers, adding new cruise options for those looking to experience these unique regions. The line currently runs numerous eight-day cruises on both rivers, offering various themes from wine and jazz music, to Mark Twain and the Lewis and Clark expedition. “Demand on the Mississippi is high, and the Columbia River has not seen a new riverboat in many years,” said Timothy Beebe, Vice President of American Cruise Lines


Large Dead Zone Found in Gulf of Mexico

noaa epa, oxygen map.jpg

Mapped size confirms NOAA forecast for an average-sized hypoxia zone this year. NOAA- and EPA-supported scientists have mapped the Gulf of Mexico dead zone, an area with low oxygen water, measuring 5,052 square miles this summer--approximately the size of the state of Connecticut. The measurements were taken during the 30th annual hypoxia survey cruise from July 27 to August 2. This area falls within the predicted range of 4,633 to 5


Cooperative Effort Promotes Mississippi River Economics

Officials with the World Trade Center Mississippi River Alliance (WTC MSRA) and the Big River Coalition (BRC) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding outlining a cooperative effort to preserve and promote economic growth on the Mississippi River and Tributaries (MRT).  The organizations will work together in support of increasing the draft in the Lower Mississippi River deep-draft channel to 50 feet to equal the maximum draft to be available when the new Panama Canal locks open in 2015


American Cruise Lines Welcomes Wave Season 2013

new paddelwheeler, Queen of the Mississippi

A strong start to the season, American Cruise Lines experiences record sales.   American Cruise Lines (www.americancruiselines.com), a  U.S. cruise company, announced today record sales at the start of what it is predicting will be its strongest Wave Season to date. Each of the past four weeks has broken previous company sales records during Wave Season, with last week being the most successful sales week in the company’s entire history.


Mississippi River Drought Mayors to Meet

20 Mayors to discuss severe weather implications for Mississippi River sustainability & need for regional co-operation. Spurred by the severe drought and Hurricane Isaac, Mayors from towns and cities along the Mississippi River will participate in a press briefing to discuss a mayoral-led effort to bring national attention back to the Mississippi River—America’s most critical natural asset—and spearhead a new level of regional cooperation to make it more


PVA Elects New President, Officers,Board

PVA members, during the PVA Annual Convention at MariTrends 2010 in Tampa, Fla., elected Kevin Stier as President.  Captain Stier is owner of River Cruises, Scales Mound, Ill..  River Cruises operates the 149 passenger Riverboat Twilight that offers two-day overnight cruises on the Upper Mississippi River. A longtime member of the PVA Regulatory Committee, Captain Stier has been a member of the PVA Board of Directors since 2003 and has served as PVA Vice-President and PVA


Mississippi River Restrictions Lifted

Coast Guard Captain of the Port Captain Sharon Richey, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector Upper Mississippi River, issued an order today lifting the restrictions on vessel traffic transit through the affected area of the Mississippi River at the Interstate 35 Bridge collapse site here. The bridge was closed at mile marker 853.2, due to salvage and debris removal operations. All mariners are urged to exercise extreme caution when transiting this area and to monitor marine channel 16


The Mighty Teeny Mississippi

Toohey head shot 1 web.jpg

Just as the nation averted the fiscal cliff, it looks as if the inland waterways industries narrowly escaped its own fiscal waterfall. At press time, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers indicates that, despite record low water levels, the Mississippi River will be able to sustain navigation through the spring for towboats and barges. This is welcome news for shippers, operators and the U.S. economy that relies upon a robust export market facilitated by the waterways transportation system


Submerged Towboat Lifted in Iowa

U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 1st Class Mariana OLeary

Response crews commenced lifting operations of the 154-foot sunken towboat from the Mississippi River bank near LeClaire, Iowa, Monday. Stephen L. Colby salvage crews worked to cradle and dewater the vessel in an effort to remove extra weight while lifting the towboat. Crews dealt with below freezing conditions and long hours throughout response efforts and continue to conduct pollution mitigation through cleanup operations.


Mississippi River Delays Begin to Ease

Delays at locks along the Mississippi River were easing on June 1 as a glut of northbound barges that congested locks after the river reopened last week made their way upriver, river officials said. Locks 24 and 25 in Winfield and Clarksville, Mo., the last two and most southerly locks to be reopened last Wednesday after a month-long river closure, were initially hit with back-ups of as many as 30 barge tows and delays of close to 40 hours, officials said.


Sustreanu Named COO of FleetPro Group

Christine Sustreanu (Photo courtesy of FleetPro Group)

Christine Sustreanu will join FleetPro Group June 1, 2015 as its new chief operation officer (COO), the company announced in a press release.   Sustreanu, who presently serves as general manager at Uniworld Boutique River Cruise collection, will replace Robert Heijlands


Largest Cargo Year Ever for Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

Photo: Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor

Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor records 2014 as highest shipment year in its 44-year history   The Port of Indiana-Burns Harbor handled more shipments in 2014 than any year since the port opened in 1970. Total tonnage was up 30 percent over 2013 driven by strong shipments of steel


New Orleans’ 2014 Cruise Passenger Total Tops Record

The 2,340-passenger Norwegian Dawn berthed at the Port of New Orleans Julia Street Cruise Terminal in November 2014. (Photo courtesy of the Port of New Orleans)

Port of New Orleans cruise terminals handled more than 1 million cruise passengers in 2014 for the first time in its history. For the 12 months, embarkations and disembarkations totaled 1,014,325, an increase of more than 2.6 percent over 2013, a fourth straight record year for the port.  


ACL Planning New, Modern Riverboats

Expansion will introduce new style of river cruising in the United States. American Cruise Lines announced today its plans for the construction of a new fleet of modern riverboats, which will add a new dimension to river cruising in the United States


New Barge for US Army Corps of Engineers

Photo courtesy of Steelways Inc.

Steelways, Inc. announced the departure of a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Crane Barge, Snag Barge 1401.   Snag Barge 1401, a heavy duty crane barge built by Steelways Inc. in Newburgh, N.Y. for the Army Corp of Engineers for work on the Mississippi River


Search for Missing Hunter Near South Pass

  The Coast Guard, state and local agencies responded to a report of a missing duck hunter in the vicinity of South Pass on the lower Mississippi River, Thursday. Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector New Orleans received a report of the missing hunter and directed the launch of a Coast


Bill Secures Funding for US Warship

The United States Senate voted 56-40 to pass bill H.R. 83 which funds the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year. The funding ensures the construction of a 12th LPD-17 amphibious ship at Ingalls shipbuilding in Pascagoula, Mississippi.  


Bill Introduced to Protect Great Lakes from Invasive Species

Camp, Stabenow, Slaughter Introduce Guarding Our Great Lakes Act   The Guarding Our Great Lakes Act, a bipartisan legislation designed to protect the Great Lakes from the threat of invasive Asian carp, has been introduced by U.S. Congressman Dave Camp (R-Mich


An Efficient Addition to a Strong Fleet

Photo courtesy of Rodriguez Boat Builders

Cvitanovic towing of Belle Chasse, Louisiana has taken delivery of a fourth vessel for its fleet of highly efficient Lugger-style tugs. Built at the Rodriguez yard in Bayou LaBatre, Alabama, the 65 by 26-foot, Andrew C, is slightly smaller than the 67.5 by 26-foot Pere C (2011) and George C (2012)


Steven Palazzo Visits HII, Newport

Steven Palazzo Visits Newport News Shipbuilding

  Huntington Ingalls Industries today hosted Rep. Steven Palazzo, R-Miss., for a tour of the company's Newport News Shipbuilding division. Palazzo represents the fourth district of Mississippi, which includes Newport News' sister shipyard, Ingalls Shipbuilding.


Ice to Close Upper Mississippi from Nov. 20

File Photo: An inland pushboat and its barges make their way down river.

The shipping season on the upper Mississippi River will end on Thursday as ice surrounding locks and dams near Minnesota's Twin Cities forced the earliest winter closure on records that date back to 1969, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said.


MARAD Awards Grant for Green Tug Conversion

M/V Christopher M. Parsonage (Photo: Capt. Billy Smith)

The U.S. Maritime Administration (MARAD) has granted $450,000 to AEP River Operations of St. Louis, Missouri, to modify the Motor Vessel (M/V) Christopher Parsonage into a fuel-efficient hybrid vessel that conserves fuel and reduces emissions.


Cruise Vessel Drydocked at Great Lakes Shipyard

Photos courtesy of Greak Lake Shipyards

Great Lakes Shipyard has been awarded a contract for routine drydocking of the M/V Nautica Queen. The cruise vessel was hauled out using the 770-ton capacity Marine Travelift at Great Lakes Shipyard on Monday, November 10, 2014. The repair contract includes drydocking


Routine USACE Levee Work Halts Mississippi Traffic

An Inland Pushboat moves its cargo to market (file photo)

Fully loaded barges headed to export market abruptly halted. Waterways Council, Inc. (WCI) and its agricultural and other commodity shipper members and towboat operators are reacting to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ decision to perform, over the next 13 days


Geo Shipyard Delivers Catamaran Survey Vessel

Blake (Photo courtesy of Geo Shipyard)

Geo Shipyard, Inc. has built and delivered a new Survey Catamaran Vessel, Blake, for David Evans and Associates Inc.’s Marine Services Division in Gulfport, Mississippi. The newbuild, delivered in October, features wave-piercing bows, Tier 3 Cat diesels, twin 55-kW generators






 
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